Revolutionize your body with this super-speedy cleanse…

If you want to look younger and feel fabulous, the secret, says nutritionists, is to banish bodily toxins by cleansing your liver. When your system becomes over-burdened, it can start to break down in a multitude of ways. Digestive disorders, insomnia, headaches depression, fatigue and weight gain are just a few of the symptoms that can occur as a result of toxin build-up. ‘The liver is the greatest multitasking organ,’ says Patrick Holford, nutritionist and author of The 9-Day Liver Detox. ‘It’s responsible for detoxifying any harmful substances, storing nutrients, eliminating any excess hormones and balancing your blood sugar levels. The way it functions has an important impact on our health.’

Description: The ultimate detox plan

Read the signs

Many people believe detox diets are just another media-hyped fad. Surely if you drink lots of water and cut back on the booze you’ll reserve any damage, right? Actually, no. ‘Even without festive overload, your body naturally produces huge quantities of toxins simply by processing the food you need for energy. A large build-up can lead to anxiety, headaches, high blood pressure or even panic attacks,’ explains Patrick. Our bodies also have to deal with the effects of additional environmental toxins which we all constantly inhale and consume. The first step to taking a load off your liver is to clean up your diet. While tough juicing diets can help to provide a great body overhaul, restrictive programmes aren’t suited to everyone. However, simply eating nutritious foods, cutting out stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol, and avoiding wheat, gluten, sugar and dairy will give your liver a much-needed break while helping you to whittle away those stubborn pounds.

Healthy habits

Description: Healthy habits

Once you’ve dumped the junk, fill your plate with fresh, healthy foods. Seeds such as pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and linseeds are packed with omega-3 and 6 essential fats, which help balance hormones and keep skin healthy. Dark green leafy vegetables also contain dozens of nutrients and antioxidants that help supercharge the detox process. Other vegetables with potent powers include cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and cauliflower, and sulphur-packed onions and garlic.

Detoxifying exercises such as brisk walking, jogging, swimming, yoga and psychocalistenics (a precise sequence of 23 gentle moves) will also help to improve your energy levels, bringing your body and mind back into balance.

Finally, supplementing your diet with the right combination of antioxidants and nutrients can help give your liver the health boost it needs. Try Patrick Holford’s 9-Day Detox Pack, $62.15, from Holland & Barrett stores.

Liver-loving foods

Follow Patrick’s golden detox rules for a slimmer, happier you

  1. Reach your liquid limits: Drink eight glasses of water or fluid every day. Squeeze and add half a lemon to hot water twice a day.
  2. Plant the seed: Have a tablespoon of ground, mixed seeds every day. Sprinkle it over salads or stir through your morning porridge.
  3. Eat your greens: Have a serving of ‘super greens mix’ every day: Blend a handful of spinach, watercress, parsley and basil, with variations such as sunblush tomatoes, artichoke hearts, pine nuts and avocado.
  4. Crunch on cruciferous veggies: Munch on a serving of cruciferous vegetables, such as tenderstem broccoli, cauliflower, kale or cabbage every day to enhance your liver’s capacity to detoxify.
  5. Go raw: Consume a garlic clove, one small onion or four spring onions every day. Eat raw if possible, or cook lightly if you can’t stomach the taste.
  6. Guzzle a smoothie: Gulp back a superfood juice every day. Include refreshing fruit and veg such as berries, watermelon and citrus fruits, celery, cucumber, kale, ginger, rocket and watercress.
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