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Original Post by Steve Wilson for la-story.com

There are two times in the year when you should think about (and implement!) a detox for your body and eating habits: Autumn and January because it’s post-holiday. Dr. Rand McClain is our guest expert and author of today’s post. While he wrote this for Fall, it’s easily applicable for the post-holiday resolutions in January.

Fall is a Great Time to Detoxify Your Body – And Your Kitchen
Summer is great, but it can lead to some unhealthy habits. Think about it…
● Backyard barbecues
● Lounging by the pool
● Sipping on cocktails
● Stocking the kitchen with junk food while the kids are out of school
But, these summer delights can all pack on the pounds.

In January, it’s really important to do a “clean-up” of your eating habits, similar to the one you did at the end of summer.

  • Candy, cookies, and desserts– and the leftovers from the holiday should either be frozen or tossed.
  • Cocktails and wine are part of the celebrations that start at Thanksgiving and continue through January 1.
  • Rich foods that aren’t normally part of your menus.
  • Skipping workouts because you are tired and/or busy with the holidays. (You need those workouts the most over the holidays)

As cooler weather arrives, it might be time to give your body a kick-start. It won’t be long until you’re in the middle of Cold-and-Flu Season. So, you want your immune system to be as strong as possible. That way you’ll have a better chance of warding off any illnesses that might try to come your way.
It also won’t be long until the holiday season is here. That means holiday parties filled with fattening hors d’oeuvres. And everyone knows how much weight they can put on simply by sitting at the Thanksgiving table.
Here are some foods to consider adding to your diet to help cleanse your body. And these foods will also get you prepared for all the challenges that “comfort food season” can bring.

Beets

Throw out the junk food and replace it with beets and other healthy items. In fact, beets are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Beets are loaded with antioxidants.
Antioxidants help your body ward off the effects of oxidative stress. Oxidation is necessary for life, but it can lead to the formation of free radicals. These are molecules that can do damage to muscles and tissues. Antioxidants keep this damage from occurring.
Beets are also high in nitrates. Nitrates promote healthy blood flow to keep you from getting fatigued. They also contain the following…
● Manganese
● Folate
Vitamin C
These nutrients help ensure your liver, kidneys, and pancreas work as they should.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts are packed with vitamin C.
Vitamin C helps protect you from colds or other seasonal respiratory problems. Brussels sprouts are also high in fiber, which keeps your digestive system regular.

Cinnamon and Ginger

Just because you’re trying to eat healthier during the fall, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor. Cinnamon on your morning toast or ginger in your holiday cookies will give them that extra zip.
These and other so-called “warming spices” are made for this time of year. They also help your body do a better job of absorbing the nutrients you get from food. Cinnamon helps control blood sugar and ginger can help fight inflammation.

Cranberries

What’s fall – particularly Thanksgiving – without cranberries? This is one part of your Thanksgiving dinner you can indulge in without feeling even a twinge of guilt. But you don’t need to wait until November to take advantage of the many health benefits of this fantastic food.
Cranberries are chock full of antioxidants. In fact, they have one of the highest antioxidant levels of any fruit. They are particularly high in powerful antioxidants known as proanthocyanidins. These antioxidants help protect the body from urinary tract infections. Cranberries also help fight bacteria and other toxins that can lead to health issues.

Pumpkin Seeds

The amazing pumpkin is a lot more than an ingredient in pumpkin pie – a Thanksgiving staple. Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium. That’s the mineral that helps your digestive system operate normally.
Zinc, another mineral you’ll find in pumpkin seeds, helps boost your immune system. Pumpkin seeds are also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. They’ll help keep your mind focused during the fall and winter months.

4 Reasons to Avoid Fad Diets

Often, people are worried about packing on seasonal pounds. So, they consider trying a fad diet to lose weight fast. There are a lot of reasons why this is never a good idea. Here are just a few problems that fad diets can cause.

Dehydration – When you go on a crash diet, most of the weight you lose is water weight (especially due to muscle loss). This can increase your chances of dehydration. It might also increase your risk of developing serious health problems as a result.

Fatigue – A fad diet will greatly reduce your caloric intake. But you need a certain amount of calories each day in order to make sure you have enough energy. Smaller meals throughout the day can give you a metabolism boost. This provides the energy you need while also helping you shed some pounds.

Digestive problems – Losing weight quickly can result in diarrhea and constipation. One of the reasons why is people who try fad diets typically don’t get enough fiber. Fiber is key to proper digestion.

Malnutrition – Fad diets usually mean a significant reduction in fats and carbohydrates. But they also reduce your vitamin and mineral intake. This can lead to many health problems that will last long after you stop following the diet.

Stay Safe
We hope you will avoid trying any sort of crash diet, whether it’s during fall, winter or any other season. Never start any sort of diet – or introduce new foods, for that matter – without first talking to your doctor.

Dr. Rand

Author Dr. Rand

Dr. McClain has dedicated over 35 years of his personal and professional life studying nutrition, exercise, herbs and supplements and is also a Master of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

More posts by Dr. Rand

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