Drop Down MenusCSS Drop Down MenuPure CSS Dropdown Menu

Monday, July 20, 2015

The wonders of WATERMELON: more than just delicious and refreshing...

The question is, why is there so much craze for the watermelon? At first glance, it may seem like nothing more than a big ball of water.  We all know that there is nothing more refreshing than a big, chilled wedge of watermelon on a hot, summer day and it does sport a stylish scientific name of Citrullus Lanatus, but what’s the real reason so many people flock to grocery stores every summer to buy a big, awkward fruit like this one? Well, it is hard to narrow it down to a single reason; there are actually a lot of them.
Watermelon is now the most-consumed melon in the US (followed by cantaloupe and honeydew). This cousin to cucumbers, pumpkins, and squash is thought to have originated in Egypt close to 5,000 years ago, where it is depicted in hieroglyphics. 
As for accessing the total medicinal benefits of watermelons, it is highly dependent on the variety of watermelon and the ripeness. Beta carotene and lycopene is usually bio-available in the highest quantities once the watermelon is completely ripe, and don’t be afraid to eat some of the watermelon rind; there are quite a few nutrients in there as well, particularly the roughage and fiber.

6 Watermelon Facts That Might Surprise You

1. Watermelon Has More Lycopene Than Raw Tomatoes
Lycopene is a powerful carotenoid antioxidant that gives fruits and vegetables a pink or red color. It's most often associated with tomatoes, but watermelon is actually a more concentrated source. Compared to a large fresh tomato, one cup of watermelon has 1.5 times the lycopene (6 milligrams (mg) in watermelon compared to 4 mg in a tomato).
2. Watermelon Juice May Relieve Muscle Soreness
If you have a juicer, try juicing about one-third of a fresh watermelon and drinking its juice prior to your next workout. This contains a little over one gram of l-citrulline, an amino acid that seems to protect against muscle pain.
One study found that men who drank natural unpasteurized watermelon juice prior to their workouts had reduced muscle soreness 24 hours later compared to those who drank a placebo. You do need to be careful with drinking watermelon juice, though, as it contains a significant amount of fructose. It may be better to eat the entire fruit, or opt for these other tips to prevent muscle soreness.
3. Watermelon Is a Fruit and a Vegetable
Remember how watermelon is related to cucumbers, pumpkin, and squash? That's because it's part vegetable and part fruit (it's a sweet, seed-producing plant, after all). The other clue that watermelon is both fruit and vegetable? The rind is entirely edible…
4. You Can Eat Watermelon Rind and Seeds
Most people throw away the watermelon rind, but try putting it in a blender with some lime for a healthy, refreshing treat. Not only does the rind contain plenty of health-promoting and blood-building chlorophyll, but the rind actually contains more of the amino acid citrulline than the pink flesh. 
Citrulline is converted to arginine in your kidneys, and not only is this amino acid important for heart health and maintaining your immune system, but it has been researched to have potential therapeutic value in over 100 health conditions.
While many people prefer seedless watermelon varieties, black watermelon seeds are edible and actually quite healthy. They contain iron, zinc, protein, and fiber. (In case you were wondering, seedless watermelons aren't genetically modified, as they're the result of hybridization.)
5. It's Mostly Water
This might not be surprising, but it's still a fun fact; watermelon is more than 91 percent water. This means that eating watermelon with you on a hot summer day is a tasty way to help you stay hydrated and avoid dehydration (it's not a substitute for drinking plenty of fresh water, however).
6. Some Watermelon Are Yellow
The Yellow Crimson watermelon has yellow flesh with a sweeter, honey flavor than the more popular pink-fleshed Crimson Sweet. It's likely that yellow watermelon offers its own unique set of nutritional benefits, but most research to date has focused on the pink-fleshed varieties.

Health Benefits of Watermelons

Kidney Disorders: Watermelons contain a lot of potassium, which is very helpful in cleaning or washing out the toxic depositions in the kidneys. Moreover, it is helpful in reducing the concentration of uric acid in the blood, thereby reducing the chances of kidney damage and the formation of renal calculi in that organ. Added to this, being high in water content, it induces frequent urinating, which is again helpful for cleaning of the kidneys. Also, the anti oxidants present in watermelon ensure good health of the kidneys for a long time, and reduce signs of premature aging like wrinkles and age spots on the skin.
Prevents Heat Stroke: Watermelon is effective in reducing both your body temperature and blood pressure. Many people in tropical regions eat this fruit every day in the afternoon during the summer to protect themselves from heat stroke. In India, you will find the fruit being sold by vendors in almost every street during the summer season. The high amount of water contained in watermelon also stimulates a release of excess liquid in the form of sweat, which cools your body further during hot summer days.
High Blood Pressure: The good amount of potassium and magnesium that is present in watermelons is very beneficial in terms of bringing down blood pressure. Potassium is considered a vasodilator, meaning that it releases the tension of blood vessels and arteries, thereby stimulating increased blood flow and reducing the stress on the cardiovascular system. The carotenoids present in these fruits also prevent hardening of artery walls and veins, thereby helping to reduce blood pressure and the chances of blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, and atherosclerosis. 
Prevents Cancer: Watermelons have been in the public eye more and more in recent years, primarily because of their impressive level of lycopene, a carotenoid phytonutrient compound that is increasingly being linked to cancer prevention. As the years go by and the studies continue to bring in consistent results, lycopene has been shown to significantly reduce the risks of prostate, breast, colon, lung, and endometrial cancer. All in all, between the antioxidant potential of vitamin C and the impact of lycopene, watermelon is a great anti-cancer fruit!
Diabetes: Diabetic patients, who are supposed to have a low energy and low sugar diet, often complain about starving since they don’t get to eat their staple diets, which gives them the feeling of being half fed. Watermelons can be a good supplement for them. In spite of being sweet in taste, a thick wedge will give you very few calories, since ninety nine percent of its total weight is composed of water and roughage. Moreover, the various vitamins and minerals such as potassium and magnesium help in proper functioning of insulin in the body, thus lowering the blood sugar level. Arginine, another component found in watermelons, is very effective at enhancing the impact of insulin on blood sugar. Diabetic patients can also have curries, steaks, and salads made from water melon rinds, which are even lower in sugar.
Heart Care: Lypocene, a carotenoid found in abundance in watermelon, improves cardiac functions. Beta carotene, known for its remarkable antioxidant and anti-aging properties, also keeps you young at heart and prevents age-related cardiac problems. The roughage in water melon and its very low energy, along with help from vitamin-C, carotenoids and potassium (potassium cuts the risk of a heart attack), helps to reduce cholesterol and keep your heart safe from a variety of dangerous conditions.
Macular Degeneration: Don’t worry about eye health and macular degeneration if you eat plenty of watermelon, because between the beta carotene, vitamin-C, lutein, and zeaxanthin, your eyes are well protected. They will ensure protection of your eyes from age-related blindness and degeneration, and these antioxidants will protect your eyes from other age-related ailments such as drying up of eyes and optical nerves, as well as glaucoma.
Impotence: Arginine, present in watermelon, is beneficial in curing erectile dysfunction, and the stimulating nature of the chemical can boost libido, reduce frigidity and give a kick start to your love life, after you enjoy a few slices of watermelon together!
Other Benefits: Lypocene is found to be effective in repairing damaged tissues. Watermelon seeds are rich in beneficial fats and proteins. Watermelons also contain phytonutrients which have very good effects on the health and proper functioning of internal organs, eyes, and the secretion system.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Commercial fruit juice and smoothies can be a risk to health

We may think that we are giving health a good turn by opting for fruit juice or a smoothie instead of soda pop, but health advocates warn that this in not a sound choice. Linked with obesity and type 2 diabetes, these drinks are often a disease promoting agent in disguise. Masquerading behind a facade of wholesomeness, fruit juice and smoothies contain high levels of harmful fructose and synthetic additives. In response, nutrition experts warn that if we want to avoid health issues in the future, these beverages should be given a wide berth.

The risks of ‘healthy’ beverages
A significant player in the soaring rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes, sugar of all kinds (especially fructose) is a health disaster. Barry Popkin, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina, states that “smoothies and fruit juice are the new danger,” in an interview with The Guardian.
In 2004 Barry Popkin and George Bray pointed the finger at high fructose corn syrup in soft drinks, causing a huge headache for the big manufacturers, including Coca-Cola and Pepsi. The two scientists had identified sugar-sweetened soft drinks, full of calories and consumed between meals, as a major cause of soaring obesity in developed countries. But they argue that as people change their drinking habits to avoid carbonated soft drinks, the potential damage from naturally occurring fructose in fruit juices and smoothies is being overlooked.

“Smoothies and fruit juice are the new danger,” said Popkin. He added: “It’s kind of the next step in the evolution of the battle. And it’s a really big part of it because in every country they’ve been replacing soft drinks with fruit juice and smoothies as the new healthy beverage. So you will find that Coke and Pepsi have bought dozens [of fruit juice companies] around the globe.”
Coca-Cola owns Minute Maid juices in the USA and Innocent smoothies in Europe while PepsiCo has Naked juices in the USA and Tropicana in Europe.

Drink vegetable juice, Popkin advices, but not fruit juice. "Think of eating one orange or two and getting filled," he said. "Now think of drinking a smoothie with six oranges and two hours later it does not affect how much you eat. The entire literature shows that we feel full from drinking beverages like smoothies but it does not affect our overall food intake, whereas eating an orange does. So pulped-up smoothies do nothing good for us but do give us the same amount of sugar as four to six oranges or a large coke. It is deceiving."
All sugars are equal in their bad effects, says Popkin – even those described on cereal snack bars sold in health food shops as containing “completely natural” sweeteners. “The most important issue about added sugar is that everybody thinks it’s cane sugar or maybe beet sugar or HFC syrup or all the other syrups but globally the cheapest thing on the market almost is fruit juice concentrate coming out of China. It has created an overwhelming supply of apple juice concentrate. It is being used everywhere and it also gets around the sugar quotas that lots of countries have.”
In a survey of sweeteners in US food products between 2005 and 2009 for a paper published in 2012, Popkin and colleagues found that fruit juice concentrate was the fifth most common sugar overall and the second most common, after corn syrup, in soft drinks and in babies’ formula milk.

“All the long term studies on fruit juice in anything show the same kind of effect whether it’s a smoothie or natural [juice] and whether it’s a diabetes or weight gain effect,” Popkin added.
Further evidence supporting the theory came last week from a study published by the British Medical Association.
Researchers from the UK, USA and Singapore found that, in large-scale studies involving nurses, people who ate whole fruit, especially blueberries, grapes and apples, were less likely to get type 2 diabetes, which is obesity-related, but those who drank fruit juice were at increased risk. People who swapped their fruit juice for whole fruits three times a week cut their risk by 7%.

Fructose is particularly troublesome, as it bypasses the body’s satiating signals, which encourages overconsumption and subsequent weight gain along with insulin resistance. It also increases uric acid levels, which promotes metabolic syndromes like hypertriglyceridemia. Fruit juices and smoothies contain concentrated forms of fructose, giving rise to a vicious cycle of blood sugar imbalances.

As observed by Popkin, when all is said and done, we would be better off consuming vegetable juice or whole fruit.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Summertime superfoods: Best foods to beat the heat

Staying hydrated is a key component of healthful living, as water comprises approximately 60% of our body weight. However, as we get older—and as the weather gets warmer in summer—it can become more difficult to stay hydrated. As we age, mechanisms for triggering fluid intake (i.e., feeling thirsty) weaken, and water retention capability changes, which can lead to serious consequences.

According to the Mayo Clinic, dehydration, which occurs when you lose more fluid than you consume, can lead to severe complications including heat injury (such as heat exhaustion or the more severe heatstroke), swelling in the brain, seizures, kidney failure and shock. Dehydration can even affect your mood, energy levels, ability to focus, alertness, and short-term memory.

The best treatment for dehydration is prevention; by drinking water and other fluids throughout the day, especially after strenuous activity or profuse sweating, staying hydrated during summer is a snap.

6 super-hydrating fruits and vegetables

But drinking water isn’t the only way to keep your fluid levels high. While warm summer weather makes hydration all the more important, it also means an abundance of super hydrating fruits and vegetables that can contribute to your fluid intake and give you a boost of nutrients to boot! Check out the list below for some ideas as to what to pick up on your next grocery run.

At approximately 96% water, it’s no wonder that juicy, crunchy cucumbers are hydrating. Toss sliced cucumbers on a salad or add them to a pitcher of water for a refreshing burst of hydration. Grate cucumbers and mix with Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and dill to make a tasty tzatziki dip for fresh veggies and pita chips.


Celery is well known for being mostly water (and rightly so, at 95%), but this crunchy vegetable also packs a phytonutrient punch and supports digestive tract health due to its high fiber content. Cut celery stalks into sticks to dip in hummus or tzatziki, top with peanut butter and raisins for a classic snack, or add to a chopped salad for extra crunch.


A good source of vitamins A and K, phytonutrients, such as carotenoids, flavonoids, and phenols, as well as iron, fresh spinach is also 92% water. Use spinach as the base for a summer salad, add to green juices, or pack leaves into a sandwich.


A true summer fruit, tomatoes are 94% water and, like spinach and broccoli, are high in phytonutrients. In addition, tomatoes contain beta-carotene and lycopene, two antioxidants that have both been linked to prostate cancer prevention and may help reduce damage caused by sun exposure. Add tomatoes to salads, blend with other vegetables to make a refreshing salsa or gazpacho, or dice and toss with basil, garlic, balsamic vinegar and olive oil for a tasty bruschetta mix.


Known for its high vitamin C content, tart grapefruit boosts immune function and may reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels. At 91% water, grapefruit is especially refreshing in hot summer weather. Peel, segment, and toss in a salad, juice and enjoy, or make grapefruit lemonade.
Grapefruit is contraindicated for consumption with many medications, so check your medication labels or ask your doctor before adding grapefruit to your diet.


Last but not least, watermelon, at 92% water, is a summer staple. Watermelon contains lycopene, vitamin C, and beta-carotene, to name but a few nutrients. However, to reap the most antioxidant goodness from this melon, allow watermelon to ripen fully before consuming. Puree chilled watermelon and add to lemonade for a refreshing beverage, slice and eat, or arrange with basil and feta cheese for a refreshing salad.
While staying hydrated in summer is crucial, there’s no reason it can’t also be fun. In addition to drinking water, fruits and vegetables like those listed above are a great way to keep your fluid levels high and sneak in some extra nutrients.

Source: https://www.healthwaysfit.com

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Cool Down With A Hot Drink? It's Not As Crazy As You Think

Urban myth or scientific fact: does drinking hot drinks on a scorching summer's day really cool you down? Well, scientists do say sweating is the best way to stay cool.

It's 40 degrees Celcius and oppressively humid. You pull yourself up from your sweat-drenched chair and head to the kitchen … to brew yourself a nice steaming hot mug of tea.
Sounds a bit wrong doesn't it? Most of us would be more likely to reach into the fridge for a cold drink. But plenty of people in India apparently sip hot tea to stay cool in the warmer months. Are they crazy, or can a hot drink actually cool you down?
In some circumstances it might, scientists say, because it could trigger a level of sweating that may more than compensate for the added heat of the drink.
But it would depend on a lot of things, including the temperature of your hot drink, how much you consume, and the temperature and humidity of your immediate environment.

Cool theory behind hot drinks

Drinking a hot drink on a hot day might seem like a strange choice, but it's likely to cause only a very tiny blip in your core body temperature, says Professor Robin McAllen a neuroscientist at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in Victoria.
That's because the amount of hot fluid in say a cup of tea is relatively small compared to the amount of fluid in an adult's body, McAllen says. (The same goes for the cooling effect of a cold drink.)
However, drinking hot tea still activates temperature sensors that trigger sweating. And sweating is a key mechanism our body uses to cool us down.
The University of Sydney's Dr Ollie Jay, who researches how the human body responds to heat, says a hot drink can indeed trigger a net cooling effect through excess sweating.
But there is a crucial caveat: the sweat needs to be able to evaporate to produce a cooling effect.
If it doesn't, and the extra sweat just drips on the ground, then you are no better off.
In other words, if you're exercising hard or in a very hot and humid environment where you're sweating more quickly than it can evaporate, it wouldn't be wise to increase your sweat rate further by having a hot drink. You'd be better off sticking to a cold one.
" If you drink a cold drink that's colder than your body, you'll shunt some heat into that fluid to warm it up," Jay explains.
"You lose heat to the fluid, and that's good because it increases the overall amount of heat you lose.
"The trouble is, it is compensated [for] by us reducing the amount we sweat onto the skin surface," he says.
It turns out when you consume a hot drink, you produce much more sweat relative to the small amount of heat added to the body.
"If all of that sweat can evaporate, then I am better off with a hot drink," says Jay.

Icy cold can make us hotter

Jay and his colleagues have just completed a study, not yet published, looking at slushies, drinks made of finely crushed ice.
Interestingly, they found that drinking an icy drink can make you hotter than a drink that's 37 degrees C, our normal body temperature.
This is because the icy drink is so cold it may shut down the body's sweating mechanism to the extent your body ends up storing more heat.
"With the slushy, because the stimulation for reducing sweating is so strong, we actually seem to over-compensate," says Jay.
"The reduction in evaporation of sweat from the skin is greater than the extra heat you shunt into the slushy to warm it up inside your body."

So what to drink?

So what sort of drink should you reach for on a hot day?
A hot drink is okay as long as the extra sweat it causes can evaporate.
"If it's hot and you do want to drink a hot drink and you don't mind sweating, then you could drink it with a cold fan blowing on you to help the sweat evaporate," Jay suggests.
But the best advice is to drink fluids at a temperature that's most palatable to you, says Jay.
That's because most of us don't drink enough when it's hot, yet we need to if we are to avoid dehydration and ultimately the onset of heat-related illness or increase in cardiovascular strain.
"Not many people are going to want to drink one-to-two litres of hot fluids but drinking one-to-two litres of cold fluids is a lot easier," says Jay.

Sources: http://www.pubfacts.com/detail/, http://sydney.edu.au/health-sciences/, http://www.abc.net.au/

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Your Food: 8 things you didn’t know about what you’re eating

How much salt is in your Kraft Dinner, how much vitamin C is packed into an orange, and what nutrients are you getting from your kale salad?
There are superfoods and then there are processed goods. Here are eight things you didn’t know about what’s on your plate and in your fridge and pantry.

Source: http://globalnews.ca/

Monday, January 12, 2015

Cold weather may spur weight loss

Feeling the January chill? Well, being cold isn't all bad. Scientists have found that exposing yourself to cold temperatures regularly could speed up weight loss.

It turns out there just might really be a way to burn calories more efficiently without slaving away at the gym or (god forbid) turning down dessert. The trick barely takes any effort: Just step outdoors or lower your thermostat, and you could be golden — if the newest research from the Center for Integrative Metabolic and Endocrine Research at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan, checks out. 
To get how all this works, you need to know a bit about fat: When you eat more calories than you burn, your body stores the leftovers as white or brown fat, explains James Granneman, Ph.D., a scientist at Wayne State University who co-authored the new research. White fat can accumulate in your tissues, cause inflammation, and mess with your health, while brown fat creates energy more efficiently, generates heat, and excretes a mix of hormones that further promote energy metabolism. Because of this, it's in your best interest to have more brown fat than white fat.
To figure out what controls that brown-to-white fat ratio, Granneman and his colleagues assessed the body fat of mice before and after exposing them to 40-degrees Fahrenheit temperatures for one week straight. To put this in perspective, that's the temperature of the average refrigerator.
The cold temperatures favored brown fat and made white fat act a little more like brown fat, according to Granneman. The likely culprit is adrenaline, the same hormone and neurotransmitter that your body spews out when you're scared. (Which makes sense — just thinking about spending a week in a Sub-Zero is enough to scare anyone shitless.)

Even if you could handle a week in near-freezing temperatures, which you'd need to do to give your brown fat a leg up, it probably wouldn't boost your calorie burn enough to significantly affect your weight (or your health), says Granneman, who co-authored human research on the topic. But scientists are still digging around for ways to enhance the benefits of brown fat, he adds.

The bottom line is that all fat isn't equally bad — and that while winter weather is a bitch, chilly temperatures could, at least in theory, help your fat behave (even just a bit).

Take fitness outdoors this winter
Winter activities are a great way to mix up your fitness program and beat the winter blues. Get creative this winter and even if you can’t get to the gym, add fun new activities that your whole family can enjoy.
To make the most of your winter workouts, begin by changing your attitude toward the cold. With some planning, appropriate clothing and a spirit of adventure, winter outdoor fitness can be fun and effective.
Go out and play: Whether you have children or just act like a child, play is good for your heart and soul. Building a snowman is functional training and builds mobility and strength. Depending on how big you build it, you may burn as many calories as weightlifting or jogging. The bigger the snowman the more strength benefits you get. A vigorous snowball fight will burn up calories and work your whole body. And if you’re not into these activities, make snow angels. It’s good for flexibility and will elevate your heart rate.

Take up a winter sport: Skating is a fantastic non-impact cardiovascular sport. An outdoor skate feels invigorating without impact. If your joints can’t take running; skating and cross-country skiing are great alternatives. These gliding activities train balance, mobility and co-ordination. Cross-country skiing is one of the best calorie burning activities, as it requires both upper and lower body in the movement. If you don’t know how, don’t worry as these activities are easy to learn.
When the snow falls, snowshoeing is one activity that burns mega calories and is an excellent cardiovascular sport, burning equivalent or higher calories then running depending on your intensity and the snow conditions. Snowshoeing is one of the fastest growing winter sports. Not only is it an amazing fitness activity, it is convenient and easy to learn. If you can walk you can snowshoe.
Snowshoeing is great conditioning for running. Snowshoes add resistance, yet there is less impact to the joints. In fact, research shows that runners who substituted snowshoeing in the winter improved their running fitness over those who chose running as their primary activity.
Tobogganing is another healthy winter activity. Pulling a sled up hill will raise your heart rate and strengthen the upper and lower body. In fact, many of the top trainers are recommending sled pulling as an excellent cardiovascular workout. Instead of pulling a sled indoors, take it back to its origin and see amazing results. Plus you get the exhilaration of sliding downhill at rapid speeds.
Decreased motivation and feelings of sadness are common in the winter. Getting outdoors and catching even an hour of daylight can raise the spirits. Physical exercise stimulates the release of endorphins that gives you an overall feeling of well-being.
Remember when your parents used to send you outdoors to get some “fresh air?” Well, there is something to be said about this wise tale. Getting outdoors in the fresh air is good for your respiratory system. Being locked indoors with re-circulated air can cause headaches and congestion. Stepping outside and going for a walk can relieve headaches and help you breathe more easily.

While there are many great ways to workout outdoors this winter, be sure to always stay safe. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
1. — Dress for the weather. Layer your clothing to accommodate for the changing environment from cold to hot as you work out.
2. — Wear reflective clothing and avoid black. With darkness in the morning and early evening protect yourself by being seen.
3. — Keep your feet, hands and head warm, as this is where you lose the most heat. Cover up with appropriate winter gear.
4. — Wear shoes with good traction to avoid slipping.
5. — Find a workout buddy or let someone know you are going outdoors. You never know what can happen and you want to be sure someone knows where you are in case of an emergency.
6. — Carry a cellphone and don’t go out alone in the wilderness. Always check in with the park warden.
7. — Bring water and snacks. Even though you may not feel like you are sweating, you are still expending energy and dehydrating from exercise.
Change your perspective and get excited this winter about fitness. Winter activities are exhilarating and good for your health. Embrace the season and wrap up your winter fitness activity with a cup of dark chocolate milk.

Source: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/; http://calgaryherald.com/

Monday, January 5, 2015

5 aids to help in post-holiday detoxing

Your liver and other organs need a boost after the overindulgence of the holidays. Here are five items you should stock up on to kickstart your wellbeing in 2015.

After the holidays — with their traditional onslaught of stuffing, gravy, and mountains of chocolate — our bodies are begging for a detox. When it comes to shedding water weight and eliminating toxins, we rely on the liver and other organs, and there are several ways to give them a boost. Here are a few ingredients to be sure to include in your diet over the coming days to start 2015 on the right foot.

Herbal teas and tinctures
Health food stores are the first place to go when the need for a detox sets in, as they offer natural products known to help the body eliminate toxins. Some classic detox aids include tinctures and teas made with rosemary, artichoke, burdock, dandelion, black radish, peppermint, lavender or lemon essential oil.

Water, water and more water
After a period of excess, water is one of your best allies when it comes to flushing out the system. Particularly while attempting to detox, it is important to drink around 50 to 70 fluid ounces of water per day (1.5 to 2 liters). Drinking H2O helps to promote better digestion and, somewhat counter intuitively, to shed water weight. To reap even more benefits, choose bottled mineral water that is rich in calcium and magnesium and low in sodium.

The lemon method
There is one ingredient people around the world swear by after overindulging during the holidays: lemon. Adding lemon juice to a large bottle of water and drinking it throughout the day helps regulate the digestive system and stimulate the elimination of toxins. Of course, lemon juice can also be added to food as a light salad dressing, for example.

Seasonal fruit
Rich in vitamins and water, pineapple, grapefruit, apple, orange and lemon are ideal detox aids when eaten raw before and (especially) after a meal.

Green vegetables instead of starch
Instead of mashed potatoes or white pasta, fill your plate with green vegetables in the weeks following the holidays. A diet rich in herbs, lettuces, kale and cabbage — as well as onions and garlic — can help the body eliminate toxins while replenishing vitamins and minerals. While any detox diet should also include a few whole grains in moderation, avoid white starches as well as all forms of processed sugar, alcohol, coffee and dairy products.

To get a jump start on your health this year, try my post-holiday detox smoothie recipe below:


2 cups kale
2 cups spinach
1/3 of a cucumber
½ an apple
1-inch slice of ginger
1 frozen banana
3 tbsp hemp hearts
Juice of ½ a lemon
3 cups water
1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend!
Makes 2 servings.

Per servingCalories 211 / Calories from fat 62 / Total fat 6.9 g / Saturated fat 1 g /  Cholesterol 0 mg / Sodium 70 mg / Total carbohydrates 31 g / Fibre 7 g / Sugar 13 g / Protein 9 g