Party season is about to hit and let's face it - who doesn't want to have fun let their hair down and indulge - If you can't do it over the festive period when can you? So here's the damage limitation guide to getting through Christmas and the New Year to get you through the wave of late nights, rich food and booze frenzy without wrecking your liver and looks! If you start now you won't have to panic once 1st January hits!
1) Sugar sugar
In anticipation of the festive period, reduce your sugar consumption. There are no nutritional benefits to sugar and it won't do anything to boost or support your liver. Check food labels carefully and, in particular, avoid anything labelled 'fat free', as these foods are often loaded with sugar, and actually increase triglyceride (a type of fat) in the blood. Besides which your skin will thank you - too much sugar promotes a process called glycation which literally breaks down collagen and gives you wrinkles! That may be enough of an incentive to ditch the sweets and save your looks!
2) Ditch the caffeine
Caffeine puts additional strain on the liver, making it work over time, so gradually reducing your intake in the run up to the party season will be a huge plus, resulting in better recovery time. If you simply can't give up coffee, only have it in the early morning, stopping mid-afternoon at the latest.
3)BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY - by getting hot from the inside out
Chillies are rich in beta-carotene which turns to Vitamin A in the blood. Consuming foods that are high in this anti-infection vitamin are vital if you want to improve your defences. Capsaicin the fiery burn substance that gives chillies their kick reduces inflammation and helps to stimulate secretions which can clear congestion. Trials have also shown that eating chillies can help to increase antibodies, which inevitably means fewer infections.
Both red and green chillies are high in vitamin C. Raw, green, hot chillies have the highest amount containing more per gram than oranges. Vitamin C contains bioflavonoids, which the body needs to produce the white blood cells that help your body stop germs in their tracks making sure that you get through the party season without flagging. Chillies also have the feel good factor as they have a specific type of pain receptor that signals to the brain to release chemicals called endorphins," says El-Shafie. "Which, as we all probably know, act as a natural mood elevator."
4)Give your Metabolism a boost and get moving
"To boost your metabolism with high-intensity training (HIIT). It raises your metabolic rate for 48 hours afterwards, so you should aim to do it every other day. HIIT training also works as a detoxifier, helping lymph fluid circulate around the body, which removes toxins and their harmful material. On top of this, it will really make you sweat, eliminating toxins you've gained.
5)Eat more and max out on your veg!
When it's cold and wintery, salads are the last thing on most people's minds (and it may sound obvious) but when you've been boozing the night before it's easy to reach for the crisps rather than the kale, you can easily boost your immune system by increasing your fresh vegetable intake. As well as upping the amount of vital vitamins and minerals in your body, this will keep your skin looking radiant during the festive nights out ahead."
6)Love the skin you're in
"Body brushing is a great way to get your circulation flowing while boosting your body's detox system. It will stimulate your lymph nodes and help remove toxins from the body and make you feel and look amazing!
7)GET THAT BEAUTY SLEEP!
It's essential to catch upon lots of sleep pre-party season, as a tired and exhausted system will find it so much harder to deal with alcohol. Your liver will be much less efficient at dealing with booze if it's had little time to rest and recover beforehand. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
8)Get your fresh fruit in to boost your immunity boosting vitamin C
The party season is no fun for your liver vitamin C will not only help boost your immunity over the winter months it'll also boost your beauty benefits to keep you looking good ove the time period.
9) Stay Hydrated
It's winter and usually the time when we forget to drink enough fluids so make sure that you're properly hydrated in the run up to party season and throughout which means stocking up on herbal teas, fruit teas and soups (nourishing and count for your fluid intake) Since a significant factor for hangovers are down to dehydration making sure you pace your drinks - add lots of ice to drinks it helps slow it down and also add sparkling water lemon juice and ice to mixers - taste good goes a long way and also means you'll be waking up fresher and more wide eyed than everyone else !
10) Boost your POWER from the inside out
Loading up on foods which contain gut-healthy bacteria. Try having bananas, garlic, asparagus and onions. These foods are probiotic and will help to crowd out the bad bacteria in your gut, preparing you for the weeks to come." Help your liver by upping your intake of artichokes, beetroot, onions and garlic. The fibre in these foods will also help support your digestion for clear skin and recovery
Hala El-ShafieHealth Editor and Director
Hala is a consultant nutritionist with over 15 year's clinical experience as a registered Dietitian in both the NHS private and corporate sectors. She completed her training at University College Hospital London.
She has a unique understanding of the emotional and psychological issues often associated with food, and has created a successful holistic client-centered approach that has brought her an extensive and loyal following, including a number of high-profile and celebrity clients.
Hala's take on food and nutrition is both edgy and refreshing, and has seen her launch lifestyle website Nutrition Rocks, www.nutrition-rocks.co.uk which showcases expert information and advice concerning food and nutrition.
Her passion is to enthuse people to eat better for health whilst supporting a positive body image and helping then become free from the emotional attachment of food.
Hala is also in high demand both as a health writer and consultant, she has written regular nutrition columns for an international medical journal and is regularly asked to contribute to some of the UK's leading lifestyle publications such as Grazia, Red, YOU Magazine, The Times and The Daily Mail.
Hala's dynamic approach has led to media recognition and she has previously worked as resident Nutritionist on ITV1′s Flag ship show This Morning.
The year sees Hala team up with Xand van Tulleken to front a new Channel 4 series called Crash Test Dieters, which aims to help dieters hit their target weight for a special event.