The elixir of life
Drink more. Hurray! I hear you cry, best advice ever! Let’s start with the elixir of life - water.
At the beginning of a New Year we are often awash with well-intentioned resolutions, we find ourselves announcing plans to eat, move, travel, work and generally live better. In truth we can make significant and long-lasting change any day of the year – but as your local Nutritional Therapist I thought I’d share my top tip for a healthful February.
Hurray! I hear you cry, best advice ever!
Let’s start with the elixir of life -water. Most of us don’t drink enough of the clear stuff leaving us dehydrated with side effects such as headaches, brain fog, lack of energy and lethargy, weight gain, and reduced detoxification, all of which can have an effect on our immune response making us more susceptible to colds and flu.
Thirst is often mistaken for hunger and as it can be accompanied with a dip in energies where we find ourselves reaching for snacks and sugary treats in a well-intentioned attempt for that mid afternoon lift. So, before you reach for the hobnobs, first pour yourself some water. On average aiming for 2-2.5L water a day is a good starting place, building slowly if hydration is low. I often recommend clients buy themselves a non-plastic water bottle that follows them wherever they go, topping up throughout the day. Adding citrus fruit, herbs, berries or cucumber helps keep it interesting.
Swapping out fizzy pop and caffeinated drinks for herbal or fruit teas will also boost your hydration. The added sugar in the former and caffeine in the latter drives our thirst, has an impact on blood sugar regulation, weight gain, brain function and can cause energy dips throughout the day. Again, I find slow and steady is the way to go, dropping by one drink a day and trying different flavours and brand until you find one you like. As a diuretic nettle or dandelion tea may support detoxification and weight loss, Rooibos (African red bush tea) can help healthful aging and balance your stress hormone cortisol, whilst liquorice offers supports to a damaged gut lining and the old faithful peppermint may calm IBS symptoms. My personal favourite is green tea, rich in anti-inflammatory polyphenols, helpful for brain health and weight loss and brewed to perfection in under 3 mins to avoid any bitterness.
As seen in the Pershore Times, out now: www.pershoretimes.co.uk.