After the Christmas festivities, now’s the time for a clean up – house, computer, wardrobe… and even your body. Give your body a hand in flushing out the toxins and feeling lighter, focused and with a sharper mind.
Particular fruits and vegetables have a magical and powerful effect – the kind that only nature can give.
Watermelon and cucumber– Watermelon contains the organic compound citrulline which helps the body flush out toxins. Citrulline is an amino acid that helps the liver and kidneys filter and get rid of ammonia. Ammonia comes in external forms, like sweat and urine, but is also a by-product of the proteins our bodies constantly burn up for energy and is quite damaging to our cells. Like watermelon, cucumber also contains citrulline, but in lower quantities. Watermelon may also give the liver an overall boost.
Water- Water is good for us. We all know that. But it’s also thought to flush nasty toxins and waste through our system, making it easier for organs like the liver and kidney to do their job.
Lemon and lime- Lemon or lime juice helps stimulate and regulate the digestive tract, making it effective against constipation, heartburn and gas. It stimulates and thins out bile, allowing it to flow more freely. Bile is produced by the liver and ends up in the small intestine to break down lipids (fats) we’ve consumed.
Mint- Not only do mint leaves add a nice, refreshing flavour to drinks, but they can also help you digest and improve the flow of bile from the liver to the gall bladder and to the small intestine, where it breaks down. It can also help relax cramped up stomach muscles.
Here’s a really healthy way to start the day that combines all of these ingredients:
- 1-2 litres water, depending on how strong you want it to taste
- Part of 1 watermelon or 1 cucumber
- 1 lemon or lime
- A handful of fresh mint leaves (approx 10-13)
Slice up a good quantity of watermelon into cubes, rind and all, and put them into a jug or pitcher. Cut 1 juicy lemon or lime into wedges and toss in with the watermelon. Add a handful of fresh, fragrant, mint leaves and pour in 2 litres of cool water, filling the jug all the way to the top. Leave it in the fridge overnight to allow all the flavours to steep and infuse the water.
When you’re ready to drink it, add a generous number of ice cubes, pour and enjoy!