Post New Year detox: Expert tips for cleansing body, bouncing back from hangover | Health

After the extended festival weekend, it’s the time to detox your body and work towards healthy beginnings in the new year. After days of consuming high-calorie foods, alcohol and long hours with friends with little sleep, the body surely demands rest, rejuvenation and detoxification. If you have been bingeing for days now, it’s time to focus on unprocessed foods, proper hydration and add lots of fruits and vegetables to your diet. It’s also the time to focus on health resolutions and begin your day with your choice of exercise. Your detox regimen should also include sleep, meditation and spending some quiet time by yourself. In case, you are suffering from hangover blues on the next day of partying hard, you must focus on foods rich in vitamins and minerals, drink plenty of water and restore your electrolytes. (Also read | New Year 2024: 5 nutrition tips to beat the hangover blues)

After days of consuming high-calorie foods, alcohol and long hours with friends with little sleep, the body surely demands rest, rejuvenation and detoxification.(Freepik)

How to begin the detox

Post New Year celebrations, initiating a detox by prioritizing hydration would be an ideal step towards a healthy start.

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“Drink plenty of plain water, fruit infused water or spice infused water and include herbal teas which can have beneficial properties. Focus on a diet rich in nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits and vegetables, to replenish essential vitamins and minerals. Incorporate light exercise, like walking or yoga, to stimulate circulation and support the body’s natural detoxification processes,” says Sadia Sana, Senior Dietician, CARE Hospitals, HITEC City, Hyderabad.

“During detox phase it’s crucial to avoid alcohol and processed foods, as they can hinder the detoxification process. Opt for whole, unprocessed, satvik foods that are easy on the digestive system. Additionally, ensure you get sufficient sleep, as adequate rest is essential for the body’s overall recovery and detoxification,” adds Sana.

How to detox with infused water

If you are planning a detox with infused waters only, then it’s ideal to do for a day or two followed by a regular normal routine.

“If planning to do a detox with water, fruits and veggies it would be ideal to be carried for three days to 1 week. If you want to make detox as a daily routine, then you can start you day with spice or herbs infused waters. Thereafter, include fruit-infused waters two hours post lunch,” advises Sana.

What happens during detox phase and is it required by everyone?

“Detox is a simple way to cut down processed food and improve metabolism. As processed and junk food hinder the process, by eating simple and easy-to-digest food items, digestive system increases its nutrient absorbing ability. If a person is already having simple and satvik diet on regular basis, he may not need it. But, for people who are addicted to adverse social habits need to perform these twice monthly. Remember, a balanced approach that emphasizes hydration, nutrition, exercise, and rest will contribute to a more effective post-celebration detox,” says Sana.

Dealing with a hangover

Dealing with a hangover can be tough, but taking care of your body with the right nutrition can help you bounce back.

“Alcohol works as a diuretic that leads to increased urination leading to dehydration! As there’s a lot of fluid getting flushed out of the body our body’s electrolyte balance gets disrupted that in turn leads to fatigue, irritation etc. Alcohol irritates the stomach lining of a person and that can lead to slowed down digestion and create disturbances in our organs like liver and pancreas that lead to a feeling of nausea or uneasiness. Alcohol directly affects the blood sugar levels of the body and hence as soon as the blood sugar level drops one starts feeling dizzy, tired, confused etc. Although alcohol promotes sleep but a hangover can surely lead to insomnia. Alcohol is very easily absorbed in the stomach and intestine and hence the easiest trick is to eat and hydrate before, during and after drinking alcohol,” says Riya Desai, Senior Dietitian, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road.

Here are some simple tips to ease that post-party discomfort by Desai:

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: Alcohol can dehydrate you severely and its aftereffects are even more scary so start by drinking plenty of water in small gaps. This helps your body recover from the dehydration caused by alcohol, making you feel better faster. The good old H2O is your way to go!

Electrolytes are your best friends: Alcohol can mess with your electrolyte balance as one ends up urinating a lot as alcohol works as a diuretic and hence there are a lot of electrolyte losses that happen. To restore your body’s electrolyte balance, try sipping on a glass of coconut water or an electrolyte energy drink or a simple glass of lime water with sugar and salt that will instantly replenish the electrolyte stores of your body!

Choose foods rich in vitamins and minerals: As there are many electrolyte losses, there are many vitamin losses as well. Most specifically the water-soluble vitamins. Hence, foods high in vitamins B and C can be especially helpful. Consuming a bowl of mix fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, salmon, etc. can be helpful. These vitamins aid in the recovery process and support your overall well-being by reducing alcohol induces inflammation in the body.

Avoid greasy foods: While a greasy breakfast might seem tempting, it’s not the best choice. All you need are healthy carbs to bring up your blood sugar levels and get that energy boost with plenty of water for hydration.

Ginger for nausea: If you’re feeling nauseous, ginger can be soothing. Ginger tea or a ginger shot would be the most ideal option. Do not try ginger ale or any beverages that includes ginger as its very sugary and might contain ginger flavouring. Fresh ginger is the best ginger.

Eat a balanced meal: Opt for a nutritious meal with a mix of protein like eggs, salmon or chicken, dals, complex carbohydrates like oats, multi grain toasts or roti, millets, brown rice, and good healthy fats from nuts and seeds. One can always add a spoon of olive or canola oil on top. Don’t forget to add a bowl of mixed rainbow-coloured fresh fruits with it. They provide essential nutrients and help stabilize your blood sugar levels.

Rest and sleep: Your body needs time to recover, so try to get some extra sleep. Rest allows your body to heal and regenerate.

Remember, everyone’s body is different, so listen to yours. If your symptoms persist or worsen, it’s a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional.

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