After the holidays it is important to choose the right foods and herbal teas for a detox period and to face the recovery with the right energy. Here are our tips and a useful guide to prepare herbal teas at home.
If after the holidays you feel like lightness, to resume the autumn routine, freeing yourself from that sense of heaviness that holiday revelries sometimes leave us (along with a few extra pounds), it's time to treat yourself to a detox period. But forget about privative diets or days spent dreaming about food, post-holiday purification is the right opportunity to focus on proper nutrition and learn some good practices that will help us all year round.
Wellness begins at the table
The fundamental rule to feel good and purify yourself is to choose the foods that end up on our plate well, favoring seasonal and quality ingredients. Shopping well done is the basis for a successful detox.
Luca Naitana, nutritionist biologist and creator of the Wellbeing Method, gave us some simple tips to follow: “Increase the use of fruit and vegetables, even better if to drink (juices or extracts) during the day, as a snack or for breakfast. They will give you energy without weighing you down. Probably on vacation you have consumed refined cereals (bread, pasta and desserts), now is the ideal time to prefer whole grains, preferably in grains, richer in nutrients and fibers ". There is no shortage of delicious ideas, such as wholemeal spaghetti with rocket or brown rice salad with pesto.
Do not forget fish, which in a detox diet is preferable to meat and is precious for the contribution of omega 3, essential fatty acids that we can also find in tofu and linseed oil. Naitana also warns us against the temptation to skip meals in search of shortcuts that can, on the contrary, be harmful to our well-being.
"Eating 5 meals a day and drinking plenty of water is very important. As for the 5 meals, they must be small and light foods such as fruit, vegetables and legumes must prevail. Hydration is also essential, I recommend drinking at least 2 liters of water a day with a low fixed residue. You can increase hydration but also purification of the body, preparing flavored waters using fruit, some vegetables and herbs (cucumber, pineapple, lemon, grapefruit, ginger, dandelion and birch) ".
Allied detox herbal teas
Tisana comes from the Greek and literally means "to grind the barley". Originally "herbal tea" exclusively indicated a decoction of ground barley and only later an infusion based on berries, leaves or flowers left to decant in boiling water and then filtered. Sipping one of these hot and fragrant drinks is not only a pleasant ritual : by choosing some varieties of plants we can help our body to strengthen the immune system and eliminate toxins by acting on the liver and kidneys, the organs responsible for detoxifying the body. Herbal teas detoxify the body by exploiting the purifying properties of berries, leaves and flowers, making them perfect for a detox period. But how to choose and prepare them?
Each plant a virtue
The herbs to be used to purify take advantage of several properties:
Laxatives (dandelion, senna, mint, licorice, anise): stimulate the intestine and help cleanse the colon of excess waste;
Diaphoretic (birch, dandelion, burdock and nettle): promote sweating, a vital function involved in the removal of toxins from the blood;
Draining Rose (canine, dandelion, mallow, dandelion) stimulate diuresis helping to eliminate stagnation of liquids and helping microcirculation.
The rules for preparing a perfect herbal tea
1 Use water with the minimum degree of hardness and low residue. In the case of particularly hard water, it is better to opt for bottled mineral water.
2 The herbs must have been harvested no more than 12 months ago. To ensure its freshness, pour a small amount in a bowl with a little water for about 60 minutes; the absence of the characteristic odor will indicate that the herbs are too old to be consumed.
3 After purchase, keep them in a jar in a cool, dark place.
4 Never mix the hard parts (bark, seeds and roots) and the soft parts (leaves and flowers) of the plant, because they have different infusion times. If you are preparing an infusion with dried herbs, bring the water to a boil in a saucepan, then pour the boiling water directly into the cup with the herbs or into the special herbal tea pot, let it rest for 2-3 minutes, strain and drink. If you use roots, wood elements and barks, immerse them in cold water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3-5 minutes and then let the infusion rest for 10-12 minutes before filtering it.
5 Don't overdo the varieties. Herbalists generally don't use more than 4-5 at most.
6 Take the natural herbal tea and avoid sugar, if you really want a pinch of sweetness, prefer organic honey.
7 The active ingredients contained in a herbal tea are lost within 12 hours. So consume it as soon as possible and do not reheat it. Rather, prepare the quantity of infusion you want, transfer it hot or cold, in a thermos and sip it throughout the day.
5 detox infusions
Here are 5 infusions to drink in the morning to eliminate toxins and feel better.
1 To Rosa canina
Dried rose hips have purifying and anti-inflammatory properties. They favor the elimination of toxins by stimulating diuresis and help the microcirculation. You can dry the fresh berries or buy them already dried in a herbalist's shop. In the latter case, if they are whole, chop them up before using them.
Ingredients: 250 ml of water, 2 teaspoons of dried rosehip berries for each cup
Preparation: Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Leave the berries to infuse for 4-5 minutes and strain.
Dose: 1 or 2 cups a day
2 Nettle and birch
The mineral salts contained in these plants and released in the infusion are very effective in eliminating the stagnation of liquids in the body and counteracting swelling, water retention and heaviness. Birch helps eliminate uric acids and with them waste and toxins; nettle contains folic acid, tannins and vitamins A and C which stimulate diuresis by purifying the body.
Ingredients: 1 liter of boiling water, 50 grams of dried strawberries, 50 grams of dried orchards, 50 grams of dried berries.
Preparation: Leave to infuse in boiling water for 10 minutes with the heat off, filter and drink.
3 Dandelion and mint
Purifying plant par excellence, an infusion with diuretic and slightly laxative properties is obtained from dandelion. Menthol stimulates gastric activity and aids digestion.
Ingredients: 250 ml of water, 15 grams of dried dandelion leaves, 15 grams of dried peppermint leaves.
Preparation: transfer the dried leaves into the cup or tisaniera, pour the boiling water and cover. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes. If you like, you can add a tablespoon of lemon or orange juice.
Dose: it is advisable to drink it every morning on an empty stomach for at least 2 months
Purifying and remineralizing, the artichoke contains flavonoids and B vitamins that help detoxify the liver, with positive effects also on the skin, which will be brighter and more relaxed. Cynarin, in particular, is the active ingredient that promotes diuresis and bile secretion. It also contains inulin, a soluble fiber that controls the blood sugar level, helping to prevent the onset of diabetes.
Ingredients: 30 grams of already dried artichoke leaves, 250 ml of water
Preparation: Immerse the leaves in boiling water and leave them to infuse for 15 minutes. Filter the liquid obtained. If it turns out too bitter, you can flavor it with a teaspoon of acacia honey.
Dose: drink a cup before going to bed.
Ingredients: 1 liter of water, 10 grams of licorice root, honey
Preparation: boil the licorice for 10 minutes, turn off and leave to infuse for 20 minutes. Filter and sweeten with a teaspoon of honey. Add honey to taste. Filter and drink 1 or 2 cups a day on an empty stomach.