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Surviving the Silly Season

With the festive season upon us yet again and as a Sydney based naturopath, I thought it would be useful to provide some healthy tips to help get you through the silly season. During the festive season we are more likely to be indulging in alcohol and rich, sweet and fatty foods, increasing the toxic load for our poor livers to process. The liver is responsible for processing these nutrients and determines whether they are to be used as energy, stored as fat tissue or eliminated from the body.

Festive foods often include fat-loaded meals, roasts, gravy, shortbread, rich puddings and chocolate. These foods are usually high in refined sugars and fat, placing stress on both the liver and pancreas to digest and process these foods. The increased intake of saturated and transfats may also negatively impact cholesterol levels and ratios.

It is also customary to celebrate certain festivities with a cold alcoholic beverage, or for many people, a number of beverages! All alcoholic drinks, including beer, wine and spirits are rich in carbohydrates and must be detoxified by the liver for elimination from the body.

Look After Your Liver

Herbal medicines such as Milk Thistle or St Mary’s Thistle, Globe artichoke, Schisandra, Dandelion and Turmeric are known to be protective against damage resulting from oxidative stress and over consumption of rich foods and alcohol. In addition our liver detoxification pathways require various vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals to ensure they function adequately. These include B vitamins, vitamin C, E, beta carotene, selenium, zinc, magnesium, choline, inositol, taurine and methionine.

Top Dietary Tips for Liver Health

  • Drink at least 2 litres of filtered water daily

  • Add ½ squeezed lemon or lime to warm filtered water preferably in the morning. This not only alkalises the body but stimulates the production of bile needed to breakdown fats and promote toxin removal.

  • Drink fresh vegetable juices containing beetroot, lemon or lime, cucumber, ginger, celery and parsley or coriander to support your liver and kidneys.

  • Eat lots of liver friendly foods such as goji berries, garlic, onions, dandelion tea, organic green tea, turmeric, broccoli, cauliflower, broccoli, sprouts, brussel sprouts and beetroot.

  • Take a good quality multivitamin with adequate amounts of B vitamins and antioxidants such as vitamin C, selenium, lipoic acid, grapeseed, resveratrol, etc.

  • Drink a good quality organic green tea. Not only does it contain antioxidants but helps to break down fats.

  • Take a good quality liver supplement daily. Ensure you double the dosage on days when alcohol and heavy food intake is high.

  • Avoid heavily processed foods in favour of natural foods especially salads containing lots of fresh vegetables.

  • Enjoy alcohol in moderation and as alcohol is dehydrating ensure adequate fluid intake between alcoholic drinks!

  • Choose alcoholic drinks which are lower in calories.

  • Ensure you consume food when drinking alcohol as this will assist you to metabolise the alcohol.

  • Don’t forget to exercise! After a big meal go for a long walk to stimulate metabolism and use up some of that energy instead of storing it as fat.

Consider a Detox in the New Year

For those of you who may have overindulged and put on a few extra kilos, you can always benefit from a post Christmas detox to kick off the new year and get rid of any excess weight. I recommend a two week detoxification program including supplements, diet and lifestyle plan. Feel free to contact me if you wish to have a personalised detox program.


Here are some infographics that can help you to make healthy choices during the festive season.

Silly Season      Silly Season      Silly Season