How Milk Thistle Could Help Your Health this New Year
Hooray! It’s the festive season filled with holiday cheer and celebration! After all the generous portions of rich food and now with plenty of wine or beer to wash it down, we’re all prone to over-indulge. It may feel great at the time, but as well as leaving us with an upset stomach, a sore head or feeling bloated and heavier than usual, a bout of over-indulgence in food or alcohol can take its toll on your liver too, which is a rather sobering thought. Happily, there are steps you can take to avoid the discomfort: follow our six simple tips and have some traditional herbal Milk Thistle on hand to help you enjoy the season to the full.
Taking Care of Your Health Over the Party Season
At this time of year, it’s easy to find yourself overindulging in the delicious treats of the festive season.
It’s particularly important to look after yourself now, as cold and flu viruses flourish in the cooler seasons. And with the additional stresses the time of year places on us, we become more susceptible to disease as our immune systems probably won’t be functioning at optimal levels.
All that carb-heavy, festive food and alcohol can put a strain on your liver, making you feel below-par and sluggish. The liver is called a ‘vital’ organ for a reason, as its jobs include detoxification, metabolising carbohydrates and fats, and producing the necessary chemicals for digestion.
Enjoy the Morning After the Night Before
There’s no need for a poorly tum and headache to spoil your New Year fun. Follow our six simple tips below to help protect your liver and keep yourself in tip-top shape this party season:
- Start the day with a large slice of lemon in hot water. There are some clean-eating advocates who believe that this has almost mystical powers. However, for the pragmatists among us, there is no doubt that it helps to give you a bit more zing than a cup of tea in the morning, helps freshen your mouth and your breath, and is widely acknowledged as helping to alleviate mild constipation (something many people are prone to with an increase in stodgy foods).
- (Try to) Drink in moderation. Research shows that people tend to consume three times more alcohol more than usual over the festive period. For many, that could mean consuming 62 units of alcohol in a short space of time! This has a significant impact on the liver, as when alcohol reaches the liver, it produces a toxin called acetaldehyde that causes damage to the liver cells. You can help to avoid putting extra strain on your liver by staying within the recommended limits of alcohol consumption.
- Eat…More…Slowly… It is well worth getting up ten minutes earlier to have a proper, healthy breakfast, eaten sitting at a table rather than as you rush out of the door. If you like muesli or granola in the morning, try adding live yoghurt and some blueberries on top to give you some additional vitamin C and tummy-calming live bacteria.
- Go for a walk. It’s very tempting to slide into sitting around rather more than is good for you, catching up on your favourite box sets or finishing that fantastic blockbuster. However, when you have had a change of diet it is more important than ever to get moving to help your body process food more efficiently.
- Keep it simple. Try to stick to foods that have a low glycaemic load a much as you can over the festive season. Foods which are high on the glycaemic index (GI) are typically carb-rich foods which send your blood sugar levels soaring just after you have eaten them, but which give you that awful crash later on – usually with the accompanying munchies that then have you reaching for the biscuit tin! If you’ve over-indulged over Christmas, try to stick to simple grilled fish or chicken with salad or vegetables for a few days afterwards and your digestive system will thank you in no time. You could even see a couple of holiday pounds drop away as an added bonus!
- Take a Milk Thistle herbal remedy. Milk Thistle is used to relieve the symptoms associated with occasional over-indulgence of food and drink such as indigestion and upset stomach, based on traditional use and has been used for over 2,000 years as a traditional healing herb. HRI Milk Thistle contains the highest dose of Milk Thistle available on in the UK market to help you enjoy the morning after the night before.
The medicinal compound in Milk Thistle is silymarin, an extract of Milk Thistle seeds, which has long been acknowledged for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre, “several scientific studies suggest that substances in Milk Thistle (especially a flavonoid called silymarin) protect the liver from toxins, including certain drugs, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), which can cause liver damage in high doses. Silymarin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties”.
Human trials have largely focused on Milk Thistle’s effectiveness to treat liver disease and there are frequent positive findings with side effects being minor and rare. Overall, evidence suggests that Milk Thistle has anti-inflammatory properties and can help protect the liver from toxins.
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