Now is the time to prepare for the quickened pace of the final weeks of the year. We encourage all of our clients to be mindful of the impact that the festive season can have on your health - particularly around sleep, diet and alcohol consumption. However, if you choose to indulge occasionally, there are steps you can take to minimise the damage so that you can return to optimal health as quickly as possible.

With the throng of office parties, pre-Christmas catch-ups and family dinners appearing in your calendar, you may need to give your body extra support to stay healthy and replace much-needed antioxidants. This is important for anyone interested in health and healthy ageing because this time of year can overload your natural detoxification pathways resulting in oxidative damage, one of the key hallmarks of ageing.

An antioxidant-rich diet has been shown in the research to provide a protective effect against the development of heart disease, cancers and age-related deterioration(1). Antioxidant compounds including the plant polyphenols found in green leafy vegetables, berries, cherries, grapes, green tea, dark chocolate and coffee prevent oxidative damage at a cellular level. One specific polyphenol, resveratrol, found in grapes and wine has been shown to suppress the expression of inflammatory biomarkers, supporting healthy ageing and longevity(2). Plant polyphenols may also offer a specific protective effect to the brain because of their ability to cross the blood-brain barrier(3).

During periods where your diet is less than optimal, you may need to supplement these antioxidant compounds to provide ongoing support to your detoxification and immune systems.

Each product in the Functional Self gut health and immune support range provides powerful antioxidants and natural detoxifiers that have been specially selected to support your immune system, detoxification pathways and cardiovascular health. Our liver and kidneys are continuously detoxifying, but will benefit from support to help remove additional toxins from the body, particularly when we don’t always get the sleep we need leading up to Christmas and New Year.

Some of our detox favourites include:

· Probiotic sprays - Protect your work and living spaces with a live probiotic spray that helps eliminate mould odours and prevent mildew growth. Regular treatments on your surfaces reintroduce beneficial soil microbes that act as a living defence for your home and strengthens your immune system.

· Clay masks - Modern radiation exposure, environmental pollutions and dust can add a high toxic load to our bodies. Seeing as skin in the largest organ of our body, using clay externally (as well as internally) can act as a sponge to absorb and eliminate positively charged molecules (including toxins and pathogens).

· Mouth detox - Bad breath and dry mouths are a sign of oral imbalance and toxicity. Regular use of tooth whitening powder detoxes the mouth, with organic diatomaceous earth. Due to a strong, negative charge, it is able to effectively absorb and suppress pathogenic oral bacteria that can cause tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease.

· Antioxidant – Arm your body’s natural defences with a potent source of Vitamin C. Free-radical formation is the natural consequence of metabolic processes, however we often generate it in excess when we are under stress and exposed to environmental toxins. Vitamin C helps to neutralise free radical chain reactions.

Have you seen our recent detoxification blog series? This includes why you should upgrade to toxin-free skincare and five myths about detoxification.

If you are concerned about detoxification, we recommend diagnostic testing to know what you are dealing with. We offer non-invasive testing and can provide a liver detoxification profile to ensure your liver is functioning well. Get in touch on our health coaching page if you would like to find out more.

1. Plant polyphenols as dietary antioxidants in human health and disease 
2. Resveratrol: a multitargeted agent for age-associated chronic diseases. 
Do polyphenols enter the brain and does it matter? Some theoretical and practical considerations