by: Patrick Holford

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Optimum Nutrition
means giving yourself the best possible intake of nutrients to allow your body to be as healthy as it possibly can. In Optimum Nutrition Made Easy, Patrick Holford explains the basics of optimum nutrition, including what to eat, what to avoid, information on supplements and superfoods, advice on meal planning, and delicious recipes. He explains what a well-balanced diet really means in the 21st century, the vitamins and minerals that are vital to optimum health, and the anti-nutrients, such as sugar and chemicals, which rob us of good health. With an A-Z of common ailments and their optimum nutrition remedies, and a comprehensive nutrition fact file, you can easily determine what your body is telling you and develop your personalised nutrition programme.
173pp, 184mm x 232mm, softback, 2008

Nine-day detox plan
Throughout the centuries, health experts have extolled the value of spring-cleaning the body. In much the same way as you need time off sometimes to go on holiday, your body also benefits from a break from its work. This means stopping any foods or substances which increase your toxic load (i.e. alcohol, stimulants, refined foods) while increasing levels of all the nutrients which help your body heal and rejuvenate. Doing this once a year, for a week, can make a major difference to your energy levels.

Eat in abundance
Fruits - the most beneficial fruits, with the highest detox potential include fresh apricots, all types of berry, cantaloupe, citrus fruits, kiwi, papaya, peaches, mango, melons and red grapes
Vegetables - especially good for detoxification are artichokes, peppers, beetroot, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, red cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, kale, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potato, tomato, watercress and bean and seed sprouts

Eat in moderation
Grains - brown rice, corn, millet, quinoa: not more than twice a day
Fish - salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, trout: not more than once a day
Oils - use extra-virgin olive oil for cooking and in place of butter, and cold-pressed seed oils for dressings
Nuts and seeds - one handful a day of raw, unsalted nuts and seeds should be included: choose from almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pecan nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and flax seeds
Potatoes and bananas - limit to one portion/one fruit every other day

All wheat products - including bread, biscuits, cereals, pasta
Meat, eggs and dairy produce (including milk, cheese, butter)
Salt - and any foods containing it
Bad fats - fried foods and anything containing hydrogenated fats
Artificial additives - sweeteners, food additives and preservatives
Dried fruit

Begin your detox at the weekend or during a time when you don't have too much going on.

Do some brisk exercise (i.e. walk or cycle) for at least 25 minutes every day, preferably in natural light.

Drink at least 2 litres of water a day - purified, distilled, filtered or bottled. You can also drink herbal teas or dandelion coffee (which is good for the liver).

Have half a pint of fruit or vegetable juice a day - either carrot and apple juice (you can buy these two separately and combine them with one-third water) with grated ginger, or fresh watermelon juice. The flesh of the watermelon is high in betacarotene and Vitamin C. The seeds are high in Vitamin E and antioxidant minerals zinc and selenium. You can make a great antioxidant cocktail by blending the flesh and seeds in a blender.

Supplement two multivitamins/minerals, 2 grams of Vitamin C, two antioxidant complexes and 2 grams of MSM every day. Also have a shot of aloe vera juice.

From Optimum Nutrition Made Easy, £2008 by Patrick Holford & Susannah Lawson, published by Piatkus Books.