Why would you want to detox? Because it rids your body of toxins, enhances immune system function, it can reduce bloating and help you lose weight, improves your quality of life, increases your energy levels, improves your skin and it can balance out your mental and emotional state. There is more than one way to help detox your body so I thought I’d go through just a few simple things you can do. Obviously you can’t do every single thing each day but even trying just a couple would be beneficial to your health and wellbeing!
*Pic Via DeAnna Barbour*
1. Start the day with a glass of warm water and the juice of one freshly squeezed lemon.
This helps flush out the toxins and alkalizes the body. I have a cup before my breakfast every morning and I find it really improves digestion, prevents bloating and sets me on the right track for the day. I continue to drink plenty of water throughout the day to continue flushing out the toxins.
2. Drink a freshly made vegetable juice daily.
Greens such as kale, spinach and coriander are perfect for detoxing the body and in their raw state they provide even more goodness for the body. I regularly have a juice made with apples, carrot, lemon, ginger, turmeric, beetroot and kale. You can really pick any combination you like and add in fruit to sweeten it. The more raw fruit and veg you eat, the better because they lose nutritional value when you cook them.
3. Eliminate toxic oils from your diet.
Toxic oils can include vegetable oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, cotton seed oil and canola oil. Substitute with good oils, such as extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, hemp oil and flaxseed oil. Hemp oil, for example, is a great source of omega-3s, -6s, and -9s. I find that coconut oil is the most versatile and I use it a lot in baking and stirfrys. It’s a superfood which contains a unique combination of fatty acids with powerful medicinal properties. It also makes you feel fuller for longer which is always a welcome side-effect!
4. Drink green tea and herbal teas such as dandelion, nettles etc.
These teas help the body detoxify and clear out toxins. I particularly like the Pukka Cleanse herbal tea with Fennel, Dandelion Root and Nettles. I add a tiny amount of agave syrup to make it a bit more palatable.I also really like Matcha Green Tea which is the highest quality powdered green tea available. It’s high in anti-oxidants, boosts memory and concentration, helps to boost your metabolism so you can burn more calories, improves cholesterol and fortifies the immune system.
5. Eat more raw fruits, herbs and vegetables.
Fruit, vegetables and herbs contain enzymes that aid digestion and improve nutrient absorption. You can incorporate them in by chopping crudités using carrot, celery, cucumber etc and have them with hummus as a snack. Or you could juice them, add them to smoothies or just have them in their simplest form by topping your granola with them in the morning.
6. Minimize or eliminate white sugar intake.
I don’t need to tell you that sugar is an addictive drug with research telling us that it’s as addictive as cocaine! It’s one of the worst things you can put in your body and although it tastes like heaven, it’s doing hellish things to your body. You should also avoid substitutes that contain toxic artificial sweeteners like aspartame (contained in 99% of diet foods and drinks), and opt for natural versions such as stevia, honey, coconut sugar, date sugar, molasses, or maple syrup. Once you ween yourself off cane sugar, you really don’t miss it anymore!
7. Minimize or eliminate white flour and white breads.
White flour is like adding glue in the body, and it overworks the digestive system. It can cause digestive disorders, and it can make it difficult to have normal bowel movements. Substitute white flour for other flours such as spelt flour, kamut flour, quinoa flour, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour or cornmeal. Switch from white bread to whole grain/granary bread and read the labels as some ‘wholemeal’ breads still contain white flour!
8. Take a probiotic supplement.
Try some low fat Greek yogurt – one of the only low fat foods which is still good for you! The beneficial bacteria kill harmful bacteria and yeasts and help to heal the lining of the intestines. Be careful of the pre-packaged probiotic drinks in little plastic containers as these can contain sugar, or sweeteners which are harmful to the body.
9. Eat legumes and less meat, fish and poultry.
Legumes are a great source of protein and the fiber in beans helps keep the bowels eliminating properly. They include peas, beans and lentils and can be incorporated into soups, salads or things like vegetable curries and chilli. It’s good to give your body a rest from the work it requires to digest meat and fish. Research shows that our bodies function more efficiently with a diet based more heavily on fruits, vegetables and legumes. You don’t have to give up meat or fish – just try and have 1 or 2 days of the week where you have a non-meat dinner.
10. Breath deeply, walk, smile, laugh, be happy and remove toxic people out of your life.
Positivity in the mind filters through to your whole body. Your mental state has a hugely profound effect on your health and well-being. Find the positive in every day and move your body. This will all help to reduce stress and the stress chemicals in your body. If there’s anyone in your life who is toxic, feeding off your energy, draining you and generally having a negative effect on your mood, then definitely re-evaluate whether they need to be in your life!