Detoxing….You’ve probably heard about it, thought about doing it or maybe even done it…..so what’s a detox REALLY all about?
Think of a detox like doing housework. You might clean your house every week but a once or twice a year you need to do a thorough spring clean. Your body is constantly detoxifying but every now and then you need to give it a little extra help. This is when a proper detox program is needed.
Detoxification is a natural process in the body which is crucial for neutralising and removing toxic substances from the body. The major detoxification organ is the liver, which acts like a filter processing about two litres of blood every minute, clearing toxins and waste compounds. The bowel, kidneys, skin and blood and lymphatic systems also play a part in the removal of unwanted or toxic substances. When this system becomes sluggish, toxins may accumulate in the body acting as a constant drain on health and vitality causing a myriad of symptoms ranging from bad skin, constipation, weight problems, headaches, lack of energy, hormonal imbalances, moodiness, cholesterol problems and the list goes on…
In day to day life we are unknowingly exposed to increasing amounts of toxins from food, water, cosmetics and skincare products, household chemicals and from the air we breathe. Many of these compounds are now being identified as health threats. The liver is largely responsible for the removal of these potentially harmful toxins. Given this increased toxic load the liver is often overstretched and under-resourced.
Enhancing liver function and stimulating detoxification processes through quality natural supplements and diet & lifestyle modifications is a smart health practice for many to offset the negative effects of modern living and to help maintain a balanced body weight and on-going health. After all, there is only limited benefit in improving toxin removal if you are not going to make any modifications.
What should I eat when detoxing?
The short answer is regular, small amounts of healthy, easily digested food (see list below). Keep meals and snacks sizes small. Big meals require too much time and energy to digest. The more time your body spends digesting food – the less time your body will spend detoxing.
How will I feel during my detox? Are there any side effects?
This varies with each person and how you strict you are with your detox. Symptoms can include; tiredness, flu-like symptoms or headaches (for a day or two), irritability and moodiness. As toxins are cleared, symptoms will pass leaving you feeling cleansed and energised.
Is it easy to detox and how can I fit a detox into my busy lifestyle?
Like anything, once you decide you’re going to do a detox, work out what foods and supplements you are going to take and JUST DO IT!!!
Lifestyle changes to support healthy detoxification:
- Eat a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables. Soups, steamed veges and fresh green vege juices are ideal as they are easily digested by the body. Limit fruit intake.
- If possible, eat organic foods to reduce toxin intake
- Eat quality protein from fresh fish, organic eggs and chicken, and whey protein to provide important amino acids necessary for liver detoxification. Rice or pea protein can also be used instead of dairy based whey.
- Fibre from fruit and vegetables, legumes, ground flaxseeds, chia seeds and wholegrains like Quinoa, act like a big sponge absorbing toxins and promoting elimination.
- Use quality fats (in small amounts) such as cold pressed flaxseed oil, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil and ground nuts and seeds, instead of animal fats and processed vegetable oils or margarines
- Drink at least 2 litres of pure water daily to encourage elimination via the kidneys and bowel. Good hydration cleanses the body and enhances detoxification.
- Avoid alcohol, coffee, soda’s and diet drinks, fried foods, white flour, sugar, refined and packaged foods, artificial sweeteners, additives, preservatives and colourings. These foods overwork the liver.
- Chew your food well.
Detoxification should not be undertaken during pregnancy or breastfeeding and those with serious health conditions or on prescription medications should check with their healthcare professional first.
By Lynley Baker
Good Health Naturopath
Good Health Total Body Cleanse is a liver and bowel detox kit designed as a seven day rapid detox or a one month gradual cleanse. It is available for secure order from our online shop.
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