DETOXING: What you should know

Detoxing became the buzzword around 2010; as did the idea of eating more alkaline foods to counteract the acidity levels in the body. Although some of these acid/alkaline facts make sense, the counter side of this is that the human body is designed to create homeostasis (balance) in order to survive and is able to realise when the body is too acidic or alkaline and naturally balance as needed.  If you think about it though – if your body is becoming too acidic from over exercising, eating too many processed foods, high stress and not getting enough clean air and water, there are ways to help encourage your body to create balance without too much of a burden on the organs and the body systems.  Enter DETOX!

When detoxing, you don’t need to go hard core.  There are gentle ways of detoxing major organs such as the liver, gallbladder, kidneys, gut and digestive system.  As you detox each system, it makes the next process easier for the body to handle. What you don’t want to do is release too many toxins at once. With nowhere for the toxins to go, it can result in the body REtoxing (reabsorbing the toxins in the blood into the cells).

Here are some of the side effects of detoxing (known as the Herxheimer Reaction);
Headaches
Nausea
Tiredness
Feeling anxious/depressed
Aching body or sore joints
No energy

Interested in doing a detox without severe side effects? Here are some tips on how to get the best results without depriving your body of vital nutrients:

1. Juice or Smoothie!

detoxing juice

When you begin your detox, start introducing more fruit and vegetables into your diet.  The best way is to start by introducing a green juice or smoothie into your morning routine as breakfast, or if you are following an Intermittent Fasting program, you can have your juice or smoothie at around 11am or midday.  This would enable your body to start the detox process from your last meal the evening before, right through until midday and you will be flooding your body with nutrients from your juice or smoothie.  

2. Drink plenty of water

detoxing water

You will need to increase your water intake if you want to detox successfully.  At least 3 litres per day, as this will help flush the toxins that are being released from the blood and cells in the body.  

See more elaborate health benefits of drinking adequate amount of water daily in our previous article: “Setting the Right Mindset: From waking up to sleeping”.

3. Greens

detoxing greens

Eat more greens and water containing vegetables for lunch and dinner, such as spinach, watercress, lettuce, rocket, steamed green vegetables such as Asian greens (bok Choi, naibai, Kailang).  And adding more cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and kale (as these help the liver process excess estrogen).

4. Fiber

detoxing fiber

Eating food which contains more fiber such as fruit, vegetables, seed crackers , (which contain psyllium husks), brown rice or sweet potatoes, will help with elimination and relieve or prevent constipation, helping to rid the body of the toxins before they are able to be reabsorbed by the body!

5. Body Brushing

detoxing loofah

You can either use a body brush, which is a soft bristled brush made from natural fiber to help with circulation, or you can use a loofah in the shower.  Body brushing helps the sluggish, superficial lymphatic system detox by stimulating the movement of lymph (which can store toxins) towards the lymph nodes and into the bloodstream.  You need to use light strokes along the surface of the skin in movements towards the heart.  Light exercise such as walking, a gentle yoga class or rebounding (jumping on a trampoline) will help to get your lymph moving too.

6. Processed Food

detoxing processed food

Cut out processed food such as refined sugar, gluten or wheat products, heavy carbs such as pasta or white rice and alcohol, caffeine and dairy (if you can).  The reason for this, is to give your digestive system a break and a chance to digest your food properly and heal your gut, if needed.  

7. Bone Broth

detoxing bone broth

You can introduce bone broth into your diet.  It is very easy to make.  Drink the bone broth throughout the day, in between meals.  It is packed with minerals and nutrients that may heal the gut and fill your cells with nutrients, as well as collagen and amino acids (the building blocks found in protein).  If you are vegan or vegetarian, you can make a soup from vegetables and have this as a snack.  It will contain a lot of fiber, as well as certain minerals from plant food.

Most people think that detoxing means a 3-5 day juice cleanse. However, I have found that this way of detoxing is too severe. Most people give up after the first day due to the severe side effects of detoxing too quickly.

Give this gentle detox a go! Let us know how you feel and how it feels after introducing the above tips.

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