Detoxing – why and how?
Natural Detox Information
Why do we need to detox?
With claims of detox smoothies, detox tea’s and the rise of detox supplements, a lot of people ask why do we need to detox anyway?
Our bodies are continually loaded with toxins By removing or reducing the ‘toxic load’ and detoxing helps you to lose weight, feel energised, clears the skin and has you feeling healthier.
What are ‘toxins’?
Some common sources of toxins include pollution, cigarette smoke, pesticides, alcohol, caffeine, and a diet lacking in nutrients.
When toxins build up in the body, problems such as weight gain, poor skin, headaches, fatigue, bloating, lowered immunity and a feeling of general unwellness occur.
The good news is, there are plenty of good detox products and methods out there to help get rid of these toxins.
The Detox Diet
Undertaking a detox diet for a specified period of time is a great way to allow the body to remove toxins and get itself back into top working order.
A detox diet isn’t necessarily about fasting, but rather eating whole, natural foods that have not been processed or altered artificially.
What to Avoid on a detox:
- All forms of sugar except those which are found naturally in fruit
- Dairy products
- Wheat products such as bread, biscuits, cakes and anything else containing wheat
- Grains that contain gluten as some people are sensitive to it
- Caffeine (green tea is a caffeine-free substitute with great health benefits if you can’t bear to go without your daily cup!)
- It is also a good idea to avoid yeast, alcohol, chocolates, foods that are high in fat and foods that contain artificial colouring or preservatives
What to Eat
There are still plenty of foods that you can eat on the detox diet, remember to always eat a rainbow and play around with different vegetables, fruits and grains to keep things interesting.
Here are some foods that you can enjoy while on a detox, remember where possible organic is best:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Brown or basmati rice
- Grains such as quinoa, amaranth, millet and buckwheat (can find these at health food stores)
- Legumes and beans
- Nuts and seeds – these should be unsalted and unseasoned where possible
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Non-caffeinated herbal tea
The Importance of Water
Water is a vital component of the detox diet and it is so important to stay hydrated with 1.5 – 2litres of water per day. Warm or at room temperature id ideal. This is because water helps to remove waste from the bloodstream. To help boost the metabolism, add lemon to the water.
While detoxing, you should not have a drink with your meals so that your body can focus on digestion, as a lot of liquid will dilute the stomach acid. Thirst is also often mistaken for hunger, so if you feel hunger pangs coming on, try having a glass of water first to see if that helps.
Why Exercise is Beneficial
During a detox, exercise can be extremely beneficial as it helps the body break down and excrete fat – we often store out toxins in our fat… During your detox, it is a great time to embrace yoga, pilates and meditation. These focus on stretching and breathing.
Gentle aerobic exercise such as walking or swimming is fantastic, as it helps get the heart rate up and flush toxins without putting too much stress on the body.
Other Forms of Detox
As well as a detox diet, drinking lots of water, and getting some gentle exercise, there are some other detox methods that you can try. These include:
Skin brushing – the skin is responsible for eliminating many toxins. Simply brushing the skin with a dry brush can help to stimulate both blood flow and lymphatic circulation, as well as remove dead skin cells. Always brush towards the heart, as you need to follow the flow of lymphatic fluid. Small strokes and gentle pressure should be used
Contrast showers – contrast showers use both hot and cold water in order to increase circulation, strengthen the immune system and promote detoxification. Start with three minutes of hot water and then one minute of cold water. Repeat the process at least once more but always finish on cold water.
Saunas – infrared saunas use radiant energy at a lower temperature in order to generate heat within the body. Radiant energy is able to penetrate more deeply into the skin and underlying layers, causing the body to sweat intensely and thus get rid of waste materials and toxins.
WHERE TO FROM HERE?
Learn more about Naturopathy