A detox is a way of cleansing the body; it rids the blood of any toxins that have accumulated. For some, the idea of temporarily depriving the body of food is ridiculous, but it is actually very natural. Think about it, people, like animals, are built to store and burn fat; when food is abundant the body stores nutrients for the periods of famine. Our ancestors often faced this task. However nowadays, especially in western countries, food is so easily available that we indulge year round (and often on the wrong things).
- Allows organs to rest as the body is in a state of fasting
- Improves blood circulation
- Refuel, recharge and rejuvenate the body
- Get essential vitamins and minerals into the body
The toxins to cut out;
- Saturated fats
- Refined sugars
10 things you should do to aid detoxification;
It is not simply a case of eat more fruit and vegetables; it is a way of altering your whole well being.
1. Cut out the colas
Soda drinks are a health no no. Even supposedly healthy sugar free drinks are full of sweeteners. In fact 1 can or glass is equivalent to 10 tablespoons of sugar! If you really want a fizzy drink try fizzy water and if you need flavour add some juice to the water.
2. Drink more water
The water will help flush toxins out of your system. Aim to drink 2 litres, that’s 8 250ml glasses per day.
3. Fresh over fried
We are becoming a nation reliant on fast food due to our need of convenience foods. But all that saturated fat filled food is having a detrimental effect on our health. To get the most from food always select fresh over packaged or processed items. Furthermore preparing a meal does not take that long nor does it cost much more, but it does have a hugely beneficial effect on your health.
4. Go organic
The products you use can put unnecessary toxins into our bodies. For example many soaps, shampoos and creams contain harsh chemicals, so if possible check the labels and go organic.
5. Go to the dark side
If you absolutely need something a little indulgent opt for dark chocolate with a cocoa percentage of at least 70. According to researchers it can help curb both sweet and salty cravings. To be healthier choose fruit, it’s naturally high in sugar and low in fat. Alternatively use cinnamon rather than sugar to add sweetness, not only does it satisfy your craving for something sweet but it also controls your blood sugar levels.
6. Learn to relax
When you are stressed your body responds by producing potentially harmful hormones like cortisol. Practicing a form of relaxation such as meditation, yoga or even taking a bath can help alleviate everyday stresses.
7. Reduce supplement intake
Too often people make the mistake of thinking a pill provides their health needs, this is not true. A supplement should be taken as a vitamin and mineral booster not as the main source. It is far better to get nutrients from actual food, the more natural the source of nutrients the better it is for you.
8. Sleep tight
It is essential you get some rest, because your body does most of its repairing during the night. In fact a lack of sleep is a major contributor to many common illnesses.
9. Stop the snacks
Many people are guilty of snacking whether it’s out of boredom, comfort or simply because the snacks are there. When the urge to snack strikes occupy yourself with a task, or even better do a little exercise (it can suppress appetite).
10. Sweat it out
When you exercise your body secretes toxins through the skin in the form of sweat. Sweat contains toxins such as urea, lactic acid, ammonia and sugar. Even sweating in a steam room helps eliminate toxins, though it is of course more beneficial to your health if you are physically active.
It is important to note that a detox where a lot of food is eliminated in your diet is temporary (around 2-5 days), it is not a long term sustainable diet and should not be carried out by those who are seriously ill/have a serious disease, are pregnant or breastfeeding or are on certain medications. If you are unsure ask your GP for advice.