Why Do I Need to Detox?
Don’t be put off by the word detox
It’s not just marketing hype or something celebrities do when coming off a binge. Done properly, a detox is like having a good “clean out”. It involves eating whole foods that are packed with nutrients and devoid of chemical substances. It’s a way of priming your body to live a healthier and more natural lifestyle.
Detoxification is a normal, everyday function. Our body breaks down and eliminates anything that doesn’t belong. The problem is that these days, our body is overloaded with things that don’t belong; heavy metals from pollution, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, artificial colours and flavourings, not to mention additional substances such as caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, medications, and recreational drugs. We live in an environment steeped in harmful substances that our bodies were not designed to process. If your body’s capacity to process waste is impaired, toxins accumulate in fat tissue and some can be released into your bloodstream, leading to symptoms such as headaches, irritability, lowered immunity, poor skin, anxiety, food cravings and more. Fortunately, there are plenty of effective ways to enhance your body’s natural ability to rid itself of toxins.
When it comes to cleansing your body of harmful toxins, food is the best medicine. Here are Susan’s top six picks for naturally lowering your toxic load:
- Citrus fruit like oranges, lemons and limes help your body flush out toxins by stimulating digestive enzymes. Starting each day with a glass of warm water and lemon alkalizes your system and facilitates liver cleansing. Makes it easier to limit caffeine too!
- Drinking lots of water is a no-brainer, but worth repeating since your body needs lots to flush out toxins. Drink a glass before meals as it’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger. Aim for 2 litres of filtered water daily.
- A green smoothie for breakfast provides a rich source of chlorophyll to help rid the body of impurities. It’s an easy way to top up on essential nutrients while adding superfoods like chlorella and milk thistle for extra detox power.
- Garlic, onions, chives and leeks are packed with powerful antioxidants that stimulate your liver’s production of detoxifying enzymes. Raw or cooked, put them in everything!
- Eating (organic) produce like parsley, coriander, artichokes, apples, beets and broccoli help bind and eliminate heavy metals. Cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower are high in sulphur and glutathione, which help the liver detoxify harmful chemicals. Adding raw veggies to your diet help boost digestive enzymes that facilitate natural detox.
- Cutting out alcohol is another obvious one that bears repeating. It dehydrates the body and burdens the liver. Going without helps shed a few pounds and instantly improves skin.
Even people with a relatively clean diet and lifestyle benefit greatly from the occasional detox because of modern day stressors and toxins we cannot always control. The Clever Kitchen recommends doing a detox at least three times a year, or whenever you feel bloated or sluggish.
It’s a great way to reboot from the inside out. And the effects aren’t just physical. Afterwards you might just notice a sense of clarity and peace you didn’t have before.