Top tips to detoxify your body naturally
In a recent Amazon search I found 7,434 results in books for the word detox! Does that surprise you? Sadly, detox is an over-used word conjuring up images of ‘magic elixirs’ and ‘miracle’ fixes. This blog will explain how to cleanse your body naturally without cleansing your pocket too.
Your body does an amazing job of naturally cleansing, mainly through the liver and the kidneys. Your normal body process produces many compounds that require elimination. These include food, drink and medications in addition to toxic molecules such as bacteria, alcohol, cleaning and environmental chemicals.
The extent to which these toxins affect your health depends not only on your level of exposure, but also on how efficiently your body can detoxify them. The good news is that simple nutrition and lifestyle changes can help support your body’s natural detoxification ability.
Minimise toxins from food – choose organic
By choosing organic produce you are reducing the toxic load in your body. Non-organic produce is sprayed with a variety of chemicals including pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. We simply don’t know the extent of the impact that multiple man-made chemicals in our food and environment have on human health. Don’t gamble on your health, choose organic.
Organic veg box schemes are a great way to get fresh, seasonal produce delivered to your door. Many of the national schemes also deliver meat, fish and other organic goodies.
Step up those antioxidants
In the first phase of detoxification, antioxidants are required to help your liver disable toxins. The deeper the colour of the food, the higher its antioxidant content. Think blueberries, red grapes and yellow peppers.
Key foods include berries, turmeric, ginger, onions, garlic, coriander and citrus zest. A special shout must also be given to the wonderfully healthful cruciferous veg. Step up your intake of cabbage, broccoli, kale, watercress, brussels sprouts and spring greens. Your liver will love you.
Pimp your protein
In the second phase of your liver’s detoxification process, protein is an essential nutrient. Do you eat enough protein? In my clinic I often see clients’ food diaries with a distinct lack of protein.
Aim to have a portion the size of your palm with lunch and dinner every day. Excellent protein foods include high-quality, organic grass-fed beef, game, chicken, fish and eggs and non-animal sources such as quinoa, nuts, lentils and beans. A quality protein powder is a great addition to smoothies. I use and recommend Pulsin protein powders to my clients.
Chill out, man, with yoga
Practising yoga can support detoxification. A 2007 study showed that after six months of yoga practise, the production of glutathione (a master antioxidant important for detox) significantly improved as did total antioxidant status. Certain yoga poses stimulate the kidney, gallbladder and bladder meridians supporting elimination. Alternate nostril breathing exercises often practised in yoga are known as the ‘purifying breath’. Give chillin’ a go!
Aim for a daily movement (we’re talking bowel here)
This is the crucial first step in eliminating your waste safely. If you don’t pass a stool for a day or two those toxins could be backing up and may get re-absorbed into your body.
Key foods to support your gut and keep you regular are probiotic and prebiotic foods:
For probiotic foods try plain, live yoghurt (no flavoured or sweetened versions), kefir or sauerkraut. These foods increase the population of beneficial bacteria to keep your gut bacteria in a healthy balance.
foods help feed these beneficial bacteria. Try leeks, onions, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes and asparagus.
A word of warning: introduce both these types of food gradually to allow your gut to adjust without bloating or gurgling.