Detoxification is a key body function involving the elimination of metabolic waste and other toxins via the eliminatory organs – the skin and kidneys and especially the liver. As much of about 80% of all chemical processes that go on in your body involve detoxification activities and modern day living has led to an increased exposure to toxins. As well as the toxic by-products of our own metabolism, we are faced with toxins in what we eat and drink, as well as from alcohol, cigarettes, medical drugs, cosmetics, household cleaning products, not to mention pollution and environmental poisons.
So what is a detox or cleanse?
It’s a way of eating (and living!) cleanly, to minimise the amount of chemicals and pollutants in our systems, while emphasises on high-nutrient foods that help draw out and eliminate toxins.
The lighter dietary load allows our body to expel accumulated toxins (which are stored in our fat cells) and reduce the burden on our organs and detoxifying functions (like the skin and liver).
And what should you include in your diet while you’re on a detox? Below are 5 fabulous foods that will help your body detoxify and cleanse;
Ok, not technically a food but crucial when you’re cleansing and the rest of the time! Many people are partially dehydrated all the time which stresses your system and prevents efficient detoxification. Drink lots of water; 2 to 3 liters per day.
Try drinking a liter (about 4 cups) of water in the morning, then sip the remaining 1-2 liters throughout the day. Avoid drinking at mealtimes, so you don’t dilute your digestive juices.
- Leafy greens
Leafy greens (think kale, celery, silverbeet, baby spinach, etc) are the backbone for any good detox! They are alkalizing, and an alkaline body is better at battling bad bacteria, yeast and keeping cravings at bay.
Green leafy veggies also contain chlorella which helps to cleanse and increase the oxygen in your blood, improving your cellular health.
Try adding a daily green smoothie to up your green intake, as well as eating lots of big leafy salads with every meal (including breakfast) and simple veggie stir fries.
- Lemon water
Lemon is further alkalising your body (even though it tastes acidic when we drink it), and it helps improve digestion, supports liver detoxification and reduce bloating. The lemon juice activates your liver to release toxins and helps cleanse the intestines.
Mix the juice of half a lemon into 200 milliliters of warm water and drink it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. If you can handle it, add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar as well.
- Parsley and Coriander
These bind heavy metals like mercury so they can be extracted from your body. They are also alkalising and full of chlorophyll. Add to salads, stir fries, and green smoothies. They can be eaten cooked or raw.
Actually, here I mean fats and oils that are high in Omega-3. Omega-3 helps reduce inflammation and ease digestion. Eat avocado, flax seed oil, hemp oil and extra virgin olive oil.
These oils are unstable at high heats, so make sure you don’t undo your detoxifying benefits by submitting them to high temperatures and turning them rancid! Keep hemp and flax seed oils in the fridge, and get them into your diet by pouring over salads. A salad with avocado in it, obviously.
When you detox, you feel good, and when you feel good, good things happen. Detoxing is often used strategically to lose weight or to start a new diet plan, but really there’s no better reason than just to feel better. When you set the stage for wellbeing, you are going to improve all areas of your life, and you should see better relationships, better productivity at work, and a newfound or renewed zest for life.
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