Post-Christmas is a great time to have a ‘detox’ – assisting your body to cleanse itself of metabolic by-products and toxins which have accumulated over the festive season.
Making choices that support your system’s natural detox functions can be a healthy way to get back on track and help your body do exactly what it’s designed to do: clear out toxins and keep you in tip-top shape. Cutting out processed foods and increasing your intake of nutritious whole foods, along with a few powerful detox foods, can boost energy, restore motivation, support a healthy weight and help you feel your best.
Here are 5 easy ways to help your body detoxify all year round:
1. Detox supporting foods
Certain foods provide a higher content of those vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants which assist the body’s natural detox processes. Try including lots of these in your diet in the form of juices, smoothies, soups, raw or lightly cooked. Remember when juicing to go for mostly vegetables and only add a very limited amount of fruit or none at all. Detox-friendly foods include:
Artichokes, peppers, beetroot, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, red cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, celery, kale, pumpkin, spinach, tomatoes, watercress, bean and seed sprouts, apricots, cantaloupe melon, citrus fruit, kiwi, papaya, red grapes and all types of berries.
2. Watch out for these
Foods which make the liver work harder whilst you are trying to detox are best avoided. These include, fatty foods, sugary foods, salt, alcohol and caffeine, as well as refined carbohydrates like white rice, white pasta and white bread. To reduce the chance of toxic pesticide residues in your system, it’s best to buy organic produce.
3. Keep hydrated
The kidneys filter large volumes of waste from our bodies every day, and keeping well hydrated encourages efficient kidney filtration. Aim to drink around 1.5 to 2 litres of water per day, depending on your size, air temperature and your activity level. Ideally choose filtered or purified water, or mineral water from glass bottles.
4. Herbal Helpers
Burdock root has traditionally been used in Chinese and Western herbal medicine to treat an overload of toxins. It acts on the liver, gut, kidneys and cleanses the blood. It’s often combined with herbs such as dandelion leaf to balance its strong detoxifying action. You can also try a daily tea of nettle, cleavers and calendula.
5. Grains and Seeds
Add grains such as millet and quinoa to your diet. Millet is rich in magnesium and silica which helps to cleanse and lower acidity in the body; quinoa supports the kidneys. Seeds and beans are also excellent detoxifiers. Try sesame and sunflower seeds, mung and adzuki beans.