Many of us have thought about doing a detox, but stepped back at the fear of doing more harm than good. After all, eating is out and juicing is in. Nutritionist Jess Bell shared her tips for detoxing in the July/August M2 woman magazine.
Start the day with a glass of warm water with the juice of a lemon – every day without fail. This kicks the liver into gear, assisting with detoxification and boosting the metabolism.
Drop the junk:
Nourish your body with fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, organic fish, meat and eggs. Keep sugar, refined flour, salty and fatty foods and anything that comes out of packet or can as rare treats. Moderate alcohol and caffeine consumption: Powering through the day on espressos and winding down at night with a few glasses of pinot might seem harmless but it significantly increases your liver’s workload. Keep coffee to one max per day, and aim for 4-5 alcohol free nights per week. There’s no need to be a tee-total, but keep the big nights to a minimum if possible – keep it to three drinks per session to save your liver a tonne of work (and to wake clear headed in the morning!).
Dry body brush:
Dry body brushing improves circulation, assisting with the clearing of toxins and improving the appearance of skin. As a bonus, it also significantly improves the appearance of cellulite – something most women would appreciate! Gently brush all over your body, avoiding the delicate face, neck and chest areas, for 5 minutes a day. Be careful to only brush upwards in the direction of the heart.
Break a sweat:
Exercise boosts the circulation and metabolism, assisting with the removal of toxins. It also promotes sweating, allowing toxins to be excreted through the skin. Aim to exercise 5-6 days per week, doing a mix of cardio and resistance training. Old school rebounders/lymphaciser are a particularly good way to exercise as they boost the lymphatic system and help to clear toxins.
Get into fibre:
Fibre acts like a broom for the intestines, binding to toxins and helping eliminate them from the body, while scouring the bowel wall for abnormal cells. Ensure you are getting enough by basing your meals around legumes, fruit and vegetables (especially the leafy green ones), quinoa, brown rice and nuts and seeds. Supplemental fibres can be a useful adjunct when detoxin, especially if you are struggling to increase your dietary intake. Good options include Slippery Elm, Psyllium and Oat Bran, all of which can be purchased from health food shops. Note that it is important to increase fluid intake when you increase your fibre as too much too soon can cause constipation.
Hit the sack:
Adequate rest is essential to support the cleansing and healing process. Ensure you get at least 8 hours a night.
Nature has provided a number of herbs that naturally support liver function and detoxification. Bitters assist the liver in its detoxifying capacity by promoting the flow of bile, while hepatoprotective herbs protect liver cells from damage. For a gentle but effective detox, visit your naturopath or herbalist for a tincture containing milk thistle, globe artichoke, schisandra, andrographis, dandelion, burdock, chicory and rosemary. Include turmeric in your cooking daily for its powerful detoxification benefits.
Reduce your chemical load:
Every day we are exposed to a myriad of chemicals and toxins in cleaning products, skin and hair products, car fumes, and pollution – all of which our liver needs to process. Reduce your liver’s workload by choosing natural make up and beauty products (your skin absorbs everything into your bloodstream!), and laundry and cleaning products. Eat organic if possible to avoid pesticides.
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