A good and gentle detox can help reboot your system, stimulate healthy, glowing skin and potentially help you lose a few kgs.
If you want to detox on your own, and you don’t have serious health problems and are not on medication or pregnant, this seven-day gentle detox diet might be just right for you.
READY TO START?
Begin your detox on the weekend and, if possible, ensure you don’t have too many work or social commitments in the week ahead. Purchase and prepare all the foods and supplements you need in advance. Warn friends and family you will be detoxing so you don’t have sudden and unwanted temptations.
For the following programme, you can eat whichever way suits you – three solid meals a day or smaller snacks. Just stick to the permitted foods and try to buy organic wherever possible. Non-organic food is often laden with pesticides, hormones and fertilizer residues, which can create toxicity in the body.
7-DAY DETOX PROGRAMME:
- Eat in abundance
Organic fruit – fresh apricots, berries, kiwi, lemons, papaya, peaches, mango, grapes and melons. These fruits are alkalizing plus they are naturally high in antioxidants and the amino acid glutathione (glutathione conjugates with toxins in plasma before being converted into mercapturic acid, which can then be excreted via the kidneys).
In addition, all berries act as potent blood purifiers. Strawberries also play a role in helping to cleanse the lungs; they contain elagic acid, which reduces the effect of the carcinogen PAH, which is found in tobacco smoke. Melons (particularly honeydew and cantaloupe) are packed with minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients, all of which support the liver and balance the metabolism. Watermelon acts as a diuretic and has a strongly alkalizing effect on the body. But avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice, which contain a compound called naringenin that can significantly inhibit liver enzymes involved in detoxification.
Organic vegetables - artichokes, beets, all leafy green vegetables, carrots, capsicums, cauliflower, cucumber, pumpkin, sweet potato, watercress, bean sprouts and broccoli. All these vegetables are alkalizing and high in antioxidants, essential minerals and dietary fiber. In addition, artichokes contain plant compounds known as caffeoylquinic acids, which increase the flow of bile and help to digest fats. Beets contain betaine, which promotes the regeneration of liver cells and the flow of bile. Betaine also has a beneficial effect on fat metabolism. Broccoli and other brassicas (cabbage, kale, etc.) support the liver’s detoxification enzymes.
- Eat in moderation
The following foods make detoxing easier by providing extra energy and important amino acids.
Grains – organic brown rice, millet and quinoa. No more than two portions a day.
Oily fish – wild salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna. No more than one portion a day.
Nuts and seeds – one handful a day of raw, organic, unsalted nuts and seeds. Choose from almonds, Brazils, hazelnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and flax seeds. (Avoid if allergic.)
OIls – use a little organic extra virgin olive oil for cooking in place of butter or margarine. Use cold-pressed seed oils for dressings.
Potatoes and bananas – both foods quickly raise blood glucose levels. Try to limit to one portion every other day.
- Drink up
Water is vital because it helps to flush waste through your system. Drink at least eight large glasses of filtered, bottled or spring water daily. Sip it slowly through the day rather than drinking with meals (which can dilute digestive juices).
If you enjoy hot beverages try herb teas and dandelion “coffee.” Both are alternatives to caffeine and can actively help detoxing. For example, dandelion is a natural diuretic and an overall tonic for the liver and digestive tract.
- Don’t even think about it
Avoid these - wheat products, meat, eggs and dairy products (milk, cheese, butter, cream, salt and any foods containing it, sugar (cakes, candy, cookies, etc.) and artificial sweeteners (aspartame, xylitol, etc.), all processed and fast food, foods containing additives and preservatives, hydrogenated fats, alcohol and caffeine (this includes tea and sodas).
- Support the detox with supplements
Many detox experts believe you can enhance the detox process by taking nutritional supplements and herbs.
The detox mechanisms of the body all require nutrients to perform their work, and while you get many from diet alone, supplementation ensures optimum levels. Consider the following supplements:
Sulforaphane: Sulforaphane is a natural plant compound, derived from many cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale. Sulforaphane promotes the body’s natural detoxification process for certain environmental threats found in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink. Sulforaphane helps increase the production of important phase two detoxifying enzymes, promoting the body’s natural detoxification process, thereby supporting the elimination of potentially harmful metabolites.
Glutathione: Glutathione is an antioxidant produced in cells and is critical to preserving cellular integrity. Glutathione levels in the body may be reduced by several factors, including poor nutrition, environmental toxins, and stress. Known as the “master antioxidant”, glutathione can help the body fight oxidative stress, it is a natural detoxifier that helps eliminate harmful toxins and supports liver health, and preliminary research suggests that glutathione may help brighten skin.
Green Tea: Research shows the incredible health properties of green tea are due to polyphenols, also known as catechins, a potent type of disease-fighting flavonoid and antioxidant which detoxifies cell-damaging free radicals. Potent antioxidants in green tea may also help slow down the ageing process and improve overall health.
You don’t have to refrain from all exercise while detoxing, but it is advisable to avoid strenuous activities. Instead, opt for more gentle movements, such as walking at least 15 minutes a day or doing yoga or tai chi. Spending time outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine may feel especially good, but avoid getting overly cold or getting too much sun. Be gentle with your body so that it can devote the majority of its resources to healing and cleansing itself.
- Toxic load
Finally, examine your overall toxic load. Other factors that compromise proper liver function include cigarette smoke, recreational and medicinal drugs, dioxins, organophosphate fertilizers, paint fumes, exhaust fumes and braai-ed meat. Consider how you might reduce your exposure to these factors in your life. For a purifying air spray which has the added benefit of smelling beautiful, try Puressential purifying air spray.
A detox plan takes commitment and a liberal dose of willpower, but it really does work. Stick with it and within a week you should notice a huge difference. You will have more energy and should be feeling brighter and clearer in body, mind, and in your skin.
Note: Any limited detox diet should not last beyond four weeks, as avoiding certain foods entirely may set up intolerances.
Always check in with your healthcare practitioner before you begin any detox programme.
Information supplied by: Coyne Healthcare