Top Detox Tips
by Dr. Sarah Brewer
A Nutritionist and Doctor
Detoxis something many of us do after a period of excess, when we feel sluggish in the depths of winter, or to kick start our resolve to eat more healthily. Detox helps to support your body's natural elimination processes and should be a pleasurable and gentle health routine. Usually it involves eating and drinking nothing but organic:
- Fresh or dried fruit
- Raw or lightly steamed vegetables
- Freshly prepared fruit and vegetables juices
- Thin vegetable soups (preferably home made)
- Beans and whole grains
- Cottage cheese
- Bio yoghurt
- Mineral or filtered water – ideally 2 to 3 litres per day.
Eat as much or as little of these foods as you like – you don't necessarily have to lose weight but many people reduce their usual calorie intake to lose some excess padding.
During a detox, what you don't eat is just as important as what you do. Avoid caffeine, table salt, additives, artificial sweeteners, alcohol and added sugar. Organic produce is best as this reduces your exposure to pesticides, weed killers, fungicides, fumigants, growth promoters, growth retardants and chemical fertilizers.
If you usually drink more than four caffeinated drinks per day, gradually cut back for a week or two before detoxing so you don't experience caffeine withdrawal symptoms such as headache, jitteriness and irritability.
Most people follow a Detox diet for three to 10 days before starting to eat other healthy foods they enjoy. Maintain continued benefits by following a diet that is as organic as possible.
Although regimes vary, during a classic Detox, you Cleanse first and Fortify second. This is similar in rationale to the servicing of a car – you don't add new oil until the old, dirty oil (the toxins) has first drained away. Cleansing supplements for a Detox program include:
Milk thistle to protect liver cells from the poisonous effects of toxins, including alcohol.
Globe artichoke to support liver function and increase bile secretion.
Dandelion roots are traditionally used to support liver and kidney function.
Probiotics to promote digestion and discourage gas-forming bowel bacteria.
Psyllium fibre to gently cleanse the bowel and absorb intestinal toxins.
Aloe vera to cleanse and soothe the bowel.
After cleansing is underway (usually five days), add in nutritional supplements such as a multivitamin and mineral, plus essential fatty acids (evening primrose, flaxseed or omega-3 fish oils).
Who Should not Detox?
Do not follow a detox if you are:
- Pregnant or breast-feeding
- Unwell or convalescing
- Receiving treatment for any medical condition