Body Detox & Natural Detox Information
With summer coming up, it’s time to shake off the winter excesses and think about detoxing our bodies so that we can face summer feeling happy and with a healthy glow. So why do we need to detox anyway? Our bodies are continually loaded with toxins and detoxing helps the body to remove those toxins, helping you to lose weight, feel healthier and recover from any lingering health problems.
Some common sources of toxins include pollution, cigarette smoke, pesticides, alcohol, caffeine, and a diet lacking in nutrients. When toxins build up in the body, problems such as weight gain, poor skin, headaches, fatigue, bloating, lowered immunity and a feeling of general unwellness occur.
The good news is, there are plenty of good detox products and methods out there to help get rid of these toxins.
The Detox Diet
Undertaking a detox diet for a specified period of time is a great way to allow the body to remove toxins and get itself back into top working order. A detox diet isn’t necessarily about fasting, but rather eating whole, natural foods that have not been processed or altered artificially.
What to Avoid
On the detox diet, you should avoid the following:
All forms of sugar except those which are found naturally in fruit
Wheat products such as bread, biscuits, cakes and anything else containing wheat
Grains that contain gluten as some people are sensitive to it
Caffeine (green tea is a caffeine-free substitute with great health benefits if you can’t bear to go without your daily cup!)
It is also a good idea to avoid yeast, alcohol, chocolates, foods that are high in fat and foods that contain artificial colouring or preservatives.
What to Eat
There are still plenty of foods that you can eat on the detox diet, and with a few creative recipes, you won’t feel like you’re missing out at all! Here are some foods that you can eat as much of as you like:
Fresh fruits and vegetables (organic if possible)
Brown or basmati rice
Grains such as quinoa, amaranth, millet and buckwheat (can find these at health food stores)
Legumes and beans
Nuts and seeds – these should be unsalted and unseasoned where possible
Extra-virgin olive oil
Non-caffeinated herbal tea
The Importance of Water
Water is a vital component of the detox diet and eight glasses should be drunk every day, either warm or at room temperature. This is because water helps to remove waste from the bloodstream. To help boost the metabolism, add lemon to the water. While detoxing, you should not have a drink with your meals so that your body can focus on digestion. Thirst is also often mistaken for hunger, so if you feel hunger pangs coming on, try having a glass of water first to see if that helps.
Why Exercise is Beneficial
During detox, exercise can be extremely beneficial but it is important that you do not overexert yourself, as you are generally eating less than you would otherwise. During your detox, it is a great time to learn exercises such as yoga, Pilates and meditation. These focus on stretching and breathing.
Gentle aerobic exercise such as walking or swimming is also fantastic, as it helps get the heart rate up and flush toxins without putting too much stress on the body. Remember, your body is already working to get rid of the unwanted chemicals and toxins. You don’t want to overload it with a harsh, new exercise plan.
Other Forms of Detox
As well as a detox diet, drinking lots of water, and getting some gentle exercise, there are some other detox methods that you can try. These include:
- Skin brushing – the skin is responsible for eliminating many toxins. Simply brushing the skin with a dry brush can help to stimulate both blood flow and lymphatic circulation, as well as remove dead skin cells. Always brush towards the heart, as you need to follow the flow of lymphatic fluid. Small strokes and gentle pressure should be used.
- Contrast showers – contrast showers use both hot and cold water in order to increase circulation, strengthen the immune system and promote detoxification. Start with three minutes of hot water and then one minute of cold water. Repeat the process at least once more but always finish on cold water.
- Colonic irrigation – this gently flushes the colon with water and allows toxic waste products to be carried away.
- Foot detox – this method involves simply placing your foot into a basin of salted water that contains ion generators. The ion generators are then supplied with very low electricity current that causes positive and negative ions to be produced which then attract oppositely charged particles in the body. The process works by attracting charged toxic substances and then drawing them out into the water.
- Saunas – infrared saunas use radiant energy at a lower temperature in order to generate heat within the body. Radiant energy is able to penetrate more deeply into the skin and underlying layers, causing the body to sweat intensely and thus get rid of waste materials and toxins.