With the approaching summer, it is time to shake the winter excesses off and decide to detox our bodies so we can face summer with a healthy glow and feeling happy. Why is it important to detox anyway? Our bodies are regularly loaded with toxins and detoxing helps the body to eliminate those toxins, as a result, helps you to lose weight, feel healthier, and recover from any form of lingering health problems.
Some of the common sources of toxins include pollution, cigarette smoke, pesticides, alcohol, caffeine, and a diet lacking in nutrients. When toxins start to build up in the body, problems are starting to occur such as weight gain, poor skin, headaches, fatigue, bloating, weakened immunity and a feeling of general unwell.
The good news is, there are plenty of good detox products and methods available that can help eliminate toxins.
The Detox Diet
It is a great way for you to undertake a detox diet for a specified period of time to allow the body to eliminate these toxins and get itself back to a healthy state. A detox diet is not necessarily about fasting, but instead of eating whole, natural foods that have not been processed or artificially altered.
What to Avoid
The following should be avoided when undertaking a detox diet:
- All forms of sugar except those that are naturally found in fruits
- Dairy products
- Wheat products such as bread, biscuits, cakes and anything that contains
- Grains containing gluten as some people are sensitive to it
- Caffeine (green tea is a good caffeine-free substitute for its great health benefits if you can’t bear to go without your daily cup of caffeine)
It is also a good idea to avoid consuming yeast, alcohol, chocolates, foods containing high fat and foods that contain preservatives or artificial colouring.
What to Eat
There are plenty of foods out there that you can eat while on a detox diet, and make a few creative recipes that won’t make you feel like you are missing out. Here we list some foods that you can eat as much as you like:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables (if possible, organic)
- Brown or basmati rice
- Grains such as quinoa, amaranth, millet and buckwheat
- Legumes and beans
- Nuts and seeds (if possible, unsalted and unseasoned)
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Non-caffeinated herbal tea
The Importance of Water
Water is a very important component of the detox diet and you should drink eight glasses of water everyday, either at room temperature or warm. Water helps remove waste from the bloodstream. To help boost your metabolism, you can add lemon to the water. While detoxing, you should not drink water with your meals so that the body can focus more on the digestion. Oftentimes, thirst is mistaken for hunger, so if you start feeling hungry, try drinking a glass of water first to see it can help.
Why Exercise is Important
Exercise can be extremely beneficial during detox but it is also important to note that you do not overexert yourself, as you are generally eating less that you would otherwise. It is a great time to learn exercises like yoga, Pilates, and meditation. These help focus on stretching and breathing.
Engaging in gentle aerobic exercises like walking or swimming is an excellent way to get the heart rate up and flush out toxins without putting too much stress on the body. It should be noted that the body is already working to expel toxins and unwanted chemicals. There is no need to overload the body with a harsh exercise plan.
Other Types of Detox
Aside from detox diet, drinking plenty of water, and engaging in gentle exercise, there are some other detox methods that you can undertake. These include:
- Skin brushing – the skin is responsible for expelling toxins. By simply brushing the skin with a dry brush, it helps stimulate both lymphatic circulation and blood flow, and also remove dead skin cells. You should always brush towards the heart, as you need to follow the flow of lymphatic fluid. You should also use small strokes and gentle pressure.
- Contrast showers – contrast showers use both cold and water water as a means to increase blood circulation, boost the immune system and promote detoxification. Start your shower with three minutes of hot water and then one minute of cold water. Repeat the process at least one more time but always finish on cold water.
- Colonic irrigation – this gently flushes the colon with water and allows toxic waste products to be flushed away.
- Foot detox – this involves by simply placing your foot into a basin of salted water that contains ion generators. Very low electricity current are then supplied to the ion generators that causes positive and negative ions to be generated 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 as a means to generate heat within the body. The radiant energy then penetrates more deeply into the skin and the underlying layers, causing the body to intensely sweat and therefore expel waste materials and toxins.