I recently read somewhere that research has proven that eating less (without the risk of malnutrition) can actually extend your life! While I can’t say how easy that is for a food junkie such as myself, there is no denying the fact that eating clean and giving your digestive system a break now & then from all the hard work it does, seems justifiable. Especially after bingeing on sweets and fried foods in the festive season. That is where the concept of detoxifying comes into play.
What is Detoxification
According to the concept, all the junk from indulging in the wrong foods to exposure to harmful chemicals and pollution can lead to an excess of toxins in the body. Usually, it is role of liver to eliminate waste but if your liver is not working as much as it needs to or there is an excess of toxins in the body, these (toxins) get stored in the fat, which can become the root cause of many health issues. Mobilizing this stored fat and boosting the antioxidant levels of the body is called detoxification.
Who Needs It?
If you take a lot of medications or suffer from unexplained headaches, dull skin, frequent sugar cravings, low immunity suggested by frequent colds/infections, acne, irritability, lethargy and sluggishness that just means your body needs a nutritional boost. Plus if it is done for a short period of time, detoxification can also knock off those excess kilos and boost the radiance of your skin.
How To Do It
There are many different kinds of detox diets that are based on what you specifically want to target (boost or eliminate) in your body. But these can be difficult to follow and might not be the best in contributing to your overall health. So I just like to follow a basic detox plan with a few pointers which are as follows:
1. The diet can be followed anywhere from 10 days to 15 days. During this period, divulge your body in loads of fresh fruit and vegetables. You should avoid fruit juices and smoothies but can have vegetable juices, home-made vegetable soups and raw or lightly steamed vegetables. Don’t’ forget to stock-up on eggs, garlic, broccoli and lettuce. You can have moderate amounts (1-2 cups) of skimmed milk as well. Also, remember not all carbohydrates are bad. You just have to pick the right ones. Fresh fruits and vegetables are some of them.
2. Eliminate all processed and canned food. Many of them contain Mono-sodium Glutamate (MSG) which is quite harmful to your health.
3. Avoid coffee, tea (basically all caffeinated foods), grains and any added salt. If you crave caffeine, drink green tea. It will atleast give you an anti-oxidant boost.
4. Eliminate meat, fried foods, alcohol and sugar from your diet. Stay away from bread in all its forms like white bread, pastries, cookies, chips, breakfast-cereals etc.
5. Take plenty of water. Without proper intake of water, there is no benefit of amping up your fibre intake. So make sure you take atleast 8-10 glasses of water everyday.
6. Have a concoction of warm water and lemon juice first thing in the morning. It acts as a diuretic and works wonderfully in cleansing your digestive tract.
7. Choose the right kinds of fat such as extra-virgin olive oil and fatty fish.
8. Try adding some probiotic drink into your daily diet regime.
9. Exercise. It will make your body sweat and help eliminate the toxic chemicals.
10. Go for a massage or try dry brushing your body at home. Both of these improve blood and lymph flow.
11. Meditate. A peaceful and happy mind further promotes a healthy body!