Detoxing: Cleansing your body from the inside
Many of us will be thinking about how we can reverse the effects of too much food and drink by starting a detox in the New Year. This need not take place on a very strict health farm – detoxing can simply mean healthier eating.
If you are overweight, feeling bloated, lethargic, or have joint pains and aching muscles, then making certain changes to your daily eating patterns can rejuvenate you.
A cleansing diet works in two ways. Firstly, you stop putting in more toxins and, secondly, toxins currently in the body are flushed out (mainly by drinking more water). Meanwhile, by eating more fresh vegetables and some fruit, you are getting vital antioxidants to mop up the free radicals caused by smoking, alcohol, coffee and cheap vegetable oils found in pastries, mince pies, etc.
Start the detox programme over the weekend, or at any time when you are more relaxed and less likely to give in to cravings. It is not uncommon to get some ‘cleansing reactions’ during the first day or two, such as headache, coated tongue or fatigue. This is perfectly normal. If you are in poor health to begin with, please check with your medical adviser before following this or any other programme.
Choose from the following foods for 2-3 days:
- Vegetables of all types, and all colours. Concentrate especially on vegetables grown above the ground, rather than root vegetables. An exception to roots are carrots or fresh carrot juice which are particularly beneficial for the liver. Broccoli is also particularly beneficial. Good for minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and fibre.
- Modest amounts of organic brown rice, and millet. Millet is usually found in the health food stores, in the form of little granules or flakes.
- Fruit. Good for vitamins and antioxidants. Also fibre.
- Udo's Choice Ultimate Oil Blend. Pour this over vegetables and rice, after cooking. Do not cook with this precious oil. You can also use good quality coconut oil, especially if you want to lose weight.
- At least two litres of bottled or filtered water every day – no less. Room temperature or warmer.
Often, a combination of supplements may help in alleviating the symptoms of conditions:
- Wheat (bread, pasta, pastries, etc.)
- Dairy (cows milk, cheese, cream, crème freche, etc.)
- Sugar and artificial sweeteners
- Coffee and tea (except Redbush tea if desired)
- Hydrogenated vegetable oils (all cheap vegetable and nut oils). Use flaxseed oil.
- Yeast, salt, dried fruits.
- Soft and fizzy drinks
After 2-3 days of the above programme, you can reintroduce some of the foods you have been avoiding, e.g. meat, tea, yeast etc. Many people benefit from eliminating foods such as wheat and dairy in the long term. Fish is generally considered a good protein food, particularly the oily varieties, such as mackerel, salmon, pilchard, etc.
The benefits of detoxifying your body are both short and long term. Immediately after detoxifying you might notice increased mental awareness, more energy, more comfortable digestion of foods, and better absorption of nutrients, as well as an overall feeling of better health. Long-term benefits can be a reduction of chronic illnesses.