Hope you're having a fabulous week so far. Today I wanted to share with you a great guest post from the wonderful bloggers and nutritional therapist ~Natalia AKA LittleRus the editor behind Fashioned by Love Blog. You might remember her from Glam Girl Interveiw. Natalia was grateful enough to share hew knowledge with Allglamthings followers.
Today’s post is about detox. I am well aware of the fact that detox programmes have become increasingly popular over the last few years, especially because some celebrities swear by them. The truth however, is that a healthy person don’t need to follow any strict detox plan because our bodies are designed in a way that they are able to detoxify every organ and system from toxins and waste naturally.
My problem with any strict detox diets and plans is that they can do more harm than good because apart from being way too restrictive diet-wise they may also cause loss of vitamins and minerals and, most ironically, increase the amount of toxins in the body!
Before we get to the main part of a sensible detox programme, I would like to stress this out to you – never ever try to follow any strict (calorie/food/etc. restricted) detox plan for more than 24 hours unless this is something advised to you by your doctor or qualified nutritionist AND they guarantee a constant 24-hour supervision during the entire course of detoxification.
My tips below are more sensible and can be used by anyone who doesn’t have serious health issues and want to feel fresh and gain more energy, especially after an overindulgent holiday or as a fresh start to a lighter healthier you. Try following this regime for at least a week, or give yourself a whole month to experience the benefits.
- Drink plenty of water
Fresh water is such a wonderful cleanser! It is essential to keep your body hydrated and flush out toxins. Aim for about 2 litres per day. Start every morning with a glass of warm water with some fresh lemon juice before you have your breakfast. That morning glass of water is important because the water will wake up your body, help to move the toxins through the system into the kidneys and vitamin C from the lemon will work as a tonic for your liver.
Continue drinking plain water throughout the day. Set an alarm to remind yourself to have a drink every hour if you are not used to it.
If you absolutely cannot tolerate plain water, add some flavour to it by mixing in a few drops of freshly squeezed juice (lemon, orange or grapefruit, for example) or replace some of the plain water with herbal (not fruit) teas like chamomile, redbush or mint.
- Avoid alcohol
Alcohol puts extra pressure on your liver, which is the most important organ when it comes to detoxification. I don’t think any further explanation is necessary here. Stay away from alcohol for at least a week.
- Avoid sugar
When it comes to sugar, it’s best not to think of it at all while you are trying to detox or improve your diet generally. Replace sugary snacks with fresh or dried unsulfured fruits or raw fruit&nuts bars.
- Reduce caffeine
Ideally, you would need to avoid coffee, tea (apart from the herbal varieties) and anything that contains caffeine (soft drinks, sports drinks, chocolate etc.) for a week (or longer if you like). However, if you are a coffee-lover and have been drinking a lot of it, then it’s not going to be a wise decision to quit cold turkey. Instead, cut down gradually, stick with 1 cup of good quality freshly made coffee and add a couple of cups of green or white tea. You can also try dandelion root coffee or chicory coffee as an alternative – these are really beneficial for your liver and are caffeine-free.
- Add good quality protein
Liver needs good quality protein in order to work properly and build up new cells, so eating lean chicken, turkey, eggs or oily fish as well as nuts and organic tofu is a good idea.
- Eat plenty of liver-supporting and cleansing foods
Apples, pears, plums, berries, kiwi fruits, red grapes, papaya, melon and citrus fruits are great because they are high in antioxidants, soluble fibre and contain plenty of vitamin C that supports your liver. Make fruit salad for breakfast, add to porridge, muesli, eat them as a snack or mix into regular salads. Also try having a fresh salad once a day and add plenty of vegetables to your other meals and snacks. Good choices are cabbages (all kinds), bell peppers, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, fennel, watercress, beetroot (don’t use the one in vinegar though), spinach, tomatoes, artichokes, sweet potatoes and watercress. Don’t forget about herbs – parsley, coriander, dill and tarragon will add extra flavour to your meals.
- Avoid gluten for 1 week
In reality, unless you are allergic, you can have gluten-containing foods in your diet, but because our bodies may find it a little difficult to deal with gluten when there is a lot of it, it’s a good idea to eat gluten-free for one week. Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, kamut, spelt, barley and rye. It is also used as a thickening agent in many foods and you might have seen it on a food label listed as "maltodextrine", "dextrine", or "dextrose". For 1 week stick with gluten-free grains as your diet staples. These include oats, buckwheat, millet, brown rice, amaranth and quinoa to name a few.
- Go dairy-free for 1 week
Dairy products (milk, cheese, yoghurt etc.) can be mucus forming once they reach the stomach because our bodies may not contain enough enzymes to deal with it as levels of those particular enzymes become lower with age. Avoiding milk, cheese and yoghurt for a week will give your body a break and may improve your digestion. Replace regular milk with organic unsweetened soy, almond, rice or oat milk, avoid cheese and yoghurt and anything else that may contain milk/dairy. After a week add the foods back slowly, little by little. Ideally, stick with natural organic yoghurt, kefir, cottage cheese and quark as your main dairy products. You may also want to try replacing cow’s milk with goats milk as goats milk is easier for us to digest.
- Take good multivitamin supplement
A good multivitamin and mineral supplement is a must for anyone these days and especially important when you make any kind of dietary changes. There are a lot of good and low quality ones around, so make sure you know exactly which one is good for you. The brand I’d personally pick on both sides of the Atlantic is Solgar because the quality of their products is very good and, if you need any advice, you can always contact them for information on any particular products.
You might have also heard of some other supplements that may be used during detox, however, those may not be suitable for everyone and therefore I would rather discuss them individually. Also remember that a healthy body is capable is detoxifying itself naturally, so unless you have health problems, following the above principles will be enough.
Stay well and be beautiful!
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Do you Detox sometimes?
Stay Tuned ~ One more post by Natalia AKA LittleRus coming soon.....