The word "detox" is often misunderstood. Thanks to the marketing frenzy surrounding it, everyone’s confused. Does detoxing mean juicing, fasting, or avoiding all sugar? Is it for a week, 10 days, or a month?
At its core, to detox simply means to rid your lifestyle of unhealthy toxins and replace them with more beneficial new habits. Give you health routine a spring cleaning with these five easy detoxing tips:
Take a good probiotic supplement
Ensuring a good level of probiotics in your system can improve digestion and therefore your energy levels. With enhanced digestion we have better production of vitamin B12, which is vital to boosting natural energy. You may also have better breath, as probiotics destroy candida, a yeast that causes fungal infections.
Better digestion helps with problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, and it can also strengthen the immune system and regulate weight, especially around the belly. The icing on the cake is that all those fab nutrients coursing through your system can improve the appearance of skin, hair and nails.
If you’re not sure which probiotic to take, ask your doctor.
Remove all processed foods
It’s hard to say no to a bag of crisps, instant noodles with flavoured salt (sky-high in sodium) or chocolate cake if it’s in your cupboard—so stop buying these tempting snacks, sweet breakfast cereals, ready-to-cook meals, soft drinks and cured meats.
To start your new detoxed life, do not eat any processed food for 10 days, although if you love dark chocolate (more than 70 percent cocoa), occassionally indulging in a couple of squares is good for you.
After your initial 10 days, it’s okay to enjoy dessert or a slice of gourmet cheese once in a while. But over time, if processed food is not the norm, your taste buds will change, as will your food cravings. Just break the habit at home first.
Say no to juicing
Juicing is the health trend of the 2000s, but I’m here to tell you that it’s better to eat an apple a day to keep the proverbial doctor away.
Juicing—even with beetroot and kale in there with your apple—is like drinking sugar water. By crushing the apple rather than simply using your very own teeth, you release the fructose, which is then absorbed straight into your system rather than broken down over time by regular digestion.
Furthermore, many juicers leave the pith, peel, core and pips behind. But this contains the fibre our digestive systems need to function optimally. Eat a couple of pieces of whole fruit a day instead, preferably organic.
Spring clean your cookware and filter your water
Look at the pans your family cooks with. The ideal pan is ceramic-lined or all-ceramic cookware, as opposed to non-stick Teflon, which contains PFOA—a chemical which is "possibly carcinogenic to humans," according to The International Agency for Research on Cancer and World Health Organization. Skip the risk and stick to ceramic.
A second simple kitchen hack is to get a reverse osmosis tap filter. This is a water purification technology that uses a semi-permeable membrane to remove ions, molecules, and larger particles from drinking water. Fill up your glass-only water bottle (avoid those toxic plastics), squeeze in a few drops of lemon for the vitamin C and alkaline effect—and you’re good to go.
Dry body brushing
Skin is often called the "third kidney" as it eliminates a quarter of toxins from the body. If your skin can’t effectively do this, you may experience conditions such as rashes, acne, itchiness, body odor or even eczema and psoriasis.
Dry body brushing can help, because it stimulates the flow of lymph as well as the oil glands and the nervous system. It can reduce cellulite, tone muscles and tighten skin. So invest in a good quality, long-handled skin brush and start each morning with a good brushing before you bathe.
Begin at your feet and work your way up using long, even strokes. Brush up your arms, towards your heart, but move downwards from your shoulders and chest, again towards the heart. After washing, dry off and rub in a pure plant oil such as avocado, coconut or almond.