Cleanse, Detox, Nurture and Nourish
December can often be a time of indulgence, with extra alcohol intake, and possibly eating heavier foods than you may usually eat. Why not remedy this by giving your digestive system a gentle detox or cleanse?
Using food as medicine, herbal tonics, and teas, we can stimulate your liver to process toxins more effectively and re-charge your metabolism to help with energy production, and healthy weight loss.
We all know that there are fashionable juice cleanses, 5:2 diets, fasting, and the age old classic cabbage diet, but our bodies need nutrient dense whole foods to assist with detoxification. A nutrient dense whole foods diet should include each of the following:
- Vitamin B12, which is found in eggs, animal protein, and some algaes. This vitamin is important to stimulate methylation pathways.
- Folate (Vitamin B9), leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, chard, and fresh herbs contain naturally high levels of folinic acid, which also help support methylation (part of the liver detox process).
- Vitamin C, best consumed from capsicum and chilli, or fruits like guava, berries, and grapefruit. Vitamin C acts as a powerful antioxidant to prevent oxidative stress on a cellular level.
- Vitamin E, found in high levels in two of my favourite foods; avocados and almonds. These detox friendly foods also act as an antioxidant, even more powerful than vitamin C.
Now lets not forget the basics:
- Filtered water is super important for hydrating the cells, flushing out the kidneys, and helping to promote nice healthy bowels.
- Avoiding Caffeine, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drugs. This will allow the liver to process only the essentials, and give the body a break from harsh toxins.
- Sugar, sugar, sugar. This little compound known as glucose can do some serious damage to our health, so cutting it out for at least a 6 week period per year is highly beneficial for your body!
What about things like gluten and dairy? Most detoxes will eliminate dairy and gluten from the diet, and replace these foods with healthier alternatives. The reason for taking these two items out of the diet is because they can create inflammation in the digestive system, so it is best to keep them out while cleansing.
So why should we cleanse every now and again? Well the simple answer is this: Our diets are filled with preservatives, added sugars, processed oils, and many ingredients that our bodies are just not used to dealing with. When you do a supervised detox with a qualified naturopath they guide you with the appropriate dietary suggestions, and support various organ systems (predominantly the digestive organs) with herbal medicine and standardised supplements.
What can you expect when doing a detox? Some people find cutting out their vices very difficult, and depending on the regularity of these vices in the diet/lifestyle, the more intense the withdrawal symptoms can be. Headaches, increased thirst, fatigue, and mood changes are the most common symptoms experienced. But for some it is as easy as replacing a chocolate bar with a bliss ball, or a can of diet coke with some sparkling water with lime.
Is it safe for everyone to detox or cleanse? Well no, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and people on a cocktail of pharmaceuticals drugs should not detox. But a healthy whole foods diet can certainly be beneficial for these people, which is often the foundation of a detox style diet anyway. If you are concerned, ask your naturopath and they will be able to determine what is safe for you personally.
So in a nutshell the above principles are the basics involved in a detox. Does it sounds like something you are interested in? Give us a call and we can sort something out for you.