We all love the idea of detoxing our body. And it can be used as a great re-set for your body. It helps you break any bad habits, develop new healthier ones and allows your body to repair at a quicker rate than it otherwise might. But it doesnt have to be all done through lemon detox fads and diet pills. Changing your diet can have the biggest impact on your body, more so than any powder you might add into routine. Below I have outlined some simple changes to make in order to get the most out of any 'detox' you do. And spoiler...there is no supplements in sight.
Cut the sugar
Sugar is no ones friend. Especially the refined stuff. And when I am referring to sugar it is not just cane sugar that you would pop next door to borrow a cup from the neighbour to make a cake with, it includes all types including things like maple syrup to dates.
Now I am not one for extremes, so I am not saying that you have to cut it out all together, just reduce it significantly.
Why? Because sugar, fructose in particular, is broken down and metabolised by the liver, so making sure that sugars are kept to a minimum is important for helping to
Avoid caffiene and alcohol
These compounds all put an increased strain on the liver, as it has to work harder to detoxify (particulalry alcohol) from your system. If you simply cannot go without your morninbg coffee or tea, making sure it is black, no milk or sugar in sight!
Go nude- your packaging that is
For this year this is something I am really going to focus on reducing. plastic wraps and containers etc all leach chemicals into our food. A common one is BPA, a xeno-oestrogen which mimics the action of oestrogen, thus causes many hormonal disruptions within the body.
These xeno-oestrogens are processed and broken down by the liver, just like our other hormones, so with this extra load being placed on the liver it can begin to tire after a while.
Swapping for glass containers and drink bottles, avoiding cling wraps or pre-prepared meals and avoiding single use plastic bottles will all help to reduce this burden being placed on the liver.
Include more protein.
Protein is made up of amino acids, many of which are vital for the bodies healthy detoxification processes. Without adequate protein the bodies detoxification capacity is compromised, making it harder to break down toxins and unwanted chemicals in the body, again leading to digestion issues, skin or hormonal imbalances.
Include more leafy green vegetables
Similar to the reason why we want plenty of protein in the diet, we need leafy greens for the B group vitamins that they provide. B vitamins also play an essential role in the bodies detoxification pathways, so ensuring the lots of leafy green vegetables will make sure that your body is receiving plenty of nutritional support for the liver. Increasing spinach, broccoli, kale and brussel sprouts will help to cleanse the liver gently. Broccoli in particular is high in a compound called DIM, which helps to stimulate particular detoxification pathways within the liver that is responsible for maintaining health hormone levels.
Avoid dairy and gluten
From a digestive perspective, dairy and gluten are number one when it comes to pro-inflammatory foods. Removing these foods from your diet for even a short period of 2 weeks may bring about significant changes to your body, from a improved digestive function, boosted immune system, clearer skin... the list goes on! But rememebr, if you are thinking of making these changes long term, seek advice from a health care professional, as there may be more to consider than just remoiving these foods.
Karah is a degree qualified Naturopath with over 8 years experience in the health industry. She practices from Geelong, Ocean Grove and Bannockburn and specializes in digestive conditions.