Spring Detox - Simple ways to Shine!
Do you suffer from a sluggish digestion, frequent headaches, recurring sinus infections, itchy eyes, acne or hives? These and many more common conditions may mean your body needs a spring clean and could benefit hugely from a good detox. With a little willpower and some easy steps you might be able to heal some of these annoying conditions on your own! One of the biggest causative factors for a build-up of toxins in the body comes down to the food choices we make for ourselves on an on-going basis. Too many processed foods cause an acidic overload in the body thus disrupting the ideal pH balance our bodies should maintain in order to operate correctly. Too much acidity also causes a build-up of toxins in the body, in Ayurvedic medicine this build-up is referred to as ‘ama’.
Foods to Avoid
Below is a list of foods that can cause a build up of acidity and therefore toxins in the body and should be removed from your diet for the duration of the detox period
All Processed foods/drinks – both sugary and savoury
All red and white meat
All wheat products including bread and pasta
All dairy products – egg, butter, milk, cheese, yoghurt
Caffeine – tea, coffee, cola drinks
Foods to include
The foods that you should eat during your detox are those which become alkalinising once they enter the body, restoring the body’s natural balance and therefore promoting good health.
All vegetables except for the nightshade family – potato, aubergine, peppers (bell/chilli/cayenne), tomato and paprika
Brown rice/quinoa/millet Lentils/chickpeas/split peas
Fruit – except blackberries, cranberries, oranges, bananas
Porridge made on water
Nuts (except cashew, peanut and pecans) - limit to a handful each day
Water/herbal teas – at least two litres per day
Herbs – all herbs especially parsley
Tip! - Apple cider vinegar is excellent for alkalinising – 1 tsp. in 1/3 cup of water.
Morning - Hot water and lemon
30 minutes later - Porridge made on water/ground seeds
Lunch - Vegetable Soup
Dinner Brown - Rice/Quinoa and steamed veg
Snacks - Fruit or some handful of nuts
Or if you have detoxed before and wish to take a more strict approach a possible menu could be
Morning - Hot water and lemon
30 minutes later - detox juice (recipes below)
Lunch - Vegetable broth
Dinner - Vegetable broth and detox juice
Snacks - Fruit
Note: The juices and broths can be taken as required through the day. These menus are suggestive only and can be modified to suits your needs and lifestyle.
Bitters - which enhances the function of the main elimination channel; the liver – Milkthistle and Dandelion root are the most gentle of the bitters and therefore ideal for this role.
Carminatives – These boost our digestive function and work in harmony with the bitters – Rosemary, Thyme, Fennel, Black Pepper in food. Chamomile, Fennel and peppermint can be taken as tea also.
Lymphatic cleansers – these help cleanse the lymphatic system where a lot of build-up of toxins tends to occur as the system has no pump of its own and relies instead on the movement of the body itself hence a sedentary lifestyle can slow this elimination channel down. Herbs such as Burdock, Yellow Dock and Figwort are lymphatic cleansers.
Other supporting therapies which boost the body’s detox function
• Body brushing
• Hot/cold shower therapy - http://healthfree.com/incurables_program_hydrotherapy.html
• Gentle exercise such as brisk walks and yoga
• Chlorella or Spirulina supplement
Suggestive juice recipes
3 sticks celery
Bunch fresh parsley
Handful of watercress
Bunch of parsley
The suggested length of a detox is 3-7 days. You may feel quite fatigued to begin with, experience headaches and a overall woolly feeling which should pass after the first few days, this is the effects of the toxins being released and you should not worry about this, it will pass! DO use the supporting methods mentioned above to open up the bodies channels of elimination – liver, digestion and lymphatic - and drink plenty of good, clean water. (Preferably not unfiltered, tap water). Happy Detoxing!
NB. Always consult with your doctor prior to de toxing.
Denise O'Connor qualified as a Naturopath and herbalist from the College of Naturopathic medicine in 2012. If you wish to contact her please do so through the Network Team.
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