Want to help flush toxins, energize, and feel great? Try these tips for a kinder, gentler detox
Detox and cleanse diets are all the rage these days, with every celebrity and her sister espousing their favorite regimen and practitioner. With names like “Master,” “Supercharged,” and “Clean,” they evoke the heights of wellness, and choosing among them can be confusing.
But what if you’re not quite ready for a lengthy fast and a seriously regimented diet? What if you’re just looking to bolster and improve your body’s functions, and you’d like to employ a few of the basic concepts of these popular programs to enhance your well-being? Try these helpful suggestions:
Many of the detox and cleanse diets involve liquids, either exclusively or in combination. The most important? Water, plain and simple. Drink it all day long, and lots of it. It will help your body’s natural detoxification systems—liver, kidneys, and skin—to function more efficiently and carry out their cleansing tasks. And you can enjoy it in the form of herbal teas, which are recommended in several cleansing diets, and get the benefits of the herbs as well as the water.
Most of the detox diets involve some sort of fiber, which is nature’s own scouring pad. Be sure to include whole grains, especially high-protein sources such as lentils and quinoa. Healthy carbs such as these are especially necessary for maintaining your body’s store of energy.
Fruits and Vegetables
In terms of cleansing, fruits and veggies are particularly effective when consumed raw to retain all their natural fiber (yes, more fiber) and nutrients. The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can only do you good, and the natural sugars in the fruit will help reduce cravings for things you shouldn’t have. Salads and smoothies are an especially enjoyable way to get your daily doses.
Enjoy not only the “good” oils (such as olive oil), but also the foods that contain them, such as avocados, nuts, and wild-caught salmon. You’ll derive all sorts of benefits from the oils as well as from the protein and nutrients found in these foods.
Things to Avoid
Processed and packaged foods are out, of course—organic, fresh foods are optimal. No red meat, please; get your proteins from sustainable fish, pastured white-meat chicken, beans and lentils, and organic tofu. And keep the sugar to a bare minimum; for sweetening, use local honey—or better yet, eat a helping of naturally sweet fresh fruit.
Instead of plunging into a short-term and intense detox regimen, why not incorporate these related ideas into your daily diet for a long-term feeling of well-being and a healthy glow?