Instead of doing a generic detox, which probably doesn’t take you anywhere, why not focus on specific key organs and make sure they get cleaned out completely, and get back to working on their optimum best?
Do this as a 5 part project and gift yourself a cleaned up, completely detoxed and efficient body this new year.
Cleanse the Colon First
If you aren’t pooping regularly, your body is not getting rid of the trash. So cleanse your colon first.
- Drink a glass of warm lemon water each morning. It’s alkaline, so it helps balance the pH levels in your body and vitamin C in it, will help your body purge excess water weight and balance the sodium and potassium levels in your cells.
- Include some good fats like ghee, olive, and coconut oil in your diet.
- Eat plenty of fibre, including brown rice and fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Choose organic foods. These are free of pesticides, synthetic fertilisers, growth hormones, and genetically engineered substances, and that means a whole lot fewer toxins in your body.
- Cut down on meat. Maybe turn vegetarian for a while. Meat is very difficult to digest and requires many enzymes for its digestion so its reduction or elimination from the diet enhances detoxification of the colon.
- Have some probiotics and include fermented foods in your diet. All the sugar and alcohol from the festive season can disrupt the delicate balance of bacteria in the gut and load the colon.
Think Liver Next
All the processing of chemicals and toxins happens there. It’s one of our most important organs, and one we sometimes neglect a bit (often in fact).
- Our lives processes all the fat we eat. Many toxins are fat-soluble and the liver’s job is to transform them into water-soluble substances so they can be excreted via the bowel or the kidneys (as the bowel and the kidneys cannot process them out, until they're water-soluble). To let the liver recover, simply strike off the word fried from your food dictionary for some time.
- Eat beets, lemons, and pump up the consumption of greens, bitter foods - they are all liver cleansing foods
- Turmeric helps. It helps decrease the inflammatory molecules that mess up the liver.
- Alcohol is a toxin that your liver is responsible to deal with, so stop drinking for some time.
- Cut down on those endless cups of coffee now! Give your liver a chance to rest from detoxifying all that caffeine every day.
Your Skin Needs Help
You many not consider it such, but your skin is your largest detox organ and helps help dump out a lot of junk.
- Keep it clean, naked (minus any chemicals) for a while - let it actually breathe and do its job. Also expose the skin to sunshine and air.
- Teas like nettle, ginger, dandelion, support the skin. Drink at least two cups of these teas a day for at least one week.
- Cut off all refined sugar. It spikes your insulin levels, causing a burst of inflammation in the body and on your skin.
- Exercise gets your heart beating and your skin sweating, which helps to cleanse impurities from your body via the skin. So get sweating.
Think About the Lungs
Lungs get badly clogged too, after all they have the ominous task of getting rid of nasty toxins from the body.
- Get your weight in order as overweight or obese adults breathe 7-50% more air per day and this makes them more vulnerable to air contaminants.
- Load up on vitamin C as it helps arrest the damage to lung tissue caused by environmental toxins. So target chomping an amla (Indian gooseberry) or 2 oranges daily.
- It’s the season for grapes and thank god for that. The component resveratrol in this juicy fruit helps inhibit the release of compounds that cause inflammation on the cell lining of the lungs and help cleanse the lungs.
- Pineapple is a good bet too. The enzyme bromelin in it helps clear out the toxic debris that accumulates in the lungs and thus helps it detox naturally.
Kidneys work full time to remove waste and toxins from the body so take extra care of them.
- Stay hydrated so the kidneys will work optimally, and try drinking some diluted apple cider vinegar on occasion to help prevent kidney sludge.
- Drink lots and lots of water. Warm it a bit and have, if cold temperature is a deterrent.
- Ginger is a great herb that helps cleanse the kidney. Add grated ginger to the hot water and sip through the day.
- Eat cranberries. They contain a nutrient called quinine which converts into hippuric acid and clears the excess buildup of urea and uric acid in the kidneys.
(The writer is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don't Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico) and Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa).)
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