When summer comes around everyone wants to detox. The truth is the body is always detoxing in some way or another – when you sleep and go for 10-12 hours without food your detoxification pathways are working hard to clear out toxins and cleanse the body. So while a “detox” diet is a myth in some ways there are methods and foods that can help you move the bodies everyday detoxification on a little better…
Lime in Water – While the benefits of lemon have been covered here… Limes are another great way to enhance your detoxification pathways naturally. Limes are less acidic than lemons and they have more phosphorus but less calcium. Anyhow their main benefit is the anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. If you have ever used lime juice to de-scale a kettle you can imagine what a glass of lime juice in hot water is doing to your body when you drink it.
A good way to start the day is with half a lime’s juice in hot water. This alkalises the body and will clean out the digestive tract, improving digestion throughout the day.
Beetroot – Acts like a sponge soaking up toxins in your body.
It contains the compounds, betaine and methionine, that support liver detoxification. Without this function, toxins can accumulate both in the liver and the body’s fatty tissues, preventing weight loss and contributing to sluggishness, mood swings and more serious illnesses. The high volume of soluble fibre found in beetroot also feeds the good bacteria in our gut, helping to lower harmful LDL cholesterol levels. – Mark Kilick
Instead of buying it fresh and cooking it you can get pre-prepared packs of beetroot cheaply which you can add to salads, put in smoothies or just eat on their own as they taste very sweet and neutral. They are especially good after a workout to replenish glycogen and give you that much-needed anti-oxidant/sugar recovery combination.
Limit Alcohol – It sounds simple but when detoxifying it is not necessary to cut out alcohol completely but I do find limiting it to 2-3 units a week does help when trying to detox. As well as this it pays to go for as natural a form of alcohol as you can, a high quality wine or beer is always a good choice as you get some benefits like the resveratrol in wine and b-vitamins in beer.
Cut Down Meat – In the summer, or when the weather is hot you will be more inclined to eat light and easily digestible foods like fruit, vegetables and plain starches (rice, potatoes, quinoa, whole-wheat bread). When it is hot the body needs less fuel to run efficiently, making appetite and craving for hearty meals drop. Take advantage of this and cut down your meat intake, this doesn’t mean cutting it out but rather eating less meat of a higher quality. The easier you make life for your digestive system the better your body will function making detox easier and natural for the body.
Start with the Gut – Health and detoxification then leads from a healthy gut, reducing inflammation and helping digestion. Simple things like cutting down spicy foods and eating a more soothing diet can help – foods like yoghurt, bananas, and oats all work to calm and re-line the digestive tract improving absorption of food and pushing along detoxification. Have a look into eating more prebiotic foods also.
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