Detox can be a dirty word, but not when it's about introducing lovely foods when ditching the lacklustre ones. Here is your spring guide to detoxing – without going on a diet!
Some detox plans are extremely light on, consisting of liquids and little else. But cleaning up your internal health by literally clearing out your entire pantry is not the answer, says Janella Purcell, herbalist, naturopath and Lifestream Wholefoods ambassador.
If your heart, body, soul and potential swimsuit choice is driving you towards a detox, don't go crazy and take too much out of your diet at once, she says. Removing dairy, sugar, gluten, alcohol, meat and processed foods in quick succession is just asking for trouble.
“But just like our car, our bodies need a service from time to time," Janella concedes. "Spring is the perfect time to do this as it’s the season when our liver is the most sensitive."
Just ensure you do it gradually, by removing one inflammatory food, substance, or bad habit at a time. Replace them by adding beneficial foods to your diet, combined with new fitness goals.
What To Eliminate:
The first foods to give the flick are processed ones. White bread and white sugar are a no brainer because carbohydrates are broken down into sugar before being stored as fat. Too much coffee, conventionally produced red meat, pork and chicken, and cow’s dairy is also worth cutting out, says Janella. Reducing or eliminating alcohol is also a priority because high consumption can cause stress on the liver and add unwanted calories.
What To Add:
Introduce your meals to Turmeric, aloe vera, garlic and the cruciferous family of veggies, says Janella. “Kale, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage and kohlrabi,” are also top of her list. Five serves of fresh vegetables a day is important – and best served raw - as these are the best source of enzymes that break down food in the gut and help its function. But if you can’t stomach spinach, go with a smoothie, Janella suggests. Chlorella is an excellent supplement to increase energy levels and boost internal health. Spirulina – which is high in chlorophyll can also work wonders towards balancing the alkaline levels in your system and enabling extra vitamins and minerals to sneak their way into your diet without you even noticing.