RESCU asked Brigid Walsh, the Program Director of the Golden Door Health Retreat in Queensland, to discuss home detox remedies that safely and gently restore your body’s balance.
With the festive season behind us and 2010 in full swing, now is a great time to give your body a well deserved break after the overconsumption of festive foods and alcohol.
Detoxification is essentially about bringing the body back to a state of homeostasis, or balance through the removal of toxins from the body. Toxins that are built up over time through overconsumption, or even simply through regular, long term consumption or exposure to foods high in sugars, preservatives and saturated fats, alcohol, tobacco and even air pollution.
You only need to visit your pharmacy, health food store or supermarket to see how many home detox kits are available. The jury is still out on a lot of these products with many misconceptions of their benefits. Always see your healthcare professional before embarking on any diet program, as many may be detrimental to your health.
Much of the time, simply removing toxic substances from your diet for even a week will allow your body to naturally detox itself. The body is pretty amazing at dealing with pollutants and chemicals. It is detoxing all the time though your skin, bladder, bowels, kidneys and cells. When we are a state of overload, all of these organs work overtime to clean the body and regain a state of balance.
Keep it simple during detox
- Choosing foods that are easily digested supports the detox process, thus allowing for a gentle ‘cleanse’ of the system.
- Eat a great variety of fresh, raw foods and go organic where possible. Your body will be craving these foods.
- Eat wholemeal/Rye bread, wheat/Gluten Free and brown rice.
- Wash your foods thoroughly when preparing your meals to remove pesticides and herbicides. Simply add a teaspoon of white vinegar in a half-filled sink of water to assist in removing.
- Avoid packaged and processed foods (including tinned goods) as these generally contain additives and preservatives. Also, avoid anything listing a number on the ingredients label.
- Drink at least 2 litres of filtered water per day and avoid fluoridated/chlorinated tap water.
- Drink herbal teas like Dandelion root, which acts as a filter to remove toxins from organs and blood.
Foods to avoid
- Sugar, coffee, nicotine and alcohol, which stress the liver.
- Reduce or eliminate intake of high fat animal protein, and substitute with free range/organic eggs, fish and vegetable protein, such as nuts, seeds and legumes.
- Avoid margarine and use nut butters or avocado instead.
We all know the big ticket items to avoid when detoxing – Alcohol, caffeine, meat, processed food and simple sugars – are the most commonly known substances to remove from your diet. However, it’s the hidden toxins that you are exposed to in everyday life, such as chemicals, pesticides, preservatives, bacteria, yeast, solvents and pollution, that are also important to your detox program.
All of these substances build up over a long period of time in your body and stop allowing normal bodily processes to take place. When planning your detox, think about not only the foods you ingest, but also some of your home cleaning products you are exposed to, such as cosmetics, perfumes, air deodorants; they all contain toxic substances that if used regularly your body will be fighting remove.
Doing some physical activity will not only improve your cardiovascular health, but also assist the detox process through increasing circulation and the removal of toxins from the body. Choose a range of different exercise activities, from more gym style workouts where strength and cardiovascular training paramount to more low intensity, relaxation activities such as Yoga, Tai Chi or walking.
What’s important is to mix up your activities as to not get bored, get outside and breathe in the fresh air, try something new or take up an old sport. No matter what you do – your body will love you for it and you’ll feel great.
Aim for long-term good eating habits
While it is great to give your body the opportunity to rebalance from overconsumption, it is also just as important to look after body in the long-term.
Make 2010 the year where you adopt long term good eating habits for longevity and good health. Remember that food is simply fuel for your body. Remember this thought when ordering from a menu or shopping at the supermarket – this will have a great impact on selecting the right foods for good health.
Remember – before participating in any detoxification diets, please consult your health care professional.
If you are ready to take it to the next level, nothing beats a professionally planned and supervised Detox retreat. Check out Australia’s own Golden Door Health Retreats (www.goldendoor.com.au). They have a team of health care professionals, amazing chefs and spa therapists dedicated in assisting guests through detoxification and getting their body back in balance.
For those who have just returned to work and can only dream of their next health holiday, here are some great resources for designing a home detox:
Optimal Nutrition For Optimal Health – by Thomas E. Levy
Detox And Live – by Hilde Hemmes
Purely Golden Door cookbook
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