Daily Detoxing – Dietary Tips
Toxins come at us from all angles. They are in the food we eat, the air we breathe, the creams and cosmetics we put on our skin and the products we use in our homes and work places. Our organs of detoxification and elimination – the liver, kidneys, lymph, bowels and skin – are working all the time to process and eliminate these toxins. Dietary practices to aid cleansing and detoxing involve avoiding challenging and low nutrient foods whilst increasing the intake of nutrient rich, easy to digest cleansing foods. Here are some dietary tips to help support the body’s detoxification and elimination processes. See also blog posts on Daily Habits for Detoxification and The Microbiome and Detoxification.
1. Stay hydrated – fluids are needed for the elimination of water soluble waste products. Good ways to hydrate include water, freshly pressed vegetable juices, ginger tea, lemon water, herbal teas and dandelion coffee.
2. Bentonite Clay – clay can absorb and draw out toxins and bacteria. Mix ½ tsp of bentonite clay with water and drink on an empty stomach. Alternatively, mix a tsp of bentonite clay with 2tsp of water and apply it as a face mask to cleanse the skin.
3. Eat your fluids – eating foods with a high water content can also have a cleansing and hydrating effect. Fruits, vegetables, smoothies and soups all have a high water content.
4. Eat organic – organic foods contain fewer pesticide residues and are often higher in nutrients. Eat organic where possible.
5. Eat Your Greens – green vegetables are rich in nutrients, chlorophyll and fibre which support cleansing. The cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, kale and cabbage, also contain sulphur which is needed for liver detoxification pathways.
6. Eat Fermented Foods – fermented foods contain both prebiotics and probiotics. Include a small amount with each meal. Examples include sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yoghurt, miso, sourdough bread and kombucha.
7. Chlorophyll – is the green pigment found in plants and algae. It can increase red blood cells and bind with toxins and heavy metals helping to remove them from the body. Sources include chlorella, spirulina, blue green algae and green barley grass.
8. Detox Tea – some herbal teas are detoxifying to the liver and kidneys. Try dandelion, burdock, turmeric, tulsi and milk thistle.
9. Get sprouting – sprouting increases the nutrient content and digestibility of many foods. Good foods to sprout include green lentils, mung beans, chickpeas, alfalfa and broccoli seeds.
10. Fibre – fibre is the indigestible part of carbohydrates. What is indigestible to us may provide excellent food for the gut microbes as well as providing a vehicle by which toxins can be removed from the body. Sources of fibre include whole grains, pulses, fruit, vegetables, chia seeds, flax seeds and slippery elm powder.
11. Sea vegetables – these are fantastically rich in minerals including iodine needed for thyroid function and metabolism. Use nori sheets to make sushi by wrapping up rice or vegetables with almond butter. Sprinkle kelp flakes onto soups, salads and grains. Add wakame or kombu to pulses while cooking to aid digestion.
12. Spice it up – herbs and spices can enhance digestion and provide antioxidants for the immune system as well as having anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Include turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, fenugreek, basil, mint, fennel, dill, cinnamon, cloves, garlic and star anise.
13. Super foods – whilst all whole, natural foods are super foods in their own way there are some that are worth a mention and these include blueberries, goji berries, cacao, maca, mulberries and broccoli sprouts.
14. Include good foods – when improving your diet focus largely on things to include rather than things to avoid and go for those that you enjoy rather than those you don’t like.
15. Chew Chew Chew – the more you chew the easier you’ll make it for the stomach and intestines to digest and absorb the nutrients from food.
16. Relax when eating – the digestive system only works when the body is in a relaxed state. Eating under stress can lead to malabsorption and food sitting in the digestive tract for longer than is healthy. Take some deep inhalations and full exhalations before eating. Leave the technology in another room and eat mindfully and with gratitude.