We all know this - the festive season tempts us to overindulge every year. This is one more reason to pay more attention to our health after the excesses of Christmas and New Year. This over-consumption of rich foods and alcoholic beverages means the body deserves a detox.
"the digestive tract is
aging is slowed down
and energy is enhanced."
Of course, this should not be done without calories, quite the opposite, in fact. The idea of a healthy detox is to cleanse the liver the right way while boosting digestion and metabolism. But first, the most important question:
What is detox?
Detoxification is the cleansing of the bloodstream. The body gets rid of impurities from the liver whose job is to act as a filter to rid the body of toxins. However, excessive consumption of alcohol or fatty foods can upset this natural process and throw the body out of balance.
This is why regular detox is so important: It enhances the body’s ability to eliminate toxins, which, in turn, bolsters the immune system while bringing on a wide spectrum of beneficial effects: the digestive tract is strengthened, premature aging is slowed down and energy is enhanced. Radical detoxification can be implemented with juice fasts, though there is also the healthy alternative - pay greater attention to one’s diet - without starving. This is how it works:
The 4 rules of thumb for a healthy detox
1. Eat anti-inflammatory foods
The ABCs of a balanced detox program are anti-inflammatory foods. Natural unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains high in fiber support intestinal and liver function work to break down unwanted buildups. It is imperative to avoid processed, fried or sugary foods, as well as all animal products.
2. Consume more antioxidants
Choose foods that are high in antioxidants. A diet rich in antioxidants helps the body reduce the damage caused by free radicals and lowers the risk of all kinds of diseases. Examples of antioxidants are vitamins A, C, E and selenium, which are present in high levels in the following foods: berries, fruits, nuts, cocoa, vegetables, and coffee and green tea.
3. Pay closer attention to prebiotics
For optimal detoxification, the health of the intestines is especially important. After all, intestinal cells have a detoxification and elimination system that protects the body from harmful toxins. Prebiotics (a type of dietary fiber that nourishes and strengthens the good bacteria in our gut (called probiotics) are essential for good gut health. A diet rich in prebiotics promotes the health of the digestive system, which is essential for detoxification and therefore promotes a powerful immune system. Foods rich in prebiotics are: tomatoes, artichokes, bananas, asparagus, onions, garlic and oats.
4. Avoid alcohol, drink plenty of water
Alcohol is mainly broken down by enzymes in the liver and then excreted. Excessive consumption can damage liver function, causing fatty deposits around the organ and inflammation, which, in turn, hampers the detoxification function. For this reason, alcohol should be avoided completely during detoxification. Instead, drink an extra glass of water. In general, a large amount of water should be drunk during any detox diet to aid waste product elimination. Water removes them efficiently through urination, breathing and sweating. Sufficient fluid intake is, thus, essential for any type of detox.