Detoxification of a toxic substance within our bodies is a complex physiological process that requires several steps to be completed thoroughly and effectively. Toxins enter our body via the air we breathe, the water we drink, and of course the foods we eat. The ubiquitous amounts of colourings, pesticides, herbicides, preservatives, flavour enhancers and all manner of synthetic substances is at higher than ever levels- with heavy metals such as mercury and other chemicals entering our food via the food chain.
Detoxifying your body- even just annually, will help to release and eliminate the build-up of toxic substances that inevitable occurs when simply living life in the 21 century. Once toxins enter our body, they are stored in our fatty tissue and accumulate over time, often causing a reduction in the ability to lose weight and of course, compounding toxicity within the body.
The aim and end result of detoxification is the transformation of those fatty toxic substances into water soluble substances that are able to be eliminated out of the body via the liver and kidney.
There are three reasons people don’t like to detox–
1. There is a common misconception that all the foods people love will be off limits
2. Food eaten during a detox will be either tasteless boring or even worse- green!
3. And finally- the physical effects of detox can be quite uncomfortable to the downright nauseating in some cases.
This is not the case with all detox programs- you do not have to roar into a full swinging“bone broth” fast for 30 days to get the enormous energy giving, health benefits a detox can bring. Simply adding foods into your diet that are known to detox the body naturally is a great start.
The basics to detox:
Start your day with a large glass of water- 500ml is a great flush to the system, or just as much as you can. The key here is to add either the juice of fresh lemon or even a few drops of organic high quality lemon oil- which will bring the same benefits of fresh lemon- just enhanced many times.
Drink or eat nothing for 30 minutes- let the lemon water absorb thoroughly into your body. This will not only improve skin tone, thin the blood and hydrate the body, it will also assist to enhance and regulate bowel motions.
Foods to enhance detox:
Ground into a paste like softened butter known as Tahini, is a fantastic food for everyday detoxing. Research indicates that Tahini can help to expel toxic micro-organisms like bacteria and fungus from the colon. Sesame seeds may also help protect the liver from damaging toxins. Each husk (seed) contains detoxifying phytonutrients.
Tahini on Celery sticks or tahini drizzled over your salad are two easy ways to incorporate this food into your diet.
A known appetite suppressant, fennel helps with weight reduction. It is a top detox herb and a good source of folate, potassium and anti-oxidants. The seeds of fennel are often chewed after a meal in India and used effectively to reduce abdominal bloating, flatulence and constipation. Fennel will expel toxins by increasing urination and perspiration- often used in combination with ginger in detox drinks.
Slice Fennel up like an onion and add it to your rocket salad.
Globe Artichoke is a thistle plant- a well-known and excellent detoxifier of the liver and gallbladder. The plant contains compounds that gives the artichoke its characteristic taste. And another compound which promotes bile flow from the gallbladder and enhances liver function.
It’s so easy to make up an Artichoke and spinach dip with vegetable sticks.
Coconut is not like any other oil/fat. It is comprised of medium chain fatty acids, which are sent directly to the liver for energy rather than storage. A coconut oil cleanse involves eating up to 14 table spoons of coconut oil a day for 3-7 days! This is under the supervision of your Nutritionist of course as there are other aspects to the coconut detox that need to be adhered to. Coconut oil will flush the entire body of toxins, even assisting in the elimination of fungus and candida from the gastro intestinal tract. Be sure to use raw and organic.
Add a large teaspoon of coconut oil into green tea or any herbal tea across your day is an easy way to begin to incorporate coconut oil.
Sometimes a simple change to your routine- such as drinking water first thing each morning and increasing your liver function with some herbal medicine is all you need to see enormous benefits to your well-being. Detoxing can be as easy as you like – depending on your goals and the time you are willing to allow yourself.
try this healthy dip:
Artichoke and Spinach dip
- 400grams of artichoke heart
- 3 cups of baby spinach
- ½ white onion- minced
- 6 large cloves of garlic
- (optional) 5 thick slices of bacon, cut into small pieces
- ½ cup of full fat coconut milk
- Sea salt to taste and fresh ground pepper
Sauté the bacon bits until bacon begins to brown
Add onion and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes
Add artichokes and spinach and cook for an additional 3 minutes – this will break the artichoke apart
Remove from heat and let it cool
Pour in the coconut milk and combine well
Refrigerate for at least 30 mins and serve with fresh raw vegetables- Carrot slices, cauliflower florets, thick zucchini slices
Remember to allow plenty of time for the dip to cool.