A healthy and effective detox doesn't come in a bottle or jar from the chemist, and it doesn't need to be a drastic or extreme regime that shocks the system and leaves you on the toilet for hours on end.
Detoxification is a natural process of the body - we constanty underestimate the body's abilities. While it's true that some of us neglect and abuse our bodies to the point where a total cleanse may be necessary, for most of us there are simple things that we can incorporate into our daily lives that will assist and enhance the body's natural inclination to rid itself of toxins - things that become important in light of the bevy of toxins that assault us as modern day citizens. Here's how to detox without 'detoxing'.
Skin care The skin is the body's largest organ, and one of its prime chanels of elimination (through sweat and dead skin). Get yourself a natural fibred skin brush from the chemist, a health food store or online, and dry brush your skin from the feet upwards (avoid the face) before you shower each day. This will remove the topmost layer of skin and help release waste (the skin is connected to the circulatory and lymphatic systems which carry waste out of the body's cells and away from the blood).
Water Sounds basic I know but ensuring you drink enough water each day is essential to natural detoxification, it's also a very economical detox tool. Drinking water that is warm, or at room temperature is most easily absorbed by the body. Be careful of over-hydrating whereby you'll lose valuable minerals in your urine (find your balance point, if you're peeing it straight out you've probably had enough!).
The quality of the water you drink can have a bearing on your health so look into ceramic filters, under the sink filters, or buying pure water in bulk (avoid plastic bottles and products containing BPA) until you can afford a decent filter - the reverse osmosis filters that remove chlorine and fluoride are recommended.
Ceramic water filter and bulk pure water
Lemon water Drinking warm water with lemon juice has a strong cleansing and detoxifying effect on the body, amongst a multitude of other benefits. It's a fabulous way to start the day, kick start your metabolism and flush the liver. Do not use cold or boiling hot water (cold makes it harder for the body to utilise and heat can destroys the benefits and nutrients of the lemon juice).
Liver support The liver is integral to detoxification and often needs cleansing and support; incorporate a cup of dandelion or burdock tea into your day. Cook with turmeric and cinnamon. Eat sulphur rich foods such as garlic, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and egg yolks (in moderation). A diet high in fibre is essential to liver health.
Physical activity Any physical activity will help stimulate the lymphatic system which works to drain the body's toxins. Certain yoga poses are aimed specifically at detoxification. Working up a sweat will further assist the body to expel toxins.
Regular massage All massage types are beneficial but lymphatic drainage massages are brilliant to keep the system functioning and prevent stagnation in the body of waste and fluids. If you can't afford a regular professional massage, swap massages with a friend or partner, or learn the art of self massage.
Eat the right foods There are thousands of books out there telling us what to eat and what not to eat, they all say different things and it can be confusing for consumers. Basically try and eat a well balanced diet full of whole foods, fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy fats, organic where possible. Avoid excessive amounts of alcohol, caffeine, meat, GMO foods, processed and refined foods, and trans fat. Foods that specifically assist the body to detoxify include garlic, onions, artichoke, brown rice, olive oil, kale, beetroot, seaweed, quinoa, lemons, and whole green mung beans.
Detoxifying green mung bean soup
For optimum and lasting results, make changes slowly, perhaps incorporating one of these suggestions into your routine each week until they become habitual. Your body will thank you.