Summer is peeping its head around the corner, but its seems that the locals have come out in droves to shed their excess winter handles by jogging along the roads before it´s really bikini time. Whilst some take the sensible approach, others take the plunge and commit to a full-on “spring detox”. This may be an extreme example as individuals decide to have a detox for various reasons. I personally have never been a fan of detoxing, maybe it was a lack of willpower or just because I know I metamorphose into something I don´t even recognise when I don´t have enough food. I have known people to go into the mountains for a week to colon cleanse and live just on water……sorry, now that really has no appeal.
This month I read an interesting article which focused on Detoxification, and I must say it made me think…….maybe I was right after all, my body didn´t really need it. Here are some things I learnt;
- You need adequate calories and proteins for the detoxification process
- Potentially toxic substances are lipid soluble
- The Metabolic Detoxification system is genetically determined and takes place in the Gastrointestinal and Hepatic/Liver systems
- The First phase of the detoxification process for a specific substance can vary as much as 1000-fold among healthy individuals
It is therefore clear that starving for long periods is certainly not necessary and is actually not helping the elimination process. Secondly if toxic substances are lipid soluble and you are overweight, it would be wise to lose weight first, through adopting a healthy diet and exercise and getting into the healthy BMI range. Scientific studies indicate that if food is restricted (ie through diet), the metabolic rate amongst individuals can drop anywhere between 25- 65% (Dulloo & Jacquet 1998). You can imagine that if you are overweight and fall in the 65% crowd, you are really causing more harm than good in the short term. Not only are you not burning fat, you also may have more toxins on board, but how would you know?. Nutrigenomics has the potential of providing a more personalized approach to the detoxification process by allowing us to understand where (ie which phase) we need to provide more support. Taking a blanket approach to Detoxfication is hence not advisable unless we understand our unique make-up better.
There is therefore in my opinion, no “detox diet”, but you can help your body along on a daily basis (yes all year-round) to ensure that you remove potential toxins efficiently and still get that “ketone-high” feeling of pure cleanse bliss;
MY TOP TIPS FOR A GREAT DAILY DETOX
- Eat enough (not in excess) calories by consuming whole, unprocessed foods on a daily basis including weekends
- Limit your intake of protein from animal sources
- Have at least two vegetarian days (not just meals) per week and include “detoxicants” which are foods that provide substances that drive the detoxification process such as dark-greens (kale,broccoli,spinach), dark-yellows (sweet potatoes, carrots), reds (vine-ripened tomatoes), Allium (onions, garlic), blue/purple (aubergines, berries), include all herbs & spices
- Include plenty of fibre in your daily diet by including fruit, nuts, vegetables, wholegrain snacks in your day
- Drink plenty of naked fluids ie plain water or herbal teas such as green tea. Avoid sweetened, or pretty fruit flavoured drinks in snazzy bottles
- Exercise regularly, there is nothing better to rev up your metabolism than a good workout
- Get accurate advice, if you think you may need supplements, speak to a trained practitioner who can order relevant tests and advise on appropriate supplements accordingly
In the current economic climate, there is no better time to look after your health and getting into great physical and mental shape. For most people, “money is too tight to mention”, so now is a great time to start eating more plant-based foods and increasing your intake of high quality wholefoods, keep it simple!
Make everyday a detox day!