Look and feel your best this summer with these 10 expert holistic health tips from naturopath Danielle Marasco.
Did you know that the average human being eats 25,000,000 kilograms of food over their lifetime? And in a CoVid-affected world in which we stay at home more – and potentially eat more, and less healthy, food options, as well as drink more alcohol – this figure is on the rise.
The main source of toxins to affect our body is most often food, which may be laced with chemical additives and preservatives; the second largest source is our lifestyle, which plays a role in exposure to environmental pollutants and chemicals found in personal care and household items.
The good news is this simple 10-step detoxification program will improve your energy, mood, sleep and digestion, as well as boost your skin and hair health.
1. Focus on food
Fruits and vegetables are rich in enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, as well as having an alkalising effect in the body and being a wonderful source of gut-friendly fibre.
- Enjoy a fresh fruit and vegetable juice daily – carrot, apple, ginger, beetroot, celery and lemon are all great cleansing choices.
- Snack on unsalted nuts and seeds, to amp up the protein and fibre dietary content needed for detoxification to occur.
- Eat more plant-based protein sources, such as lentils, chickpeas, broad beans and kidney beans.
- Avoid packaged and processed foods which contain artificial colours, flavours, additives, preservatives and stabilising agents. Check ingredients lists to avoid excessive saturated fat and sugar.
2. Move it, or lose it
Your body is designed to undertake regular physical activity. The lymphatic circulatory system, which collects toxins and moves them to elimination channels, such as the colon and skin, relies on the body’s large muscles like the thighs to actually pump that flow of lymphatic fluid along. Commit to a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise three times per week to get your body – and those toxins – moving.
3. Say no to the naughties
Caffeine, tobacco and alcohol are the three most common toxins, so give your body a break from them.
4. Drink up
One of the easiest ways of ensuring a successful detox is to drink a minimum of two litres of pure water every day – add more if the weather is very hot or when you are exercising. A good rule is that, if your urine is not almost clear, you need to drink more.
5. Clean consciously
Eliminate, or at least minimise, the use of conventional personal care and household cleaning products which may come with unwanted chemical fragrances, sulphates, aluminium, bleach, petrochemicals, herbicides and pesticides. Swap to natural products that contain white vinegar, herbal extracts, essential oils and bicarbonate of soda – they are just as effective, and much safer for you and the environment.
6. Stress less
Making a deliberate choice to focus on improving your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing is a very powerful step to take in reclaiming your health. If you struggle with high levels of stress in your life, reach out and enlist professional support from a counsellor or therapist, and learn effective relaxation techniques, such as meditation, Tai Chi or yoga.
7. Brush it off
Your skin is your body’s largest organ of elimination, but any dead skin cells which accumulate on its surface can compromise this ability to eliminate toxins effectively. Before showering, use a firm-bristled body brush to dry-brush your legs, back, arms and chest – this will not only remove the dead skin cells and improve your skin’s appearance, it will also make you feel more energised.
8. Take time out
Diarise a minimum of 30 minutes a day when you do something that you love and which feeds your soul, preferably outside in nature. Ideas might include gardening, walking, swimming or reading.
9. Get rubbed the right way
All massage styles support detoxification, but the most effective one for a detox program is lymphatic drainage, because this specifically boosts the lymphatic system’s ability to remove toxins.
10. Take out nutritional insurance
Supplements which improve your body’s natural detoxification processes include:
- Aloe vera – cleanses the colon, neutralises toxins by slowly breaking down food residue, improves digestion and reduces bloating.
- Spirulina – alkalises the body, increases liver function and supplies high levels of chlorophyll, which speeds the removal of heavy metals from the body.
- Hemp seed – contains soluble and insoluble fibre to regulate elimination and nourish beneficial probiotic bacteria in the digestive tract; also high in chlorophyll.