The purpose of a detox plan
is to take the load off any organs that detoxify the body – the liver, kidneys and bowel – while at the same time supporting and improving their performance, says naturopath Daniela Viola.
For the detox to be effective you first need to eliminate cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, red meat, gluten, and processed and fast foods.
And while it might seem like you’re eliminating all the fun from your life, it’s worth it.
“After your seven-day detox, you should notice better digestion and elimination, better skin and brighter eyes, increased energy levels, weight loss and improved immunity,” says Viola.
How to do a healthy detox
Here’s what you can do over seven days that will have your insides humming:
Morning lemon juice
Squeeze the juice of half a lemon
into a glass of warm water and drink on rising or before breakfast.
This will kick-start the digestive process for you and help to alkalise the body.
Doing this daily will increase circulation and lymphatic detoxification.
Using a loofah or body brush, brush the skin with firm circular strokes before you shower. Start from the feet and hands, moving up the legs and towards the arms -avoiding the throat and face.
Detox the mind
Download an app and do a 15-minute meditation every morning.
This will help you relax your mind, focus on breathing and stimulate your metabolism for the day.
Eat more raw foods
Aim to reduce the amount of cooked food you eat and increase raw foods. This could mean having a cooked breakfast and dinner, and raw lunch and snacks.
Drink and hydrate
Three litres of fluid daily is recommended during the detox. This can include a veggie juice, herbal teas and water. If you are feeling hungry during the first few days, which can be a common symptom, buy or make a veggie juice instead of eating. The more you drink the less hungry you will be.
Eat fermented foods and include probiotics
and drinks like sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha all help to create a healthy balance of gut bacteria. These foods, along with a good probiotic supplement
, will aid absorption of nutrients, and improve digestion and bowel function, which is important during a detox to help eliminate toxins.
During the detox, aim to exercise for one hour a day. It is good to work up a sweat and get the heart racing, so some cardio and weights is a great way to kick-start your metabolism.
A proper detox might be just a week-long activity but there’s every chance the effects will last a lot longer. In any case, it’ll remind you how much healthy living and eating affects your quality of life.