As the summer holidays approach, there are many people talking about a summer detox. What exactly does this mean? Well, a summer detox has two main purposes:
- To help shift those final few pounds before you hit the beach
- To support a natural process that occurs in our body
In this blog I’ll be talking about the benefits of a summer detox, and sharing my top tips to help make your summer detox a success.
Written By Jenny Logan DNMed. (Jenny is a Nutritional Therapist who has worked with clients in Health Foods Stores and Private Clinics for over 20 years.)
WHAT IS A DETOX?
Our body is constantly going through a process of detoxification – clearing out waste products and dealing with the toxins we introduce from our environment (including fumes and cigarette smoke) and our diets (e.g. caffeine, alcohol, and sugars). So, it is a good idea to support it in its efforts every now and then.
A detox then, is a time when we look at ways to support this natural process. This in turn will help us to feel better, more energised, our skin will generally be clearer, we will most likely lose a few pounds and be significantly less bloated as a result. Which is why we often do it in the summer!
HOW DO I DETOX?
The good news here is that you do not need to starve yourself – indeed, that would be a bad idea as your body needs lots of vital nutrients to support the detox process. Nor do you need to live on raw foods and juices in order to detox successfully.
What you need to do is look for easy ways to get high protein, nutrient rich foods into your diet. So here are a few suggestions on ways to support your body in an effective detox, without suffering yourself!
1. WATER, WATER, WATER….
Firstly, drink plenty of water – I am not talking here about anything excessive. You need to be looking at around 1.5 litres (3 pints) of water a day. As it would be helpful to the detox process for you to cut down tea, coffee and fizzy drinks – simply replace some of these with some plain water, or even better some water and lemon or lime juice.
2. SUPLPHUR RICH FOODS
Sulphur is often referred to as a blood purifier and certainly, it is thought that sulphur rich foods help the detox process. The best sulphur rich foods are: onions, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, greens, eggs, lentils and avocado. If you can include these foods into your diet, that is the best way to take them.
However, if you would struggle with this, then look for one of the many fantastic superfood powders on the market, which will include some of these vegetables in its ingredients. Super food powders are a great way of increasing protein and nutrients in our diets, to very easily and effectively support a detox.
Spirulina is a fantastic addition to any diet. It is an edible blue green algae, which is high in protein, iron, B vitamins, folic acid and selenium. Selenium in particular is a vital nutrient for supporting the detox process in the liver, as well as helping to support thyroid function. It is generally recognised that selenium will be low in our diets as our soils have been depleted of this fantastic nutrient, so using a spirulina supplement or powder is a great way of ensuring we are getting selenium into the body.
Not commonly found in the diet, barley grass can be a fantastic addition to your diet. It is again rich in nutrients and it is said to specifically help in the detoxification of heavy metals – those found in our environment, in cigarette smoke and from mercury fillings. It can be used on its own, but apparently it works even better when taken in conjunction with spirulina.