5 Factors to Consider when Detoxing
There are many different ways of doing a “detox” or “cleanse”. What it really
means is simply giving our liver, and to a lesser degree, our kidneys, a little
support to do what they are best at doing: detoxing! Filtering, breaking down
and getting rid of toxins, medications, used hormones and other substances or
chemicals, some of which occur naturally within the body.
Here are 5 important factors to consider before going on a “detox”.
Although many of us like to detox right after the New Year; the ultimate
time for cleansing and detoxifying is actually the spring: the season of
regeneration and rejuvenation, of growth and new beginnings.
In addition to a dietary detox, a “Spring Clean” of your house, your office
or your garden, clearing your space, and reducing clutter, is highly
recommended, it will create space and a clarity of mind.
2. Can Anyone Detox?
Gentle, slow and non-aggressive detoxing can suit almost anyone.
Sometimes with little modifications.
However, if you suffer from chronic constipation, are recovering from an
illness, or you are under extreme pressure or stress, it is better to
concentrate on recovering, healing, and strengthening before starting a
If you are pregnant, planning a pregnancy, or
breastfeeding it is not recommended to go on a detox or
to use highly concentrated, powerful detoxifying herbs or
3. What Should I Eat to Optimise
Detox, is not only about giving certain foods up, but also about including
plenty of liver and kidney supporting foods and maintaining a healthy
and optimal gut function.
Garlic, onion, broccoli, kale, coriander, parsley, beetroot and lemons are
only some of the foods that can support liver function.
Kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, natural yogurt and other fermented foods
can support gut function and optimise efficient and optimal clearance of
What food should we avoid while on a detox? Well, this question does
not have a straight forward answer, as it is really dependant on the type
of detox you are doing. However, sugar, caffeine, processed foods,
additives, food colourings, most dairy products, and most times, meat,
are usually restricted while doing a detox.
It is also recommended to drink plenty of water, keep your meals light
and avoid main meals at least 4 hours before bed.
4. What about Lifestyle?
Do not under-emphasize lifestyle factors when going on a detox. Our
lifestyle choices can be as important as our dietary choices when it
comes to health and well-being.
Try to be outdoors as much as possible, introduce exercise that you
enjoy, reduce use of plastics when possible. Use natural cosmetics,
toiletries and cleaning products when possible. Take time to relax and
reduce the use of Wi-Fi, screen time and electronic devices. Introduce a
Tech-Free day, and, of course, sleep!
5. Should I take Dietary Supplements?
When it comes to dietary supplements, quality is far more important
than quantity. It is not essential to take supplements while detoxing and
a supplement programme should always be tailored to the individual and
not generalised. Medications taken (prescribed as well as over-the
counter), health conditions and symptoms should always be taken into
It is also important to choose supplements that are based on natural
(rather than synthetic) nutrients, which are organic, non –GMO and
come in a highly absorbable form.
It is highly recommend to discuss the use of dietary supplement with a
nutritionist or a healthcare professional.
Written by Chen Saat-Murphy MSc Personalised Nutrition, dipNT, mNTOI.
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