If your last few months have been anything like ours, you may have spent the winter months in hibernation moving too little and indulging just a little too much. A bad flu season has provided excuses for more nights on the couch and less time training or being outdoors. Winter menu’s also tend to me a bit heavier and a comforting glass of red wine has been sneaking it’s way in just a bit too often unfortunately.
So…is it time for a detox? Or maybe just a bit of a spring clean?
At Logic Health and Nutrition, we don’t advocate fasting, juice cleanses or detoxes that are based heavily around supplements and liquid meals.
However, we do understand that every now and then you may need a bit of an intensive cleansing diet to get you set up for cleaner eating. To help you along the way, we have created our top 5 tips for a cleansing food plan:
As you may know, your liver is the hardest worker when it comes to detoxing our system. This little baby is the one that does all of the processing of toxins to get them out of our system as fast as possible. It comes as no surprise then that the liver carries most of the burden if we over indulge.
To help get your liver set up for it’s work day, start each morning with a glass of room temperature water and the juice of half a lemon.
The bitterness of lemons triggers nerve and hormone activation to the liver and digestive system, which is very helpful for those who suffer from sluggish bowels. The extra vitamin C is also an added bonus to help fight off the last of those winter bugs.
If you feel you need extra liver support, a high quality St Mary’s Thistle or Milk Thistle supplement can also provide some assistance.
2. Gut Health
One of the keys to a healthy digestive system is a good intake of pre-biotics. Pre-biotics are indigestible plant fibres and provide a valuable food source for pro-biotics which are needed for a healthy gut.
Asparagus, Raw Dandelion Greens and Jerusalem Artichokes are all great sources of prebiotics while providing a range of other nutrients such as Vitamin K, Vitamin A and Calcium.
A diet high in inflammatory ingredients, such as wheat, dairy, sugar and alcohol can lead to leaky gut or other gut disturbances. To help heal your gut, you can’t get a much more impressive ingredient than collagen. The unique structural properties and amino acid profile of collagen allows this protein to reduce gut inflammation, heal ulcers, aid in digestion and regular stomach acid secretion.
Bone broth and gelatine are both great sources of dietary collagen. One of the easiest ways to introduce this in to your diet is to add powdered collagen hydrolysate to a morning smoothie. Check out your local health food store from some great new products on the market.
Finally, restoring good bacteria through fermented foods and probiotics is the final piece of the gut health puzzle. As Hippocrates declared, all disease begins in the gut so having a healthy digestive system is one of the ways we can ensure health and longevity. Probiotics are live bacteria that help to balance your digestive system and assist with boosting your immune system
Whole foods are always preferable to supplements so try to get your probiotics from fermented foods such as natural, unsweetened yoghurt, sauerkraut, fermented cashew cheese and kefir
It is becoming well known that an overly acid body state leads to inflammation and disease. The modern western diet has resulted in an increase in metabolic acidosis, in other words, the pH levels of many people’s bodies are no longer optimal. This accelerates the ageing process and degenerates tissue and bone mass. High levels of acidity cause our bodies to deplete minerals from the bones, cells, organs and tissues.
Normally, our kidneys maintain electrolyte levels (calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium). When we’re exposed to overly acidic substances, these electrolytes are used to combat acidity.
Cutting down on acid causing items such as processed foods, particularly meats, grains, sugar and coffee will certainly help to restore balance within your system.
You can further optimise your body’s pH with the intake of plenty of dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, dandelion greens and broccoli. A diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds will see you well on your way to achieving an optimal pH level which will help protect bone density & muscle mass, lower risk for hypertension, increase availability of minerals and reduce chronic inflammation.
4. Healthy Fats
Cells are the fundamental units of life; they make up all of our tissues and organs. If your cells cannot operate efficiently, the functioning of these tissues and organs become compromised.
Healthy saturated and unsaturated fats are necessary to form the cell walls (membranes) throughout your body. Our cellular membrane is composed of fats that form a barrier that give our cells their structure and provide healthy cell walls that keep out invaders like viruses and bacteria.
An optimal ratio of fats in the cell wall is needed to enable the flow of toxic waste out of your cells and allow the nutrients in. In this way they are responsible for the detoxification of your cells. Further, your liver needs essential fatty acids for all its many functions of including detox. Saturated fat, such as coconut oil or ghee, has been shown to protect the liver from alcohol and medications.
To boost your intake of healthy fats, try including some avocado and olives in to a healthy leafy salad for lunch or dining on oily fish such as salmon, tuna or mackerel.
This one doesn’t require much explanation. Drinking plenty of water, preferably filtered, throughout the day will help to flush toxins out of your system, keep hunger at bay and give you glowing, healthy skin!
Our recommendation for a detoxing, health boosting, skin nourishing smoothie:
- Handful of strawberries and blueberries
- Handful of spinach leaves
- 2-3 scoops of Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate
- 1 tsp Carla Oats Glow Inner Beauty Powder (a probiotic boosting, beauty enhancing powder that tastes great!)
- Coconut water