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Ten Top Detox Tips

By Julia Alderman

Our bodies have natural cleansing cycles when they want a lighter diet and more liquid intake. This occurs on a daily basis, and also in tune with the yearly cycle and seasonal change. This makes spring a particularly good time for a detox, as it is a time associated with renewal and freshness before the summer months. A spring detox is therefore an ideal way to rejuvenate the body and mind, and improves energy and mood, aids weight loss, clears the skin and improves digestion.
So, why do we need to detox? Put simply, toxins that we’re exposed to damage the normal functioning of our cells, and therefore prevent us from reaching optimal health. We are exposed to an array of toxins on a day to day basis, and with approximately 4000 chemicals used in food production our food can be a major source.
Toxins we consume include preservatives, artificial colourings and flavourings, pesticides, fertilisers, antibiotics, growth enhancers, caffeine and alcohol. As the majority of these are relatively new man-made substances it’s not surprising that our body isn’t designed to process them, and overtime can leave us with fatigue, headaches, skin problems, cellulite, digestive problems and weakened immunity.
If this sounds familiar, give your body a well deserved spring cleanse. Experience the benefits of increased health, energy and vitality by following our top ten tips:

1. Start the day with a cleansing mug of hot water with ΒΌ squeezed lemon, slice of root ginger and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
2. Eat a fruit-based breakfast, such as stewed or fresh fruit salad with natural yoghurt and ground seeds, or a freshly made protein smoothie.
3. Avoid black tea, coffee and alcohol and replace with herbal tea, such as nettle to support the kidneys, or dandelion root coffee to aid liver function. It’s important to stay well hydrated, so drink at least 1.5 litre of water daily. Fresh juices, such as carrot, beetroot, apple and cucumber are also fantastically nourishing and cleansing so aim to drink one fresh juice daily – ideally on an empty stomach for maximum benefit.
4. Avoid all processed and prepared foods – this really means anything that has been manufactured and comes in a packet e.g. ready meals, savoury snacks, biscuits. Instead eat food in its natural unprocessed state and cook by steaming, lightly boiling or poaching rather than frying.
5. Chose organic food over non-organic food to minimise your intake of toxic pesticides.
6. Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables per day, aiming for more (ideally nine!). For lunch and dinner, cover at least 60% of your plate with vegetables and eat as much variety of colours as possible, aiming to cover the whole spectrum of the rainbow.
7. Avoid wheat (e.g. in bread, pasta, pastries and biscuits) and replace with wheat-free alternatives such as brown rice, buckwheat noodles, quinoa, rye bread and oat cakes.
8. Eat snacks, but replace sugary treats such as chocolate and cake with supportive foods such as fresh fruit, vegetable sticks with houmous , half an avocado or mixed seeds.
9. Reduce consumption of animal products. Avoid dairy products, except natural live yoghurt, and replace milk with soya or nut milks. Avoid processed and fatty meats and replace with fish, eggs, lentils, beans, tempeh (fermented tofu), quinoa, seeds and nuts as good protein alternatives.
10. Incorporate lifestyle factors into your regime to support the process: get a good nights sleep, take a yoga class, treat yourself to a massage or sauna, try dry skin brushing before showering and use natural organic skin products.

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