Marketeers would have you believe expunging a year’s worth of toxins within a few January weeks is possible. But is ‘detox’ a dirty word?
All Day, Every Day
Beware of supplements and plans claiming to detoxify your body. Without doing a thing, you’re ‘cleansing’ right now. “Our bodies are processing toxins at all times,” explains Emma Dawson, nutritionist at Nuffield Health. Once you begin excreting those toxins, you start to feel the effects – be it caffeine-withdrawal or a bastard behind the eyes.
Take It Slow
Just as you’re drawn to a greasy fry-up post festivities, toxins are drawn to the body’s fat cells. “When you lose weight, those toxins are released,” says Dawson, so the faster you lose weight, the more your body has to deal with at once. “If you’re living on juice, you won’t be getting enough nutrients to process the toxins.” Play the long game.
Sweat The Bad Stuff
Spinning might not appeal when your head is doing just that, but cardio will give your body a hand. “When we sweat we get rid of harmful chemicals,” says Dawson. “Plus exercise boosts enzymes that support detoxification.” Fuel up on sweet potato first: its antioxidants combat the free radicals produced as you detox. And yes, the fries work just as well.
Whether eaten, inhaled or imbibed, most toxins eventually pass through your body’s wastedisposal system: the liver. “You can support the process through nutrition,” says Dawson. “Onions, garlic and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and kale stimulate production of the enzymes your liver uses for detoxification.” Consider office-party excess crucified.
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Work Your Guts Out
Of course, your body’s main form of excretion occurs in the gents. But, if your guts are stuck in slo-mo, you could find yourself in a toxic circle. “If you’re constipated, toxins found in the waste product in your intestine can be reabsorbed,” says Dawson. A high-fibre diet containing veg, pulses and wholegrains will keep things in full flow.Here’s to 5pm Friday