Detox Yourself to Better Health
Want to have more energy, lose weight, feel less bloated and even reduce joint pain? Think about a detox
“The great thing about a fall detox is you’re so in harmony with nature,” says Julie Daniluk, a registered nutritionist, health educator and best-selling author. “The food this time of year is so beautiful, inexpensive and plentiful – and so local, which means it’s not as hard to do a cleanse. Our body temperatures are also more in sync with the outdoors. You’re not dealing with the extreme dehydrating heat of summer or the frigid cold of winter.”
Julie says an ideal detox lasts about 21 days, but 10 days will do and even a short weekend cleanse can make a difference in how you feel. (She posts a free three-day smoothie detox on her website.)
“A detox this time of year really resets your palette,” she says. “It’s an opportunity to clear the decks before the short, dark days kick in.”
That means you’ll be better equipped to stay on a healthy course during the winter months when chocolate and carb cravings “can go through the roof” and add unwanted pounds.
What to avoid:
Try eliminating all artificial foods – or what Julie calls “anti-nutrients.” Basically, she means all junk food, including anything with artificial colours, sweeteners or flavourings, like chips and soft drinks. She also advises avoiding white sugar, white flour, corn products, sugar-laden condiments, heavy milks and cheeses.
And alcohol. (Sorry, but you’ll have to forgo wine at dinner for a while.)
Seven to 10 fresh vegetables a day: Aim for seven a day, but 10 is even better. Fall vegetables, says Julie, will help to clear out the toxicity in your body caused by environmental chemicals in everything from some hair and skin care products, to home cleansers, even the gas we put in our cars. “Fall produce also has serious anti-cancer properties that help to regulate our hormone levels and generally reduce our toxic load.”
Slow-burning, low-carb veggies, like sweet potatoes, yams, beets and other root vegetables are great, as are dark leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, turnip and cabbage. They contain something called Indole-3-Carbinal, which Julie describes as a detoxifier that helps remove excess estrogen from the body (which is good for both men and women) and is “brilliant for hormonal balance.”
Be sure to include lots of orange vegetables too, like carrots, squash, and pumpkin “which pack a lot of nutrition in every bite.” They also contain high levels of potassium that helps balance sodium levels, which in turn balances blood pressure and boosts your energy. They also soothe and help heal the digestive system.