At the start of every new year, we are barraged with the latest trends in detoxification. Social media introduces us to various cleanses promising to whitewash our poor diet and lifestyle choices, melt away extra weight, and restore the body to pre-holiday, mint condition. But do these quick fixes work?
Our bodies are constantly exposed to a variety of toxins each day. Physical toxins come from our foods, the air we breathe, and can even be generated internally through normal biological processes. Toxins of the mind and spirit may come through draining relationships, excessive or prolonged stress, or a lack of meaning and purpose. The body systems work tirelessly to eliminate these toxins, preventing a build-up that would eventually interfere with normal and healthy functioning of the body.
While a quick-fix detox may show results in terms of increased energy and short-term weight loss, nurturing your wellbeing throughout the year is far more beneficial in terms of health and longevity. For a sustainable detox, nourish the body’s natural systems of detoxification and elimination to support continuous toxin removal. Here are some simple yet essential tips for promoting long-term health from Chiva-Som wellness experts.
The Basics by Dr. Jason Culp, Research & Development Director of Chiva-Som
Water is essential for all processes of life. Its role in detoxification is primarily in transporting metabolic waste and toxins out of the body through various channels, including the skin (sweat), kidneys (urine), lungs (breath), and bowels (faeces). Individuals who sweat excessively, talk a lot, drink caffeinated beverages, or fail to consume a healthy diet are at a higher risk for inadequate hydration. You can prevent dehydration and support detoxification by drinking at least 1.5 litres of purified water per day.
Sleep is essential to the detoxification process. During the night, your body works overtime to cleanse the residual waste from your daytime activities. Even the brain goes through a detox by activating the glymphatic system, which clears the brain and central nervous system of metabolic waste products. Focus on getting 7 – 8 hours of sleep each night and stick to this routine throughout the year. If you have difficulties with insomnia, seek the help of a trusted health practitioner for advice and support on how to achieve restful sleep.
The liver is our primary organ of detoxification. It works tirelessly to prepare toxins and metabolic waste products for safe and efficient elimination from the body. The liver is highly resilient and takes a considerable amount of punishment before it starts losing its ability to function properly. The consumption of unhealthy foods, excessive amounts of alcohol, and smoking all have adverse effects on the liver. The reduction or elimination of these lifestyle habits will reduce the amount of toxins taken into the body each day, thus giving your detoxification systems a much-needed break.
Clean Eating by Executive Chef Indrajit Saha of Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som
What we put into our bodies must come out, and fresh, organic and minimally processed choices keep the body fuelled while avoiding the pitfalls of weight gain, insulin spikes, sluggishness after a meal, and inflammation from the body working overtime to eliminate toxins.
Start each day with glass of warm water with lemon juice, followed by a green smoothie, chia pudding, buckwheat porridge or wholegrain toast with avocado, tomato, hummus and cucumber.
For lunch, a simple vegetable salad or soup should suffice with afternoon snacks of nuts and seeds, fruit, smoothies or juices.
Dinner takes on more variety, but the recommended choices are stir-frys and curries made from chickpeas and beans accompanied by roasted or steamed vegetables. You should also incorporate the following superfoods to aid the body’s natural detoxification processes.
As well as tasting great, garlic has antioxidant properties that help detoxify the body of harmful substances that can cause a myriad of health issues.
Avocado contains a nutrient called glutathione, which blocks at least thirty different carcinogens while helping the liver do some serious deep cleaning of chemicals that negatively affect your health.
Cauliflower provides antioxidant- and sulphur-containing nutrients to boost liver detoxification. In addition, it’s a great source of vitamin C, which is one of the most powerful antioxidants we can have in the body.
Fermentation of foods like kimchi and sauerkraut was originally carried out to preserve vegetables through the winter months and became a common tradition in many cultures. Fermented foods not only provide nutrition when fresh produce is scarce, but also good bacteria to boost digestion and immunity.
Blueberries are often touted as one of the most beneficial and nutritious foods when it comes to healing and detoxification. They contain natural aspirin that helps lessen the tissue-damaging effects of chronic inflammation, one of the leading causes of obesity, heart disease and other chronic conditions.
Beyond the refreshing taste, green tea is loaded with antioxidants that have many health benefits, which include improved brain function, fat loss, protection against cancer, a lower risk of heart disease and a natural energy boost.
For the new year, redefine your ideas of detoxification and make lasting changes to your diet and lifestyle. These will lead to sustainable health and wellbeing throughout the entire year, and for many years to come.
For more information on Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som, please visit www.zulal.com.