While recent times have seen the birth of a number of traditional detox variations – tech detoxes (particularly those of the social media curbing variety) as well as skincare routine overhauls seem to have dominated our transformational hopes of late – the detoxes that continue to dominate our health – related conversations and our curiosities are those which aim to cleanse the bode from the inside.
While the interest in detox is one the maintains momentum all year ’round, it certainly sees an uptake around the festive season. A time to rightfully indulge following a busy year, the seemingly endless feasts and endless pours of champagne tend to stick with us long after we enjoyed them, so we sometimes need to present a resent button.
To answer all our detox – related questions – including what a detox actually is and why you should detox your body – Ameerals has enlisted the help of Dr. Frank Lipman, a pioneer in functional and integrative medicine, and the author of five health books, including How To Be Well.
What Is A Detox?
While many have come across the term ‘detox’ before, likely in relation to diet and exercise, it’s likely that some are unaware that the body actually already contains its own natural elimination system to support its natural function – but that doesn’t mean we can’t give our body a helping hand to cleanse it further.
‘Detoxification is what you body does naturally to neutralize, transform or get rid of unwanted materials or toxins‘, explains Dr.Lipman. ‘A detox is about improving and optimizing the function of you body’s own detoxification the function of you body’s own detoxification system, by decreasing the amount of toxin we put into our bodies and supporting the elimination system with the nutrients it needs to function properly’.
Why Should You Detox?
While the desired outcome of a detox is often weight loss and clear skin, ridding you body of its burden of excess toxins comes with a world of additional benefits, including an immunity boost, better sleep, reduced inflammation, better sleep, reduced inflammation, healthy regulation of hormones, the better absorption of minerals, a spike in energy, a faster metabolism and a slowing down of the ageing process.
‘It’s a great way to push the restart button’, Dr. Lipman shares. ‘People tend to feel more energetic and lose weight, their skin clears up, they feel less puffy and their aches and pains improve, and can often see an improvement in concentration and focus. It can relieve bloating and gas, and can help to diminish sugar cravings’.
How Long Should A Detox Last?
While the duration of a detox will depend on the type of detox you decide is right for you, Dr.Lipman suggests that a mild, two – week detox is a great place to start, particularly for those who haven’t undergone one before.
‘A well functioning detoxification system that that is supported nutritionally is essential to maintaining good health’, says Dr. Lipman, adding ‘An effective, natural, gentle detox programme can help your body’s natural cleansing ability and put you on the road to rejuvenation. This can happen once a year or seasonally depending on your individual needs’.
How To Detox Your Body At Home?
Unlike a number of transformational experiences, which should take place in a controlled and professional setting, a detox is a process you can take into your own hands (following proper medical advice of course) following a number of body – loving protocols. Below, Dr. Liptman’s top tips for detoxing at home.
Eliminate Toxins From Your Diet
‘A healthy detox eliminates the foods that often cause reactions, like gluten and dairy, irritants to the gut like alcohol, caffeine, sugar and all processed foods that also trigger inflammation. Cut down radically on sugar and processed food, and remove other irritants like alcohol, dairy, and factory farmed meats’.
Pack Your Body Full With Nutrients
‘Eat (and drink!) real, whole foods – the less altered and manipulated the better. Pack you plate with whole foods such as green vegetables, nuts and seeds, grass – fed meats and wild – caught fish, and high – quality fats like olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, grass-fed butter, and ghee’.
Work Up A Sweat Regularly
‘It helps flush out toxins from the body and control body temperature. Intense exercise and hot yoga are two ways to do this; saunas, especially infrared, are another.
‘Saunas and similar heat treatments have been part of preventive health protocols for eons: the heat stimulates circulation, which lowers blood pressure relaxes tight muscles, eases minor aches and pains, helps balance cortisol, and is shown to improve the functioning of the arteries by supporting the endothelial cells that line them.
‘Aim for a couple of relaxing 15 to 20 minute saunas per week, be sure to stay well hydrates and shower right after so as not to reabsorb toxins’.
Try Dry Brushing
‘Purchase a natural fiber body brush – long – handled ones are best, for those harder – to – reach areas. Starting (with your body brush) at your hands, run the brush up each arm toward the heart several times, covering all areas. Then, stroke the brush from your feet to the tops of your legs in the same way. Use circular clockwise strokes on your abdomen and armpits. Then repeat these areas with a counter – clockwise motion’.
Relax Your Mind, Too
Elevated levels of cortisol – a hormone induced by stress – in the body can counteract the process you’re trying to improve. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, read up on how to identify and remedy it, according to Dr. Oliva Remes. And if you’re after wellness professional – approved self-care tips to help you engage in a little me time.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
While advice to drink more water has been a catchall response to many health queries, those who dole out this wisdom aren’t wrong. According to Emma Hobson, education manager for Dermalogica Asia Pacific, ‘we need water for whole body functioning’, with the simple act of drinking water proven to help your body flush out toxins daily.