Nutritionist Lexi Crouch on the six simple steps to detox naturally this summer
After Christmas and party season, you might be feeling like your body needs a bit of a reset. Forget extreme juice cleanses, though, here’s how to do a natural detox according to nutritionist Lexi Crouch.
Somewhere along the way, the word ‘detox’ has become a bit muddled. Too often these days it’s linked to extreme measures, so-called ‘quick fixes’ and fad diets which are not only unhealthy and unsustainable but are often being employed for the wrong reason, like to get the perfect bikini body or fit into that dress.
The real ‘detox’ actually happens naturally in our bodies and its sole purpose isn’t weight loss, but to assist with healthy organ function, energy production, better sleep and quality of life.
The liver is the organ responsible for the removal of toxins that make their way into our body via food, drink and our environment, so the best way to detox is to minimise toxins and ensure the liver is performing at its best.
When it comes to detoxing, these six small, simple and sustainable lifestyle changes are actually the best ‘quick fix’ – some are so easy you do them in your sleep.
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Drink plenty of water
We’ve all heard it before but I still spend most of my days reminding people to consume 1-2L of water per day (myself included). Water helps with all cellular activity in the body, including flushing out toxins in the system.
Drinking enough water is essential for everyone to stay hydrated and enjoy good health. My number one tip for anyone wanting to detox is to drink more water – not juice. While a juice cleanse may be among the most popular modern ways to ‘detox’, going on an extreme juice cleanse just isn’t necessary when your body will do a natural detox all on its own with a couple of litres of water each day.
Start the day with lemon water
As hard as it may seem, try leaving the coffee for half an hour and start the morning with a glass of warm lemon water. This is the best way to hydrate your body after sleep, assist with digestion and elimination, and comes with the added bonus of some vitamin C.
Increase your fibre intake
The body removes toxins through the gastrointestinal tract and fibre is the broom that sweeps it out. Fresh fruit and vegetables are full of essential nutrients and high in fibre so summer is actually an easy season to up your fibre. Boost your daily RDI with lots of mangoes, cherries and grapes, and pop some carrots and celery on your next cheese board for some added festive fibre.
Reduce your alcohol intake
It is party season and we all need to let our hair down after this year but to give your liver a break and stay hydrated, get onboard the spritz trend and add more soda water to your drink, or experiment with fresh fruit mocktails, especially berries, which contain an essential nutrient to help naturally detoxify the body and come packed with antioxidants.
A healthy habit to get into, even over the festive, is maintaining at least two alcohol-free days.
Get more sleep
I can’t stress enough how important rest is for the body to function at an optimal level. The body never stops working and when we are sleeping, it enters a cleaning and restorative phase.
This is when the liver naturally filters the blood, removes larger toxins in the body, secretes digestive juices for the breakdown of fat-soluble toxins and helps keep our hormones balanced. It’s incredible what our body achieves while we’re asleep and it’s so critical for the detox process.
Get moving and breathing
Sweating out toxins is a great way to detox the body naturally. Movement boosts blood circulation and assists with the lymphatic system. If vigorous exercise is not for you, give Yoga a go.
The ancient practice offers relaxing twists that gently squeeze and stimulate the digestive organs, which aids detoxification. Starting or finishing the day with a five or ten minute ‘yoga detox’ is a great habit to start over summer and carry into the new year.
And then there’s breathing, which is one of the easiest ways to detox, and relax. With all the added stress of silly season, don’t forget to stop and take a breath. Slow breathing carries more nutrients to our cells which helps move toxins out of the body, all whilst keeping us cool and calm.