Spring is all about starting fresh and that can include adjustments to our lifestyle. Many North Americans choose this time of year to begin new diet and exercise programs, and in recent years the spring detox has become very popular. There is a good and bad way to go about detoxification though. Registered dieticians say if done incorrectly, a detox can cause health problems.
Some of the most reputable dieticians around the world have said that when you decide to do a detox you should choose one that still permits the eating of food. They ague that liquid detox can lead to nutrient deficiencies.
Whether it is your liver, bowel, or skin that you are interested in addressing, there are simple tips you can follow for a safe spring detox. They include the consumption of healthy food.
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Tips for a Healthy Spring Detox
• Drink 8-10 glasses of water per day
Water flushes out toxins, aids in bowel evacuation and makes you feel less hungry.
• Avoid sugars and sweeteners
They suppress the immune system
• Eat fresh, wholesome vegetables that are only lightly cooked
The closer the vegetables are to their raw form, the more nutrients they will have.
• Include green drinks, such as wheatgrass juice and barley grass juice.
This will provide you with good antioxidants.
• Consume essential fatty acids
Flaxseed, avocado, and green leafy vegetables are good options
• Lean chicken and turkey can be consumed
Healthy sources of protein are important
• If you are a vegetarian you can substitute meat for tofu, bean or protein shakes
It is still important that you get protein every day.
• Avoid alcohol and caffeine
They are both considered toxins
• Gentle Herbs such as ginger, chamomile, Malva, and Senna can be helpful.
Naturopaths believe they aid in digestion and metabolism.
• Include green tea, white tea and any herbal teas with milk thistle in it.
Studies show that milk thistle has been effective in supporting liver health and many suspect it assists in the detoxification of the liver.
Diet and Exercise Changes You Should Make
Once you have decided to go ahead and do a detox, make sure you choose an appropriate time. Nutritionists advise their clients to select a period when they know they won’t be under a lot of stress. This will make it easier to cope with the sacrifices that will have to be made in terms of food. It is also a good idea for your body to be in a calmer state when you are going through the detox process. The experts also suggest that you enter into the process gradually so that you don’t shock your system. You can start by making small changes to your diet by introducing healthy food and eliminating processed foods, fatty foods, sweet treats and sugary drinks for example. This is also a good time to get used to reducing or eliminating salt, butter and other additives to your food. Remember it’s not just the food but the extras like the salt, sauces, and dressings that will have to go if you are going to do a spring detox.
No matter how you decide to approach your detox, physicians remind people that there is no substitute for having a good regular diet and exercise program. They do warn gym enthusiasts not to drastically increase the intensity of their workout at the same time as the detoxification process. They say big changes to diet and exercise all at once can be hard on the body.
Detoxification can be controversial because if done incorrectly it can lead to dehydration and nutrient deficiency. Having said this, many medical experts agree that when done the safe way it can be the first step to getting people on a path to eating healthy food for the rest of their lives.
Disclaimer: Remember to consult with your healthcare practitioner before making significant changes to your diet or exercise regime.