January is a good time for a detox

Keeping your body free of toxins can go a long way to maintaining a healthy life.  After a festive holiday season of over-indulgence a detox is a good way to start the year eating clean. Here’s what you need to know:

“Detoxing quite literally means ‘getting rid of toxins’. It’s our body’s way of expelling of harmful substances / toxins, which have entered into our body,” explains Megan Bosman, a Cape Town based nutritional therapist. A build-up of toxins in the body has been shown to lead to various chronic illnesses and it is therefore very important for your body to be able to get rid of toxins as quickly and as effectively as possible. Those of you already eating a healthy, well-balanced diet don’t usually need to go on a specialised detox diet, as your body should already be low in toxins, or able to easily get rid of toxins entering the body says Bosman.

Detox diets are great for people who want to give their body a boost to kick-start a healthy eating plan or after overindulging.

Top 8 foods that detox your body:

To boost your body’s cleansing systems, Bosman advises that you think “clean eating” – a good amount of fresh fruit and vegetables which are high in fibre, antioxidants and phytochemicals help to cleanse your body and boost the organs involved in detoxing (such as your liver) in a safe, controlled manner. Combine this with a decent amount of clean water and your body will be well on its way to a well functioning cleansing system.

Oats are a great source of both soluble and insoluble fibre.
Beetroot is a great support for liver detoxification. High in magnesium, iron and vitamin C, beetroot has also recently been hailed as a superfood due to its many health benefits.
Garlic is not only great for fighting colds and flu. It contains a chemical called allicin, which helps promote the production of white blood cells which also helps to fight against toxins.
Cabbage, like most other cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, etc.), contains a chemical called sulforaphane, which helps the body fight against and get rid of toxins.
Fresh, seasonal fruit are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre, which make them a very important in detoxification.
Green tea is an excellent source of antioxidants, one of which is catechins. Catechins are great for boosting your liver function, which is exactly what you want.
Lemons are high in vitamin C, which helps your body to convert toxins into a water-soluble form that can be easily eliminated from your body. Lemons also help to boost your liver function and cleanse your blood.
Water helps to lubricate the body, loosen and flush out toxins in your body.

Foods to avoid:

Salt
Alcohol
Ready-made meals
Sugar

– Gugulethu Mdima