Having a difficult time figuring out your approach to a body detox diet? Here are a few important tips to guide you on your wellness journey.
Eat clean, eat healthy:
1. Drink more water.
Water does so much more than just satisfying your thirst. Not only does
it have the best hydrating properties, but also improves various bodily functions, such as:
flushing out body waste
regulating body temperature
maintaining blood pressure
boosting skin health
increasing energy and relieving fatigue
lubricating your joints
By not drinking enough water, your body simply retains the fluid causing you to feel bloated. This is called water weight.
Although it sounds contradictory, drinking more water can help flush out this weight.
Daily recommended water intake by age
2. Take your Antioxidants.
Our body produces molecules called free radicals during digestion. These molecules cause damage to your cells by producing oxidative stress. To counteract this,
you need to consume foods rich in antioxidants to neutralize this process.
Antioxidants include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
Some Indian food sources of these vitamins include:
3. Take your prebiotics.
Your intestines play an important role in your natural detoxification system. Your gut has a huge variety of microflora that control everything from your digestion to your immunity. Prebiotics help sustain health bacteria in your gut.
Eating prebiotics daily will ensure good gut health and boost the detox process.
Prebiotic foods include garlic, onions, bananas, tomatoes, oats, apples, and cocoa.
4. Restrict sugar and processed foods from your cleansing diet.
A poor, low-nutrient diet has become one of the most common reasons for a number of underlying health conditions such as obesity. Many obesity diet charts recommend one to strictly avoid or limit sugar intake. Unfortunately, many tasty, convenient packaged foods that we love eating offer little to no nutrition.
But, by making a conscious effort to stay away from these foods, you can help your body become stronger and healthier.
Several studies have linked the consumption of sugary beverages and highly processed foods with lifestyle diseases, such as obesity, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes
5. Restrict your salt intake
Drinking more water and decreasing salt intake goes hand-in-hand. The less water you drink and the more salty foods you eat, there’s a higher chance of your body retaining the water weight. This can make you feel bloated and uncomfortable. By drinking more water and restricting salt intake,
your body increases urination, which eliminates more toxins from your body regularly. Many Indian snack foods are also high in sodium, so limit your consumption of these.
Did you know?
Increasing your potassium intake can act as a good substitute to salt as it contains 70% less sodium than common table salt. Foods rich in potassium include mushrooms, potatoes, spinach, broccoli, bananas, oranges, and dates.
Lead a healthy lifestyle
1. Prioritize sleep
Being sleep deprived is proven to have both short-term and long-term effects like excessive fatigue, cardiovascular problems, increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and anxiety. Getting a full 7-9 hours of quality sleep is essential to maintain our everyday bodily functions. Deep sleep or REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep is vital for toxin removal. Your body processes and removes toxins from the brain, like beta-amyloid, which get accumulated throughout the day.
This promotes recharging of the brain and helps you feel more refreshed the next day.
2. Cut down on alcohol and smoking
Excessive drinking and smoking can take a toll on your physical and mental health. They can cause a myriad of health conditions if not brought under control. Alcohol is metabolized by the liver into acetaldehyde, which can cause cancer. This can cause inflammation and scarring on the liver. Binge-drinkers and smokers have an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and troubled sleep. These are serious issues and it’s important that they are brought under control.
It is recommended that you consult a psychiatrist online if you face any distress in your mental well-being
3. Be physically active
Any form of regular physical activity is associated with many health benefits like reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart problems, increased blood circulation, and the production of happy hormones in the brain. Regular exercise reduces inflammation on the body, which encourages the natural detox system to function properly. Just getting in 40 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day (like brisk walking) or 20-30 minutes of high-intensity exercise per day (like running) can do wonders for your body.
4. Stress management
Stress can not only be draining on your body but can also accelerate other health problems. Your body naturally produces the hormone cortisol when it gets stressed. High levels of cortisol is linked with rapid weight gain, high blood pressure, mood swings, heart problems, and anxiety.
Detoxing with Exercise: Benefits & types of exercise
There isn’t a clear correlation between exercise and detox. The human body is designed to eliminate the accumulated toxins without requiring external help. However, exercise provides you with incredible benefits that will complement your journey to healthy body detox.
Benefits of exercising in a body cleanse regime:
1. It can improve the quality of sleep
Sleep is a period when the body naturally recharges itself to perform efficiently. By exercising more, you use up more of your energy and your body needs to go into resting time. One study found that doing 150 minutes of moderate to high-intensity exercise per week can improve your quality of sleep by up to 65%.
2. It can improve brain health
As mentioned before, exercise improves blood circulation in the body. This promotes blood flow and oxygen to your brain and can promote the growth of new brain cells. Essentially, exercise is proven to increase the size of your hippocampus – a part of your brain that plays a vital role in thinking and memory. This stimulates growth and enhancement of the brain’s functions. This can be particularly helpful for older adults to boost their brain health.
3. It can make you feel happier
Multiple studies have proven that exercise can improve your mood and reduce the risk of you developing anxiety and depression. Exercise promotes the production of endorphins – hormones that produce happy feelings. A study found that regardless of the intensity of the exercise, it can still make you feel more relaxed and happier in your day-to-day life.
4. It can help you lose weight
Weight loss is actually a simple concept to understand. Your body spends energy by digestion, physical activity, and maintaining body functions. By exercising, you burn energy (calories) and also improve your metabolic rate. An increase in metabolic rate will burn more calories, thereby helping you lose weight. Balancing your calorie-intake by eating low-calorie highly nutritious food and exercising will help you in your weight loss journey.
5. It can reduce your risk of chronic diseases
Daily physical activity reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular problems and high blood pressure, keeps overall body fat percentage at a normal level, and improves insulin sensitivity- which lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes.
6. It can boost your energy
Exercise can be highly beneficial for boosting your energy levels. This is not just for an average adult, but is even proven for people with chronic health conditions like cancer, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and more. One study found that moderate-to-high intensity exercises reduced excessive fatigue for all 36 people who reported the same.
Types of exercises:
As we all know, exercise is essential for good health. On an average, getting 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, or, 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise is ideal. It is recommended that you incorporate a variety of exercise routines to target specific areas of your body. Here’s how to detoxify body through exercise:
1. Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic exercise, or in simple terms, cardio exercises, is essentially what the name suggests. It’s a cardiovascular workout intended to speed up your heart rate and breathing. It gives your heart the activity it needs to improve blood flow and increase endurance.
Examples of aerobic exercise: Brisk walking, jogging, cycling, dancing, swimming, skipping.
Tip: Before each session, warm up to slowly increase blood flow to muscles. A simple warm-up can include slow walking for 3-5 minutes or performing stretch exercises.
2. Strength Training
Strength training involves building muscle mass to make you stronger. As we age, our muscles tend to become weaker. Regular strength training can even be very useful for everyday tasks like lifting heavy objects, carrying groceries, gardening, and more. This type of exercise can stimulate muscle and bone growth, improve posture, and alleviate joint pain.
Examples of strength training exercise: Squats, push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, burpees, sit-ups, crunches. These bodyweight exercises can be more effective with added resistance, like bands and weights.
Tip: Breathing is often forgotten about while strength training. Exhale when your body goes against resistance (by pushing, pulling, etc.) and inhale when your body relaxes for an effective body detox.
3. Balance Exercise
Balance exercises can help you improve your overall stability, maintain posture, and balance. If you’re older, it is important to incorporate balance exercises into your routine to prevent yourself from falling. Walking is a good example of a moderate-balance exercise. There are many other types to cater to the specific needs of each body part.
Examples of balance exercises: Brisk walking, side-ways walking, heal-to-toe walk, one-leg stand, leg swings
Tip: Focus is key while balancing. When you start practising, make sure your eyes are focussed at one point. This will help improve your balance.
Muscles tend to become weaker and less flexible with age. Fortunately, stretching can help reverse any damage. Stretch exercises are proven to make muscles longer and function better. This prevents muscle cramps, pain, strains, stiffness, and joint pain. You must aim to stretch at least 3-4 times a week.
Examples of stretch exercises: Overhead triceps stretch, biceps stretch, cobra pose, seated butterfly stretch, head-to-knee forward bend.
Tip: Aim to stretch till you feel mild tension in your muscles, not intense pain.
Did you know?
Sitting for long hours can be very detrimental to your health. If you are working a desk job, you must keep moving your body every hour or so. Practise the 50:10 rule. After 50 minutes of work, take a 10-minute break that consists of walking around and breathing fresh air.
Your body has an in-built detoxifier that guides through the process of toxin removal from your body. The best cleanse you can give your body is to maintain a healthy lifestyle by consuming a balanced diet, working out consistently, and most importantly- ensuring stable mental health. By following this, you provide your body with the energy to function efficiently. Rather than just focussing on cleansing your body from toxins, it is
advisable to have a holistic approach by practising a routine that’s beneficial to both your physical and mental health.
Consult a dietician online on MFine for a total body cleanse diet plan