The winter time can be a bad period for our bodies; not only does the diet turn stodgier, but we tend to do a lot less exercise and stay indoors more. Added to this the festive season, meaning we indulge in richer foods, drink more alcohol than usual, and are generally a bit more stressed out with all the preparations. That stress, in addition to these extra toxins impacts on so many parts of the body, from lowering your immune defence and fatigue to slowing down your digestive system.

Detox is a process whereby your body neutralises and eliminates any unwanted and potentially harmful chemicals. These originate either as a result of your own metabolism or have been introduced into your body via routes such as pollution in the environment, contaminants in food and water, detergents and cosmetics, and toxins that are metabolites from germs. Our body has built in natural processes that allow it to detox, but its when we become overloaded- as is so common in today’s fast paced world that we get out of balance, and the body therefore needs a helping hand.

You wouldn’t wait a whole year before having a good clean of your house, and it’s the same for the body- you need a good clear out regularly, and I would suggest doing it with the change in seasons. How to start: First and foremost go about it in a sensible manner and identify what your goals are. The idea is to enhance your body’s natural ability to detoxify rather than putting the body under stress. Spend at least a couple of weeks detoxifying, although a month or so would give great results and keep in mind that you wont feel great right from the start. You will feel pretty groggy to start with, are likely to have headaches and you might also feel lethargic, but if you stick with it you will feel so much better. That is just the body getting rid of the toxins.

We need to remove refined, processed, wheat heavy foods and add in more wholesome products such as brown rice and quinoa. You really need to change your diet particularly with things like sugar, salt and alcohol as they are the worst culprits. Add in things such as pulses, brown rice and quinoa- these are going to keep your blood sugar more balanced and fill you up for longer. Try and reduce intake of wheat, dairy and red meat and increase the amount of water you drink to a couple of litres a day, while taking out caffeinated drinks. You will need to add in supplements to support your body’s extraction, and things like a good multivitamin and mineral with an antioxidant formula is a good place to start.

Detox essentials:

  • Pu-erh tea to help draw out toxins, bitter herbs such as dandelion and blood cleansers such as burdock and herbs high in minerals such as nettle are a good addition.
  • The herb Avena Sativa can be used to calm and fight off stress
  • Milk thistle is an amazing herb that helps to detoxify the liver, which really helps speed up elimination of toxins.
  • Kelp is useful at helping boost your metabolism.
  • Chlorophyll-rich foods such as Spirulina, barley grass and wheatgrass will help cleanse the system.
  • Manuka honey is great for aiding digestion and soothing upset
  • Probiotics and digestive enzymes help replenish the protective bacteria and reduce the incidence of yeast infections and overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria and will help to boost your digestive system.