It was lovely to hear your feedback after my detox post last week. From your responses I know I’m not the only one who is seriously averse to the New Year, New You narrative at this time of year. Today, I’m following up with my second tip for helping the body detoxify itself.
Last week I discussed how to support your body by reducing the amount of toxic chemicals it’s exposed to, however, it’s impossible to avoid these completely.
Detoxification isn’t just about reducing the harmful substances our body is exposed to from the outside world; it’s also about helping the body to excrete perfectly normal and natural waste – by products of essential bodily functions.
So detox tip no.2 is: ensure healthy elimination channels.
There are two key things you can do every day to help your body eliminate waste:
1. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
I know, you’ve heard it a thousand times, but it really is important. Our kidneys are integral in helping to remove waste products from our body and they do this by excreting them via the urine. Drinking enough water is essential for this process.
In the winter many of us naturally tend to drink less and that’s ok, but it is still important to drink enough. At this time of year 1.5l per day is enough for most people. Up this if you’re working out. Try swapping cold glasses of water for herbal teas or hot water with slices of root ginger, a wedge of lemon and / or some fresh mint.
2. MAKE SURE YOU’RE ‘REGULAR’
It’s not the most glamorous topic of conversation, but regular bowel movements really are important. If you’re not going daily, waste matter can sit in the colon and potentially harmful substances can be reabsorbed through the colon wall into the bloodstream and recirculate in our system. Not a pleasant thought!!
I know from my clinical experience that constipation is a concern for many people – and it’s an issue that shouldn’t be ignored. Effective ways to promote regular bowel movement include:
– Eating plenty of veg. Veggies are a great source of fibre. Artichokes, broccoli, peas, sprouts, parsnips and spinach are all good sources. At this time of year, having a big bowl of home made veg soup is a great way to increase your intake.
– Drinking plenty of water. Dehydration can also have a negative effect on bowel movements so make sure you’re drinking enough.
– Flax seeds. Two tablespoons of ground flax seeds per day, sprinkled on food or mixed into a glass of water, can work wonders for some people.
– Supplements. If you’ve tried the above tips and things still aren’t moving, it’s worth trying a supplement. Senna based products are particularly irritating for the gut and I do not recommend them. Start with a quality magnesium supplement which acts as a mild, non irritating laxative. I like Renew Life’s CleanseMORE which contains magnesium as well as other non irritating natural ingredients which work to hydrate the colon and promote peristalsis.