After binge eating during the Easter holidays, you may get unexplained fatigue, low body immunity, skin irritation, bloating of the stomach and digestive problems, these are signs that you should detoxify.
According to Dr Paul Lutaakome, a nutritionist at Jinja Referral Hospital, we take in so many things that become unnecessary in our bodies so the toxins keep on accumulating.
Many of these substances are taken in as food.
“Some foods have preservatives that are not absorbed in the body. These turn into toxins that are dangerous to the liver once they are not released out of the body,” he says.
Anything that is not needed in the body must be removed because the toxins can be a risk factor to some chronic diseases such as cancer, stroke and heart disease. Toxins usually slow down the body’s ability to burn fats.
Water helps flush out toxins that can lead to bacterial infection or kidney stones, along with harmful particles in the blood. Dr Lutaakome recommends beginning your day with warm lemon water to boost your metabolism, and curb cravings throughout the day. Also, consuming enough water is essential to help your liver and kidneys filter out toxins.
“Staying hydrated is a good way to help the body and liver detoxify. This is because the toxins will be passed in the urine. Fruits like grapes, apples and vegetables like cabbage, green tea, garlic and hibiscus are good for detoxifying the liver,” he says.
Eat more vegetables
Lilian Nyanzi, a nutritionist at Neulife Medical Centre, Bweyogerere, says vegetables are one of the most powerful detoxifying allies. They can be eaten raw, steamed or juiced. Since they have a distinct ability to neutralise heavy metals, chemicals, and pesticides, vegetables offer a powerful protective mechanism for the liver.
“Incorporating leafy vegetables into the diet increases the production and flow of bile, a substance that removes waste from the blood. Spinach, mustard greens, broccoli and cauliflower are good sources of glucosinolate, which supports enzyme production in the liver. These natural enzymes flush toxins from the body thereby significantly lowering the risks associated with cancer,” she says.
Beetroot and carrots are rich in flavonoids and beta-carotene; eating them supports liver function. Cabbage water is gentle and cleanses the digestive system. It also stimulates production of liver detoxifying enzymes that help flush out toxins.
Cruciferous vegetables such as brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, kale and mustard greens are known for their high fibre content and distinctive taste. They are also high in beneficial plant compounds and may increase the liver’s natural detoxification enzymes, help protect it from damage and improve blood levels of liver enzymes.
Eat with intention
Eating with gratitude and intention is very important. Avoid eating because everyone is eating and restrict it to only times when you are hungry. You can also engage in intermittent fasting and have intervals of eating.
“Avoid eating food later than 7pm and in the morning, eat fewer amounts but nutritious breakfast with nutrients that will keep you satiated for a long time, reduce your food craving until you have lunch. Also, limit snacking between meals to give your digestive system a rest,” Dr Lutaakome advises.
For only ten minutes a day in the steam room, you can detoxify your body, says Lilian Nyanzi, a nutritionist at Neulife Medical Centre in Bweyogerere. The steam room has a host of benefits, especially helping you sweat out any pollutants. It also offers mental, physical relaxation and brightens up the skin, leaving it with a healthy and natural glow.
Note, however, that you only need a few minutes of sweating or you will get dehydrated or catch a skin reaction from overheating.