Health Topics

Healthy Living

June 2010
Summer Detox
Karen Campos Bhatia
Summer is the ideal time to Detox. It makes it easier to consume detoxifying foods such as fruit, vegetables and an abundance of fluids, because we tend to naturally pull away from greasy, spicy foods during the heat.

By following a 7 - 14 day detox plan, that focuses on nutrient packed fresh foods close to their natural state, and avoiding processed foods laden with sugar, fat, salt and artificial additives, you will allow your body to function more efficiently.

Here is a 6 step programme to detoxify your body in summer:
No junk food:
Avoid having fried foods, aerated drinks, ready meals, canned foods etc. Stick to natural foods which are whole grains, cereals, fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables.

Eat frequently and one food type at a time:
Give yourself gaps of 2 hours where you eat one type of food. For example only vegetables or only fruit, or high fibre cereals or fruit, this is to maximise their individual benefits.

Avoid dairy products other than yoghurt:
This will help to promote optimum digestion and this too should be eaten as a separate meal. Yoghurt is a very powerful food, it is a ‘live’ food that promotes the growth of good bacteria which are key to good digestion,  good bacteria corrects yeast imbalances thereby keeping yeast infections, of the skin as well as the urinary tract in check.

Detox your environment:
When you are attempting to Detox, be aware of the harsh chemicals your skin absorbs through cosmetics, creams and bath products and things you inhale through air fresheners, incense sticks, mosquito repellents etc which are all quite toxic – try and limit your usage of them.

Exercise and massage:
Make sure to go for a 20 to 30 minute brisk walk or jog in the early hours of the day, so you can get some fresh air, follow up with some pranayam (yogic breathing exercises), Kapalabhati is one of the breathing techniques of yoga which is a powerful cleanser of mind, body and spirit. End with some yogic asanas like Yogamudra, Vajrasana (pelvic pose), Matsyasana (fish pose), Uttanapadasana (leg lifting pose), Dhanurasana (bow pose), Vakrasana (spinal twist), Pavanamuktasana (gas releasing pose). All these poses help in releasing toxins and relieve constipation, thereby clearing the system of accumulated waste. A lymphatic drainage massage would also be beneficial to allowing the toxins to flow out of the body naturally, and help in removing water retention.

Make sure to drink a glass of water every half an hour to 45 minutes, however be careful to not drink water or any liquids while you eat, so as not to dilute the digestive juices. Stay off caffeine, and aerated drinks or any pre-made juices. You can have fresh vegetable and fruit juices. Drink a few glasses of warm water to help release any grease along the digestive tract or you can have a cup or two of green tea.

As always, if you have any medical problems check with your physician before you begin any of the above.

Karen Anne Campos Bhatia is Nutritionist, Exercise physiologist and Lifestyle Consultant