How to detox after the party
After days of partying, binge eating, and drinking when your body is bombarded with toxins caused by an unbalanced diet, toxic chemicals, stress, environmental pollutants and a sedentary lifestyle. If you feel drained by the end of the day, it’s time to go on a detox programme – A process that decreases the negative impact of xenobiotics or toxins on the body.
And, perhaps, New Year`s the best time to begin the purging of toxins that might have built up in your system.
Why is detoxifying important?
Detoxifying helps in cleansing the body internally. While most people go on a prolonged fast to cleanse their system, an easy alternative is to eat right.
Nutrition in the adult years must focus on maintaining health by using the right combination of foods, particularly plant-based foods and their constituents, to optimize the functions of the digestive system, the liver and other systems, including the immune system. Following the nutrition paradigm that promotes defensive eating helps maintain and promote health while preventing diseases.
When to detox?
When you are extremely drowsy, when your body retains water (edema), when you are nauseous, and dizzy, stressed and lethargic, and unable to sleep properly due to palpitation, and when you are drained – go for detox.
Ideally, you should go on detox diet once in three months for a week; or you can opt for it every weekend.
If you are obese with chronic diseases, then you are vulnerable to emotional binging. Then, you can detox every weekend. If you have cholesterol, diabetes and blood pressure you can detox once every two months. If you are leading an extremely stressful life then you can do it on quarterly basis.
What about existing medication?
When a person is undergoing medication he should be careful about the detox program because the phytochemicals in certain foods can also function as agents to retard the detoxification process. For example, cholesterol lowering statin drugs become 12 times more concentrated in the blood when taken with the grape fruit juice. Hence the medical history should be considered before going for detox because it is not meant for everybody. A detox diet is not for pregnant and lactating women, patients with thyroid, liver and kidney problems.
How to detox?
Combine your detox diet with the right kind of exercise – walking, jogging, skipping, dancing, and swimming. They increase your body temperature, making you sweat and breathe heavily. This helps remove the toxins through the skin and lungs.
Strategies to follow for detoxification:
- Most of the internal functions during detoxification take place in the liver. Care should be taken so that the liver is functioning properly.
- Hydrate your body. Make sure you drink 6-9 glasses of water every day. Water contains essential nutrients just like vitamins and minerals because your body cannot make enough of it to meet your daily requirements. It helps to maintain skin turgidity, regulate body temperature, transport nutrients to your body cells and helps remove toxins and cleanses your system. Drink a lot of fluids in the form of fresh seasonal fruit juices like watermelon, strawberries, cucumber, orange juice.
- Try to control the intake of sodium and monosodium glutamate and other flavour enhancers because they retard the detox process.
- Eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables like carrot, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, leek, etc. which are the richest sources of phytochemicals
- Enrich your body with herbal teas like green tea, black tea
- Drink a lot of vegetable soups.
- Go to bed early and rise early. Make sure you do not sleep in extreme temperatures – choose one in which you feel comfortable, Sleep for at least for 8 hours.
- You can detox through lungs and skin in the form of exercise.
- Massage gently which helps hasten the detox process. The back, neck, hands, shoulder and feet – areas that are stressed out the most, especially for those with a desk job – are to be massaged. Post massage, head straight for a steam or take a hot water bath. This helps to get rid of the oil and throws the toxins out.
The thumb rule for ensuring your body gets all the nutrients it requires:
- Aim for variety, eat from five food groups
- Eat small meals every few hours
- Do not starve
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day (according to lifestyle)
- Eat plenty of fibre to prevent constipation
- Get adequate folic acid – a B vitamin, which may help lower the risk of heart disease; calcium – to prevent osteoporosis and maintain healthy bones; vitamin D – which the body needs in order to absorb the calcium; and vitamin B12 to build red blood cells and maintain a healthy life.
Dr. Nupur Krishnan
The author is a leading nutrition expert with a decade of proven experience in Preventive and Clinical Nutrition therapies on heart attack, obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, stroke, blood pressure, thyroid and kidney disorders.