UnitedLife 03

Spring time and spring detox


Soňa Zajačeková
Editor-in-Chief of United Life
Bratislava, Slovakia

Warmer days and the arrival of first sunrays herald the time of ditching all bad habits when it comes to our eating. Lower physical activity combined with unhealthy eating habits and the unfavorable composition of the typical holiday menu during winter unavoidably reflect in our bad mood, followed by the typical weight increase.

   Especially organs overloaded with fats and sugars in winter need some rest which can be started easily with a spring detox. Liver function increases in spring time. Liver filters toxins and then sends them to our fat tissue. The kidneys play a vital role in filtering toxins as well, being the second most important detoxing organ which is also why they benefit from a lower toxin influx so they can regenerate.

   A detox is not to be confused with a diet. It makes you feel better, you can even lose a couple of pounds, but it certainly isn’t the same as a diet. It is advisable to continue a detox for a day every week or to infuse a portion of goodness every day.

   Your workload, daily routine, your taste preferences and a healthy lifestyle in general need to be taken into consideration when composing your daily menu. This way food preparation becomes an enjoyable rather than exhausting experience.

   Fasting all day with daily intake limited to water or detoxifying nutrition supplies such as cocktails, pills or powder mixtures is not the way to go because your body will ask for the missing food which will result in a much severe overeating. Don’t put your body under strain.

   First of all, the crucial role of the correct water intake has to be mentioned. Increase water intake during your detox days up to 2,5 – 3 l daily. Water helps the body to flush all toxins which is what makes it so important. Herbal teas (for example those that contain antioxidants), fresh fruit juices and mineral waters are most suitable sources. If you chose to drink mineral water, try more brands and don’t drink just one of them all day long. Drinking a glass of water with a couple of drops of lemon every morning stimulates the intestines and creates a fresh start into the day.

   Eliminate all greasy, fried, baked or fat foods and meats, as well as any over-spiced or over-sweetened meals. The same goes for sodas (coca cola, sweetened mineral waters, sweetened juices, etc.), coffee and alcohol and those with a strong will eliminate smoking on the top. You are aware of the key role water plays in the process and you know which foods to avoid and now we can discuss what it is you can consume during a detox.

   Start with vegetables and fruits divided into five portions during the day. The fruits and veggies in the very first days should make up to 80 % of your daily intake. They can be combined with brans, oatmeal and flax seeds. Try a vegetable day first (fruits and veggies should not be consumed on same day), divide it into five portions. One of these portions can be prepared by using heat (steamed vegetables, vegetable brew or salad, but stay away from dressings that contain too many ingredients), but be careful not to use too many fats.

   Try having a fruit day the next day. Combine fruit juices in moderation since they contain a lot of sugar. Apples, grapefruits, pineapples, pomegranates, lemons, oranges or sour cherries are a recommended choice. You can still eat them dried even if outside the season; however beware of dried fruits that contain too much added sugar.

   Spend next days in a similar fashion by consuming mostly veggies and fruits while adding nutritionally high foods such as fish, steamed chicken, tofu or nuts and keep watching your water intake. The closer you get to the end of your detox (6th-7th day) you can try adding potatoes or rice and vegetables.

   Consult a health professional before you start detoxing. High blood pressure, diabetes, pregnancy, minor age and a special diet are some of the contraindications.

Soňa Zajačeková


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