Stock up on fresh produce. Make sure you have plenty of fresh vegetables on hand pre and post-cleanse. Abundant in phytochemicals (potent antioxidants with anti-inflammatory activity) — eating plenty of greens supports your natural detoxification pathways, protects against inflammation and boosts immunity. And if you will be snacking at all during your cleanse, as mentioned prior, lean heavily on water-rich vegetables and low sugar fruits. Where possible purchase organic or spray-free.
— Particularly useful for the liver are beetroot, celery, spinach, capsicums, asparagus, and globe artichoke.
— Excellent enzyme support provided by the brassica family which includes foods like cabbage, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.
Fibre to support elimination. Dietary fibre is of the utmost importance for the efficient removal of toxins during cleansing. If you struggle to reach your fibre intake daily, pre and post cleanse work to incorporate the following daily.
— Soaking chia seeds and flax seeds to add to smoothies.
— Grate green apples over Bircher muesli, or add kiwifruit.
— To a big green salad, add a little quinoa or buckwheat with some sprouted legumes.
Recommended protein sources. Protein is vital as it contains essential amino acids for the detoxification pathways in the liver. Too much protein, however, can tax the liver, as it has to produce more bile and digestive enzymes to perform detoxification.
— Olive, hemp, flaxseed and coconut oil all support the liver thoroughly during a cleanse by encouraging the liver and gall bladder to contract and carry more toxins out of the body. Add liberally to salads and smoothies.
Eat plenty of fermented foods. This includes foods such as sauerkraut, coconut kefir and kombucha to supply a source of healthy bacteria to keep your gut function optimal and your body more alkaline.
Support your detoxification pathways. Eat raw garlic daily. Garlic is rich in allicin, a compound vital for liver detoxification pathways — antioxidant-rich with antimicrobial activity to deter parasites and fungal infections. Globe artichoke, dandelion leaves, bitter greens (such as rocket, chicory, endive and watercress) work to encourage digestive juices, stimulating the liver to produce more bile for better elimination of toxins.
Herbs for supporting the liver.
— Milk Thistle. Liver protective, stimulates regeneration of healthy liver cells, anti-inflammatory and a potent antioxidant
— Dandelion bitter greens. Such as dandelion stimulates digestion and the liver and promote the flow of bile, vital for eliminating toxins and helping with the absorption of fats in the body. Excellent for a sluggish liver, digestion and constipation and great for skin complaints.
— Globe artichoke. Like Milk Thistle, an excellent liver restorative and protector.
— Rosemary. Stimulates the production of bile and inhibits toxic damage to the liver.
— Turmeric. A powerful antioxidant and liver protector.
— Slippery Elm powder. This mucilage nous powder from the bark of the Slippery Elm tree is soothing to the intestinal tract and helps prevent reabsorption of toxins when unloaded into the digestive tract.
Incorporate dry body brushing. Using a long-handled soft bristle brush or loofa, brush in a circular motion from the bottom of your feet, up to your body towards your heart. And then from your hands, brush down your arms and your upper body towards your heart. Dry brushing encourages lymphatic drainage and increases detoxification through the skin and muscles. Follow with a warm shower, and if you can tolerate cooler temperatures, alternating warm and cold showers to stimulate the body and improve circulation.
Sea swimming. A very naturopathic approach to cleansing. The natural minerals in the saltwater promote detoxification, and the exercise encourages elimination. You come out of the water tingling, energised and with the softest skin.
Saunas. Preferably ‘infrared’ saunas which heat the body more slowly than a conventional sauna and encourage deeper detoxification in the tissues. More gyms and health centres are installing these. If you do not have access to an infrared sauna, conventional saunas are still excellent for promoting sweating and detoxification.
Breath Work. Explore the benefits of purposeful breath, spending a few minutes daily getting to bring awareness to your breath and much like with meditation, relax your body and mind. Deep breathing is vital in the cleansing process, encouraging the clearing of toxins from the lungs while reducing acidity in the blood.
Get moving. Exercise of any form has benefits for the body and the mind. Exercise increases circulation of blood and lymphatic tissue, makes you sweat, stimulates proper bowel elimination, encourages deeper breathing, burns calories and releases natural endorphins to make you feel good.
Sleep. Generally, you can feel more tired at the start of a cleanse, so try to get plenty of sleep if you can. Sleeping enables the body to recharge and protect itself — so aim to get a minimum of 7 hours quality sleep per night.
These tips don’t need to be just limited to when you are doing a cleanse, every day we are exposed to environmental toxins from many different sources. To keep our bodies optimally healthy we should think about adding some of these habits to our daily regimes.