Detox - Does it Improve Your Skin?
So what is detoxification (detox)? To put it very simply it's "getting the garbage (toxins) out of your body without putting any more in". Toxins can be heavy metals, pesticides, too much vitamin A or chemical residues from the polluted air we breathe or the junk food we eat, which contains sugar salt, artificial colors and flavors.
All these are stored mainly in the fatty tissues of the body and can play havoc with your health if they build up to excess or if you have a sensitivity.
If you suffer with acne, or if your skin is dull, rough or blotchy, a detox could be exactly what you need. Other symptoms of toxic overload can be lethargy and frequent headaches or simply feeling below par. Detoxing will not only help your skin but the other major elimination organ, the liver. In fact your whole system will benefit!
There are as many detox methods as weight loss diets and some of them can be quite expensive! But we don't need to spend a lot of money on detox, it's something we can do ourselves if we know how. So to that end, I'll give you a really simple (& cheap!) detox that you can try.
Detox a la Wendy!
We are aiming here to rid the body of garbage therefore it's important to make the diet as light and healthy as possible but to have something you can live with for at least 2 weeks. It's no good going on a herbal tea and brown rice diet if you can only do it for two days!
So, to give you some ideas, substitute fish for meat, cut out alcohol, substitute herbal tea for coffee and tea, Cut out rich sauces and all fatty foods, eliminate salt and cut out all foods made with white flour. Yes it sounds painful but put your imagination to work, there are a lot of healthy foods you can substitute with.
Keep up the vegies, try serving them sprinkled with herbs or baking them in a quiche without pastry. Try pumpkin seeds as a snack, they're lovely sprinkled over cereal. Go to a health food shop or even the health section of your supermarket and do some research.
If you have digestive problems, a good detox for you may be cutting out all dairy and wheat products. Try soy milk or rice milk and breads made out of other flours such as rye, rice and soy flours.
Always take in some form of fiber to help elimination. Psyllium is great as it does not cause any food allergies. Start with just one teaspoon and if that causes no bloating or discomfort, increase it gradually.
Think water. It can be spring water, bottled water, filtered or rain water. If your domestic supply is ok, tap water is fine too. Herbal teas are great but read the label, some of them can be quite potent! Fruit and vegetable juices are fantastic but have them instead of a meal, not as an extra. Some of them are quite high in kilojoules.
Some people take supplements when they are detoxing, others don't. I like to take a herb called "milk thistle". It helps the liver to cleanse and heal.
Rapid detoxification can make you feel quite sick and can happen if you jump too quickly into detox from a bad diet loaded with fat sugar and chemical colors and flavors. Try to eliminate the bad foods first and go onto a healthier diet before attempting detox. However if you get mild headaches or experience drowsiness, try to stick with it. It's a sign that you body is eliminating those toxins.
Skin brushing (or dry brushing) can aid the detox process, use a loofah or natural bristle brush and starting from the hands brush the skin gently. Always start from the extremities and work towards the heart or centre of your body. Skin brushing will aid your circulation, remove dead skin cells and make you feel rejuvenated.
Exercise will also help. Exercising will make the body sweat, speeding up the elimination of toxic wastes. No need to run a marathon, do what you enjoy but do it regularly.
You may find your skin will get worse before it gets better, but soon you'll see a clearer more radiant complexion. Acne will improve, your eyes will look clearer and, as a bonus, you may find your appetite decreases and sugar cravings diminish. Pregnant women should consult their doctor before attempting detox. Young children or sick people should not radically alter their diet in any way. Seek medical advice first.
Just as a thought. It's better to be on a healthy diet most of the time than be on a bad diet and detoxing regularly. It's what we do every day that counts the most. Try to use this detox time to re think your eating habits and lifestyle choices.