Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Question time

I love putting together my random thoughts for the blog, but I also love answering your health questions just as much so please send them in along with any suggestions for topics you'd like me to blog on to emilie@nutritioninthecity.com

Dear NITC,
I love your zen diet, but do you think this is a good time of year for detox, as it's New Year and i think a lot of people might consider doing one?
Also do you think it's good to detoxify for a few days eating only certain foods, or drinking fruit and vegetable juices for example, or not and what do you think about detoxifying supplements and diets and using hydrocolonotherapy?

Well that's a great question for this time of year but a big one also, so I'm going to answer it in two parts!

Firstly I don't think January is a good time for a proper detox, and by that I mean anything from a strict fruit and veg juice fast for a few days, to a restrictive detox diet for a month ala Carol Vorderman. The reason is that, incase you hadn't noticed, it's still freezing outside which means your body will be naturally trying to store more fat for warmth than in spring/summer. For your body to detox properly it needs to break down stored fat where excess toxins that your liver couldn't cope with have been stored. Therefore, this is the most difficult time of year to detox as it's in conflict with your body's survival mechanism.
In short, if it's cold enough to need a winter coat it's too cold to detox.

Having said that it's always good to cut down on the usual culprits post Christmas - sugar, chocolate, alcohol, cheese, caffeine and fizzy drinks. If you usually eat healthily this should be pretty easy, but if you consume a lot of these you may still get detox symptoms such as headaches and lethargy so cut down gradually.

But .... when it does warm up, come springtime, I do think a detox can do you a lot of good, either as a short strict fruit and veg detox or a longer, clean diet detox.

City lives expose us to loads of toxins, both in terms of pollution and in terms of eating processed or unnatural foods that evolution has not had time to adapt us to, so we need to give our bodies a toxin free holiday to recover every now and then. Plus it gives the body the time and energy to recover - the body has amazing powers to heal itself but only when it's not using all it's energy processing toxins and digesting heavy meals.

Out of the two I think
on balance following a longer detox diet is more beneficial, than a short juice fast, but if you can do both once a year then that's going to be brilliant for you. Details on a short fruit and veg detox or my favourite longer detox diet -Dr Joshi's Holistic detox can be found in these previous postings.

As for supplements and additional therapies, I don't think these are essential to follow a detox and get benefits and I usually just stick to my usual supplement regime. Admittedly that includes a multivitamin, extra vitamin c, b complex, fish oil, antioxidant complex, cherry active (more antioxidants) and spatone (natural iron supplement) plus digestive enzymes! Which is a lot more than I'd expect most of you to be taking but a good multi containing a range of antioxidants and some extra vitamin C would be a good place to start. But there are a few key nutrients that can really help accelerate the detox process and some other alternative therapies that can complement the process, but more on that next week!

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