Your body has its own built-in detoxification system, according to Ashley Koff, a registered dietician and founder of Ashley Koff Approved (AKA), and Lauren Harris-Pincus, RDN, founder of Nutrition Starring You. Among speaking engagements, celebrity consulting, blogging and coaching, Koff and Harris-Pincus offer comprehensive personalized coaching to those who wish to get on a healthier path.
Delicious Living caught up with Koff and Harris-Pincus, who helped to take the exhaustive world of detoxing and narrowed it down to five simplified tips.
Stop using phrases like “going on a detox” or “doing a cleanse,” advises Koff, “because those are just code for ‘perfect eating,’ which can be perfectly frustrating and leave you feeling perfectly hungry. Better nutrition comes from better—not perfect—choices that you make more often.” That means, she adds, that you can and should enjoy your favorites—whether it’s wine and cheese or a sweet dessert—in smart portions and not every day, and only as long as you make other better detox choices more often, too.
Of course some exposure (to pollution, for example) is beyond our control, Koff says, but there’s also some exposure we can self-regulate. “If you choose organic foods more often, avoid food that’s highly processed, and find beauty products and household cleaners that don’t contain harmful chemicals, you can actively reduce the amount of toxins that make it into your body.”
Excessive alcohol, nicotine or drug use can interfere with the ability of the body’s digestive and detoxification processes to function correctly. Also limit added sugars,
Ask your doctor or dietitian for a list of foods with nutrients that support the body’s detoxification system. Examples from Koff’s guide, “Better Detox Nutrition, Simplified,” include broccoli, which contains the highest amount of glucoraphanin, a nutrient that helps convert harmful toxins into waste for elimination; hemp, pasture-raised eggs, almonds and sunflower seeds, which all contain amino acids, vitamins and minerals that support toxin identification and elimination; and beets (don’t forget the leaves), dandelion and milk thistle, which encourage healthy liver function.
“Your body can’t be successful at detoxing if digestion isn’t functioning properly,” Koff says. Choose foods rich in magnesium, she suggests, such as cacao, oats, hemp, cashews and quinoa. “Yes, that means chocolate (cacao) has a place in your detox plan; try hot cocoa for breakfast instead of coffee.”
Every system in your body requires rest to function properly, so never skimp on sleep. If you’re sleep-deprived, you’re also less likely to make good decisions about what to put in (or on) your body. During your waking hours, besides limiting the toxins you ingest, follow other healthy detox practices. Drink plenty of water, get lots of exercise and try yoga and meditation, which can detox your attitude as well as your body. And don’t forget to breathe—not just the kind that you do every moment without thinking about it, but conscious, deep breathing that expels carbon dioxide from the lungs.
[Read more: 5 yoga poses to relieve stress and tension]
Deep breathing boosts energy levels, delivers fresh oxygen to the digestive system and strengthens the immune system, while the movements of the diaphragm massage vital organs in your abdomen—like your liver.
5 ways to improve your #detox from @deliciousliving
Subscribe to Delicious Living's e-newsletter for weekly news and recipes
Check out our collection of free cookbooks and eGuides
Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×