There is much more to holistic health than simply putting natural substances into the body to heal disease and promote health. One of the fundamental principles of holism is getting unnatural substances or toxins out of the body on a regular and sustained basis. By using “detox foods” as your daily medicine you are getting the best of both worlds, filling your body with life-giving essential nutrients and clearing out wastes and toxins: a perfect recipe for glowing health.
Water is essential for detoxification; in fact it’s essential for life and most people simply don’t get enough of this essential and overlooked nutrient. One of the simplest, cheapest and most effective ways to ensure your body is cleansed and detoxified each day is to drink more water. You are literally a community of cells and every single cell is bathed in a watery fluid. Cells absorb nutrients from this fluid and excrete their wastes into it, to be drawn away by the lymphatic and venous system and taken to your liver for processing. If you become dehydrated, your cells are literally swamped in their own waste products. Think how smelly and toxic your house would become in a matter of days if your water was disconnected and you start to get the point.
Water is also essential for kidney detoxification. Your liver sends water-soluble toxins to your kidneys where they are dissolved in water and excreted. The more concentrated these waste products are, the darker your urine and the stronger smelling it will be.
In fact, you can use the colour of your urine to assess your level of hydration. Healthy urine should be a very pale yellow. If your urine is still dark yellow by early afternoon you have some serious water drinking ahead of you to hydrate and cleanse your cells.
If you are dehydrated during your detox, toxins will be forced out through your skin, often termed the “third kidney”, resulting in rashes, itching skin and a worsening of conditions such as acne and eczema. This can be avoided by ensuring your body is well hydrated before and during your detox. Dr Batmanghelidj, author of Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, believes many people today aren’t sick, they’re simply thirsty. He believes that thirst for water is a sign of serious dehydration and it is a mistake to rely on thirst as a guide to how much water you should drink.
After many years researching the role of water in health and disease, Dr Batmanghelidj recommends the following guide to calculate exactly how much water you need to drink each day. Multiply your weight in kilograms by 0.033; the figure you get is the amount in litres of water you need. For example, if you weigh 60kg you need to consume 1.98 litres of water each day in order to stay sufficiently hydrated. Add one extra litre for each hour of intensive exercise.
Water is best taken in small amounts through the day rather than all at once. If you simply guzzle two litres of water before you leave the office each day you won’t be doing your body or your bladder any favours. All that water will simply be filtered straight out by your kidneys and won’t reach your parched cells.
If you are struggling to drink all the water your body needs, the following tips will ensure that you’ll be well hydrated for healthy detoxification.
- Have a large glass of water as soon as you get up in the morning, as soon as you get to work and as soon as you get home.
- Carry a bottle of water with you into meetings and keep one with you for car trips (have a sip at every red light).
- Find a jug or several water bottles that meet your daily water requirements and fill them up each day; this makes it easy to monitor how much you’re actually drinking.
- Buy a beautiful glass jug and water glass to keep at your desk or on the kitchen bench to help inspire you to drink.
- Follow every trip to the bathroom with a large glass of water: water out, water in.
- Focus on benefits: clear and glowing skin, bright and sparkling eyes, reduced pain and allergies and a more productive brain.
- Remember, your bladder is just a big stretchy muscle; it will get used to the increase in water and you’ll have to visit the bathroom less often.
Before you rush off and gulp down a big glass of water from your kitchen tap, you need to pay a little attention to the quality of your water. After all, if you are drinking more water to ensure a cleaner, healthier body, you don’t want your water with a dash of pesticides, heavy metals, potentially nasty bacteria and bleach. Yes, the chlorine in your water is the same stuff you use to bleach stains out of your clothes and clean the toilet.
It makes sense to choose water that is as clean and uncontaminated as possible. A good-quality water filter is a very worthwhile investment. Filtered water also tastes better, making it easier and more satisfying to drink without having to disguise the chlorinated taste of tap water with cordial or juice.
To improve the absorption of water, add a few drops of a good liquid mineral formulation.
Tasty Foods to Detox Your Digestive System
Vibrant health starts in your gut and the food that passes through it can make or break detoxification. Food can assist your gut to detox by:
- Encouraging the health of good bacteria
- Providing the right kind of fibre
- Assisting in the absorption of nutrients that your body needs for detoxification
- Preventing and treating constipation.