To Detox or not To Detox
Do you feel you’ve indulged yourself too much during the festive season and you want to restore some balance in your diet, or may be you want to drop a couple of kilos? Maybe it’s time to do a detox!
Detox diets such as fasting, intermittent fasting, mono diets, and juice diets are very popular among Hollywood stars. So, of course, they get a lot of exposure in the media and many of us feel tempted to follow their lead by doing our own detox diet. We’ve all tried to stop sugar for a week or dropped pasta from our diet. And let’s be honest: who hasn't tried to quit alcohol for a while just to feel better, to feel ‘detoxiﬁed’?
But are these diets backed up by science? Are they really healthy, and do they work in the long run? In my view, all these detox diets are just another fad!
So what about doing the exact opposite? Let me explain. A radical cleansing for a couple of weeks done twice a year is not enough to offset 48 weeks of eating junk or processed foods. Instead, I propose adopting healthy lifestyle changes on a daily basis with ‘indulge yourself’ moments from time to time. How does that sound? I can hear you.. you’re thinking fantastic! So let’s talk about detox, the Huguette way…
First, please remember that our body has its own detox system. The skin, the respiratory and immune systems, the intestines, liver, and kidneys all play a paramount role in eliminating or neutralising toxins. To quote Health Harvard Education: “If you're generally healthy, concentrate on giving your body what it needs to maintain its robust self-cleaning system — a healthful diet, adequate ﬂuid intake, regular exercise, sufﬁcient sleep, and all recommended medical check-ups. If you experience fatigue, pallor, unexplained weight gain or loss, changes in bowel function, or breathing difﬁculties that persist for days or weeks, visit your doctor instead of a detox spa.”
I love it! So let’s use food as prevention, let’s pack our pantry with nutrient-dense foods so we can fuel our body on macro and micronutrients, on ﬁbres, minerals, and vitamins that are essential to our wellbeing and to maintaining our ‘self-cleaning system’.
Here is some advice on how to remain healthy. Start your day with a big glass of water with a good squeeze of lemon juice to give a kick to your digestive system. Keep drinking water all day long, eat organic when possible and try to avoid large portions. Go for quality over quantity!
Personally, I am a big fan of whole and Mediterranean diets because they are high in vegetables, fruits, wholegrain cereals, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, ﬁsh and olive oil and a little bit of red meat and dairy foods. The secret is to rotate your foods and to be sure to eat a wide variety of vegetables, in particular cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, kale,
and cabbage. Mix colourful foods (yellow, red, orange, purple) for their different phytochemicals and nutrients properties. Your gut microbiota, aka the superstar of the moment, aka your second brain, will be ecstatic!
Be curious and try new foods!