Time for a spring clean? Don’t detox

Spring is here and summer is coming. Are you thinking about spring-cleaning your body? Do you feel the need to detox? Do you want to cleanse and purify?

Well it’s easy…and not expensive. Skip the weird (and possibly dangerous) detox diets and cleanses and make a few simple changes to your diet that can give you the energy boost you need.

  • Drink water – tap water is cheap and effective (add lemon or lime slices for flavour) – water and other drinks hydrate the body and give all sorts of health benefits
  • Eat a rainbow – eat fresh greens as well as other fruits and vegetables in a variety of colours, like carrots, beetroot, tomatoes, oranges & apples – these give vitamins, minerals and fibre, a combination that is most likely to benefit our health – don’t forget that tinned and frozen fruit and veg are just as good as fresh
  • Eat a balanced diet – a variety of food can provide us with all the energy and nutrients we need – look for local EAT WELL or FOOD PLATE recommendations (Google images)
  • Avoid salt – when cooking add herbs, spices, vinegar or lemon juice for flavour
  • Avoid fried food and sugary food and drinks – having fewer of these foods will leave space for foods full of nutrients and fibre.
  • Cut back on alcohol – have at least two alcohol-free days every week – better still, go alcohol-free for more energy and to save money and calories

NHS Choices (www.nhs.uk) says that there is no evidence that toxins build up in our bodies (if they did we would feel very ill). Detox diets are essentially a form of fasting and are unlikely to offer much energy. Instead, we can feel more energetic all day when we eat food full of nutrients and fibre, drink water and restrict fried and sugary foods.

Alcohol Concern (www.alcoholconcern.org.uk) says that although the liver can process and remove toxins from the blood, people who forego alcohol report feeling better, sleeping better, having more energy, saving money and losing weight.

The British Dietetic Association (www.bda.uk.com) says that supplements, like multivitamin tablets, are expensive and many have no proven benefit. Most people can get all the vitamins and minerals they need from a balanced diet and time spent in the sunlight. Ask your doctor, pharmacist/chemist or dietitian if you would benefit from taking supplements.

So don’t spend time and money on expensive attempts to detox. Instead invest some time and effort into making a few changes to your daily food habits that can offer longer term health benefits…all year round.

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