7 Ways to Cleanse and Detox Your Body Gwyneth Archer 5 January, 2016 Features, Health & Fitness, Living January, the month that heralds promises of new beginnings, and the chance to make a clean, fresh start. Unsurprisingly, after the excesses of the Christmas period this often means a ‘cleanse’ or a ‘detox’, promising the chance to remove toxins from your body, and hopefully lose a few lbs. The team at Lifebox HQ and myself, do not believe in super-restrictive, quick-fixes, instead preferring to focus on eating a healthy balanced diet (with the odd treat here and there!) all year round. Your body is an amazing machine that is constantly detoxifying and so instead of embarking on a week-long super restrictive cleanse we’ve compiled our top tips for supporting and nurturing your body’s own detoxification system. 1. Reduce your toxic load. Your body’s detoxification processes won’t be able to function as well if they are overloaded with toxins. Your main detoxification organ, the liver, has to deal with heavy toxic exposure from the environment as well as the foods you eat. Try to reduce the amount of toxins consumed in your diet, this means cutting down (or out!) alcohol, caffeine, refined grains, sugar and heavily processed foods. Instead focus on fresh, wholefoods, including plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, organic if you can. If you really want to reduce your toxic exposure long-term then take a look at your bathroom cabinet and cleaning cupboard and consider transitioning over to the many amazing natural alternatives now available. 2. Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water will not only help to clear any foggy headed feelings left over from the holiday excesses but by pimping up your water using the Lifebox Elixir you can aid the detox process; the turmeric and ginger have antioxidant properties, helping to reduce free radical damage caused by detoxification. By adding some lemon juice to the elixir you can further reduce free radical damage, owing to the Vitamin C boost the lemon provides. Drinking sufficient water also helps to ensure your digestive system functions properly so toxins processed by the body are gotten rid of. 3. Essential nutrients. For your body to be able to detox properly it needs to be fuelled with the right nutrients. Essential nutrients for detoxification include zinc (found in the lucuma and barleygrass both included in our boxes), B vitamins (barleygrass) and protein. Compounds found in brassica vegetables (think broccoli, kale, cabbage) are also essential for the detoxification reactions that take place in our liver, so make sure you’re stocked up on those! 4. Eat plenty of fibre. This one’s for the digestive system, which is the first point of call for dealing with any toxins you ingest. Eating a fibre-rich diet ensures good bowel health, meaning that toxins are properly dealt with and disposed of. Nookie bars, included in this month’s Women’s, Men’s and Everyday boxes contain oats that are a great source of fibre. A diet rich in various fruits and vegetables is also essential for ensuring adequate fibre intake. 5. As mentioned above antioxidants help to reduce the damage caused as the body processes toxins. The January women’s and winter cleanse boxes all contain ariona berries, wheatgrass and barleygrass that are all packed full of Vitamin C, an antioxidant superstar (check out the smoothie recipe inside the boxes for a delicious way to incorporate these into your diet). 6. Ensure good gut health. Poor gut health can inhibit the proper digestion of food, limiting the amount of nutrients the body absorbs. In severe cases poor gut health can cause an increased toxic load on the body, due to damage to the gut wall and an inability to bind toxins and dispose of them as waste. Along with eating enough fibre (see above) green tea (we love the Pukka bags coming in the Lifeboxes for Feb) contain compounds called catechins that promote healthy bowel flora and so help with detoxification. 7. Sweat! Getting your sweat on, through exercise or a good hot sauna session, helps to aid the detox process by removing toxins stored in the body through the skin. Dry body brushing can also assist this process through stimulating the body’s circulation and lymphatic drainage system. About the author: It was her experience working as a fashion model that led Gwyneth Archer to understand the importance of nutrition in achieving a healthy body and personal wellbeing. She has a BSc (Hons) degree in Nutritional Therapy from the University of Westminster and now offers one-on-one consultations she to provide individual dietary and lifestyle advice for a range of chronic conditions as well as helping the individual to reach optimal health. She also recently became a Mum to a baby boy and is now working with pregnant women and new mothers to help them have the healthiest and most enjoyable experience of motherhood possible. www.gwynetharcher.com Lifebox Detox Smoothie Recipe For a single serving: 1/4 avocado Large handful of frozen kale ?Large handful of spinach Large handful of frozen blueberries Small handful of frozen banana or half a banana ?11/2 cups almond milk or milk of choice 1 cup filtered water 1/2 cup coconut OR maple water 1 sachet wheatgrass 1 sachet barleygrass 1tsp chia seeds 1 tsp of almond butter (or nut butter of your choice) 1tsp of cinnamon Blend all ingredients together in a blender or food processor and serve in a chilled glass or jar (tip is to put your container in the freezer first) If you prefer a thicker “smoothie bowl” consistency just reduce the liquid quantities, adding a little at a time until your desired consistency is reached – sprinkle with some flaxseed and some aronia berries AND ENJOY!