If you’ve woken up this morning with a groan … and you’re thinking you must do a ‘detox’ this month, here are my thoughts and tips. This is the first article of five I will write. You could take them as a step-by-step approach to a cleaner, brighter, fresher and healthier new year.
What I mean by ‘detox’ in this article, is giving your body’s systems and organs a rest – a break from rich food & drink – so that your cells can regenerate fresher and fitter than ever. This puts a sparkle in your eyes and a spring in your step – you’ll have more energy, better immunity … and looks.
The liver is our powerhouse of detoxification – it filters our blood at the rate of about 3 pints per minute – removing dead and faulty cells, bugs, inorganic chemicals, fat globules, etc. It then detoxifies these by using enzymes to convert them from fat soluble to water soluble – so they can be eliminated from our bodies via urine, sweat and faeces.
So, the first step in giving your liver a helping hand is to help clear the elimination pathways. There are four main exit routes from our bodies:
- large intestine (bowel, colon) – faeces
- kidneys & bladder – urine
- skin – sweat
- lungs – respiration (breathing)
All four of these eliminatory organs/systems have one fundamental requirement in order to function – WATER. The lungs require a litre of water at all times in order to exchange gases in and out of the blood (the purpose of respiration). When exercising or in warm weather, our skin can sweat out a litre per hour. Urine is the most obvious watery route and is a good indicator of dehydration – it should be pale, light yellow – almost clear. If it’s yellow, orange or dark and cloudy – you urgently need to drink more water! Few of us meet our body’s requirements of 6-8 glasses (1.5-2 litres) per day of pure water. It’s such a simple yet powerful step towards better health. Read why in my article here.
STEP ONE – your homework today is to drink more plain, pure water – today and every day from now on. Here are a few tips on drinking water:
- Like a pot plant that hasn’t been watered for some time, if you drink 8 glasses today it will just go straight through you – you will probably spend most of the day on the toilet. Increase water intake slowly – if you don’t currently drink any water each day, drink one tall glass today, two tomorrow and the next day, then three, etc etc.
- Sip water over the course of the day – don’t down whole glasses at a time (think pot plant).
- Don’t drink within 20 minutes of a meal – especially before, as this can dilute digestive juices.
- Choose bottled mineral or filtered water to avoid added chemicals. I like the taste of the water from these Wellness Carafes which I also sell in my clinic.
- Herbal teas count as water. Your liver loves herbs – especially bitter tasting ones such as dandelion, nettle, mint and green tea. Don’t overdo any of them though – vary them throughout the day. You could also drink hot water with a small slice of lemon (if you like the taste – try removing the outer skin if it’s too bitter).
TOMORROW – I’ll be writing about how you can support elimination through your skin. You’ll be amazed by this vital organ – it’s literally the frontline of your body!