Suddenly, everyone is talking about detoxifying the body. The social media is inundated with methods on body cleansing for weight loss and spiritual upliftment. There is absolutely no doubt that having faced the onslaught of colas, drinks with artificial sweeteners, fast food and cold cuts compounded with a stressful lifestyle, we have abused our body and mind like never before and therefore need a complete purging process.
The generation before us — our parents and grandparents — lived a balanced life, relatively free of health problems and were much more energetic than us. The detoxification methods that we romanticize today were an intrinsic part of their lives, whether it was by way of the noisy early morning gargles, consuming fresh farm vegetables and dairy products or through ritual fasting. In fact, ritual fasting is nothing but a scientific method of cleansing the body and mind. Ironically, we pay a heavy doctor’s fee to learn the very methods that are a part of India’s forgotten culture — advice which is free of cost if we simply listen patiently to a grandparent.
But the reality has hit us hard and we must expand our network of hope for a healthy life beyond medicines.
So what exactly is detoxification?
It essentially means total purification and nourishment of the body by washing out and eliminating all the accumulated toxins. It is a safeguard against small and big diseases. Detox helps you to bounce back with renewed vigor and energy.
How does it work?
If one were to put it in a nutshell, it means purification of the blood — liver, lungs, kidneys because these are the organs where toxins are processed and eliminated. We fall ill with different ailments when the impurities in our blood are not properly filtered by these organs. This is where detoxification plays its part.
What are the signals that your body needs detoxification?
Bad digestion, disturbed sleep, skin problems, frequent feeling of bloating, back ache, pain in the joints, hair loss, general irritation and eye problems are some of the signs that you should look out for.
Here’s what you can do
Ideally, an adult should drink six to eight litres of water every day. To make the task more pleasant for those who don’t fancy consuming too much water there are alternatives in the form of detox drinks that have a good taste and at the same time keep you hydrated the whole day.
So here goes — Drink-1 to Drink-7 — think of it as one drink for each day of the week. All you need is a jug and a few selected fruits and vegetables. Slice or cut the fruits or vegetables as the case may be and put them into a jug of water and let it stand. It is advisable to keep the jug in the refrigerator if it is the weather is hot. For best results, keep this mixture for about four hours before consuming the water. You can refill the jug with water each time you consume the water content, repeating the process at least thrice. You can even keep this detox water jug at room temperature. Apart from the detox benefits, you may even start noticing your waistline getting slimmer from the seventh day onward.
Drink No 1: You need: A jug for of water and cucumber, mint leaves, lemon & fresh ginger. Not only is cucumber rich in Vitamin B, it is low in calories and high in fibre and is made up mostly of water. A drink made with cucumber leaves you with a feeling of a full stomach and you tend to feel satisfied. Mint leaves and ginger aid in digestion while lemon flushes out harmful toxins from the body. Result: Better metabolism, weight, loss, glowing skin and hydration.
Drink No 2: You need: A jug for of water and apple, lemon & one stick of cinnamon. Apples are known to be a perfect antioxidant. Besides, they help in cleaning the blood vessels and rich in vitamins. Cinnamon has medicinal benefits and also prevents in the accumulation of certain fats. Result: Weight loss, hydration, stress relief, better metabolism and no bloating.
Drink No 3: You need: A jug for of water and pomegranate seeds & cucumber. Pomegranate is not only rich in potassium, it is also said to have three times more antioxidants than green tea. Result: Strong immune system, good taste, weight loss and glowing skin.
Drink No 4: You need: A jug for of water and strawberry, kiwi & mint leaves. Strawberries curb the appetite and aid digestion, while kiwi is rich in Vitamin C and has dietary fibre. Result: Good digestion.
Drink No 5: You need: A jug for of water and orange, apple & mint leaves. Oranges are fibre-rich and full of Vitamin C. Result: Glowing skin, good digestion and prevention against diabetes.
Drink No 6: You need: A jug for of water and six slices of eggplant (brinjal), cucumber & lemon. Eggplant is high on nutrients and low on calories, which is perfect for losing weight. Result: Good for diabetics, the fibre content in eggplant takes care of constipation. Overall, the drink is good for the heart and muscles.
Drink No 7: You need: A jug for of water and strawberry & pineapple chunks. Pineapple has both low cholesterol and fat, is good for digestion and helps to maintain an ideal body weight. Result: Their combined properties help in controlling blood sugar.
Net result: All these detox drinks and are healthy and have no side effects.
Now, the drinks are just one way of making detoxification a part of you life and to help in the smooth functioning of your daily routine. Combined with a balanced diet, yoga and workout, they can help in taking care of nagging health issues and in the long run, major illnesses.
The Ayurvedic way
Ayurveda recommends proper detoxification of the body at least once in a year if not every changing season for everyone because that is the time the body adjusts to climatic changes. But for that, you must consult a certified practitioner and do it under his/her guidance. Although there are general detoxification methods (except for diabetics who must consult their doctor first), you can go in for a customized detoxification programme according to your body type and the amount of toxins in your body. A week-long sample diet comprises fruit juices, fruits, vegetables and vegetable juice for the first three days, soups for the next set of three days and khichadi etc for the last three days. This plan can be followed for a week every three months. Of course there are exceptions for diabetics who must be prudent while eating fruit and go in favor of vegetables that are easily digestible.