Tired all the time? Craving sugar? Feeling bloated? It could be time to detox.
We often ask our digestive and metabolic systems to do much more than they can handle, says Phoebe Boonkerd, holistic manager, naturopath and nutritionist at renowned Chiva-Som health and wellness resort on the Gulf of Thailand. “If you’re starting to experience the many signs and symptoms of overload, then it is time to cleanse your body.” In addition to fatigue, sugar cravings and bloating, symptoms can include moodiness, tiredness upon waking, constipation, skin outbreaks, dark circles under the eyes and nausea after exercise.
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“When our cells and organs are less burdened, they can function more optimally and we feel better,” Boonkerd says. Detoxifying the body improves your ability to cope with stress, increases energy and sense of wellbeing, in addition to aesthetic benefits like great skin, shiny hair and bright eyes, she adds.
But you won’t get those benefits from some crazy juice cleanse. Boonkerd discourages such “starvation approaches,” which can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). “That does more harm than good,” she says.Here are Boonkerd’s recommendations for a do-it-yourself detox.
1. Have a steam or sauna every day for five days, followed by a cold shower to stimulate sweating. “Sweating helps eliminate fluid wastes to cleanse the lymphatic system,” Boonkerd says.
2. Drink vegetable juices. “By concentrating the antioxidants in vegetables through juicing, you assist the liver and kidneys to more effectively clear wastes from the body,” Boonkerd says. She adds that most of us are able to tolerate one to two days of liquid juice diets (drinking at regular intervals).
3. Increase fiber in your diet. An easier alternative to a juice diet, but still very cleansing, is a few days of raw vegetable and fruit salads and soups. “This helps clear the bowel, one of the major sources of accumulated toxins in the body.”
4. Get plenty of sleep. “There is no condition that is not improved through abundant, high-quality sleep, including detoxification!”
5. Eat pure, unprocessed foods. “This is essential for a detox to work. It removes the major sources of toxins in the body—unhealthy foods—and allows the body to focus on deeper detoxification.”
6. Drink plenty of purified water. “Hydrating is one of the simplest ways to improve energy. Drink pure water until you have a consistently clear urine stream throughout the day.”
For more information or to book an Art of Detox retreat at Chiva-Som, visit www.chivasom.com.