K. Jeshi brings you nutritionists’ advice for this year: Detox first, wellness will follow

A detox schedule is the fitness dictum for 2014. It could be the way to overall wellness, say fitness gurus. “Detoxification is the natural mechanism of the body to remove accumulated toxins. You can help it along by following a diet and fitness plan,” says Chandrasekar S, a food consultant. We constantly inhale toxins from the polluted air and eat food that is loaded with chemicals and pesticides.

A six-meal diet schedule — pre-breakfast, breakfast, mid morning snack, lunch, evening tea and dinner — is the key to a detoxification plan, says nutritionist S.A. Nazreen Jones. “While the fibre content acts on breaking up the chemical matter, fluids flush out the toxins from the body. Including fruits and vegetables clears undigested food matter from the intestines. Such internal cleansing ensures a healthy fat-free body,” she adds.

This may not go down well with a lot of us, but fitness trainer Kumudha Selvaraj urges us to kick the coffee/tea-first-thing-in-the-morning habit. Instead have glass of warm water with a squeeze of lemon and some honey. Or, have mint leaves (soaked overnight), or jeera water.

Switch to green tea. It ensures that your body is cleansed before your breakfast. It also improves bowel movement and tackles indigestion. Coffee and tea just add up the toxins.

How to start

Kick start the detoxification with fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies and soups. They pack extra fibre.

Try fresh vegetable juice. It could be carrot juice, a combo of carrot, beetroot and coconut milk or even vegetable smoothies. Between breakfast and lunch, go for lemonade or a juice made of kiwi, strawberry, grapes or pineapple.

Along with lunch, a smoothie made with strawberry, banana and orange with a dash of fresh cream would work wonders.

You can replace a main meal with a bowl of fruit salad or vegetable salad.

Suggested detox tips

Morning: Warm water with jeera, flax seeds or fenugreek. A couple of blanched almonds or walnut is also good.

Mid morning: Tender coconut or vegetable soup.

Evening: A bowl of sprouts or any sundal. Snack on cucumber slices.

Drink green tea. To make it interesting, grate lemon or orange zest to it. It is necessary to drink a minimum of three litres of water when you are on a detoxification diet.

Avoid junk food. Include a 30-minute cardio-vascular workout. Sleep for at least six to seven hours.

A detoxification schedule has to be followed under the guidance of a health practitioner or a nutritional consultant.

Organs that detoxify

It is the liver, kidney, gall bladder, colon, lungs, skin and lymph channels that help us detoxify. To keep them working efficiently, a strategic diet plan is the way to go.

DID YOU KNOW?

Brain: Physical exercise and yoga activates neural pathways that help in efficient working of the organs.

Digestive Tract:

Fibre-rich food can help easy digestion. For this, consume green vegetables and drink plenty of water. There are harmful parasites in our intestines. Herbal treatments work wonders to get rid of them. Having extra virgin oil, raw garlic, onion, dried oregano, ginger, wormwood and black walnut helps.

Liver: The liver expels toxins. Garlic, onions, cruciferous vegetables, whole grains, turmeric, berries, green tea, yoghurt, nuts, legumes and red grapes help it do this better.

Skin: The largest organ of our body is the most vulnerable to pollutants. Cut down on sugar that damages the collagen and elastin of the skin leaving it dry and patchy. Avoid excessive dairy products and meat.