By Mini Ribeiro
Detoxification is essential every now and then, as it helps our body to function better, enabling it to absorb nutrients more effectively. It's like spring cleaning your system.
Detox diets in no way signify starving but means, eating healthy instead. So go ahead and enjoy fruits, juices, vegetables and more this summer.
Been feeling lethargic and listless of late, with low energy levels? Chances are that you have over done it with the wrong type of foods, less or no exercise and perhaps your liver is sluggish, resulting in slow metabolism.
In the current fast- paced lives, we all lead, everyone feels the need to slow down and take stock of their health and fitness. We all love junk food and calorie-laden goodies, but once in a while it is nice to cleanse your body and detoxify it. Essentially removing toxins from the body is helpful and trust me, a lot of foods aid in that. I make it a point to detoxify my system every few months.
Ajay Chopra, Executive Chef, The Westin Mumbai Garden City explains, “A lot of times we food lovers and explorers end up eating things which clog our system completely. These foods may be really tasty but may not be the healthiest. Thus, we feel tired, disoriented and fatigued. I think we must be the way nature has made us. Detox is a phenomenon which releases the unwanted waste from our body, which gets secreted in our bodies and remains there. It could be in any form, solid, liquid or air. Good news is watching what you eat or drink can make you feel really healthy. Detox helps you to be fresher, more productive and be closer to nature.”
However, one must not confuse this with weight loss diets, as those are unhealthy and am against those. Raw foods, vegetables and fruits are great ways to detoxify. Organic vegetables also work wonders. You can have them in the form of salads and smoothies. Snack on walnuts, peanuts and almonds. Sprinkle seeds (sunflower, flax, watermelon) and wheatgerm on your morning cereal. If you have a juicer you can turn just about any fruit or vegetable into a juice or a variety of different juices. Lauki or white doodhi juice is great.
The right way to detoxify is to increase the supply of antioxidants such as vitamins E and C. Although antioxidants can be had as supplements, it's best to get them naturally, through food. Switch to a low-fat diet and give your liver a break. To begin with, stop eating fried foods. Meat is relatively difficult to digest, requiring the help of several enzymes. So if you cut down on it, you automatically become healthier.
And being Lent, it is a great idea to do so anyway. Many of us fast during this phase and also give up non-vegetarian food and sweets. Drink lots of water, not alcohol or coffee. Water helps your body function well and is a good detox tool. It helps dilute toxins and waste products. A concoction of boiled dhania, jeera and saunf in water, is a great drink to cleanse your system.
Chef Chopra clarifies, “It is a myth only that eating raw foods will help you detox. Water is the best detox agent, but going vegetarian for a couple of days a week helps you detox as well. Having your meals on time helps you detox as well, so there are many ways to Detox and raw vegetables are just a part of it.”
With the summer heat on in full swing, it is a good idea to switch to veggies and healthier foods, give your system a rest and yes, not heat up the kitchen too much.
(Mini Ribeiro is a Food Writer and Columnist)