Going on detox

We’re constantly exposed to chemicals and toxins found in the environment and the air that we breathe, so it’s not surprising that all these can sometimes make us sick.

If you’ve been indulging in one too many rich meals lately, you’ll also probably want to review your diet and go through a detoxification process.

While it may be easy enough to buy some detox pill or juice for cleansing, it can be iffy deciding on what works and won’t harm your body or have any side effects.

While there’s no magic answer for this, you might want to try switching your diet and cleansing your body system by choosing to eat more of certain healthy foods. — Compiled by PATSY KAM

1. Apple vinegar cider

A vinegar made from apple cider (AVC), this is scientifically proven to contain a host of healthful benefits. AVC has antioxidant effects, antibacterial properties and said to potentially improve heart health while adding good bacteria for the gut. Often used for vinaigrettes, salad dressings and food preservation, taking one to two tablespoons of AVC in a cup of water in the morning can be good for cleansing the body’s digestion system.

2. Turmeric

Often found in local cuisines, turmeric contains curcumin, a natural anti-inflammatory compound. It can raise the body’s antioxidant capacity. It aids detoxification of the liver and research has found it effective in treating gastrointestinal disorders. On its own, curcumin is not easily absorbed, so it’s recommended that it be taken with a bit of black pepper which has piperine that can enhance absorption. Turmeric supplements are sold in pharmacies. And one of the more pleasant ways to consume it, besides in curries, is to have a turmeric latte!

3. Apples

When they say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, there’s some truth to this as apples contain pectin that can bind toxins to the gut and the toxins then get flushed out. It also reduces cholesterol levels. And since it has high fibre and water content, it helps to suppress hunger pangs. Eating apples regularly can help those suffering from constipation as they are natural laxatives.

4. Celery

High in fibre and vitamin K, celery also has anti-inflammatory properties. Celery juice by itself may not be helpful as it is just a good source of hydration, so it is better to retain some fibre in the drink. Better yet, munch on a celery stick!

5. Psyllium husk

Most people have probably never heard of psyllium husk. Derived from the husks of the psyllium seed, it’s tasteless and primarily used as a bulk-forming laxative to treat constipation. Unlike commercial laxatives, however, this doesn’t cause any stomach cramps or contractions. Essentially, it increases the size of your stool which then signals to your body that you need to go to the toilet. The easiest way to consume this is to dissolve one tablespoon in a cup of water. Safe enough to consume every day, take at least eight glasses of water daily to help psyllium husks work more effectively.

6. Bone broth

Obtained from simmering bones for hours on end, bone broth is said to reduce inflammation and boost the body’s immune system. This will, in turn, help your body to be more effective in dispelling toxins, bacteria and other harmful pathogens naturally. Rich in collagen and amino acids, it is also good for cellular repair. More nourishing than your average bowl of soup, a bone broth diet for a few days provides enough nutrients for the body without overloading it. Since it is easily metabolised, the digestive system can then clear out your intestines more effectively.

7. Chia seed

Obtained from the desert plant Salvia hispanica (in the mint family), it is high in dietary fibre and contains proteins and minerals. In fact, three tablespoons of chia seed has more calcium than a glass of milk. Said to be beneficial for detoxification, it is high in antioxidants and can help improve digestive health and blood sugar level. You can sprinkle chia seed over your breakfast cereal or yogurt, or make a simple jelly by adding a tablespoon of chia seed to a cup of water. Adding a half teaspoon of honey or some fresh fruits will make the otherwise tasteless chia seeds more palatable.

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