Detox diet after a summer of indulgences
Foods rich in fibre and antioxidants and fermented foods are your best friends for restoring intestinal health after the holidays.
More alcohol, fried foods, sugary desserts, carbonated drinks and generally eating whatever you want on summer holidays have an impact on digestive health. But if you’ve let your healthy eating slip for a few days, don’t beat yourself up. What you should do is incorporate foods that help properly cleanse the body into your diet as soon as you get back to your daily routine. However, Marina Domene, nutritionist at SHA Wellness Clinic, warns that “we’re constantly exposed to different chemical substances and toxins. In fact, studies show that people who live in cities with high levels of environmental pollution suffer more metabolic problems and have higher rates of obesity and overweight”.
The good news is that the body has its own purification systems, the most important of which is the liver. “The liver has different responses to eliminate heavy metals, pesticides and herbicides, which are endocrine disruptors that disrupt the hormonal system and lead to dysfunction. The first step is to limit exposure to these toxins, avoiding alcohol and processed foods rich in sugars, refined flours and hydrogenated fats, and taking medication only when necessary”, says Marina.
Another basic aspect is to strengthen gut health, since the gut acts as a filter and is the body’s first line of defence. “A healthy microbiota prevents toxins from reaching the bloodstream. Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi and fibre-rich foods like whole grains (rice, quinoa and buckwheat) and green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, thistle, kale and chard, help to balance gut health. Good levels of glutathione, the body’s major natural antioxidant, are essential for optimising liver function. Eat foods rich in sulphates, such as broccoli, cabbage, onions and garlic, because one of the main ways that the liver eliminates toxins is through sulphation. It bears mentioning, however, that detox foods don’t always need to be ingested in juice form, but that solids have the same effect”, the expert explains.
There are also several condiments and spices that you can add to dishes to speed up the detoxification process. “Turmeric acts as an antioxidant and helps to eliminate the metabolites that some medicines, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, can leave behind”, Marina explains. “And coriander and parsley contain apigenin, a substance rich in antioxidants that improves liver function and favours the elimination of toxins resulting from radiotherapy or chemotherapy”.
Finally, the nutritionist recommends fasting for a minimum of 10 to 12 hours, “so that autophagy can take place, which is the body’s natural process of self-recycling, eliminating substances and producing new ones”.