Naini Setalvad shares easy, doable ways to detoxifyyour organs, and pump them with health boosting nutrients for greater vitality Where ever you stay, your system hosts an overload of toxins that causes you low energy levels, weight loss problems, body pain, anxiety, anger and chronic illnesses.
Every day we are bombarded with chemicals through air, water and food that are altering the way our body works. All of us are consuming more and more calorie dense, industrialised and processed foods. Eating at any time of the day and night, not following the circadian rhythm, abusing our body with various stimulants like caffeine, alcohol and sedatives, plus a widespread use of antibiotics are common. This threatens our natural killer cells, the inherent defence force, altering the way our body works, affecting our natural capacity to heal and maintain vibrancy. It also affects the gut that works 24/7, 365 days a year, assimilating, absorbing and digesting nutrients from our food, removing waste, and protecting us from harmful bacteria and viruses including cancer cells. Healthy roots lead to a healthy tree and a healthy gut leads to a healthy body and mind. Food is the fuel for a healthy gut and good bacteria is its defence force, helping the gut to detoxify daily. We can nourish and energise the gut, reverse the affects of ill-health, better our mood, uplift our energy levels and reach a higher quality of life by following these simple ways to restore and revitalize daily.
Good quality carbohydrates, fats and proteins More than half of our daily diet must comprise vegetables. Pile up on vegetables as they are packed with fibre and are the best source of carbohydrates. Remember to add a fruit to satisfy your sweet buds and ditchsugar. Shift to whole grains and avoid white flour like the plague; India offers a variety of whole grains including bajri, jowar, ragi, rajghira, whole wheat, verghu and unpolished rice. Always combine them with vegetables and fats. It’s very important to add on fats as they satiate you, and help you absorb important vitamins like A, D, E and K. Use cow’s ghee, coconut, nuts and seeds as fat sources to maintain cleaner and stronger immune and digestive systems. Proteins are needed for the growth and repair of cells in our bodies. Limit animal proteins and shift to plant proteins like peas, pulses, mushrooms and leafy greens. Eat organic whenever possible. If you have overdosed on animal proteins whether it is cheese, eggs, paneer, fish or chicken, staying away from them will help detoxify and rejuvenate. It’s important to note that proteins must be consumed with Vitamin C and fats to aid digestion, and loads of vegetables to maintain the alkaline-acidic balance. Detoxify your kitchen with weekly cleaning. Probiotics As human beings, we absorb nutrients and expel waste and toxins. A trillion bacteria, more than cells, good and bad, live in our bodies. Unfortunately, the healthy bacteria present as our gut-flora has been starving and depleting at an alarming rate over time, which is the root cause of chronic diseases. India has a long history with fermented foods that generates gut-flora like idli, dosa, yoghurt and pickles. Unfortunately, they are not enough to fight the onslaught of attacks on our gut. Instead of adding probiotics in medicinal form, it is best to increase fermented drinks like buttermilk, yakult, miso and fermented teas daily to increase gut-flora. They in turn protect us and maximize our health and resilience. Regular consumption of probiotics helps your digestive tract to run smoothly, limiting your exposure to intestinal toxins; enhances daily digestion; helps detoxification; and keeps intestinal ecology in proper balance. Herbs, spices and condiments Stock up on them as they make food tasty, and do away with ketchups and sauces made using unhealthy ingredients. India has a large variety of herbs, spices and condiments that are used daily, the top three being ginger, coriander and turmeric. They aid digestion and help in detoxifying the body, preventing and retarding diseases. Rock salt and sea salt Rock salt and sea salt contain 84 natural trace minerals that are not present in processed salts. They help you avoid dehydration, balance bodily fluids and are an excellent source of electrolytes. They also aid in digestion, and support proper brain, muscle and nervous system function. Laughter Only human beings have the ability to laugh. Laughter lowers the level of stress hormones. If stress continues, your body reaches the ‘alarm stage’, disrupting physical and mental health and increasing toxic overload. Add laughter to your life as it cleanses and strengthens immunity. Regular exercise Some form of physical activity especially cardio, yoga and deep breathing helps eliminate toxins. Adequate sleep Lack of sleep is linked to a weak immune system. At least seven to eight hours of sleep is necessary for a healthy immune system.
Benefits of detoxification Removes naturally accumulated waste via sweat, faeces, gas and urine Persuades the body’s elimination systems to work effectively Helps get rid of a couple of pounds Leads to improved wellness and concentration, and prevents diseases Delays ageing and degeneration Regulates sleep patterns Boosts emotional well being Increases vitality Improves immune system Enhances appearance The best way to strengthen your body’s natural defences is to follow the rhythms of nature, which means to sleep and wake up at the right time, eat organic and less processed food, add probiotics to your diet, and eat seasonal and regional produce. This method also helps in emotional transformation, increasing body and self-awareness and giving you positive direction. Further, they remove physical and mental stress, opening the pathways to natural self-healing, rejuvenation and spiritual enlightenment. Follow these and you will be able to bring your body and world into a more balanced state.
Rainbow Rice Salad
Ingredients: ½ cup raw brown rice 1 yellow capsicum, finely chopped 1 carrot, finely chopped ¼ bunch spinach, finely chopped 1 cucumber, finely chopped 3 spring onions, finely chopped 1 tsp ginger paste 1 tbsp cow’s ghee Salt to taste For dressing: 2 tbsp tahini 1 tbsp crushed peanuts 1 tsp coarsely ground pepper 1 tsp oregano powder 1 tbsp lime juice Method: Boil the rice till tender but firm. Each grain should be separate. Heat cow’s ghee in a kadai. Add capsicum, cucumber and carrots and sauté for few seconds till they are little tender. Add spring onions and saute for few seconds and add spinach, ginger and salt and mix well. Toss the boiled rice and salt with the veggies. Mix well. Add the dressing on top, mix well and serve.
Naini Setalvad is a nutritionist, specialising in lifestyle and immunity disorders. Her foundation, Health For You, throws light on healthy food habits.
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