It’s a new year and the season for detox diets.
Two problems. Firstly, winter is a time when you should nourish your body and soul with a balanced diet of fuel-rich foods. Secondly, where do I get ‘young Thai coconuts’ from?
Our bodies are designed to rid themselves of toxins naturally. The liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract play a vital role in this process, breaking down environmental and metabolic waste and
eliminating it from our bodies.
There is no evidence to back up many claims made by the numerous detox diets, and some may actually be harmful. The best way we can support the detoxification process is to support our bodies natural functioning.
Good nutrition is of course vitally important, but so is the way in which we consume food. Studies have shown that eating in certain ways can impede our digestive function. For example eating whilst distracted can impede the production of stomach acid, which serves as a protective barrier against any bacteria we may ingest.
Stress engages the sympathetic nervous system making it more difficult for the gut wall to assimilate nutrients. It can also affect the colon leading to constipation, the backing up of the digestive tract and the reabsorption of the toxins from our excrement.
The body itself can be a source of toxins. Poor eating habits, such as lack of chewing, and emotional stress canlead to a state called intestinal dysbiosis, whereby there is an unhealthy balance of microorganisms in your digestive tract.
Mindful eating is one way to improve your eating habits. It is not a diet, but a way to get back in touch with your body cues, better manage your emotional eating and give you more control over your thought processes. Studies have shown that it can help people to lose weight and cope with chronic eating problems. It can also help you to enjoy your food more. So instead of a diet, why not try to eating mindfully this New Year.