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Detox – First step to a healthy, glowing self

Lemons

I was mentioning in The Organic Cookery Principles (check the tab at the top) the first step for us to achieve a healthy body is to ensure we detoxify it; also one of the reasons why some of us are not able to get rid of that excess weight is the fact that we have fatigued our body through a lot of unhealthy habits, poor nutrition, stress and pollution. In my quest to achieve a healthy lifestyle one of the considerations was to get fitter. After changing my diet and introducing a fairly rigorous exercise plan I was not seeing the results of my hard work. I then read about detoxifying your body, how this can help and everything changed. With a few tips that I will show next I could start to see that my body was not against me but was responding to the new healthy regime.

Through detox we basically allow our body to get rid of all the toxins we have accumulated through pursuing an unhealthy diet, overindulging (especially at weekends – believe I have done it!) and enable it to function to its full potential. This is done by removing impurities from the blood in the liver, where toxins are processed for elimination. Kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymph and skin are also organs that eliminate toxins. However, when this filtering system in the liver is overworked, impurities aren’t properly filtered and every cell in the body is adversely affected.

If we cleanse our body of toxins and then nourish it with essential pure minerals and vitamins we will enable out immune system to fight better, the skin will be glowing and we could also increase our metabolism and therefore loose any excess weight that the body does not need.

Stay calm and keep drinking water

I think water is far too underestimated. It is one of the most vital elements in our diet. We can survive without food for days but we can survive without water only for a few days. Without water our organs start to fail, because water helps circulate nutrients around the body and flushes out toxins. So the more we drink the more we flush out the bad stuff…the word of caution is that drinking water while we eat is not such a good thing. When we eat the saliva starts to work and gives a signal to our stomach to start producing digestive acid to break down the food. Drinking water will dilute both the saliva and the digestive acid which means the stomach will not be able to work properly to break down food and we will feel less energetic and nutrients will not be absorbed in full. Therefore, best restraining to drink 30 min before and after food. This was one of the “rules” I have adopted and I haven’t looked back. I don’t feel bloated and my IBS syndroms have not come back.

From an “aesthetics” point of view water helps us achieve good skin, but as water reached skin the last (it prioritizes other organs first), we would have to drink loads of water to reap the benefits. This is why, for healthy young looking skin, besides good nutrition and drinking plenty of water (at least 2 litres if you weigh 68kg, more if you are heavier) we need to “apply” water to our skin the form of hydrating moisturiser.

I tend to drink a combination of pure water in the morning (filtered rather than tap water) which helps in cleansing and flushing the system and mineral water in the afternoon to deliver minerals to my body (minerals are more easily absorbed when we drink them rather than when we eat them through food). Some people tell me I am “posh” when I go to a restaurant and not drink the tap water, but the truth is tap water (and this depends of where you live) contains a lot of chemicals (chlorine, pesticides, etc), heavy metals (like aluminium, lead, etc), bacteria (eg. E.coli, Enterococcus which both can cause different infections like urinary tract infection, meningitis etc.) and sometimes even medication (antibiotics, hormones, mood stabilizers, etc). The Drinking Water Inspectorate is a body that publishes a report every year about the quality if water in the UK. In 2013, the report shows that some parts of private water supply were contaminated with E.coli and Enterococcus bacteriae. While some of these traces are incredibly small it makes you wonder and it made me want to make sure that what I eat and drink is as clean as possible.

Lemon – The miracle fruit

There are a few ways you could detox but the one that I found the most effective is found in one miracle fruit….THE LEMON. I find this fruit so amazing that it even features in the logo for The Organic Cookery. It has a lot of benefits and it is very versatile to use: in savoury dishes but in sweet treats as well. You an use its wonderful juice and pulp, but you can use the peel and even as a whole fruit. Which means less food waste YAY!

Lemons and all citrus fruits are well known for their high content of vitamin C and have detoxifying and digestion enabling properties, but also they are known to help reduce the risk of heart disease, kidney stones and infections.

Start your day with a glass of warm water and lemon juice to alkalize and cleanse your body. Lemons are a natural diuretic and can help reduce swelling, inflammation and water retention. They can also be antibacterial flushing out toxins from the system. So you will feel less bloated and you will feel a difference in your hair, skin and energy levels. I have it as soon as you get up with a shot of wheatgrass or chlorella (one tea spoon of these powerful antioxidants diluted into water) . To see the benefits I would say use for at least 1 month. I have never stop to be fair. Drinking hot water with lemon will also help with heart burn and indigestion. The high concentration of citrate in lemons helps decrease the changes of forming kidney stones. The hesperidin and pectin in lemons helps with hypertension lowering the “bad” (LDL) cholesterol that tends to collects in the walls of the blood vessels. So win win all over.

I use lemons extensively in my cooking and I try to use the entire lemon if I can so I don’t waste anything. I have lemon juice in warm water every morning, I use it to make dressings for salads as it helps in some cases absorb non-haem iron from spinach for example (I will explain more about this in subsequent posts dedicated to spinach:)), I use it mixed with olive oil, crushed garlic, ginger and chilli to splash as delicious sauce for my steamed veggies (chard, broccoli, spinach, kale, etc). Citrus peel has limonoids (which gives it the bitter taste) and antioxidants so definitely I want to use it as much as possible. If I have used the lemon for it’s juice as make sure I use the peel and either dry it or use it fresh for a wonderful aromatic tea or as a garnish on salads, steamed veggies and also works wonderful with fish. I also use the whole fruit to make an amazingly zingy ┬álemonade (check out my Recipes tab) which works amazingly well on those very rare British hot summer days. No need to peel or juice..just cut in quarters…simple!

Hope my first post has inspired you a little bit on how you can use what nature has given us to our advantage. And this is just the beginning. I will aim to send out my next post towards the end of next week so make sure you follow me not to miss out on any updates! Speak soon Food Lovers.

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