How long should I detox?

Food expert Janella Purcell answers your nutrition questions

I’m planning on detoxing, but the options are overwhelming. The programs I’ve researched last anywhere from two days to a few months. How long should a detox program last to be effective? Is two days enough?

Regular readers of this column would know that I don’t recommend short, intense detoxes. They can be dangerous, not to mention make you feel awful for a few days, then quite often you’re back to your old ways once it’s over. Sure, it’s good to give your liver (and kidneys) a break, but why only for a few days or weeks?

There are some wonderful vegies, seaweeds and other foods that really do help your liver detox more efficiently, but I recommend we include these as part of our diet for the process to be ongoing. As for what to leave out, animal products are not essential to a balanced and healthy diet. Quite the opposite in my opinion. Sure, you can include them, but occasionally, not daily. If you reduce your intake of animal products and all refined and processed foods, then automatically you’re going to be healthier, happier and slimmer. It’s important to include lots of vegies from the cruciferous family. These are cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and turnip. Don’t forget to include kale where you can (more antioxidants in this gorgeous veggie than any other). Other things high in antioxidants are raw cacao powder (pictured) and any other organic fruit or vegie.

Liver herbs to include are dandelion root, Schisandra, turmeric (as it is high in antioxidants and has a good effect on the liver), calendula to help the lymph glands eliminate toxins, and digestive herbs to aid good elimination.

If you still really feel like you want to cleanse, then try a juice fast for a week. Drink vegie not fruit juice; so things like beetroot, celery, carrot, kale and add some ginger, turmeric and lemon. 

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