Cleanse Can Do Wonders for Your Looks
With the long-awaited official arrival of spring next week, there’s no better way to prepare for the season of rejuvenation than undergoing a “beauty detox” to spring clean one’s self. While I don’t believe in extreme juice fasting, especially if carried out for more than a day or two, I find that a gentle spring cleanse that removes toxins and provides rejuvenating nutrients can do wonders for one’s looks and general vitality.
The benefits of going a beauty detoxifying program are numerous:
- Rejuvenation of cells, resulting in healthier skin, hair and nails
- Lose extra weight and regain energy
- Reduce puffiness from face and body
- Increase energy and immune system function
The human body is designed by nature to detoxify itself every day, but most of us could use some help from time to time. The Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) is replete with toxic chemical-laden, pseudo-foods that can severely impede the natural detoxification process.
Start your detox by ridding your diet of all refined sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils and processed polyunsaturated fats (actually, these are all things you should never consume on a regular basis). Other foods to banish while on a cleanse: soy, wheat and corn products, meat and dairy. And alas, you’ll need to refrain from caffeine and alcohol — yes, you have my sincerest sympathy. But take heart, you can reintroduce meat and dairy (the healthy grass-fed variety, mind you) as well as moderate amounts of caffeine and wine after completing detoxification.
Now for what you should eat: plenty of green vegetables and low-glycemic fruits such as apples, berries and grapefruit. Be sure to feast on the following:
- Asparagus — this spring vegetable is full of glutathione, a compound that breaks down carcinogens and combats the free radicals that cause accelerated aging and degenerative disease.
- Spinach and other dark leafy greens — boost chlorophyll levels in the digestive tract and to help rid the body of chemical pollutants.
- Watercress — contains cleansing enzymes that help the liver filter toxins. It is also a natural diuretic that will help reduce bloating and puffiness.
- Cilantro — people either love or hate its distinctive taste. If you love it, you’re in luck because it can purge the body of heavy metals such as lead, mercury and aluminum.
- Pineapple — contains proteolytic enzymes that aid digestion by dissolving proteins and calming inflammation.
- Aloe — usually thought of as a skin care ingredient, aloe vera juice has marvelous cleansing properties. It improves digestion and can help lower blood sugar levels. Add this to your morning smoothie and watch your skin glow.
Drink plenty of water throughout your cleanse. I also recommend starting each day with warm water and lemon to boost digestion and balance blood sugar. Other good drinks include green tea, which is full of antioxidants, and kombucha, an enzyme-rich traditional, fermented drink with many health benefits. And of course, no detox is complete without the obligatory green juice. Here’s a good one to try:
Green Detox Juice
1/2 bunch spinach
1 handful watercress
1/2 lemon, peeled
1 celery stalk
1-inch slice of ginger
Use a juicer for optimal results. If you don’t have one, turn the recipe into a smoothie by using a blender instead.
To make juice: In a fruit and vegetable juicer, juice all ingredients into a tall glass. Serve immediately.
To make smoothie: Prior to blending, chop apple and discard the core. Peel and chop ginger. Chop celery stalk. Zest and juice lemon, throwing out remaining rind. Combine all ingredients, and blend on high until smooth. Add water or ice to help thin out the smoothie.
I suggest stirring in 1/4 cup aloe vera juice before drinking for added beauty and health benefits.