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  • So, You Need A Detox? Start Here | with Emily Bathgate

    You're in need of a detox, but not sure where to start.

    It’s unlikely you’ll need to embark on a crazy 30-day water fast or lemon detox, order in some fancy laxative ‘tummy’ teas, or buy-in to the latest celebrity ‘detox’ supplement program.


    Remember: detoxification is a natural process. 


    What you will want to do is focus on supporting your body’s own natural detoxification processes.

    Here are my favourite ways to get started!

    An anti-inflammatory, whole food diet

    Consuming a diet higher in nutrients, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory foods – and far lower in pro-inflammatory, refined, or processed foods – is a brilliant first step in allowing the body to heal and reducing the load on your detox and elimination pathways.

    Whole foods are foods in their natural, unprocessed state; or, as close to as possible. They are going to be far higher in nutritional value (and therefore essential vitamins and minerals) than their processed counterparts.

    Excellent anti-inflammatory foods to include more of in your diet include:

    • wild-caught oily fish
    • leafy green vegetables
    • capsicum
    • fresh/raw nuts and seeds
    • extra virgin and/or cold pressed olive oil
    • turmeric
    • green tea
    • organic berries
    • ginger
    • raw chocolate (cacao)

    And you’ll want to eat less pro-inflammatory foods like:

    • refined sugars
    • white carbohydrates (think pasta, bread, and biscuits)
    • vegetable oils (canola, peanut, sunflower)
    • processed meats (including ham and sausages)
    • trans fats (like margarine)
    • fried and fast foods
    • large amounts of gluten and dairy.

    Liver-loving foods

    I encourage all of my clients to incorporate more bitter foods into the diet to protect their liver and encourage the production of bile (a digestive fluid made by the liver).

    As the name implies, bitter foods have a naturally bitter taste. Think grapefruit, lemon, lime, cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and brussel and broccoli sprouts), artichoke, rocket, radish, dill, cumin, turmeric, green tea, and nettle tea. 


    Drinking plenty of pure, filtered water each day helps to clear the body by supporting the elimination of toxins and waste via our kidneys, but also via the bowel (by preventing constipation and supporting elimination at the same time).

    To find the 'optimal' magic amount of water you require, divide your weight (in kilograms) by 30 - e.g. 80kg divided by 30 = 2.6L of water daily.

    Just don't forget to up it a little if you're exercising or sweating it out in the sauna that day (and to add an extra cup for each coffee or black tea you've had, too!). 

    Infrared Sauna

    Just like regular saunas, infrared saunas warm the body; however, these heat the body directly with the light spectrum of natural sunlight (without the nasty UV rays!), as opposed to warming things up with very high temperatures such as in regular saunas. This makes them safer, less humid, much easier to tolerate, and more resistant to bacterial spread. 

    The infrared works to detoxify the body as you sweat. Studies show that 15-20% of the sweat released during an infrared sauna session contains toxins, as opposed to 3-5% in a regular old sauna. Not only are the toxins expelled from your body and skin in an infrared sauna, but oxygen and essential nutrients work their way to the skin's surface in your blood, helping to improve circulation and skin health.

    The heat also enables easier flow of lymph throughout the body, giving the detoxification and immune systems a bit of a helping hand, and as cells activate in the heat, cell growth and repair is promoted.

    Move your body

    Exercising encourages circulation (of blood and lymph) and metabolism while protecting the liver and kidney (two of our vital elimination organs). Our lymphatic system works as a waste cleaning system within the body, while nutrient and oxygen enriched blood circulation allows us to eliminate toxins more effectively. A generally healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, serves to protect the liver from fat build-up and the kidneys from struggling to keep up.

    Ideally you should be aiming for two to three times per week spent exercising aerobically (walking, swimming, dancing, jogging, cycling) for 30-40 minutes and once or twice per week strengthening your body with weight-based training, or a strengthening yoga or Pilates class.

    Dry body brush

    Dry body brushing works to support detoxification through stimulating the lymphatic system and encouraging blood circulation, allowing for accumulated toxins to drain, ready for elimination.

    Body brushing for 5-10 minutes per day before hopping in the shower allows your biggest organ (hint: it’s your skin) to effectively remove toxins from your body.

    Get enough quality rest & sleep

    Research shows us that sleep acts as a time for our brains and bodies to detoxify. In fact, researchers have found that the space between brain cells increases, while the brain cells themselves can shrink by up to 60%, as you sleep deeply. This allows the brain to flush out toxins that have accumulated during the day. So, your body needs plenty of rest and quality sleep to detoxify, rejuvenate, and repair effectively.

    It’s also important here to remind you of the importance of stress management – to allow you time to properly rest, to get quality sleep, and to prevent the build-up of negative people and things in your life.

    Environmentally clean

    Reducing your exposure to environmental toxins is incredibly helpful when it comes to reducing your toxic burden, and, in turn, preventing chemical toxicity issues such as skin allergies, hormone disruption, infertility, and more. It’s also important to remember that a large percentage of what is applied to the skin, our largest elimination organ, can be absorbed into the bloodstream and therefore the rest of the body.

    Ditch your conventional, chemical-laden cleaning products and cosmetics, and opt for natural alternatives. Your body – and the environment – will thank you for it!

    Herbal medicines

    I recommend a range of foods, nutrients, and more when working with my clients, but I especially love using herbs to promote detoxification in the body and skin. Some of my favourites are:

    B u r d o c k  which is a depurative and diuretic herb, promotes the elimination of toxins and wastes through your urine (another reason why making sure you're drinking plenty of water each day is so important!) whilst working to cleanse and purify the blood and the skin.

    C l e a v e r s  is both a depurative and a lymphatic herb, helping to improve the circulation of lymph and cleansing of toxins throughout the body, making it a smart choice for the calming of inflamed lymph glands and treatment of chronic skin conditions. 

    Y e l l o w   D o c k  is purifying and cleansing, as well as a depurative herb, which makes it perfect for cleansing and clearing the skin. It's commonly used for the treatment of chronic skin conditions, including eczema, acne and psoriasis.

    Seek professional guidance

    Detox programs have become very popular over the years, and there are now countless types available and offering a “quick fix”. A one-size fits all program lacks the support of a professional practitioner, and their advice to suitably prescribe something to address your unique health requirements.

    Unlike a store-bought detox program, a qualified naturopathic clinician’s plan is tailored to suit your needs and will likely include practitioner-only supplements of the least-reactive, highest quality.

    Your naturopath should screen and evaluate the efficacy and safety of your detox program as you go, providing support and motivation to help you to achieve optimal results.


    Need some one-on-one support? You can book an initial consultation with Emily here.
    Love Emily,
    Naturopath Emily Bathgate, offers natural, holistic and evidence-based treatments for a range of skin + general health condition, addressing underlying causes and setting you up for ongoing skin health + wellness. 

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