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5 signs you need a detox and how to start it

September 30th 2014 / Katie Robertson Google+ Katie Robertson

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We spoke to Nutritional Therapist Henrietta Norton, on how to know when you need a detox and how best to go about it

Feeling a little sluggish, strange or off-balance? It might just be your body's way of telling you that it’s in need of a much needed cleanse. While most of us reserve our detox programmes for the new year following the onslaught of Christmas gluttony, it could be that the daily choices we make throughout the year are the ones causing our bodies to become congested and overworked.

Looking for a little clarity, GTG caught up with Henrietta Norton, Nutritional Therapist and founder of food-state brand Wild Nutrition, to discover what 5 main signs to look out and the next best steps to take to help us re-balance our bodies.

5 signs to look out for:

1.You are experiencing PMS or disrupted periods

Detoxification plays a fundamental role in hormone balance. Inadequate breakdown of hormones through our liver or gut can result in an increase in oestrogen and lead to oestrogen dominance and hormonally related symptoms such as PMS, endometriosis, fibroids.

2. You can't lose weight

Toxins are stored in our adipose tissue (fat) as a way of protecting the body from toxic damage. Therefore weight gain can occur more readily with toxic build up and can also make it harder to shift.

3. You're suffering from skin conditions such as rashes or spots

The skin is a major organ of elimination for the body and our skin can sometimes suffer the consequences.

4. You have IBS symptoms

Toxins are eliminated through the digestive tract which can become sluggish as a result - similar to when you put rubbish in the bin but leave it there for days.

5. You feel sensitive to chemicals such as tobacco smoke, exhaust fumes, perfume or skin creams.

The liver breaks down toxins from our environment so this could be a sign it needs a boost.

Top tips to kickstart your healthy detox:

Always begin on a Friday - it can take a few days to adapt to the new regime and you may feel like resting a little more during this time, so take it easy at home rather than slumping on your desk at work.

Seasonal starts - I am a believer in the benefits of cleansing at the start of each season so now is the time! Adapt your cleanse to the season by eating warming foods in autumn or winter and lighter, cooling foods in the spring and summer.

Eat as nature intended - cut out anything that you can’t make yourself (even if it sounds or looks healthy - snack bars are a prime example).

Increase your fibre through vegetables - at this time of year, make the most of nature's autumn wonders by making soups or slow cooked hot pots with squash or beetroot. Both are rich in antioxidants and fibre which is for cleansing.

Drink plenty of warm water - add a dash of lemon juice and a pinch of cayenne pepper as this will help to stimulate digestion.

Eat plenty of lean protein - this can provide the amino acids for efficient detoxification. In particular, aim for poultry, sustainable fish and game.

Eat lightly in the evenings - and try not to eat later than 8pm.

Take natural supplements - try Wild Nutrition's Total Cleanse Programme, which can support the detoxification process. It provides you with a full detox booklet on how, when and why to cleanse, the foods to eat and avoid as well as plenty of healthy recipes to cook.

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