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Living in the ‘Big Smoke’? Even though you love city life, your skin and body might need an Urban Detox and a break from pollution now and again. Eliminate toxins and energise yourself from the inside out with these three simple steps:

 

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Step One: Nutrition

  • A good cleanse or detox always starts with what we eat. ‘But there is no need to fast or starve ourselves, as it is now known that the body needs many nutrients to detoxify efficiently, including fibre, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. So a ‘detox diet’ should be based on plenty of vegetables and fruit, good protein sources such as eggs, fish, light meats, beans and lentils; healthy fats from avocadoes, raw nuts and seeds and olive oil; and gluten-free grains such as brown rice, millet and quinoa.’ says Shona Wilkinson, Head Nutritionist at www.NutriCentre.com, nationwide nutrition and natural health stores
  • Drink one and a half to two litres of water or herbal teas per day, and minimise or cut out sugary foods, junk foods and processed foods, refined carbohydrates (white bread, white pasta, and anything else made with white flour), coffee and tea (cut down gradually if you are used to drinking several cups a day) and alcohol’
  • Think: alkaline foods. ‘Your skin will improve if you balance your diet so it’s not too acidic. Otherwise, it’s missing the alkaline minerals, such as potassium, calcium or magnesium, essential for strong and healthy nails, bones and hair. Eat more almonds, pears, apples, parsley and lemons.’ explains Shona
  • ‘Start the day with a glass of hot water and lemon. Try a fresh mint leaf or green tea mid-afternoon; they’re not only packed with antioxidants but also support digestion.’ recommends Dr Marilyn Glenville (www.marilynglenville.com),the UK’s leading Nutritionist, and author of The Natural Health Bible for Women

 

 

 

 

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Step two: Supplements

  • ‘An alternative way of gently supporting whole body cleansing is to use concentrated blends of natural green foods such as wheat grass and barley grass, parsley, kale and nettle. They are abundant in chloro
    phyll, the green pigment, which – when we consume it – may help to support normal bowel movements and aid detoxification. These green foods are also rich in natural antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and easily absorbed protein for general support. Mix Nature’s Plus Green Lightning (www.revital.co.uk, £26.40) with coconut water to boost your energy levels and detoxify every day. It’s packed with green superfoods and oceanic algae to purify and revitalize your body.’ recommends Nutritionist, Cassandra Barns
  • ‘For many people, dandelions are an irritating garden weed but dandelions are high in fibre, so can help you feel fuller for longer and control your appetite. But mainly it is used to purify the liver and gallbladder of toxins, so are a great compliment to a detox. You can either have it in a form of an herbal tea or supplements. Go for a ready formula, such as NHP’s D-Tox Support (£29.77, www.naturalhealthpractice.com) with added prune powder to keep you regular’ suggests Dr Glennville
  • To make sure your body is using all nutrients you provide it take probiotics. Cassandra explains ‘As well their immediate effects on digestion, the good bacteria in our gut are actually necessary to fully break down and absorb the nutrients in our foods. The beneficial bacteria are also thought to improve mineral absorption by lowering the pH in the colon. In addition, probiotics help to produce the enzyme lactase, which breaks down lactose in milk and makes it easier to digest. Go for Pro-Ven Adult 25 Billion (Boots, £13.95) that contains the Lab4 group of bacteria, the most widely studied probiotic in Europe’

 

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Step three: Skincare

  • When it comes to your skin, that you put on your skin is just as important as what you put in your body. ‘Your skin is the most absorbent organ of the body, so be careful what you rub on it. It is estimated that a women can end up putting over five hundred different chemicals on her skin each day! Reduce your ‘toxic load’ either by reducing the amount of toiletries you use or by buying natural or organic products. Make sure you do your research before choosing your skincare. You may be surprised to know that some products that claim to be natural are actually not always as pure as they seem.’ says Glenville
  • Always read labels before you buy products! ‘Make sure you’re only using natural skincare products that won’t clog your skin. Look for essential oils as the main ingredients. If you have irritated, cracked or dry skin, the ‘What Skin Needs’ range (www.whatskinneeds.co.uk, from £12.99) of natural balms and gels are an excellent choice.’ recommends Barns
  • Dry body brushing, also called skin brushing, is the easiest and the cheapest way to improve the detoxification process ‘It helps to break up fatty deposits, aids lymphatic drainage and stimulates circulation. Use Epsom Bath Salt (www.nutricentre.com, £7.60) for a whole body and face detox.’ explains Wilkinson. Brush those toxins away! ‘Overall it should take between 3 and 7 minutes to brush the entire body. The most important point is that you should always brush towards your heart. Use firm, rhythmic strokes.’ explains Dr Glenville

 

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