Make detoxing a way of life

Modern farming and food preservation and preparation techniques mean we’re exposed to pesticides, chemicals, heavy metals and an array of other substances on a daily basis.

When attempting to “cleanse” the body of these substances, it’s a good idea to embark on a detoxification regimen that assists the body at a cellular level, focusing especially on the colon, liver, skin and lungs.

Ultimately, we should aim to detox the body on a daily basis in some way, but short-term approaches are powerful and often greatly needed.

Click here to get your Detox Guide

Since you’re still here, check these 10 tips below to ensure a naturally healthy body:

1. Fill up on greens. Eat lots of veggies and salads (at least twice a day). Every lunch and dinner should contain a raw salad and some green steamed or grilled vegetables. These foods should be the basis of your eating plan. Foods and vegetables that contain fibre, antioxidants and low-GI carbs are all great for a clean and healthy system.

2. Eat fibrous, filling salads for dinner and lunch. Raw and steamed veggies are amazing! We are meant to be eating these foods, they will keep you full, but they also contain a high nutrient content.

3. Consume the juice of up to 1 lemon daily. Squeeze them over salads, in water, or over veggies. Lemon helps regenerate and support the liver.

4. Avoid dairy products. We are the only beings on the planet that consume another animal’s milk. Most of us are allergic and intolerant to dairy. We don’t have the enzymes to digest the lactose. It also promotes the formation of mucus and acid.

5. Sweat more! Go to yoga, swim, run or cycle. Ensure you move every day, even if it’s walking vigorously for an hour.

6. Avoid artificial sugars. These are hard for the body to recognise and break down.

7. Stay hydrated. Drinks sufficient clean filtered water between meals, but drink minimally with meals so as not to dilute the digestive enzymes.

8. Limit alcohol and ditch fizzy drinks. Yes, even the diet variants as they deplete the body of minerals, especially B vitamins, and are also acidifying.

9. Chew your food well and eat slowly. Not only does this extract more nutrients from food, but you will feel full before overeating.

10. Supplement: Choose the best quality nutritional support. It’s not always possible to get all the nutrients we need from food, especially on a detox when we need extra support. The catechins found in green tea are effective scavengers of reactive oxygen species and may also function indirectly as antioxidants through their effects on transcription factors and enzyme activities. They essentially support the body’s major detox organ, the liver, improving liver function and reversing declines in antioxidant defenses. Studies also indicate catechins have the ability to block the amount of fat stores in the liver.

Ideal supplements available at Dis-Chem include:

Bio-curcumin: Excellent for liver support and a natural anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is at the root cause of every illness.

Origine 8: The purest and most potent green tea extract.

Bio-Milk thistle complex: A free-radical scavenger that protects cell membranes from damage caused by toxins and oxidative stress. It also improves total antioxidant capacity by increasing the levels of intracellular antioxidants, namely glutathione and superoxide dismutase (SOD).

  • Helps the liver to recover from injury.
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Protects against scar tissue formation.

Bitter greens: Dandelion, parsley.

Foods to avoid during your detox:

  • Anything that contains sugar or high fructose corn syrup (always read labels!).
  • All pre-made salad dressings.
  • Yeast
  • Alcohol
  • Food additives and preservatives
  • High-fat foods
  • Corn
  • Shortening
  • Margarine
  • All kinds of vinegar, except for apple cider vinegar.
  • Condiments
    • Tomato sauce
    • Relish
    • Soy sauce
    • Teriyaki sauce
    • Non-dairy creamers
    • Barbecue or steak sauce
    • Salad dressings not made with allowed ingredients
    • Mayonnaise
    • Spreads not made with the allowed ingredients

Dairy products and eggs, including:

    • Milk
    • Cheese
    • Cottage cheese
    • Sour cream
    • Yoghurt and kefir
    • Ice-cream and frozen yoghurt

Wheat and products containing wheat, such as pasta and bread.


    • Refined sugar
    • White sugar
    • Brown sugar
    • High-fructose corn syrup
    • Evaporated cane juice
    • Artificial sweeteners

All gluten-containing grains, including wheat, barley, rye, spelt, couscous, bran.

Caffeinated beverages

    • Coffee
    • Tea
    • Soft drinks

Animal products

    • Beef
    • Pork
    • Veal
    • Sausages
    • Deli meats and cold cuts
    • Shellfish

Foods to include during your detox:

Fresh fruits


    • Vegetables thought to be particularly good detox foods include broccoli, cauliflower, broccoli sprouts, onions, garlic, artichokes, beets, and dark leafy greens such as kale, collard greens, and swiss chard
    • Sea vegetables, including kelp, nori sheets.

Note: some people are sensitive to the nightshade family of vegetables, which includes tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplants, and potatoes, and may wish to avoid them.

Grains and starches

    • Brown rice
    • Quinoa
    • Buckwheat
    • Millet
    • Amaranth
    • Wild rice
    • Oats
    • Whole grains are preferred, but products made from the above may be allowed, such as brown rice pasta, pure buckwheat noodles, rice crackers, and bread.

Beans and legumes

    • Split yellow and green peas
    • Lentils
    • Adzuki beans

Unsalted, raw nuts and seeds

    • Almonds
    • Cashews
    • Walnuts
    • Sunflower seeds
    • Pumpkin seeds
    • Sesame seeds
    • Chia seeds
    • Hemp seeds, hemp nuts
    • Coconut, especially young coconuts
    • Tahini
    • Nut butters made only with allowed ingredients
    • Peanuts and peanut butter (usually not recommended)


    • Cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil
    • Hemp oil
    • Flax oil
    • Avocado oil
    • Coconut oil


    • Home-made nut milk or organic rice milk.
    • Coconut water
    • Herbal teas
    • Green tea
    • Lemon water
    • Mineral water or natural spring water.

Natural sweeteners

    • Stevia

Raw honey


    • Apple cider vinegar
    • Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
    • Miso – small amounts
    • Black olives
    • Lemons and limes
    • Fresh and dried herbs and spices
    • Cacao powder and cacao nibs
    • Sea salt
    • Mustard
    • Wheat-free tamari (in limited amounts)

Animal protein

    • Organic chicken, preferably pastured
    • Wild, cold-water fish, such as wild salmon
    • Lamb
    • Wild game, such as venison and ostrich

Detox Tips

  • Drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water per day.
  • Combine your food correctly.
  • Walk for 30 minutes a day, don’t overexert yourself.
  • Yoga and tai chi are great ways to enhance detoxification through deep breathing.
  • Take the time to chew food well.
  • Dry body brush every day to increase lymphatic function and circulation.
  • Sleep at least 8 hours a night.
  • Take a bath 3 times a week in Epsom Salts – it is great for relaxation and detoxification.

Your portion sizes

Protein: The size of the palm of your hand.

Carbs: ½ cup or the size of a closed fist.

Fat: 1 serving is ½ an avocado, 1 tablespoon olive oil, a handful of raw nuts.

Detox plan and content provided by nutritional consultant Vanessa de Ascencao