Have you been feeling lost and lethargic lately? Do you suddenly get aches and pains? If you have taxed your body way too much, or simply neglected it, it’s time to think about detoxing.

Detoxing is simply a systematic approach to helping your body remove the toxins stored in its tissues. It helps clean your liver, blood and gut. So, follow these simple, doable steps.

Start with: Cut out what is clearly toxic from your daily diet—smoking, an excess of processed food, tea, coffee, chocolates and alcohol. Including citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges and lime in the diet helps flush out toxins and aids in the enzymatic processes of the liver. Switch to green tea to give your liver a chance to rest from detoxifying all that caffeine.

Next step: For a month or so, switch to a low-fat diet. Say no to processed and packaged foods which are high in preservatives and chemicals. All the fat you eat is processed by the liver, and this process takes energy away from the regular detoxification work that the liver has to perform. Eating right eases the burden and lets the liver work at its optimum.

Move on to: It’ll help immensely if you go vegetarian for a while, or at least cut down heavily on non-vegetarian food. This will support the liver with nutrients and easy-to-digest food while it works overtime to cleanse your system. Meat is harder to digest, so its reduction or elimination from the diet helps detoxification.

Finally: Have at least 7-10 average-sized glasses of water each day. It helps to dilute toxins and waste products for easy drainage from the body; regulate and maintain body temperature; and clear excessive fats from the bloodstream. Other beverages that help detoxification are water infused with lemon or cucumber, green tea, herbal teas, freshly made fruit juices with no added sugar, and coconut water.

— Zoya Fakhi, nutritionist, Bhatia Hospital, Mumbai, and Debjani Banerjee, head of department, dietetics, PSRI Hospital, Delhi

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