Detoxing and cleansing the body has always been a bone of contention. While it’s true that the body is a self-healing, self-cleansing organism, some experts believe it’s essential to give the body a cleanse and reset.

Given today’s climate where the air we breathe, the foods we eat, the cosmetics we use and the water we drink are loaded with chemicals, it’s important that we assist the body as much as we can in detoxing itself.

A cleanse doesn’t necessarily mean drinking juices all day and depriving yourself of real food, it simply means taking stock of our habits and giving the body a reset.

So how do we do this? First things first, give your body a break from alcohol. Alcohol puts a strain on the liver, stomach and intestines, leading to digestive problems and problems in the way your body metabolises and stores carbohydrates and fat.

This impaired digestion affects the body’s ability to absorb nutrients leading to unwanted weight gain, so a dry month really helps in giving your organs a break and a chance to rest.

Secondly, make sure you give yourself at least 12 hours of fasting. Intermittent fasting has been proven to help improve your gut ecology, giving your digestive system the reboot it needs.

If you think about it simply, your gut microbes need rest to in order to function effectively. If you give your body a large meal to digest late at night, your gut is going to have to work very hard and it will have a negative effect on your overall gut health.

Plus, during the fasting period your body uses its fat stores for energy and releases fatty acids known as ketones into the bloodstream which have been shown to protect memory and learning.

Third, eat real food and preferably plant-based. Meats, fish and dairy products are often loaded with chemicals, causing toxic build up in the body.

Just like alcohol, give your body a break from these foods and opt for plant-based meals, loaded with plenty of vitamin-rich fruit and veggies and good sources of plant-based protein such as seeds, legumes, tofu, pulses and nuts.

Buddha bowls are ideal as they offer the perfect balance of nutrients including half a plate of veggies, quarter of good GI carbs such as quinoa, brown rice or sweet potato and a quarter of plant-based protein.

If you don’t have time to whip yourself up a Buddha bowl, opt for a plant-based protein shake rich in prebiotic fibre and vitamins and minerals and add some veggies and fruit for a nutrient dense meal on the go.

Lastly, try to live mindfully. Take time to meditate, eat mindfully, get a good night’s sleep and do at least 20 minutes of cardio a day.

Nourish the body and soul and let it become your best doctor.