A detox, or detoxification, aims to rid the body of “toxins” or unwanted substances. Although the term can be misleading and is often associated with juice or sugar cleanses, a healthy detox program can be beneficial for the body. High consumption of “toxic” food or drinks, like those high in additives or preservatives, can lead to a weakened immune system and other health complications. It is especially important for those over 50 to make smarter, healthier food choices. Here are some tips when starting a detox program for seniors:
Avoid Foods/Drinks High in Sugar
Public Health Ontario and the University of Waterloo estimated that 66 percent of packaged foods contain added sugar and that the added sugar was labelled differently more than two dozen times. They also noted that, aside for the typical suspects (soda, candy, cookies, etc.), many food items that are marketed as healthy options, such as snack bars and yogurt, also contained added sugars. These added sugars cause weight gain, which can increase your risk for heart disease and cancer.
It is important to note that if you typically consume food or drinks that are high in sugar, possible side effects from withdrawing from these items include headaches and low energy. These symptoms will usually wear off after a few days indicating the detox is working!
Drink More Water
The goal would be to drink at least eight to ten glasses of filtered water per day. Water allows your kidneys to filter waste products, helps your cells take in nutrients and eliminate waste, and transports nutrients to your organs. Water also promotes regularity and a healthy digestive system.
Organic food refers to how agricultural products are grown and processed. Organic livestock raised for meats and dairy must have access to the outdoors and be given organic feed. Regulations prohibit the use of many normally used toxins like pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics. The cleaner the growing/raising process, the cleaner the food!
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Naturally, nutrient-dense foods are simple and great for the body. For example, blueberries are high in antioxidants which protect your vision/eyes, help prevent stroke and heart disease, and help thwart memory impairment. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage are typically high in vitamin C which supports a healthy immune system.
Read the label! A healthy detox program for seniors begins with education. Learning what you want in your food, like whole wheat and calcium, can help you start to avoid food items that contain more “toxins” than benefits.
As you would with any wellness program, an exercise regimen is also important. Walking, swimming or yoga are all great ways to stay active and break a sweat. Origin Active Lifestyles Communities know the benefits healthy eating and active living can have on seniors. We stay committed to making positive changes in our Origin communities and throughout the senior living industry to transform the way people view aging and healthy living. Find your Origin community today!