With these 5 detox tips you can’t live without, you can change the way you feel. A healthy, holistic detox doesn’t require doing headstands or learning how to crush rare leafy greens with a mortar and pestle – detoxing can take very little effort and be comfortable on your body. Advantages to a healthy, holistic detoxing can include having more energy, more radiant skin, less breathing difficulties, and improved visits to the porcelain throne. That’s right, when done well you can improve your gut health. Why not start today? Here are 5 detox tips you can’t live without.
The trendy term, to detox, is short for detoxification and means to take time to focus on helping your body lower its toxin load and exposure. Every moment of your day, your body detoxifies itself, and it’s hard work. It’s done by your liver, kidneys, lymphatic system, and skin. A great clean-up crew indeed, but sometimes the mess is just too big for these amazing organs and systems to manage. It can get backed up, sort of similar to the same way your email inbox can fill up at times. And, it can happen faster than you may realize. Modern lifestyles are high-paced and stressful which strains the body. There’s the addition of your exposure to toxins, which can be greater than you realize. Household cleaners, cosmetics, processed food, and airborne particles in urban environments are all toxins your body has to tackle. When the body becomes bogged down with toxins it can feel unwell. A healthy, holistic detox can help.
When your body is struggling to stay on top of the toxins it’s being exposed to, it starts to show in a number of ways which can include a variety of symptoms, such as digestive issues, acne, headaches, or fatigue. Other symptoms can include allergy-type symptoms, sensitivity to environmental agents (perfumes), skin rashes, bad breath, and mucus problems (runny nose, cough).
There are many reasons you may want to do a healthy, holistic detox including to prevent illness, reduce symptoms of a toxic overload, or slow aging. Perhaps you are trying to lose weight or improve fertility, then you may want to detox.
Women may do better to detox the week before menstruation, focusing on lots of liquids, eating greens, light foods (vegetables, fruit), and herbs. Seasonal changes are also a great time to lighten the load on our body with a detox. Spring is a popular time to detox as this seasonal change happening to the environment around us can affect our bodies too. Eating more citrus fruits and fresh greens in spring can feel great. In the fall, eating brown rice, vegetables, and soups can be a good choice.
A non-toxic eating plan is a healthy, holistic detox strategy used by many holistic nutritionists. It’s not a “diet” as we all agree those trendy things don’t work, but a healthy eating plan that focuses on organic whole foods that are in season, drinking lots of filtered water, and reducing allergen foods (dairy, sugar, gluten). But, there’s more to a healthy holistic detox than what you eat!
Avoiding toxins in your daily lifestyle is a great way to help your body catch up on its natural detoxifying duties. From using non-toxic deodorant to cleaner shaving cream, there are lots of easy ways to lower your toxin exposure in the bathroom. But, don’t stop there! Consider the chemicals you use to clean your home or make it smell nice. The European Union has banned over 1,300 chemicals found in cosmetics. In contrast, the FDA in the United States has banned only 8. In Canada, the hotlist of prohibited chemicals for cosmetics is about 500 ingredients long. Yet, the hot list is lacking. It doesn’t include some known chemicals of concern, such as parabens, known hormone disruptors.
You can give your body’s detoxing systems a boost with the help of certain natural medicines, such as milk thistle. Milk thistle has been traditionally used in herbal medicine as a liver protectant. Research shows milk thistle helps the cells of the liver regenerate. As the liver is the body’s largest detoxing organ, milk thistle is one of the best ways to detox. The liver sends its toxic waste out through the colon. Therefore, supporting the gut is important in an effective detox.
In the gut, fiber acts like a street-sweeper, cleaning up the dirt and debris left on the roadway of your intestines. Then, fiber traps and eliminates the yucky stuff from the body in the form of feces. Microbes also play a role in detoxing your gut. Good microbes, called probiotics, promote the health of the human body by supporting digestion, boosting immunity, enhancing mood, and the detoxification of heavy metals and pesticides from the gut, according to researchers. You can easily feed those probiotics when you eat organic, whole foods on your detox eating plan, as fibers found in plants (vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains) can be used as fuel by the good microbes. Described by the researchers as proverbial gardeners of the gut, some commonly eaten foods, in a recent study, were noted to help to weed and landscape the gut in a beneficial way. Those foods included rhubarb, cinnamon, oregano, and some types of coffee.
The most effective way to detox is to not stop with your folk. A healthy, holistic detox offers the best results. Your efforts to reach for cleaner, healthier foods more often, while avoiding known toxins such as sugar, processed foods, and alcohol is a great start. Now, think about what you put on your skin, from creams to hand soaps, shampoo to laundry detergent. Consider your household cleaners can contribute volatile toxins in your household air. Opt for hot water, vinegar, and baking soda instead. Add more plants into your home to help you further detoxify the air.
Inspired to take actions that make your body feel better, a detox is a great way to start. Luckily, a detox doesn’t have to come in a fancy box, or follow an overly restrictive diet – a healthy, holistic detox does not need to disrupt your life. Take a week, focus on a detoxification plan that meets your needs (colon, liver, skin). Not sure where to start? A Registered Holistic Nutritionist can help. Plus, trying a detox can help you build new, healthier habits, that you love so much you keep doing them even after your detox is done.
Contributed by Allison Tannis
Known for her deliciously geeky words, Allison’s articles and books are read around the world by those curious about where to find the most delicious (and nutritious) places to stick their forks. More at allisontannis.com. Follow @deliciouslygeeky.