Coming out of our winter hibernation, most of us comfort eat, over indulge and do not exercise. Unfortunately, this leaves us feeling sluggish, moody, achy, tired and, to some degree, a few kilograms heavier. Here are some tips and recipes ideal for detoxing and cleansing your body
I have good news for you. Spring is here! With warmer and longer days come the harvest of new and nourishing produce. What better time to take advantage of this blossoming season then now to bring back the spring in your step with a detox! "Detoxification" is the efficient elimination of bodily toxins like preservatives, pesticides xenoestogens, sugar, food additives, alcohol, tobacco, heavy metals, prescription medication and even stress to some degree. These are all processed through organs such as the kidneys, lymph, colon but most importantly the liver. As our bodies are naturally in tune with the seasons, foods that support and nourish the liver are plentiful at this time of year.
Stimulates bile flow from the gallbladder, helping carry toxins and waste material from the liver and out of the body. It may also help the body rid of excess of water due to its diuretic effects.
Contains chlorophyll, which detoxifies heavy metals, repairs tissues, deodorizes body odor, improves oxygen supply and neutralizes toxins. It too has diuretic effects when consumed whole. Hence, a great way to flush toxins via the kidneys.
Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprout, all have a couple of things in common. They are packed full of fiber, Vitamin C and contain sulphur, which help to generate the bodies most potent detox enzyme, glutathione. Glutathione not only helps with waste elimination, it also has protective effects from invading toxins and potential cancer cells. Other in season foods to incorporate would be lettuce, snap peas, asparagus, celery, berries such as strawberries, bitter greens such as kale, dandelion greens and chard. In addition to the above you may also want to adopt the following to further enhance your detox:
Keeping well hydrated
Consume on average 2-3 liters (9-12 cups) of water daily. It will stimulate primary detox organs such as the kidneys, lymph and liver. It will boost metabolism which in turn accelerates toxin elimination. It is calorie-free, inexpensive and readily available. Ensure you squeeze half a lemon to lukewarm water first thing in the morning to kick start your liver. Steer clear of plastic water bottles at all times as they can leech dangerous hormone-like chemicals into the water.Eliminate sugar, gluten, processed foods, dairy, caffeine, alcohol and meat. These are hard to breakdown and burden the digestive system. You may compromise your immune system as 80-90 percent of it lives in your gut.
Put on your workout gear and go outside and move. Jump, skip, run, jog, cycle, kick, punch do whatever motivates you to break out in a sweat! This is just another great way to rid the body of toxins. As a bonus you'll be soaking up some of the sun's rays for much needed Vitamin D, which is essential for the production of a powerful detox enzyme called glutathione.
Sleep to repair
Make sure you get plenty of rest, as this is the time required by our bodies to repair and heal. Most experts recommend a minimum of eight hours.
Dry skin brush
This promotes circulation and the flow of lymph. Start at the feet and make your way up to the torso, then hands and arms for a total of five minutes before you shower.
Enhance bowel elimination
This is essential as all waste material processed by the liver is now eliminated by the bowel. Foods that nourish and support the function of the colon include:
Probiotic foods include all fermented foods such as sauerkraut, pickled cucumbers, garlic, beets and radish; kefir, kombucha, kimchi, meso, tempeh and apple cider vinegar. Probiotics improve bowel function and are also responsible for neutralizing and detoxifying toxins.
Fiber from in season vegetables as mentioned above, legumes such as lentils, peas and beans and seeds such as chia and ground flaxseed bind to toxic matter and ensure their quick removal from our bodies. Chlorophyll once again pops up as it oxygenates the bowel to remove any odor and flushes all toxins. Supplements may also come in handy as they have the potential to speed up the detoxification process. You may also want to consider the following:
Milk thistle, dandelion, nettle, chlorophyll, green tea, turmeric, barley grass, spirulina, activated charcoal, Bentonite clay and diatomaceous earth just to name a few.
A word of warning though! Be prepared to experience slight discomfort like headaches and fatigue, whilst on the detox. This "healing crisis" usually starts in two to three days and may only last a couple of days. So hang in there! For the best results perform the detox for no less than 14 days and repeat two to three times per year. You just may well be surprised at how aware, awake and alive you feel and not to mention and a little lighter post detox. Check with your healthcare practitioner before considering any of the recommendations made above.