I love the concept of a cleanse or detox.
DETOX is one of those words that has different meanings to everyone, but the most fascinating thing is that it has a role in all ancient cultures. People have been applying some form of cleanse or detox in their lives for thousands and thousands of years; its an ancient art of healing. It really is an important concept for everyone to understand, and to start implementing in their lives in some way.
I recently attended a conference focused on Ayurveda - the ancient Indian healing/medical system - where people believe in doing a cleanse (which they call Pancha Karma) regularly; its suggested to do a cleanse every season to clear the channels of the body from built-up toxins (which they call Ama). Additionally, they suggest doing a short fast about once a week, for example, not eating for 18-20 hours.
The idea is that we need to give our bodies a short break from all the hard-to-digest foods and more importantly, all the harmful chemicals that we’re exposed to every day. Detoxing removes toxins that are stored in fat cells and throughout the blood, which eases the load on your body and causes your energy levels to rise. It also helps to starve any bad bacteria, yeast, etc, and ultimately helps you reach a higher state of health and well-being.
I highly suggest starting with at least a 10 day cleanse once a year. Every time I do a detox, I see positive results. I feel lighter, my digestion gets better, and I feel more energized. But additionally, I suggest finding little ways to detox on a regular basis to avoid too much build-up of toxins, and stay as healthy and vibrant as possible.
Here are 15 tips to aid your body in its detoxification process on a daily basis:
- Eat TONS of dark leafy greens. The options are multiple, including spinach, kale, collards, swiss chard, arugula, watercress, dandelion greens and more! They’re rich in chlorophyll which helps rid your body of heavy metals.
- Add turmeric root to your diet. It’s the ultimate inflammation fighter, and can be more effective than Advil to treat aches and pains! You can have turmeric tea with lemon & honey, or turmeric milk, you can add a cm of turmeric root to your smoothies and juices, or use turmeric powder to spice up almost any meal.
- Season your meals with cilantro. It's filled with phytonutrients and antioxidants, it's highly detoxifying for both the liver and kidney, and helps rid your body of any heavy metals you might have in your bloodstream.
- Start your day with warm lemon water. The lemon juice helps balance your body’s pH, it supports the liver, and converts toxins into water-soluble form to help your body get rid of them. Also, lemons are rich in Vitamin C which is key in detoxification; it stimulates production of glutathione, a key supplement needed for liver detoxification.
- Eat beets. You can roast them, juice them, or have them raw, thinly sliced with your salad. Beets increase the production of antioxidant enzymes in liver, which then help gall bladder eliminate bile. They’re also great to stimulate digestions and relieve constipation.
- Eat cruciferous vegetables. These include cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, etc. All cruciferous veggies are filled with antioxidants, and help keep you vibrant and healthy. Cabbage in particular literally scrubs your colon, helping you get rid of waste.
- Drink green tea. It’s rich in flavonoids that increase production of detoxification enzymes.
- Practice yoga. The benefits are limitless, including longer life, better flexibility, increased strength, stronger bones, better posture, and of course, many twisting poses are especially good for detoxification as well as improved digestion.
- Take a 20 min sauna - and sweat! Sweating mobilizes the toxins that are stored in our fat cells, and helps eliminate them. A sauna can help you release sweat (and toxins) faster than any other activity.
- Switch up the hot & cold water in your shower for a detox hydrotherapy.
- Scrub your body with a small hot, wet towel, and/or dry-brush your entire body with a soft bristle wooden brush before a shower, to scrub off the dead skin cells. This is key for detoxification through your skin - your largest organ!
- Drink lots of water. Sipping water throughout the day, especially in between meals, is key for flushing out toxins from your body, and elimination of waste. For maximum digestion benefits, drink warm water throughout the day.
- Detox your cabinets. Get rid of all your household cleaning products and personal care products that are filled with harmful chemicals, and instead start implementing natural solutions. It’s amazing what you can do with just baking soda, vinegar, coconut oil & essential oils!
- Open your windows, and add some fresh plants into your home! Plants help add some fresh oxygen, much needed for your lungs, and help reduce some of the common household chemicals (VOC's).
- Do an emotional detox. Let go of relationships that are draining you. And nourish the supportive relationships in your life. Detoxing is about getting rid of the things that don’t serve you and drain your energy.