Are you intrigued yet intimidated by the idea of a detox? We hear it’s healthy but then we meet someone going through a detox and they feel like cr_ _, look like death and are spending a significant amount of time in the bathroom!! Yikes, I am not signing on for that!
So, how do we keep our toxic load under control without experiencing these unwanted effects?
Two things to embrace: take it slow; make it daily.
Intense detoxifications should only be undertaken when all of our elimination pathways are open (healthy gut, optimally functioning colon, exercise routine in place, liver and spleen in tip-top shape), and best done under the guidance of a nutritionist or medical doctor. Detoxification releases toxins from your adipose (fat storage) tissues and must have a clear avenue to exit – otherwise you run the risk of making yourself much sicker!
Here are 5 simple steps you can take to release and reduce your toxic burden naturally:
1). Exercise – rebounding (remember those mini-trampolines that were all the rage?) and twisting exercise, such as certain yoga poses are best as they help to activate your lymphatic system. Any exercise that makes you break a sweat is key; your skin will literally sweat out the toxins.
2). Dry Brushing – you have probably seen these brushes in health food stores or in your friend’s bathroom. They are used dry and on a dry body. The process is easy, begin at your feet and brush (with a bit of attitude) toward your heart, paying special attention to your lymph nodes (groin, armpits, neck). The entire process takes about 3-5 minutes and should be done in your bathing area. Think dead skin cells flying around…It is believed that this simple process can release up to ⅓ of your daily toxins.
3). Oil Pulling – okay, this is where I lose some of you, but hear me out; oil pulling has been around for centuries as a simple method to ‘pull’ toxins from the body. If you google oil pulling you will find raves and raspberries – some believe it cures every disease imaginable and some believe it is hooey. Here is something to consider: we know dental health is very important to our overall health and that tooth and gum infections can lead to serious health consequences with a new found connection to diabetes. The mouth serves as a “window” to the rest of the body, providing signals of general health disorders. Oil pulling is a simple practice that consists of taking ½ – 1 tablespoon of organic oil (sesame and coconut recommended) and swishing it around your mouth and pulling it through your teeth. This is best done for 15-20 minutes to be effective but it will take a while for your jaw muscles to adapt. When done swishing, (the oil should now be milky white) always spit out the oil – never swallow! Then rinse and brush your teeth. Benefits may include whiter teeth, fresh breath, reduced occurrence of canker sores and better oral health, reduced gum disease, reduced inflammation and more – plus replacing your toxic mouthwash with something natural is a win-win!
4). Hydration – this is really key because adequate water intake supports all of your detox pathways. It flushes urine, hydrates the lungs, helps the lymphatic system drive toxins to the blood to be flushed out of the body, and keeps our skin moist and intact to act as a natural barrier. We cannot underestimate the power of water in detoxification. So, how much water should we drink? The recommendation is half your body weight in ounces per day. A 150 pound woman would drink 75 ounces of filtered water a day, preferably with a splash of lemon and a pinch of high quality sea or celtic salt to help supply the body with minerals.
5). Diet – just as with water, the importance of a nutrient dense whole food diet cannot be overemphasized. Reducing processed foods will go a long way toward preventing additional toxins from entering the body in the first place, thereby reducing our need to detoxify. Excess sugar and sodium are the main culprits but also non-organic foods containing pesticides and GMO’s need to be avoided. Just as there are foods that can add to our toxic load, there are also foods that help the body release or flush toxins. Grapes, blueberries and cranberries help flush uric acid from your body supporting the kidneys. Dandelion, parsley, celery and asparagus flush out uric acid and are natural diuretics. Citrus fruits which contain high amounts of Vitamin C , and turmeric help boost liver detox by assisting enzymes that flush out dietary carcinogens. Raw foods offer high levels of naturally occurring enzymes that break down toxic buildups and promote the clearance of harmful substances in the body. Support colon health with fermented foods, green tea and garlic.
There you have it; 5 simple daily steps to eat, drink, jump, swish and brush your way to a healthier YOU!