Spring is fast approaching and while you look to spring clean your house, it’s also a good time to consider spring-cleaning yourself. Yes, you can spring clean your body. But you don’t have to be extreme in doing so. While detox tends to mean drinking fluids, rather than eating, to help wash toxins through your body, there are some simple steps you can take to help your body reboot without feeling deprived.
Overall, your body does a pretty good job on its own of eliminating toxins. The kidneys, colon and and liver all work hard to break down toxins and remove them before they can wreak havoc on your body. So what can we do to help our liver and kidneys function in tip-top shape?
Try these key tips:
- Drink more water. How much should you drink? Divide your weight in half and that is your daily ounce requirement for water. If you weigh 160 pounds, then you need to drink at least 80 ounces. If you’re active, then you need to drink more. Water plays a critical role in helping your kidneys filter and flush toxins. It aids with waste removal and transporting important nutrients to cells.
- Add lemon (or lime). To boost your detox, try drinking lemon water each morning on an empty stomach. Fresh lemon juice is not only a rich source of vitamin C, it helps to alkalize your body or remove acidity, which can promote inflammation. It promotes digestion and helps to covert toxins into a water-soluble form, which allows them to be more readily flushed through the body. Throw in a clove or two of garlic to boost circulation and activate liver enzymes to help filter out toxins.
- Eat more leafy greens. Leafy greens are full of chlorophyll, which is known to help the body eliminate environmental toxins and protect the liver and kidneys. Try: Spinach, kale, collard green, bok choy, arugula. Even herbs, such as parsley, basil and cilantro are helpful in any detox. Try adding them to a smoothie or a salad. For a true detox, focus on organic produce, which is grown without the use of pesticides.
- Eat more veggies in general. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), adults should consume 2-3 cups of vegetables daily. Yet, in a recent CDC study of consumption, 87% of adults did not meet the vegetable intake recommendations. Not only are veggies rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, they help to improve your liver function. Try upping your veggie intake with: Artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, garlic and watercress.
- Eat more fruit. Again, the CDC recommends that we eat 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit daily, and yet 76% of adults reported that they did not meet the fruit intake recommendations. Fruits provide valuable vitamins and antioxidants as well as fiber, which can help to remove metals and additives from the body. Because of its high water content, fruit tends to wash through the body quickly. Try: Apples, grapefruit (and all citrus), berries, papaya, pineapple and melons.
- Drink green tea. Green tea is antioxidant rich and full of catechins, which help to improve liver function. Not only will it help you relax, it can help you detox, too. Tea in general is full of antioxidants and more beneficial to your body than coffee. The caffeine from tea is milder and tends to give you a boost without the jitters.
- Eat nuts and seeds. The fiber in flax and hemp seeds binds to toxins, helping to flush them through the digestive tract. The selenium in Brazil nuts can help to flush mercury from the body. Almonds and sesame seeds also offer detoxification properties. Eat nuts solo, or add nuts and seeds to salads, granola or smoothies.
Reasons to detox:
The environment around us is filled with pollutants, from air pollution to allergens. Not to mention even foods we eat can contain additives and pesticides that end up stored in the body.
Our skin, lungs, liver, kidneys and colon could all use a little help detoxing from time to time. You can do a detox just because, but consider focusing on detoxification to help with the following:
- To remove overall toxins from the body
- You’re feeling congested or stuffy
- You have low energy
- Your immune system is compromised
- To improve skin quality
- Healthy aging
- Weight loss or to boost metabolism
- To improve mental clarity
- To combat inflammation
- As a preventative measure against chronic disease
- Just to feel good!