These days, detoxing has become quite popular – and for very good reason. We live in a time when the body is subjected to a vast amount of human-made toxins, and this can have a profound impact on our health, our energy, and our future generations. Cleaning out the body as best we can is a wise nutritional strategy. This can seem like a challenge when so many popular cleanses require a lot of juicing, and these plans can be difficult to follow in everyday life.
But the good news is that you don’t need to do extreme fasting or intense dietary protocols to rid your body of impurities. Here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating we suggest taking a gentle and reasonable approach to self-care.
There are several simple and effective detox methods that can easily be incorporated into your daily practice. We’d love to share 5 of our favorite ways to help your body detox every day:
#1 Eat Real, Fresh Food
Fresh, real food has a natural way of detoxing the body on an ongoing basis. There’s a built-in wisdom to nature that deserves our respect. Fresh veggies and fruits contain fiber, water, and all kinds of phytochemicals that keep our bowels moving, decrease inflammation, and increase detoxification pathways.
Additionally, when we let go of junk food, we let go of the very foods in which concentrated toxins are often found. Sometimes, it’s less about detoxing the body and more about not toxifying it in the first place. Focus on eating ample amounts of fruits and vegetables. Choose meals containing lean organic proteins such free range meats and fish, healthy grains such as quinoa, and healthy fats like olive or coconut oil.
And tune in to how your body feels after consuming these types of foods. If you feel energized and clear-headed, then you know you are on the right track. Your body is naturally detoxifying.
#2 Drink Water
You’ve heard this before. It’s not new information. The bottom line is, hydrating helps your body rid itself of toxins. If you want your body to function at an optimal level, then drinking water is non-negotiable.
Water plays an important role in detoxifying the body. It flushes toxins and transports nutrients to where they are needed. It prevents constipation by acting as a natural lubricant and allowing your body to purge toxins via elimination. The kidneys rely on proper hydration to remove waste products from the blood and eliminate toxic substances in the urine.
What’s the first thing you can do to drink more water? Look at what you are drinking right now. Do you reach for a cup of coffee, a sugared or diet soda, or bottled vitamin water when you’re thirsty? You can begin to consume more water simply by making it your drink of choice every time you feel thirsty. And please, either use high quality spring water or get yourself a quality water filter to remove toxins such as fluoride that are added to water. This is a well-proven neurotoxin that has no reason to be put in a human body.
If plain old water sounds unappealing, try adding a slice of lemon. This will make your glass of water into an even more powerful detoxifier. Lemon water reduces inflammation by decreasing acidity in your body and flushes toxins by enhancing enzyme function and stimulating your liver.
#3 Lighten Up Your Toxic Load
Take a look at simple opportunities for cutting toxins out of your life. Eliminate alcohol, coffee, and cigarettes in addition to refined sugars and saturated fats. Minimize or cut out the use of chemical-based household cleaners. Even personal health care products can carry a heavy toxic load. Instead, consider using natural alternatives found in most health-food stores.
And let’s not forget managing our stress levels as an easy way to help the body detoxify. Stress can add to our toxic load by generating hormones that hinder detoxification enzymes from doing their job in the liver. It can also burden our bodies via negative thinking. Lighten your mental load by addressing your stress levels.
Slow down. Set aside small amounts of time throughout the day to simply breathe deeply. Meditate. Take a walk. Drink a cup of tea. Talk with a friend. Whatever resource you can draw upon to help you unwind, relax, and manage your physical and mental reactions to the ups and downs of life will assist your body in detoxification.
Moving your body every day in gentle and life-affirming ways is one of the simplest ways to help your body detox. The good news here is we are not saying you have to run a marathon or head to the gym every morning at 5 am. Just work up a little sweat and you will get the benefit of helping your body release toxins.
When you sweat, you release toxins through your pores. Exercise also activates the lymphatic system by facilitating lymph flow and aids in the elimination of toxins through the lungs due to improved oxygen delivery. Daily movement assists the body in good digestion and helps keep bowels regular. It also improves energy levels and helps us manage stress.
Find ways to move that you enjoy. Avoid types of movement that you dislike. Here are a few ideas: walk briskly, ride a bike, play tennis, take a swim, do yoga or dance! Just focus on including an activity once a day that gets you moving, and you’ll reap the benefits of aiding your body in the detoxification process.
#5 Simple Lifestyle Practices
Once you have addressed your stress level, cut back on ingesting chemicals, and incorporated fresh foods, water, and movement into your days, you can take your daily detox to the next level with a few easy strategies.
Take a sauna or steam shower. Just like exercising, both can help the body sweat, which can help rid the body of impurities.
Next, consider exploring the use of a dry brush. If you have never done this before, give it a try! Dry brushing helps improve circulation, stimulates lymphatic drainage, and firms the skin. It also sloughs off dead skin cells and the toxic debris within them. It feels good and leaves your skin smooth and soft! Dry brushing is best done with a brush with soft natural bristles. Start by stroking across the skin with movements toward the heart. When brushing your stomach, go in a clockwise motion to work with your natural digestive flow. Shower after brushing to remove exfoliated skin cells.
Certain supplements also aid in detoxification. These include milk thistle, aloe vera, and turmeric. Consider taking these herbs before bed to assist your body’s detoxification processes during peak healing times – which is while you are sleeping.
Milk thistle and turmeric are anti-inflammatories and antioxidants that support liver and gallbladder function, both crucial to effective body detoxing. Aloe vera is an anti-inflammatory that aids in digestion and can also support organ detox.
So this week, give these simple strategies a try. Each can easily be incorporated into your day, and if they work for you, you can continue to practice them for the rest of your life. As you begin to naturally detoxify, you are sure to feel better, inside and out.
The Institute for the Psychology of Eating
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