- 7 Effective Tips To Naturally Detox Your Body
- Here’s how you can naturally detox your body with these 7 tips:
- 5 Natural Detox Drink Recipes
- 10 Ways to Detoxify Your Body
- 20 Ways to Detox Your Body and Mind
- How to Detox Your Body the Natural Way
- Detoxification for Optimal Health
- Toxins? Toxic load?
7 Effective Tips To Naturally Detox Your Body
A healthy mind, lean and fit body, and soft and supple skin; almost all of us wish to have these traits. In order to achieve the same, it is imperative to follow a disciplined workout regime with a nutritionally balanced diet. However, before doing all that, it is of utmost importance to detox the body with a proper cleansing process so that harmful toxins are released from the body. Due to tight working schedules, most of us fail to follow various detox programmes. If you wish to detox your body naturally, just a few minor changes in lifestyle could help you to a great extent. We have curated a list of 7 effective tips that are easy-to-follow and also won’t take much of your time and effort.
Here’s how you can naturally detox your body with these 7 tips:
1. Drink Warm Water With Lemon Juice
Start the day with a glass of warm water and freshly squeezed lemon. This wonder combination has the potential to flush out toxins from the body. You may also add grated ginger in the same for better results. Lemon and ginger together improve digestion and give the metabolism a boost. Preparing this drink is an easy task and won’t take more than 2-3 minutes. Make sure you are consuming it on an empty stomach for an effective body detox. This is one of the most effective home remedies for body detox.
Detox your body at home: Start the day with a glass of warm water and freshly squeezed lemon
Photo Credit: iStock
2. Swap Caffeinated Drinks With Green Tea
Caffeinated drinks like tea or coffee can do more harm than good to your body. In order to steer clear of its harmful side effects, swap them with green tea, which is a much better alternative. Apart from cleansing the digestive system, it also helps in boosting the body’s metabolism, facilitating weight loss.
(Also Read: Types of Green Tea: 7 Popular Flavours Everyone Loves)
Detox your body at home: Caffeinated drinks like tea or coffee can do more harm than good to your body
Photo Credit: iStock
3. Avoid Packaged Fruit Juices
Packaged fruit juices may contain preservatives, flavour enhancers, colouring agents and processed sugar. All these elements can have a negative impact on your overall health. Instead, detoxify with fresh fruit juices, which are loaded with essential fibres that aid digestion.
Detox your body at home: Fresh fruit juices are loaded with essential fibres that aid digestion
4. Purify Your Body With Water
It is important to keep yourself hydrated at all times. The body needs water to produce saliva, helps with perspiration, and removes waste. Drink enough water in a day; approximately 8-10 glass or 2 litres. Carry a water bottle with you at all times and keep consuming and refilling it as and when you get the opportunity.
(Also Read: 4 Amazing Benefits of Drinking Water (and Why You Should Skip Cold Water)
Detox your body at home: It is important to keep yourself hydrated at all times
5. Get Adequate Sleep
Apart from detoxifying the body, it is essential to detoxify the mind as well. A full body detox is of utmost importance. A lot of us underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep. Your brain tends to flush out toxins while you sleep as well. Hence, ensure that you are getting sufficient sleep at night.
Detox your body at home: Ensure that you are getting sufficient sleep at night
6. Include Probiotics In Your Daily Diet
Yogurt is a superfood, which is an essential source of probiotics, contains good bacteria that helps alleviate digestive issues and cleanses your digestive tract. Make sure you add yogurt or curd to your daily diet.
Detox your body at home: Yogurt is an essential source of probiotics
7. Drink Cinnamon Or Fenugreek Tea
Conclude your day with a cup of cinnamon tea or fenugreek tea. Consuming these drinks during bedtime helps in boosting the body’s metabolism. Apart from this, they also help in clearing out the waste from the body by promoting digestion.
(Also Read: Weight Loss: Consume These 3 Drinks Just Before Bedtime To Lose Weight Fast!)
Detox your body at home: Conclude your day with a cup of cinnamon tea or fenugreek tea
Now, that we have shared with you a list of effective tips for natural detox, bring them to your rescue and get a healthy mind and body along with soft and supple skin.
About Deeksha SarinAn eccentric foodie and a die-hard falooda lover, Deeksha loves riding scooty in search of good street food! A piping hot cup of adrak wali chai can make her day bright and shiny!
5 Natural Detox Drink Recipes
By: E.C. LaMeaux
If you’re looking to revive yourself from within while increasing your energy level and your overall well-being, a body detox may be in order. Detoxification is the process of eliminating toxic substances from your body. Before beginning any detox diet, it’s always good to check with your doctor, especially if there are any health concerns.
In their book 7-Day Detox Miracle, Sara Faye, Stephen Barrie, N.D., and Peter Bennett, N.D., explain that detoxing with a whole-body cleanse can enhance the body’s systems. According to the authors, detox drink recipes can assist in ridding your body of toxins and bringing it back into healthy balance.
Lemon contains ascorbic acid, assisting in the cleansing process. Known also as the staple beverage of Stanley Burroughs’ Master Cleanse, this detox drink is easy to make. Mix 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup and 1/10 teaspoon of cayenne pepper in 8 ounces of purified water. Proponents of the Master Cleanse recommend you drink 6-8 glasses of this lemonade drink and eat nothing each day of your cleanse. Despite its popularity, nutritionists warn against the lack of essential nutrients in this drink.
Green detox drink
This vegetable detox drink is made up primarily of green vegetables, providing an effective natural body cleanse of the digestive system.
In her book The Raw Food Detox Diet: The Five-Step Plan for Vibrant Health and Maximum Weight Loss, certified clinical nutritionist Natalia Rose discusses the importance of vegetables at length. For this detox drink, you will need:
- 3 carrots
- 3 kale leaves
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 beets
- 1 turnip
- ½ bunch of spinach
- ½ cabbage
- ½ bunch of parsley
- ½ onion
- 2 garlic cloves
Mix all ingredients with water and puree in a blender.
Detox dandelion tea
According to classical homeopathic practitioner Sonya McLeod, B.A., D.C.H., dandelions are a great source of vitamin A, potassium, iron, and calcium. According to McLeod, dandelion detox tea is a diuretic that will eliminate bodily toxins through your liver and kidneys. She recommends brewing 6 tablespoons of 1-year-old dried dandelion root and 12 tablespoons of fresh dandelion leaves in 4 cups of purified, boiling water. Other recipes call for simply adding 2 teaspoons of crushed dandelion leaves to a cup of boiling water and allowing it to brew for about 10 minutes.
Fresh cranberry juice
According to Mayo Clinic, there is some evidence to suggest that drinking cranberry juice may help prevent urinary tract infections and ulcers in healthy individuals. Cranberry juice also contains vitamin C, manganese and antioxidants. Though not advocated by any authoritative body, cranberry juice has become a popular detox drink, and according to Mayo Clinic, two 16-oz. glasses of full-strength juice can be safely consumed on a daily basis by healthy adults. To make this detox drink, dilute one part cranberry juice in four parts water. Then, add 1 tablespoon each of apple pectin and psyllium fiber to stimulate gentle intestinal elimination.
Fruit detox drink
Because fruit is high in fiber and packed with essential vitamins and minerals, it’s a wonderful natural detox for the body. This recipe incorporates fruit, along with flax oil and lecithin, to provide essential fatty acids while you detox. In your blender, combine:
- 8 oz. of orange juice
- 4 oz. of purified water
- ½ cup banana
- ½ cup strawberries
- ½ cup yogurt
- ½-inch slice of ginger
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon flax oil
- 1 tablespoon lecithin granules
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, if desired
- 1 tablespoon of protein powder or spirulina powder
The Master Cleanse is a method of detoxification typically used to energize, promote weight loss and remove harmful toxins from the body. Developed in the 1940s by Dr. Stanley Burroughs, it involves replacing solid food with a mixture of everyday household ingredients including water, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. The cleansing regimen also calls for a daily salt water flush–an Ayurvedic method of cleaning out the gastrointestinal tract–and nightly laxative tea.
Numerous websites and books tout the Master Cleanse’s health and weight loss benefits. However, the Harvard Healthbeat states that in terms of scientific proof, there is an absence of data in the medical literature regarding the diet’s effectiveness. As with any diet, consult a medical professional before starting the Master Cleanse.
Make the salt water flush by dissolving the salt in the water. Drink this solution every morning to help remove mucus and waste from the digestive tract. The flush usually induces elimination within 30 minutes to an hour of consumption, says Peter Glickman, author of the book “Lose Weight, Have More Energy and Be Happier in 10 Days.” Wait at least a half an hour before drinking the Master Cleanse solution.
Combine the filtered water, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper in a glass. Fresh lemon juice contains enzymes that help break down old waste, explains Glickman. Meanwhile, the maple syrup provides minerals and sugar for energy, and the cayenne pepper accelerates detoxification by breaking up mucus and enlarging the blood vessels.
Drink six to 12 glasses of the mixture throughout the day.
Drink one cup of laxative tea every night. Glickman recommends organic teas that contain senna, an herb that promotes intestinal contractions. If the cramping is too strong, mix 1/2 cup pure senna tea with 1/2 cup warm water.
Follow the Master Cleanse for at least 10 days, recommends Glickman. Meanwhile, Burroughs states that a “clear, pink tongue” is the best indication of a successful, complete cleanse. (REFERENCE 2)
Side effects of the Master Cleanse may include food cravings, irritability, headaches, fatigue and “hot” bowel movements. These symptoms are temporary and tend to disappear as the diet progresses. (REFERENCE 2)
When breaking the cleanse, gradually introduce solid foods into your diet over a period of three days. Start with orange juice for the first and second days, and add vegetable soup for dinner the second day and during meals on the third day. You can resume your normal diet on the fourth day, says Glickman.
Weight loss on the cleanse is primarily achieved through laxative-induced fluid loss and a decrease in carbohydrate intake, states the Harvard Healthbeat. Once you resume a normal diet, the weight will likely return. (REFERENCE 3)
According to the Harvard Healthbeat, the salt water flush and laxative tea “can cause dehydration, deplete electrolytes and impair normal bowel function.” (REFERENCE 3)
Frequent cleansing may lead to metabolic acidosis, a disruption of the acid-base balance in the body that can result in death. (REFERENCE 3)
10 Ways to Detoxify Your Body
by: Deborahann Smith
Practiced for centuries by cultures around the world — including Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine systems — detoxification is about resting, cleansing and nourishing the body from the inside out. By removing and eliminating toxins, then feeding your body with healthy nutrients, detoxifying can help protect you from disease and renew your ability to maintain optimum health through a range of methods including yoga, meditation and more.
How does detoxification work?
Basically, detoxification means cleansing the blood. This is done by removing impurities from the blood in the liver, where toxins are processed for elimination. The body also eliminates toxins through the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymphatic system, and skin. However, when these systems are compromised, impurities aren’t properly filtered and the body is adversely affected.
A detox program can help the body’s natural cleansing process by:
- Resting the organs through fasting;
- Stimulating the liver to drive toxins from the body;
- Promoting elimination through the intestines, kidneys, and skin;
- Improving circulation of the blood; and
- Refueling the body with healthy nutrients.
“Detoxification works because it addresses the needs of individual cells, the smallest units of human life,” says Peter Bennett, N.D., co-author of 7-Day Detox Miracle with Stephen Barrie, N.D., and Sara Faye.
How do you know if you need to detoxify?
Bennett suggests that everyone should detox at least once a year. However, Bennett cautions against detoxing for nursing mothers, children, and patients with chronic degenerative diseases, cancer or tuberculosis. Consult your healthcare practitioner if you have questions about whether detoxing is right for you.
Today, with more toxins in the environment than ever, “it’s critical to detox,” says Linda Page, N.D., Ph.D., the author of Detoxification: Programs to Cleanse, Purify and Renew. Page recommends detoxing for symptoms such as:
- Unexplained fatigue
- Sluggish elimination
- Irritated skin
- Low-grade infection
- Puffy eyes or bags under the eyes
- Menstrual problems
- Mental confusion
How do you start a detox?
First, lighten up your toxin load. Eliminate alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, refined sugars, and saturated fats, all of which act as toxins in the body and are obstacles to your healing process. Also, minimize use of chemical-based household cleaners and personal health care products (cleansers, shampoos, deodorants, and toothpastes), and substitute natural alternatives.
Another hindrance to good health is stress, which triggers your body to release stress hormones into your system. While these hormones can provide the “adrenaline rush” to win a race or meet a deadline, in large amounts they create toxins and slow down detoxification enzymes in the liver. Yoga, Qigong and meditation are simple and effective ways to relieve stress by resetting your physical and mental reactions to the inevitable stress life will bring. Gaiam carries yoga mats, props and accessories for beginner yogis to advanced practitioners and a meditation seating to help you relieve stress.
Which detox program is right for you?
There are many detoxification programs and detox recipes, depending on your individual needs. Many programs follow a seven-day schedule because, as Bennett explains, “it takes the body time to clean the blood.” His program involves fasting on liquids for two days, followed by a carefully planned five-day detox diet to allow the digestive system to rest. Page recommends a three- to seven-day juice fast (drinking only fresh fruit and vegetable juices and water) as an effective way to release toxins.
Here are our five favorite detox diets:
- Simple Fruit and Veggie Detox
- Smoothie Cleanse
- Juice Cleanse
- Sugar Detox
- Hypoallergenic Detox
Top 10 ways to help your body detoxify
After a detoxification program, you can cleanse your body daily with these diet supplements and lifestyle practices:
- Eat plenty of fiber, including brown rice and organically grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Beets, radishes, artichokes, cabbage, broccoli, spirulina, chlorella, and seaweed are excellent detoxifying foods.
- Cleanse and protect the liver by taking herbs such as dandelion root, burdock, and milk thistle, and drinking green tea.
- Take vitamin C, which helps the body produce glutathione, a liver compound that drives away toxins.
- Drink at least two quarts of water a day, made easy by bringing our 32 oz. Stainless Steel Wide Mouth Water Bottle with you everywhere you go!
- Breathe deeply to allow oxygen to circulate more completely through your system.
- Transform stress by emphasizing positive emotions.
- Practice hydrotherapy by taking a very hot shower for five minutes, allowing the water to run on your back. Follow with cold water for 30 seconds. Do this three times, and then get into bed for 30 minutes.
- Sweat in a sauna so your body can eliminate waste through perspiration.
- Dry-brush your skin or try detox foot spas/foot baths to remove toxins through your pores. Special brushes are available at natural products stores.
- What’s the most important way to detoxify? “Exercise,” says Bennett. “Yoga or jump-roping are good. One hour every day.” Also try Qigong, a martial arts based exercise system that includes exercises specifically for detoxifying or cleansing, as well as many other exercises with specific health benefits.
Consult your doctor before using any health treatment, including herbal supplements and natural remedies, and tell your doctor if you have a serious medical condition or are taking any medications. The information presented here is for educational purposes only and is in no way intended as substitute for medical counseling.
Start your mornings with a glass of room temperature lemon water. (Room temperature is important, since cold foods and drinks can shock your system and cause the digestion process to slow down.) Squeeze half a lemon in and wait 15 to 30 minutes after drinking it to eat breakfast. Why it’s so good for you: Lemons are packed with nutrients and immunity boosters like vitamin C, potassium and pectin fiber, which curbs hunger cravings. They also help speed up enzyme function and stimulate the liver so your body can flush out toxins.
Pick up some activated charcoal. “It’s the new detox,” says Tricia Williams of Food Matters. The tasteless, odorless powder can be found in supplement stores and “gets toxins and poisons out before they can harm the body. Mix it with lemon juice and maple for a delicious black lemonade.”
On cold days, sip bone broth over soup. “Our clients supplement their meal plans with one cup of chicken or beef broth a day for ultimate healing and repair. We like to add in carrot, celery, onion, garlic and thyme,” says Williams.
If it comes in a bag, box or can, skip it. “That’s our rule of thumb,” says Danielle DuBoise of Sakara Life. “A plant-rich diet full of organic fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes is naturally detoxing.”
Swap sunflower seeds for fennel seeds. The sweet, nutty flavored seeds are full of antioxidants. When chewed, they release beneficial oils that improve digestion and balance blood sugar.
Get your probiotics. Lactobacillus acidophilus is a good bacteria that lines the gut membranes and aids in eliminating toxins. You can add the powder form of it to juices and shakes, or eat it in the form of sauerkraut or yogurt.
Eat three meals but avoid snacking. “Eating your nutrients in one sitting and then fasting until your next meal allows your body to fully and properly digest all of its food so that it can devote more energy to cleansing as the digestive system rests. This also teaches you to cue in to signals from your brain about when you’re actually hungry and when you’re just bored,” says Whitney Tingle of Sakara Life.
Increase the cacao percentage of your dark chocolate. If you’re at 70%, up it to 80%.
Eat plenty of spices. “Spices like ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, cumin, and turmeric are supercleansing and help your body reach its natural satiation point earlier,” says Tingle.
End the night with chamomile tea. Not only does it help with insomnia, it aids in breaking down your final meal.
Alexandra Tunell Senior Beauty Editor Alexandra Tunell is the Senior Digital Beauty Editor at Harper’s BAZAAR, where she writes beauty features and covers industry news, health, fitness and wellness trends.
20 Ways to Detox Your Body and Mind
The idea that you can “detox” your body from the damage caused by overindulgence in food and drink is a false one. Just because a juice cleanse or extreme diet gives you diarrhea or makes you feel hungry all the time does not mean your body is “shedding” all the bad stuff you did to it.
In fact, these unpleasant GI symptoms may actually cause more harm than good, as they can strip your gut of all beneficial bacteria and vitamin stores that help keep you healthy. Furthermore, extreme diets tend to confuse your body’s metabolism and may lead to additional weight gain later.
However, none of this means you can’t start over on a better path this new year. The trick is to do so strategically, and in a way that will actually benefit your body and mind.
I’ve put together a list of 20 habits you can begin today that will help “clean up” your body, mind and home. Over time, these changes can make a big impact on your health and quality of life. Just remember to start small – working on a couple of these at a time is plenty. After you’ve mastered those, you can always start on another.
- Drink water before every meal or snack. This will ensure you don’t mistake thirst for hunger, and makes you less likely to overeat.
- Cook most of your meals at home. Restaurant food is packed with salt and oil, no matter where you dine or what you order. Putting together a simple salad or topping beans & frozen veggies with a fried egg is not that hard and goes a long way in keeping you healthy. If you’re new to cooking, start slow and consider using a meal plan service like CookSmarts or The Fresh 20.
- Make vegetables the “main event” at every meal. Meat, cheese, bread, starches, etc. can be present too, but in smaller portions as “accents.”
- Buy organic when possible. Organic food is free from synthetic pesticides, GMOs, antibiotics, and artificial additives. The more you buy organic, the more you avoid these undesirable components of food.
- Eat fermented foods. Yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso and other fermented foods have natural probiotics that promote better digestion and perhaps better health in general.
- Turn off your phone, computer and TV while eating. This makes mealtime more of a conscious event and reduces the likelihood that you’ll overeat.
- Indulge in one treat everyday. A cookie, a handful of chips, a glass of wine – just not all three ;).
- Spend time with people who support your healthy habits, not people who try to sabotage them.
- Schedule one social event every week. A date night, a walk with a friend, or even a phone conversation with someone you love talking to can “refuel” your soul and make your outlook on life more positive.
- Give out more hugs. Embracing someone releases endorphins that make you – and the recipient of your hug – feel really good. Make it a hearty, two-armed embrace to get/give a bigger benefit.
- Listen to an uplifting song in the morning. Music evokes emotion, and when you hear something upbeat or that resonates with you, it’s likely to get your day started on the right foot.
- Practice mindfulness once or twice a day. This doesn’t take any additional time or scheduling, because you’re literally just allowing your mind to focus on whatever you’re doing in a given moment. But it can really help you relax and regroup. If you’re new to the term “mindful,” here are some TED Talks about the topic.
- Swap out some of your TV time for reading time. We watch TV to relax, but often it’s not that relaxing. Plus, it burns less calories than sleeping! Reading, on the other hand, can be invigorating and relaxing, as well as good for the mind.
- Schedule a time for social media. Social media is kind of addictive, yet it tends to make us feel worse about ourselves. Curb your use by setting a specific time for checking Facebook, Instagram, etc. then turn off notifications and avoid this media the rest of the time. You’ll probably feel happier and free up time for other activities.
- Move your body more. Physical activity, whether it’s walking, yoga, cardio, or simply getting up from your computer or desk once an hour to move around, has a variety of positive impacts on the body.
- Make exercise as much a part of your routine as eating is. When you view exercise as a natural part of your regular day, not something you have to squeeze in, you’re much more likely to do it regularly. Find a type of exercise you love and work it into your routine like you would with eating lunch or brushing your teeth. Soon it will feel like a habit you can’t break.
- Go to bed 1/2 an hour earlier. I’m notorious for staying up late, my excuse being that I need “me time” after putting the kids to bed. But a little extra sleep can make your day so much more enjoyable, that it’s always worth it!
- Give yourself permission to rest. Whether you’re a working parent, a stay-at-home-mom, or a social young professional, you’re probably on-the-go all the time. Taking 5 minutes to lie on the couch doing nothing might sound impossible, but it’s not. And you deserve it. Life will still be there when you get back up, and you won’t be any more behind than you were before your rest. But you will feel refreshed.
- Swap out your fragranced products for fragrance-free or natural scents. Every time you put on perfume, light a scented candle, or dry your clothes with a fragranced dryer sheet, you’re breathing in toxic chemicals. (The word “fragrance” on an ingredients list contains an average of 100 chemicals, many of which are toxic VOC’s). These can aggravate respiratory problems in the short-run, and disrupt the body’s endocrine system (leading to obesity, breast cancer, and more) in the long-run. Buy fragrance-free products or those fragranced only with essential oils.
- Ditch chemical cleaners. The word clean is defined as “the absence of impurities,” yet most of us deposit harsh chemicals all over our houses every time we clean. Switch to natural cleaners like Honest Company and Seventh Generation, or even just vinegar and baking soda for all your household needs, so that you breath in and ingest fewer toxins around the house.
I’d love to hear what else you’re doing to clean up your mind, body and home this new year!
How to Detox Your Body the Natural Way
Celebrities are especially famous for body detoxes that lean toward extreme (fasting, leech therapy, or colonic irrigation to name a few). Not every tactic aimed at fighting the accumulation of impurities is quite so intense.
Below are a range of expert-backed ways that can potentially help you lose toxins. You should know that many detox methods haven’t been well-studied, and it’s best to run any detoxification techniques by your physician before you begin. Some people, such as pregnant or nursing women or those with chronic diseases, may be advised against certain channels of detox.
Adopted from the ancient healing system of Ayurveda, exfoliating your body and face with a natural dry brush or shower gloves before hopping into the shower helps in two ways: It sloughs off dead skin cells, which opens up pores, serving as an escape route for toxins. Secondly, the massaging action helps dislodge toxins into the body’s circulation, priming them for elimination, says Carlson. Follow your shower with a moisturizing organic body oil (lathering on a chemical-filled product would defeat the whole purpose).
Key potential advantages:
- The technique is simple and quick.
- It assists with detoxification externally and internally.
- Once you invest in brushes, there is nothing to buy.
Sometimes to referred to as “the new juicing,” souping has you slurping on nutrient-dense, low-calorie hot or cold plant-based soups as well as nourishing bone broths. “Souping is a realistic way to ingest a lot of protective nutrients and fiber, which is the ‘scrubbing brush’ that removes potential toxins from the colon,” says Rachel Beller, RDN, CEO and Founder of Beller Nutrition in Beverly Hills, California. The number of days you rely mainly on soup for sustenance varies between plans; healthy snacks, such as fruit and nuts, may be part of the deal. Detox on homemade soups (check out the recipes in Beller’s Power Souping) or if you’re not the kitchen type, try a soup-cleanse delivery service, such as Splendid Spoon.
Key potential advantages:
- Unlike many juice cleanses, souping provides fiber and a satisfying chew and doesn’t risk the sugar crashes and cravings you may get from fruit juice.
- The liquid and the fiber are satiating, so you aren’t hungry.
- It’s impossible for most of us to eat that many vegetables, which provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant power, straight from a plate.
- Souping is convenient for on-the-go clean eating.
Getting Enough Sleep
About forty percent of us fall short on the seven to nine hours a night that most of us need, according to the National Sleep Foundation. A study in the journal Science found that the space between brain cells may increase during sleep, allowing fluid around the brain to flow more freely through the brain and wash out waste that accumulates during waking hours—this includes potentially toxic proteins that are linked to neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. The upshot: Regularly getting a good night’s sleep keeps the brain polished.
Key potential advantages:
- You may help stave off Alzheimer’s.
- It leads to increased mental sharpness; less brain fog.
Americans are becoming less timid about spices and deliberately using a wide variety of these flavor enhancers during meal prep. There’s growing evidence of the health-related benefits of spices, which may equate to aiding detoxification. “Since many spices have potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory effects, they may help fight inflammation in detoxifying organs such as the liver and gut, allowing those organs to run more smoothly,” says Beller, who created a line of organic spice blends called Rachel Beller’s Power Pantry. “Finding five easy recipes that integrate spices and that you make regularly can provide the constant flow of spices that will support your body.” There are tons of top-performing detoxifying spices, but Beller lists cumin, Ceylon cinnamon, paprika, turmeric (best partnered with other spices for absorption), ginger, and (totally-underrated) black pepper as amazing ways to start spicing.
Key potential advantages:
- It doesn’t require huge dietary changes, since you can spice your existing meals.
- Punching up the flavor of veggies and healthful grains may naturally increase your consumption of those foods.
Eliminating Problem Foods
When you’re experiencing symptoms of toxic overload, the elimination diet (sometimes called the “hypoallergenic diet”) dictates dropping the top common food sensitivities from your diet for about a month. A doctor or nutritionist may be guiding you on what to cut, but often you lose gluten, dairy, soy, corn, eggs, sugar, and alcohol, while eating a healthy diet of whole foods. The off-limits foods are then added back to your diet one at a time to help you identify what may be causing your symptoms.
Key potential advantages:
- It provides individualized insight on what’s triggering negative physical reactions.
- You’re giving sugar and processed foods that are linked to disease a rest.
Cupping was almost unheard before the 2016 Olympics in Rio, when a number of athletes, most famously swimmer Michael Phelps, sported the technique’s telltale red circles on their skin. The world was inspired, and now cupping is practically mainstream, appearing on the menu of many spas and wellness centers. Rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, cupping involves applying small cups or jars to the skin and uses them to suction skin and muscles upward (like the reverse pressure of a massage). “The therapy drains excess fluids and toxins, loosens adhesions and lifts connective tissue, and brings blood flow to stagnant skin and muscles,” says Dr. Bhatia, who offers cupping massages at her holistic spa, CentreSpring Spa. Acupuncture, another ancient Chinese healing method, is sometimes paired with a cupping treatment; similarly, acupuncture cuts through stagnation and blockages to push toxins toward elimination.
Key potential advantages:
- It loosens muscles and eases muscular pain and stiffness.
- It strengthens digestion.
- It relaxes the nervous system.
- It improves blood flow and metabolism.
The deep, rhythmic inhalations and exhalations of yoga can put your body’s parasympathetic nervous system in charge—and that improves circulation and helps our body’s metabolism digest toxins, says Carlson. In particular, the twisting poses, like triangle pose, are detox all-stars. Often likened to wringing out a dirty sponge, twisting poses squeeze out congestion in the lymph (the clear fluid of the lymphatic system that delivers internal sludge to the lymph nodes for filtration) to keep it flowing.
Key potential advantages:
- It’s beneficial for your mind and body.
- Sweat (see below) from movement can induce further detox.
- It can be practiced at home or in a studio or gym.
Evidence is mixed on just how many toxins seep out through perspiration, but there’s been enough research to thumbs-up regular vigorous exercise and short spurts in the sauna or steam room (if these sync with any health conditions you have). A group of Canadian researchers studying the natural elimination of toxins have found that many toxic elements are released through sweat; case in point: the group recently reported in BioMed Research International that perspiration appears to purge some contaminants in a group called polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs); PBDEs are used in products as flame retardants and have been increasingly deemed as dangerous to our health. Just make sure you stay hydrated with all that sweating.
Key potential advantages:
- It can be tailored to your schedule, location, and ability.
- You also reap the health-boosting benefits of cardio.
Picking only organic fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy products as well as packaged products with the USDA-organic seal slashes your exposure to pesticides, hormones, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and GMO’s, reducing the burden on your body’s natural detox process. (Side note: That USDA-organic seal doesn’t guarantee an item is nutritious.) If organic produce is too much of a budget-buster, check out the Environmental Working Group’s annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce to see which fruits and vegetables ranked highest and lowest in pesticides, so you know where it’s best to invest. Going green on cleaning supplies and using only natural personal care products can further cut your contact with chemicals.
Key potential advantages:
- Less exposure to synthetic pesticides may reduce cancer risks and for pregnant women, potentially lower risk of problems with brain development in their babies.
- It’s a tangible way to control the chemicals you consume.
Overnight, toxins collect in your mouth. Waking up with dragon breath and a white coating on your tongue are signs of the toxins in the body, says Carlson. Following a simple daily Ayurvedic practice, remove this toxic sludge every morning by swiping the tongue with a metal tongue cleaner; firmly drag it down the tongue about 4 times, says Carlson, who adds that you’re literally moving toxins right out of the beginning of the digestive tract.
Key potential advantages:
- It freshens breath by removing bacteria.
- It enhances taste receptors on the tongue.
- It instantly strips away toxins.
Detoxification for Optimal Health
Toxins? Toxic load?
What are toxins? The body is adept at handling toxins but…
Literally speaking toxins are biological in nature and toxicants are chemical. Both toxins and toxicants act as poisons in the body. For ease of understanding, we will be referring to both chemical and biological poisons as toxins. Ideally, toxins are processed by the liver(other organs play a role as well and we will address that later) and eliminated from the body. The liver is a powerhouse of detoxification. Over 300 chemical processes are taking place, at any given time, as your liver works to remove toxins and waste products from your body.
Under the best of circumstances your body could handle moderate toxin exposure. However, modern life, nutrient depletion in food, poor dietary choices, and exposure to unprecedented amounts of toxins prevent the optimal detoxification of the body. This creates an overwhelming toxic load that can leave you feeling less than healthy.
A higher than normal toxic load can lead to disease and general poor health.
Why detox while dieting?
When these toxins aren’t processed efficiently, they are stored in the body. Toxins have an affinity for fatty tissue. They get deposited in your fat tissues and fatty areas, like the brain. Having a high toxic load and dieting can release those toxins into your system at a high rate and create symptoms like headache, body aches and fatigue, as your body tries to eliminate these as fast as they are being released. A proper detoxification system will help support natural detoxification pathways and make this transition faster and easier. The body needs certain nutrients to support the different phases of detoxification.
Even if your diet is clean, the odds of getting the nutrients necessary to properly detox are slim, especially while dieting, as calories are being cut. Supplementation is an absolute necessity and a detoxification protocol may be your best chance of seeing optimal results. The major cause of ‘diet plateau’ in our office is the lack of detoxification, making detoxing a must before and during the diet.