Detoxing in spring is a great way to boost your energy levels and get ready for the warmer weather ahead. When done properly, a detox can give you a revitalised view on life and leave you feeling fresh and rejuvenated—all signs of improved wellness.
So, is detoxing important? Well, we do have to deal with all sorts of toxic substances on a daily basis, such as:
- Pollution, car exhaust fumes, and cigarette smoke
- Additives, preservatives, bacteria and pesticide residues in our food
- Prescription drugs
The body does have its own detox capabilities. It uses the liver, kidneys, skin, gut, lungs, and lymphatic system to remove and/or nullify harmful substances that enter the body. And we can improve the functioning of the body’s detox systems by actively helping them via dietary and lifestyle factors.
Here are 10 different ways that you can support your body’s various detoxification pathways and naturally clear away built up toxins.
1. Drink at least 2 litres of water every day. All of the body’s detox systems need water in order to perform properly. Water keeps the digestive system flowing, and is necessary for the filtration processes carried out by the liver and kidneys. It is also vital to the function of the lymphatic system.
Herbals teas are a good alternative to water, and some even help the cleansing process, such as Dandy Detox.
2. Support your liver. The liver is the main detoxifying organ in your body—it removes impurities from the blood and processes them for elimination. There a number of factors that can impede liver function, such as:
- A diet high in fried foods. Saturated fats can clog up the liver with fat and keep it from working well.
- High sugar intake. This puts pressure on the liver as it tries to control blood sugar levels.
- Low fibre intake. Fibre provides the absorbent mass that takes toxic substances out of the body via the digestive system; if this doesn’t happen, toxins end up being processed by the liver.
Taking Morlife’s Liva Detox is a great way to get all of the necessary nutrients for supporting your liver when you are doing a cleanse. Or you could take vitamin C, as it helps the body produce glutathione, a liver compound that drives away toxins.
3. Include healthy fats in at least one meal each day. Not all fats are bad for us and some are actually really important to our health:
- Dietary fat is necessary to the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, all critical to the detoxing process.
- Omega-3 fats are particularly important for keeping inflammation in check. Flaxseed, hemp seed, and fish oils are all great sources of omega-3s.
- Healthy fats can help to balance hormones. Excess hormones are one of the biggest sources of internal toxins. Essential fatty acids, can help to regulate the production of stress hormones (like cortisol) and sex hormones (like estrogen). Evening primrose oil is particularly good for balancing female hormones.
4. Up your fibre intake. Our bodies need fibre to help the digestive system work properly, and feed the good bacteria in our gut.
5. Go raw. Raw fruits and veges contain a higher number of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients than cooked food. They generally have more fibre and naturally occurring enzymes that help with digestion. It’s a good idea to eat organic when you are detoxing, so your liver doesn’t have to deal with the chemicals that are used in pesticides. If you don’t have access to organic produce, make sure to thoroughly wash your fruits and veges.
6. Take collagen. The primary amino acid in collagen is glycine. It is essential for detoxifying methionine, an amino acid found primarily in meat and eggs. The more meat and eggs that you eat, the more collagen you need to take to balance it out.
7. Avoid coffee and alcohol. Both can interfere with the liver’s normal detoxification process. They can also cause digestive discomfort, indigestion, heartburn, and have a negative impact on the bacteria in your gut.
8. Stop eating refined sugar. Too much sugar puts pressure on the liver and can cause a fatty buildup that can lead to liver disease. Some studies show that sugar can be as damaging to the liver as alcohol, even if you’re not overweight.
Also, when we eat sugar, our bodies release inflammatory chemicals. If we eat sugar regularly, these chemicals build up which can affect our liver and other internal organs, and can eventually lead to liver damage.
When the liver is damaged, fatty or inflamed, it can’t effectively process toxins and eliminate them from the body. It also burns less excess fat and cholesterol, leading to even more fatty deposits in the liver and weight gain.
9. Get some light exercise every day. The lymphatic system (which helps to rid the body of toxins and other unwanted materials) does not have an organ like the heart to pump lymph fluid around the body—it relies on muscle movement instead.
10. Set aside time to relax. Relaxing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which is the main bodily system for repair and detoxing. Even though we do have the ability to adapt to stress, too much stress will affect your biochemistry and can cause the accumulation of toxins. This is because stress causes muscles to tighten, not only in our shoulders and neck, but also in the gut, so it slows down digestion, and also inhibits the release of enzymes that enable digestion. Undigested food becomes food for bad bacteria in the gut.
The human body is resilient, and can cope with a lot. But when toxins become built up in the body, it can leave us feeling lethargic and tired, with dull skin and extra weight around the belly. Spring cleaning your body can help to get rid of the built up toxins that have accumulated over the years. You might find it a bit hard to get started, but focus on the desired results—more energy, clearer skin and a greater sense of well‑being.