We so often hear the term detoxification that it has almost lost its meaning: from detoxifying foods to detoxifying yoga poses and the need to detox from family and friends. Has this word merely become a trend or is there truth in the matter?
Whether you believe in detoxification or not, in a way our bodies are doing it 24hrs per day, day in day out! The liver is the main detoxifying organ in the body, which removes metabolic waste and accumulated toxins. The kidneys, intestines, skin and lungs assist the liver to do its job by getting rid of toxins found in heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, mercury and cadmium. But we also increase the burden on our bodies through food additives, environmental pollutants, and pesticides. Besides our bodies naturally produce toxic by-products when we consume protein. In an ideal world, our liver should be able to detoxify daily toxins we encounter, so they can be excreted from the body through the kidneys, skin, bowels and lungs.
However, it becomes problematic when these ‘detoxification’ organs aren’t functioning optimally or when there is an overload of toxicity in the body, preventing the liver to do its job. Therefore using detoxing strategies to assist and support the body can be helpful to prevent or reverse illness.
Since spring has arrived, it’s always a good idea to check in with your health and address any accumulated issues that have hibernated during the winter. Finding a way to safely get rid of substances that should be rather out than in is essential. Always slowly ease into diet or lifestyle changes to avoid any healing crisis in the body. Whether you believe in a special detox diet or not, bottom line is that the focus should always be on eating healthy wholesome food that assist the body systems during natural detoxification. Follow the ABCD of a Spring Detox and you will feel lighter, more energetic, balanced and stronger.
The ABCD of a Spring Detox
- Adding Foods
- Beyond Foods
- Clean Eating
Add fruit and vegetables that stimulate liver detoxifying enzymes. Foods to include are lemon, limes, juniper berries, rhubarb, dark leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, asparagus, artichoke, burdock, beets, dandelion, milk thistle, seaweeds, kelp, onion and garlic.
Consider tossing all household products that contain words you cannot pronounce. Avoid using plastic water bottles and food containers that contain phthalates and BPA. Also consider removing all cosmetic products that contain aluminum or paraben.
Stick to whole foods and focus on a plate full of vegetables that resemble the colors of the rainbow. Eat lots of fibrous dense foods to promote elimination through the intestines, kidneys and skin. If there is any gas, bloating or heartburn, consider removing gluten, dairy and meat for a while. Avoid all processed foods and refined oils such as safflower, canola, sunflower, soybean oil.
Get rid of clutter in your direct surroundings and de-clutter your mind through meditation, yoga, walking in nature, dancing or any other activity that gives you joy while doing it. Get moving to improve circulation (even spring-cleaning closets helps).
For more information on how to safely detox, sign up here for the Paleo Detox Program.