We have found through the years that the idea of detoxification and cleansing is one that people are inherently attracted to.
After a winter full of being cooped up in the house, breathing stale air, not exercising enough, holiday drinking, and eating “comfort foods” there is just something compelling about the idea of cleaning out your body.
It is true that your body has a beautiful ability to get rid of toxins you are exposed to, but the system is only finite in nature and it can get bogged down. Symptoms like fatigue, aches, and congestion can be good signs that you should clean house.
First, give your body a break.
The first step in detoxification, or cleansing, is to decrease your exposure to chemicals that your body needs to detoxify. The lower the toxic burden your body has to process, the better.
- For at least 10 days (but ideally up to 30) take a break from caffeine, alcohol, sugar and processed foods.
- Eat as much organic food as possible to avoid pesticide residues.
- Use all natural cleaning supplies and personal hygiene products to further decrease your exposure.
- Rest. Burning the candle at both ends is very hard on your body’s ability to detox. Get lots of sleep and allow it to recharge.
Then, actively support your body’s ability to detoxify.
Once you’ve reduced the toxic burden on your body, you can help it do the work its naturally good at with the following:
- Move your blood around. Winter is often a very inactive season, as people stay inside to avoid the cold. Get outside and move your body, preferably everyday and preferably in a way that works up a sweat.
- Eat LOTS of veggies from the entire colour spectrum. Colourful veggies are full of bioflavonoids and other phytochemicals, all of which support the liver and its ability to detox.
- Drink lots of water. Our kidneys are responsible for removing all the toxins that the liver prepares to leave the body. How much is enough? A good rule of thumb is half your body weight in pounds, in ounces. So if you are 160lbs, you’d be aiming for 80 ounces per day (or 10 cups)–more in hot weather, or with exercise.
There are also many products on the market that support detoxification–colon cleanses, liver cleanses, kidney flushes and the like. Many of these are safe to use, but if you are taking any medications, have any issues with your liver or kidney function, it is best to talk to a qualified health care provider before you start using them.
We’ve written about detoxing several times over the years, including many newspaper articles, which you can find archived here, as well as these blog posts:
– The StoneTree Team