Your body absorbs toxins every day. These unwanted guests come from pollutants in the air or excessive intake of processed food. Luckily, the liver has the ability to get rid of these toxins, but sometimes the body needs your help to make the process more efficient. Detoxifying is helpful if you experience symptoms such as unexplained fatigue, skin irritation, frequent allergic reactions and infections, bloating, and brain fog.
Water is essential for survival. According to the Institute of Medicine, men should drink at least 13 cups a day, and women 9 cups. Different ages and phases of life may require a different hydration amounts. Unfortunately, many people simply forget to drink because they are not thirsty, or they are too busy. Keeping a glass of water on your desk while you work is a good way to remind yourself to drink throughout the day.
Water transports nutrients to the areas where they are needed, prevents constipation, and promotes bowel health. Water is crucial also because it helps the body get rid of toxins and maintain a healthy weight. The kidneys wouldn’t be able to flush out toxins without water. If you get tired of drinking water every day, you can also throw in lemon wedges, cucumber slices, or strawberries. These food ingredients add natural flavor and provide your body with vitamins and minerals.
Choosing the right diet to help your body detox can be an overwhelming task because there are too many options available. You do not have to pick a specific diet to detox, but you do have to remember certain guidelines and ensure that your body gets all the nutrients it needs. First of all, you have to avoid all processed, pre-packaged, and fried foods. Cut sugary foods and artificial sugars. If you cannot give up sugar, use natural sweeteners such as agave or honey. Nutritionists like Dr. Keith Kantor recommend eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. Replace refined grains like pasta with whole grains like oats and brown rice. Grass-fed beef, chicken, and salmon are excellent sources of protein. If you are vegetarian, opt for eggs. If you are vegan, you can get protein from tofu, tempeh, and beans. Replace table salt with spices. Eat foods that can help the liver remove toxins such as garlic, beets, green apples, broccoli, and lemon.
Exercise plays a key role in the detox process because when the body moves the blood circulates and the organs get the energy they need to activate and keep you healthy. The liver removes toxins and purifies the blood, and the oxygen that you breathe during exercise goes to the brain and muscles. Aerobic exercise makes your heart stronger and releases the toxins stored in the fatty tissue under the skin, which gets purified when you sweat. Examples of aerobic exercise include running, cycling, and swimming. Some types of yoga and pilates involve aerobic exercises that can support the detoxification process. Whatever you choose, try to exercise at least 150 minutes a week.
Your body expends a lot of energy to digest food. While you are fasting, your body uses that energy to take care of other things like getting rid of built-up toxins that have been stored for a long time. Fasting is not for everybody, but if you are experiencing diseases or infections on a regular basis, you might want to consider fasting as a way to give your body space and time for a deep cleanse. There are different types of fasting; water fasting and intermittent fasting are the most common.
Water fasting is a kind of fasting that doesn’t let you consume anything but water. Usually, water fasting lasts between 24 and 72 hours, and you should not try to follow this fasting longer without talking to your doctor. After the fasting, eat a small meal or a smoothie to give your body the time to get used to food again and avoid unpleasant symptoms. This is a crucial phase, especially after a long fasting because there is the risk of refeeding syndrome, a condition in which fatal shifts in fluids and electrolytes may occur. It may take one to three days, depending on the duration of the fasting, to go back to a big meal.
Intermittent fasting is a type of fasting in which you alternate periods of eating with periods of fasting. Regarding the food to eat when you are out of the fasting time window, follow the guidelines that we listed when we talked about diet. There are different intermittent fasting patterns; these plans usually divide the day or week between eating and fasting periods. The most popular method is the 16/8: 16 hours of fasting and an 8-hour eating window. During the fasting period, you can drink water.
Green tea supports your body in the removal of toxins because it is rich in antioxidants, called polyphenols, that fight free radicals. The catechins found in green tea have powerful antioxidant properties. One, in particular, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), may have the ability to reduce the risk of serious diseases. Several studies found that EGCG may improve cardiovascular and metabolic health. Additional research concluded that EGCG may be the most effective polyphenol for cancer prevention. Green tea cannot detox the body alone, but it is a great ally during the detox process.
Do not underestimate the impact of sleep during detoxification. Sleep is essential for physical and mental health. In order to create a better routine, stick to the same bedtime every day and keep a quiet space in your bedroom, leaving screens and phones outside. If the last thing you do before going to sleep is look at your phone, and you grab it as soon as you wake up, consider buying an old-fashioned alarm clock to avoid overstimulation. Rest helps reduce stress and supports the body in the fight against disease and inflammation. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults sleep between 6 to 10 hours every night. If you sleep less than six hours, you may experience brain fog the day after.
Humans spend most of their time thinking about the past or the future. We also live in an era when we are constantly bombarded by information. Meditation is a way to stop and focus on the present. Many people dismiss the idea of meditation because they say that they are not able to sit still—but this is precisely the reason why we should all meditate. If we were born with the capacity to stop thoughts we would not need meditation.
Meditation is a practice and is like a muscle that gets trained when you exercise. Meditation allows clarity of mind and it can help to reduce stress and anxiety. When you think about detoxifying your body, do not forget your brain. Negative thoughts have a profound impact on the whole body, and mediation is the best tool to find balance, focus, and appreciation for life.