By: Dr. Francesca Vazquez
The word "detox" has been associated with juice diets, fasting and liver cleansing supplements. This detox doesn't include a fast nor does it require you to take a pill. "Detox" just means getting rid of toxins in the body and this can be done on a daily basis. When we detoxify, we aim at getting rid of environmental toxins, effects of pollution, results of bad food choices and inflammation caused by stress. By detoxifying daily with easy, natural techniques, you will quickly notice increased energy, a stronger immune system, reduced hormonal imbalances, less allergy symptoms, clearer skin, improved sleep, a better mood, and improved digestion.
We rounded up 10 tips to follow in order to help support your body's natural detoxifying processes. Find them below!
Drink water in between meals and always carry a bottle with you. The recommended liquid consumption is half your body weight in ounces. So if your weight is 110 lbs, you should be drinking around 55 ounces of water a day. By drinking enough water, you are constantly flushing out toxins and helping regenerate new cells. Remember that fruits and vegetables contain water and serve to hydrate and cleanse our body as well.
2. Drink lemon water
To further boost water's benefit, add lemon to it. Lemons are alkaline in your body and help purify the liver. Bonus: By adding lemon to your water, you are increasing your chances of consuming more ounces of water per day as the taste will further facilitate the process. You can also choose to add cucumbers, mint, berries, etc. to your water (also known as infused water).
3. Replace canola oil with coconut oil
Start consuming coconut oil. Coconut oil speeds up the metabolism and promotes gut balance. We recommend you use about a teaspoon a day. This can be done by adding it to your smoothies, as cooking oil, and some even put in their coffee (we'll get back to you on that ... we haven't given that one a try quite yet!)
4. Try dry skin brushing
Dry skin brushing helps detoxify by helping drain the lymphatic system. Our skin is an important organ and taking care of it is just as important as taking care of the rest of our body! In addition to improving lymphatic drainage, dry skin brushing helps diminish cellulite and improves dry skin (bonus). To introduce this habit into your wellness regime, you can purchase a skin brush at Whole Foods or even Amazon. We recommend purchasing one with a long handle and vegetable fibers. Keep it in your bathroom and before jumping in the shower, gently brush your skin in circular motion, starting in the extremities and working your way towards the heart.
5. Take Epsom salt baths
Taking salt baths are not just calming for the mind, they actually help detoxify the body. The high amount of magnesium contained in Epsom salts, help rid your body of toxins while also helping relax the muscles. To prepare a salt bath, fill up the bath tub with warm water, add 1/2 cup of Epsom salts (or magnesium flakes) and lavender oil or lavender scented soap. You can choose any scent you prefer.
Exercising/sweating for at least 20-30 minutes a day (at least 3 days a week) helps rid your body of unwanted toxins in the blood. Sweat is one of the best detoxifying strategies! Another way to get rid of toxins is enjoying time in a sauna or heading to a powerful hot yoga class.
Sleep cannot be emphasized enough! Use an eye mask or blackout curtains to help you get a good night's rest. If you're feeling restless, try to drink a cup of chamomile tea before bed or warm a cup of almond milk with cinnamon. Turn off the TV and electronics an hour or so before bedtime and try to engage in an activity that relaxes you, such as reading a book or listening to music.
8. Eat whole foods and foods high in antioxidants
Whole foods such as vegetables and fruits are cleansing for the liver and gastrointestinal system. They require little effort to break down and accelerate your body's natural ability to detox. To increase your veggie and fruit intake, adopt a smoothie habit daily! Smoothies are an easy way to pack high amounts of nutrient dense foods into one easy snack! Plus, unlike juicing, you retain the fiber...a key aspect for daily detox. Foods high in antioxidants (such as blueberries & green tea) are also anti-inflammatory, helping rid the body of toxins caused by stress and pollution.
9. Take probiotics
Probiotics are friendly bacteria. They are helpful in balancing the intestinal flora by getting rid of bad bacteria. They give support when you're overly stressed-out, helping prevent stress from damaging your digestive system. They help boost the immune system and studies show they are even important for mental health. By introducing daily pro-biotics into your diet, through foods or a supplement, you are helping your body naturally get rid of toxins.
Choose calming activities that will help you decompress and decrease the effects of stress on the body. Stress disrupts our body's ability to detoxify but when you choose activities such as meditation, writing, yoga, massage, exercise (or anything that helps wind you down) you are naturally helping the body get rid of toxins or even preventing certain toxins from reaching the body in the first place.
Once you adopt these simple strategies as your own, with time you will notice how much better you feel and your body and mind will thank you.