12 tips to naturally detox your body
A spring detox is a great way to lighten up your liver’s load and allow it to clear stored toxins that bio-accumulate rapidly in our modern world. These toxins can wreak havoc with our skin, digestive system, energy, and hormonal balance so taking the time to participate in a regular semi-annual or yearly detox can be a great way to boost your energy and enhance your inner and outer glow.
On a daily basis, we are exposed to both environmental toxins (heavy metals, pesticides, chemicals in skincare, food additives, drugs, and pollutants) along with internal toxins, generated by 'bad' bacteria, yeasts, and parasites in the digestive system.
If the production and absorption of toxins overwhelm the organs of detoxification, the body stores these substances setting up the opportunity for inflammation and illness. A natural detoxification program can clear toxins out of your body to have you feeling healthy and energised.
Below are my top twelve naturopath tips for an effective detox! The beauty of these tips is that they can easily become habits and daily diet and health practices rather than being practices reserved for your annual detox.
- Increase your intake of raw plant-based foods. Raw live foods are the key to an effective detox as they have not been heated and are thus are rich in vitamins and minerals which are required for the liver’s optimal cleansing. Aim for your diet to comprise at least 75% of raw living foods. Ramp up your living food daily intake by having a green smoothie or juice every morning and enjoying a variety of fruits, veggies, nuts, sprouts, seaweeds and seeds. I give my clients the quota of having 3 cups of “hard vegetables” and 3 cups of “salad greens” daily. This quota becomes the gold standard for healthy eating and can ensure you are effortlessly consuming the fibre and the antioxidants you require for the day. Experiment with beautiful seasonal fruits and vegetables and check your local grocer for seasonal greens or produce that you may not have previously tried. Variety is definitely the spice of life!
- Don’t forget protein. Many faddish detox diets recommend juice or water fasting without any fibre or protein consumption. This can in fact hinder your detox efforts as protein is critical to providing the liver with detoxification enzymes and conjugates required to support all 3 phases of liver detoxification, especially Phase II which involves making toxins water-soluble for excretion from the body. Vegetarian proteins are preferred as they are less burdensome on the liver. Enjoy plant-based protein such as tempeh, legumes, along with whole grains, which assist in removing waste products created during detoxification.
- Danger, danger! Think of dairy, refined sugars, refined grains, artificial colours, preservatives, flavours and additives as detractors from your detox goals. These foods are inflammatory, contribute to your toxin load whilst also being acidic and high glycaemic index. Enjoy whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, millet, and amaranth. Use natural sweeteners such as stevia or monk fruit and flavour foods with herbs and spices which enhance your detox efforts.
- Liquid gold. Water is one of the most underrated ways to clear toxins and hydrate your skin from the inside out. It is definitely one of the easiest things to do to get your system detoxifying more. Ideally, the water should be as pure as possible and ideally from a water filter. Drink at least two liters of water per day, more if it hot or you are exercising. A good rule of thumb is that if your urine is not clear, drink more. Add lemon, ginger, or mint to your water to get more in or enjoy herbal teas such as our No.1 Green Goddess Detox Tea or No.4 Golden Glow Tea.
- Bitter foods are king. Bitter foods help to activate liver enzymes. Current research is also showing that bitter foods can help to stimulate the secretion of saliva and stomach acid to assist digestion whilst also stimulating bile, a fluid produced by the liver that works to break down and digest fats. My favourite bitter foods include rocket, apple cider, dandelion greens, artichoke, chicory and lemon. Incorporate bitter foods into each meal to give your liver a kickstart. Beauty Detox Shot contains a blend of bitter herbs such as burdock, turmeric, nettle and globe artichoke and is a fantastic way to support and enhance liver function. Shot down 10 mls in 30 mls of water or juice prior to a meal to take advance of the herbal elixirs “bitter action”.
- First step the gut. The gut and the liver are intricately connected. A gut that is not in tip-top shape puts an excess load on the liver to clear additional toxins. Support your gut by loading up on fibre (aim for at least 30 grams daily), encouraging healthy gut bacteria and reducing foods such as sugar, wheat, and dairy which can wreak havoc with gut microbe balance. If your gut is needing some love, Gut Replenish can encourage healthy gut bacteria with its unique blend of polyphenol-rich superfoods, gut soothing herbs and prebiotics.
- Load up on antioxidants. Antioxidants, in particular, Vitamin C and E are important for Phase 1 detoxification which is the first line of defence against toxins. It involves the neutralising of harmful substances like alcohol and caffeine. If your diet does not include an abundance of fruits and vegetables, it may benefit from an antioxidant-rich powder such as our Native Collagen Powder. This vegan collagen is abundant in vitamin C, E, and flavonoids to curb free radical damage and support healthy collagen production whilst also giving the liver a hand.
- Brush your skin! Your skin is a major organ of elimination and dead cells accumulate preventing the skin from removing toxins effectively. Before your shower, spend 5 to 10 minutes with a firm-bristled brush or loofah and scrub the skin of the arms, legs, and back briskly. Your skin may feel slightly red and tingly when you are finished.
- Detoxify your environment. Your home, beauty products, and workplace can be major sources of toxins. Try to eliminate or minimise your use of cleaning products (vinegar, bicarb soda, and other natural products are suitable alternatives), beauty products containing nasties, antiperspirants with aluminum, and products such as pesticides, herbicides, petrochemicals, paints, solvents, and hair spray.
- Keep moving. Exercise has many health benefits including aiding digestion and elimination. During your detox, aim to do 30 to 40 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (brisk walking or swimming) and one to two sessions per week of strengthening exercises such as weights, calisthenics, yoga or pilates.
- Sweet dreams. Proper rest and a good night’s sleep are essential when you are detoxing. Try for between seven to nine hours of sleep per night. This provides your body with the time and energy required to do the work required to remove toxins from the body whilst encouraging.
- Digital detox. Unplugging from technology can have tremendous benefits on the body and mind. Commit to switching off all of your digital devices at least two hours before sleeping to allow your eyes, your mind and all of your body to properly rest and unwind.