New year, new you! Now is the time to reset your body so you can face 2023 with optimum vitality. A healthy, sustainable detox not only helps support your body’s natural cleansing process of unwanted toxins, but also helps you unlearn any unhealthy habits you’ve developed over the past year.
You’ve probably seen ads for “detoxes” and “cleanses” that make huge claims and ultimately require a big commitment in both time and money. These ads often prey on our wish for a simple solution, but the truth is your body is capable of detoxing on its own – it really is a self-sustaining system. Your skin, digestive system, liver, and lungs are continually cleansing your body of unwanted substances.
However, we can support our body’s natural detox processes for optimal health and vitality. This is particularly true for anyone struggling to turn an unhealthy lifestyle around.
Here are some tips to help you detox naturally for the coming year!
Over the course of everyday life, we’re all exposed to toxins, including environmental pollutants, such as toxic chemicals in cleaning and personal care products, heavy metals in food and water, BPA in food storage containers, pesticides, and more.
Although our bodies are designed to be self-cleansing, many of these substances accumulate in the body, where they can harm your health in many ways.1
Ways To Detox
Detoxing is a broad term for a few different ways of resetting your body. It’s important to determine the right method for you, and it’s always a good idea to work with a healthcare practitioner to create a realistic and healthy plan.
Here are some popular detox strategies.
1 – Fasting
Generally speaking, there are two approaches to fasting. Some people choose an extended fast without any food for a set period – often between 24 to 72 hours. Some of these extended fasts are “water only” fasts, while others allow liquids like lemon juice or beef broth.
Intermittent fasting, which means alternating periods of food intake with periods of fasting, has become more popular in recent years. Intermittent fasting has some flexibility. For example, you could eat normally for 12 hours, and fast for 12 hours, or have an eight hour eating window.
Fasting has been traditionally used as a way to improve health and many recent studies back its benefits, including:
- Healthy blood glucose metabolism2
- Normal inflammatory responses3
- Healthy blood lipid metabolism
- Body weight and composition management5
- Supporting the body’s normal cellular waste removal process6
Fasting isn’t for everyone, however. People with low blood sugar or Type 1 diabetes should consult with a healthcare practitioner first. And fasting can also increase your levels of the stress hormone cortisol,8 so if you’re already stressed or busy, approach fasting with caution. Anyone with a history of disordered eating should also talk with a healthcare provider before beginning a fast.
2 – Dietary cleanse
A dietary cleanse typically involves eliminating certain food groups, such as inflammatory or processed foods like sugar, white flour, and unhealthy fats.
The exact dietary changes will depend on your current health and goals, and are often best determined in tandem with a healthcare provider. Some common cleansing strategies include food sensitivity detoxes, in which you eliminate foods that are known to cause sensitivities and reintroduce them keeping careful records of symptoms.
Some general tips for a successful dietary detox include:
- Up your water intake. Water will help eliminate waste products from your body.9
- Focus on antioxidant-rich foods. Antioxidants prevent oxidative stress, which leads to cell damage. Foods rich in antioxidants include berries, leafy green vegetables, dark chocolate and green tea.
- Eat foods high in sulfur. Sulfur-rich foods like cruciferous vegetables, legumes, beef, and turkey can help transport heavy metals like cadmium from your body.10
- Cut down on salt. Salt makes your cells retain water, which slows down urination, one of the processes through which your body eliminates toxins.
3 – Sweat it out
Although we tend to overestimate the ability of a good sweat to “flush out” the effects of unhealthy choices, some studies have found that sweat does contain waste products.11 More research needed on the effectiveness of activities like taking a sauna, but many people enjoy the endorphin release.
Exercising has many benefits that can support your body during a detox as well, including its ability to help manage inflammation and support immune health.12 However, it’s important not to overly tax your body during this time, so consult with a healthcare practitioner for the right program for you.
4 – Supplement for support
Help your body do its job by choosing supplements wisely. Particularly while you’re detoxing, it’s important to work with a practitioner to choose the best supplements for your specific needs. Supplementation can also depend on what kind of detox you are doing, since some supplements and multivitamins work best when taken with foods, for example. The aim of supplementation is to support your body’s natural detoxing abilities.* Some commonly used supplements for detox support include:
- Activated charcoal. Some toxins may bind to activated charcoal in the lower intestine, so they can be eliminated with a bowel movement.*13
- Probiotics. By encouraging a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut, probiotics help ensure your digestive system performs its natural detoxification function.*14
- Turmeric. This spice contains a compound called curcumin that helps support your body’s antioxidant pathways.*15
- Green tea. One study found that chemicals in green tea called green tea catechins may help support detoxification.*
- Chlorella. This is another species of algae that may help support your body’s detoxification of certain compounds.*
Start your year off on the right foot with safe, sustainable detox support. Let’s work together for a healthy, happy 2023!
Give us a call, 832-800-3223 or email us at email@example.com to get started!
Tara Torres, MS, CLT
1. Genuis SJ. Elimination of persistent toxicants from the human body. Hum Exp Toxicol. 2011 Jan;30(1):3-18. doi: 10.1177/0960327110368417. Epub 2010 Apr 16. PMID: 20400489.
2.Barnosky AR, Hoddy KK, Unterman TG, Varady KA. Intermittent fasting vs daily calorie restriction for type 2 diabetes prevention: a review of human findings. Transl Res. 2014 Oct;164(4):302-11. doi: 10.1016/j.trsl.2014.05.013. Epub 2014 Jun 12. PMID: 24993615.
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