Spring has just arrived and even though it might not feel like it weather wise, it still marks the beginning of a fresh new season, warmer days and blooming flowers. Spring is a time of purification, healing and rejuvenation. Over the winter months, we tend to move less, indulge in one to many sweets and resort to staying indoors more than we would like. As we spring forward, many will implement a detox program to cleanse and embrace a new season. Some of these programs include fasting or drinking cold-pressed juices over a period of time.
But are these detox programs necessary?
Detoxification is the process of getting rid of toxins that may build up in the body. You are taking in toxins everyday through eating, drinking, breathing and consuming every day products. To rid of these toxins, your body is working hard every day to eliminate them through the skin, liver, intestine, lungs and kidneys. To maximize your body’s function and efficiency, there are a few daily habits you can implement.
Eat 5 to 7 servings of vegetables a day
The largest intestine’s main function is transporting waste material out of the body. Waste comes in the form of undigested food, bile and bacteria from the small intestine. The large intestine extracts water and any remaining nutrients from the waste material before sending it to the rectum for disposal, hence the need to “go number two” every day (ideally after every meal!). Plenty of fruits, vegetables and fermented foods, like sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, pickles and kimchi are an important source of fiber and probiotics needed to keep the large intestine moving regularly.
Incorporate cold pressed juices
The liver is the main hub through which all chemicals from food, food additives, alcohol, medication and pesticides get filtered. What does the liver need to function at its best? Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein and cruciferous vegetables (vegetables from the cabbage family, like Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and bok choy)! Juicing is an excellent way of getting all of the liver’s building blocks. Remember to follow the 80/20 rule when juicing: 80% vegetables, 20% fruit; this will ensure that you get all the nutrients you need without going overboard on sugar.
Get outside and breathe fresh air
Oxygen is the most vital component humans need to live and is required by every cell in our body. Deep breathing clears out toxins that build up in the lungs from lack of exercise, poor posture and stress. It also helps improve lung performance and deliver more nourishing oxygen into our body. Blood that is rich in oxygen helps you feel better and gives you more energy. Now that it’s warming up, get outside and start breathing deeply!
Drink more water
Your kidneys filter all of your blood approximately 60 times a day. They eliminate water, minerals, hormones and toxins from your body through the urine. The amount of urine an individual produces depends on many factors, including how much water we consume. Ensuring enough water keeps the kidneys functioning properly. Clear and light yellow urine throughout the day signals adequate hydration. If your urine is dark yellow beyond the first morning void, you may not be drinking enough water
. Aim for at least ounce of water per kilogram of body weight a day.
Dry skin brush
The skin is the largest human detoxification organ and is the boundary between ourselves and our environment. Our skin absorbs everything we expose it to, from body creams to fragrances, cosmetics and even impurities in our water. Sweating is an important route of toxin elimination. Exercising on a regular basis, aiming for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week along with plenty of water, supports good skin detoxification. Another way of eliminating toxins is through dry skin brushing. Dry skin brushing removes dead skin cells, improves circulation and lymphatic drainage, boosts your immune system and leaves your skin feeling soft and glowing. Using a naturally bristled brush, brush your skin in a circular pattern in the direction of the heart before showering once per day.
The best way to detox the body is by incorporating daily positive habits that will maximize your body’s function and efficiency. Start small by integrating one habit a day and you’ll be surprise how these small changes make a big impact.