By: Dr. Christine Cho ND
The word “detox” gets thrown around everywhere and no one really seems to do a great job at explaining what a “detox” is and why we should consider doing one. While it’s true that our liver and other detox organs can handle most of the daily toxins we are exposed to, our body accumulates and stores some of it in our skin, fat cells, and organs. This can result in decreased energy levels, weight gain, a sluggish metabolism, and generally feeling unwell. This is where seasonal detoxes come into play. Detoxes are about resetting the body to an optimal state—and contrary to popular belief, this can be done without the use of laxatives, gross lemon/ cayenne/maple syrup concoctions, or “no-food diets” (fasting).
Here are 5 tips to help you get started:
- Eat more greens. Your liver LOVES leafy greens partly because of the nutrients they offer, and also partly because they are in the category of “bitters.” Adding a combination of these into your daily diet is an easy way to up your liver function while getting tons of micronutrients. Some greens include: spinach, kale, collards, chard, dandelion greens, broccoli, and arugula.
- Eat less junk. This includes processed foods, refined sugar, and the stuff you know makes you feel bad. The usual culprits include gluten and dairy, which also happen to be paired with each other or with refined sugar. Stick to a diet based on whole foods
- Drink more water. We often forget that diet includes everything you eat and drink. One of our primary elimination pathways is through the kidneys and urinary tract. Staying hydrated ensures that these organs are getting flushed out regularly. Squeeze a bit of lemon in your water to give your digestive system an extra kick.
- Start exercising. If you aren’t exercising regularly (at least 4x/week), now is the time to start! We often forget that the skin is our biggest organ, and hence the largest detox organ (in surface area). Sweat is another vehicle of elimination and by exercising, we dilate the pores on our skin to help release all the gunk that has accumulated in the skin.
- Incorporate mindfulness. Doing a detox is all about getting rid of toxins in both a physical and mental/emotional sense. Incorporate a bit of mindfulness in your daily routine to help you release some of the clutter that has accumulated in your mind over the past year(s).
Think you might need some more guidance? Check out our spring program, Detox the Healthy Way!