Detoxing connotes a regimen for those with substance addictions, but detoxifying is a regimen recommended by nutritionists worldwide and for good reason. As one herbalist put it, detoxification is the process whereby everything from metabolic by-products, preservatives and additives, alcohol and other recreational drugs, free radicals, medications and environmental poisons and pollution are neutralized and excreted. The body is in a continuous state of detoxing, however, purposeful and periodic detoxing, especially after the especially indulgent holidays, is a fantastic way to kick-start the new year, stave off threats to your immune system, and recondition your body.
In addition to fighting your way through flu season and all the nasty bugs and viruses that come with it, your body is under the additional stressors that can come with trying to catch up on backlogged work, holiday travel or hosting out-of-town guests, and eating too many rich foods coupled with a drop in physical activity. To get control of the reins again, the following are a few recommendations for naturally detoxifying your body.
Exercise: get your whole body into the act
One general rule of thumb is that the more muscles you get to work (upper- and lower-body muscles and torso), the greater the results. Classes focusing on cardio workouts (biking, spin classes, and boxercise) are excellent for releasing tension. While yoga is often touted as an optimal way to relax, for some the pace can be distracting. If this sounds like you, physical fitness experts recommend something more fast-paced which can shift your focus from your concerns to your body – thus enabling you to reach a more relaxed state more readily.
One exception to this is Bikram Yoga, which is known for its intensity. Because of the heat (almost 38 degrees Celsius) and the amount of water ingested during a session, participants are believed to accelerate the elimination of toxins through increased sweating.
Brush your skin!
Sounds strange, but brushing the skin (with loofahs, for example) is an excellent way to aid the body in eliminating toxins. Skin, the largest organ of the body, is in a continual purge – and as we age, the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins (i.e., shed its outer layers) slows down. Scrubbing or brushing the body regularly stimulates the skin and lymph system, by pumping oxygenating blood to both, and thereby is a powerful way to aid detoxification.
Eat your antioxidants
Free radicals ride roughshod over our systems, continuously damaging cells, and have been linked to serious illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. Green tea, blueberries, goji berries and other superfoods are rich in antioxidants. The molecules in antioxidants are great for detoxifying your system.
A final word…
- Avoid celebrity or otherwise short-term diets.
- Drinking dandelion tea is a boon for liver cleansing.
- Reintroduce friendly bacteria into your digestive system (i.e., probiotics and fermented foods).
- Eat unheated vegetable and plant food.
- Reduce or eliminating dairy.
- Get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly and cultivate a high-fiber diet
By taking up these body-friendly habits, you boost the body‘s ability to get rid of toxins naturally.