With the newness of spring and the promise of summer, this question seems to come up often in the area of health. To detox or not to detox?
A few weeks back the QG blog touched on spring cleaning the home and included reviewing kitchen items that may be expired, or not great options, and replace with, in some cases, better quality, cleaner and more healthy ingredients. Shall we say a bit of detox for the home?
A related area is the spring cleaning “detox” of our bodies, which I often have clients asking about this time of year. If you are curious how a simple detox can be done easier, read on.
This can be a confusing topic. It can also be problematic. While we know that toxins are all around us and sometimes we are aware, sometimes we are not, of what exactly can bog us down with toxins, the big question is how to gently remove toxins regularly?
While there are some very intensive detoxification products and plans out there, it can be very hard on a body both physically and mentally. Challenges such as difficult flu like symptoms, headaches, bowel issues, nausea, tiredness, and many other negative side effects can happen as well when trying to move too much all at once.
Something that many do not consider is the important need to have ways to allow toxins to exit the body. These routes are through bowels, as well as through skin and lungs.
Even before we get to the task of elimination, 2 major organs involved, that needs much support, is the kidney and liver. If the kidney or liver is sluggish then doing a big old detox is not a great idea. Pushing more gunk through a dirty filter will not create any real benefits and will actually cause more problems.
What if instead of a once a year clean out, we did small “room by room” detoxification steps all year long in our bodies? So much more gentle and actually much more effective.
By doing small daily steps, you can easily support your kidney and liver, move toxins, and keep things running clean and smoothly on a regular basis. This way is so much easier on a body compared to letting things build up, then do a massive dump of toxins.
How do we do small daily steps?
Start simple. Eat clean food, drink clean water. Plants are the cleanest foods you can eat. Veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, and a bit of whole grains.
Your liver LOVES beets. It also gets lots of support from onions and garlic due to the folic acid and quercetin and sulfur. Other sulfur rich veggies, like your cruciferous friends, include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, bok choi, arugula, watercress, rutabaga, turnips, radish, wasabi and horseradish. Basically items that are bitter, your liver loves! These foods are also helpful for the kidney.
Not only do those veggie options have amazing nutrients, they are also great sources of fibre when used in their whole form. Do you know what fibre does? It acts like a sponge to absorb toxins and escorts them out. Fabulous! Fibre also acts like a soft brush and scrubs your digestive tract to remove build up of old matter as it travels through your digestive system. Does that not sound like a great daily task to keep your body clean?
Fruit is another great daily support for detox. Full of water, antioxidants, minerals, and fibre, these are yummy yet simple additions to make sure things keep moving!
Here are the main key tasks to daily detox to consider:
1.) Plants - Enjoy mostly veggies and some fruit and legumes everyday (along with any other clean food options you easily consume).
2.) Water - Drink lots of clean filtered water - 1oz per half pound of body weight at minimum. Squeeze a little lemon in your water every now and then to spark digestion and liver cleanup.
3.) Regular bowel movements - Usually 2 or 3 a day. he above 2 tasks, should help in this areas. Use a bristol chart to make sure they look like they should, as bowel movements are incredible indicators of what is going on inside. If your bowel movements are not optimal, then some detective work needs to be done on how to get them happening properly. This is where a nutritionist can be of help.
4.) Sleep - When you sleep repair and clean up happens. You need that time, at least 8 hours a night, to get that cleanup happening each and every day.
Visit your Quality Greens markets and website for more and more seasonal, local, fresh and exciting produce options as well as amazing recipes to try!
Have a great week!