Written by: Melanie Darbyshire
It’s officially Spring and the perfect time to clean – your home, office and, more importantly, your body. Like the dust bunnies that now occupy the corners of our living spaces, toxins – to which our bodies are exposed in a multitude of ways every day – need to be swept out. Thus, the time is ripe for a spring cleaning.
Of course, the body is constantly detoxifying itself as it is. This occurs in the lungs, liver, skin, intestines, kidneys and lymphatic system. The problem is that when these systems get bogged down, toxins aren’t properly filtered and the body cannot function optimally. Symptoms including constipation, fatigue, skin problems, allergies, mental confusion and bloating often result.
Beneficial in so many ways, detoxification both helps prevent disease and renews your ability to maintain optimum health.
A detoxification program aids the natural cleansing process a number of ways, including by resting the organs through fasting, stimulating the liver to eliminate toxins, promoting detoxification in the other organs, improving circulation and refuelling the body with good nutrients.
There are a range of ways to detoxify – from simple, inexpensive and everyday options to more complex, time-demanding cleanse programs. Whatever you choose – which will depend upon your personal circumstances – most experts recommend detoxing at least once per year.
And if embarking on a strict detoxification program is not for you, there are many simple ways to cleanse the body without depriving yourself. First, choose what you put in to your body wisely. Reduce or eliminate toxin-heavy substances such as alcohol, coffee, refined sugars and saturated fats. Choose organic fruits and vegetables, especially those that aid with natural detoxification such as apples, garlic, broccoli, beets, radishes, spinach, artichokes, cabbage, blueberries, turmeric and ginger. Raw nuts, seeds and sprouts are also very good, as are freshly-made fruit and vegetables juices. These foods also tend to be high in fiber, which helps keep your gut clean. Other high fiber foods such as beans, lentils and brown rice are also excellent detoxifying foods.
Many of the items on the Made Foods menu, which is chock-full of organic, whole fruits and vegetables, can help with detoxification. Take the Beet & Orange Smoothie – a detoxifying powerhouse. It contains antioxidant-rich beets (containing betaine, which helps the liver cells eliminate toxins; pectin, a fiber which clears toxins that have been removed from the liver; and betalains, pigments with high anti-inflammatory properties which encourage detoxification), blueberries (loaded with detoxifying antioxidants), and turmeric (which contains the phytonutrient curcumin that is one of the most powerful liver protectors and healers). The fact that it’s delicious is just an added bonus!
The Veggies with Bean & Lentil Hummus is another cleansing treat – a hearty snack of raw, local and seasonal vegetables paired with homemade hummus made from white kidney beans, lentils, lemon juice and garlic, among other superstar ingredients.
Beyond what you eat, what you drink and what you do also matters. Water is key to detoxification – drink plenty of it to help flush out toxins. Add a little lemon to your glass for more than just flavour – lemons have over 20 proven anti-cancer compounds. And get at least 30 minutes each day. In addition to the countless other benefits, sweating is a great way to remove toxins, including heavy metals, from the body.
So while you may not have the time, energy or inclination to undertake a major cleanse of your body, you can do plenty of small and easy things, every day, which will aid in keeping and moving the toxins out. It’s as simple as choosing the right things to put into your body.