Ditch The Crazy Detox Diet And Focus On These 5 Methods For Helping Your Body Detox Naturally Instead
The aftermath of the holidays always brings talk of detoxing.
But before you start on a juice cleanse that promises to wipe any traces of the three pieces of pumpkin pie you ate at Thanksgiving, consider this: you don’t really need to detox.
Our bodies have amazing systems in place to naturally detoxify us every single day. Organs such as the liver, gallbladder, intestines, kidneys, skin, and more work around the clock to make sure we’re properly metabolizing toxins that can get in the way of the body’s healthy balance.
The promises that modern “detox” programs make are often myths.
Most detoxes today are fad diet programs or supplements that make false promises to “jump start” weight loss or hint that you must cleanse your body of toxins, because it can’t do it itself — which plenty of research has proven is not true.
Plus, supplements and drink mixes are often full of synthetic ingredients that your body cannot properly utilize. So while these programs claim to rid your body of things it doesn’t need, they actually might be doing the opposite.
Lastly, if your detoxification pathways aren’t open (i.e. if you’re not eliminating your bowels daily, are not sweating often, or are not properly hydrated), forcing detox can mobilize toxins in your body and do much more harm than good.
There are some easy things you can do to boost your body’s natural detoxification processes.
Considering we’re constantly bombarded with toxins like environmental pollutants, pesticides, and chemicals in personal care products and cleaning supplies, it’s important to give our body’s detox systems a little TLC.
Check out the tips below on our favorite natural ways to support detoxification.
1. Drink teas with liver-supportive herbs.
Herbal teas are a great way to gently support the body and manage stress. Try a blend that includes specific herbs to help the liver, like:
Yellow dock root
We like the brands Yogi, Traditional Medicinals, and Mountain Rose Herbs.Consider adding one of these to your morning routine. These can also be brewed and then cooled and added to kombucha or a cold beverage during the day as well.
2. Incorporate lymph stimulating activities — like dry brushing — into your routine.
Dry brushing is a simple technique used to stimulate two important systems of detox: your skin and your lymphatic system. Your skin is your largest organ and is one of the main ways your body eliminates toxins. Your lymphatic system is part of your immune system, and is comprised of various nodes, vessels, glands, and organs. Its main function is purifying and cleansing toxins from the body.
By setting aside just a few minutes each day to dry brush, you help detox your skin and stimulate lymphatic flow as well as give yourself a gentle internal massage, promote circulation, and even improve your skin’s look and feel by getting rid of dead skin cells.
A few other ways to get lymph flowing include sweating, rebounding (low impact jumping), inverting (getting upside down), and alternating hot and cold water during showers.
3. Relax in a warm epsom salt bath.
Taking a hot bath is therapeutic in numerous ways, but adding one or two cups of Epsom salt really boosts its powers. Epsom salt refers to magnesium sulfate, which helps draw toxins from the body as well as relaxes the muscles, reduces inflammation, and enhances nerve activity.
You can further enhance the detoxifying nature of your bath by also adding baking soda, which helps to improve mineral absorption. If you’re looking for stress relief, add a few drops of essential oils like eucalyptus or lavender.
4. Hydrate to flush toxins.
Water is crucial when it comes to detoxing. Every day, our kidneys filter around 120-150 quarts of fluid. Some of this liquid is removed from the body in the form of urine. Water helps with this removal process. Dehydration can take a significant toll on the kidneys — in fact, dehydration is a main cause of kidney stones.
Keep in mind that for our bodies to maintain hydration, we need electrolytes. It’s all one big cycle: Minerals such as potassium, sodium, chloride, and magnesium are kept stable by healthy kidneys, and in turn those same minerals keep our kidneys healthy.
Be sure to include mineral rich foods in your diet such as unrefined sea salt, organ meats, sea vegetables, nuts and seeds, leafy greens, and a wide variety of deeply colored fruits and veggies.
5. Eat more cruciferous vegetables.
There’s no better way to support your liver than to eat cruciferous vegetables, like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collard greens, and broccoli. These vegetables contain sulfur, which is important for detoxification in the liver.
Cruciferous veggies are also packed with nutrients, fiber, and phytochemicals that support liver function. One in particular is sulforaphane. It controls over 200 genes that play an important role in our bodies. Many of these genes are antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and can deactivate potentially harmful compounds that we’re exposed to on a daily basis.
Here’s a comprehensive list of cruciferous vegetables.