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When you hear the word detox, you most likely think of detox diets, fasting, cleansing, or some crazy lemon water and cayenne pepper concoctions endorsed by celebrities. And while these approaches may help eliminate some toxins from the body, they tend to be a temporary fix. Leaving you a few pounds lighter but no lasting overall health benefits are achieved. In this article we will dive deep into how to detoxify your body and life in 7 simple and natural ways!
The main job of the liver function and our lymphatic system is to detoxify, a natural process. It transforms toxic substances into compounds that our kidneys expertly remove from the body.
Our little liver has a lot of work to do, and most of us don’t make its job any easier. Environmental toxins are all around us. They’re in our air, soil, water, food, homes, and offices, and they quickly exhaust our body’s ability to detoxify. Once we have a weakened detoxifying system, chronic conditions including heart disease, obesity, cancer, and autoimmune diseases can begin to develop.
There are around 80,000 toxic chemicals registered for use in the United States, and very few of these have been tested for their long-term impact on human health. According to the nonprofit organization Environmental Working Group (EWG), the average newborn baby has almost 300 known toxins in their umbilical cord blood. Just imagine how many toxins that same baby will be exposed to over the course of their lifetime.
With a few simple lifestyle changes, you can start to greatly reduce the number of harmful substances you and your family are exposed to and set the reset button on your family’s health and well being!
Hang with me as we review how to detoxify your life in seven key areas!
1. Detox Your Air
When people think of air pollution, they mostly think of all the pollution outside. Fumes from cars and factories, pesticides sprayed on crops, particulate matter, the list goes on and on. But it may surprise you to learn that the air inside your home or workplace can be filled with as many or more toxins and pollution than the air outside. Yikes!
Good News! House plants have amazing air-cleaning qualities. Not only do they detoxify the air, but they also are powerhouses at producing fresh oxygen! They also do an amazing job cleaning several key pollutants (i.e., carbon dioxide) associated with indoor air. So they are not just eye-candy. They also provide serious help to you on your detoxifying journey!
Wondering which plants are the best at detoxifying your air? See if your beloved houseplant made the list:
- English ivy
- Spider plant
- Devil’s ivy, Pothos plant
- Peace lily
- Chinese evergreen
- Bamboo palm
- Variegated Sansevieria
- Heartleaf philodendron
- Selloum philodendron, lacy tree philodendron
- Elephant ear philodendron
- Red-edged dracaena, marginata
- Cornstalk dracaena, mass cane/corn cane
- Weeping fig
- Barberton daisy, gerbera daisy
- Florist’s chrysanthemum, pot mum
- Aloe vera
- Janet Craig
2. Eat Detoxing Foods
Cruciferous vegetables and dark leafy greens such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and brussels sprouts have sulfur-containing compounds, which are believed to increase the body’s production of detox enzymes, helping the body detoxification process naturally. Studies show that cruciferous veggies also contain cancer-fighting compounds, reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, enhance heart health, regulate blood sugar, promote weight loss, and even prevent premature aging. When selecting produce, consider choosing organic produce to help protect against harmful toxins.
What’s not to love about that?
Other detoxifying foods you can incorporate into your diet are:
- Black raspberries
- Swiss chard
- Collard greens
- Bok choy
- Mustard Greens
- Farm-fresh eggs
- Fish oil
Another great way to detoxify and make your food taste better is to add herbs and spices to your diet. This simple and effective way to add flavor to your meals also raises your body’s detoxification defenses. Allicin (found in garlic, onion, shallots, leeks ), apigenin (found in parsley, cilantro, peppermint), and carnosol (found in rosemary, sage) are all compounds that increase the production of your body’s detoxification enzymes.
And it goes without saying that decreasing the amount of sugar, junk foods, and fast foods you eat, the better. The Standard American Diet has taken a terrible toll on our health and adds toxins and synthetic chemicals to our bodies that our detox organs have a hard time eliminating. Eat real food, organic when possible, and avoid anything with ingredients you can’t pronounce.
3. The Detoxing Power of Water
One of the best ways to help your body detox is something that I hope you are doing every day!– drink water. This is something I TALK a lot about on my site. Water is a powerful tool to aid in liver detoxification. And something I firmly believe should be an important part of your daily healthy habits! As a general rule of thumb, aim to drink at least 2/3 of your body weight in ounces. 150lbs = 100oz. This will ensure that you get enough water every day!
Your liver is an amazing organ that changes toxins into water-soluble chemicals, and by doing so, it helps your body dispel the junk naturally. But if you aren’t hydrated enough throughout the day, your body can’t do its job of filtering and excreting toxins in your urine. So make sure you are drinking plenty of water.
Water carries nutrients to our cells, aids digestion by forming stomach secretions, flushes our bodies of waste products, and keeps our kidneys healthy. It regulates our body temperature, and our metabolism keeps our moisture-rich organs like skin, eyes, mouth, and nose functioning properly and lubricates and cushions our joints, to name a few of its many functions.
Many doctors believe that proper hydration can improve diabetes, hypoglycemia, arthritis, kidney stones, obesity, constipation, dry skin, wrinkles, cataracts, and glaucoma and slow the signs of aging. You had me at reduces signs of aging. So keep that water bottle handy and chug a lug, friends!
4. Detox With Exercise
Not only does exercise help you to feel your best, but it also can help to lower the toxic load within your body. Your most important organs for detoxification are the lungs, liver, intestines, and kidneys, and most toxins are excreted in your feces and urine. But recent studies show that sweat can contain higher levels of toxic metals, phthalates, BPA, and PCBs than urine. This means that sweating is your body’s preferred way of getting rid of these toxins. And the best way to get your sweat on? Exercise, of course.
I also suggest spending time in a sauna. I use my sauna bed a couple of times a week to help detoxify my body via a good sweat!
Regular exercise helps your body sweat and release toxins naturally while keeping your lungs in top condition to filter out debris and toxins. In addition, toxic chemicals are actually stored in subcutaneous fatty tissue. Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to break down those fat cells and flush the chemicals out. And finally, getting your body working and in top condition helps your systems function at optimum levels overall.
Exercise is essential to living a healthy lifestyle.
5. Detox With Better Sleep
While you may think of sleep as a time of rest, your body is actually hard at work healing and repairing itself. As you drift off, the human body begins the ever-important work of the night-shift including:
- Healing damaged cells
- Boosting your immune system
- Recovering from the day’s activities
- Repairing and recharging your heart and cardiovascular system
- Forming new neural pathways to help you learn and remember information
Sleep is an essential component of good health. Chronic lack of sleep can cause everything from weight gain to heart disease to mental illness. A good night’s sleep goes a long way in helping your body repair itself each night so that you can perform at your best and have good energy levels throughout your day.
Here are a few tips to get a great night’s sleep every night:
- Try and go to bed and wake up at the same time, even on weekends.
- Turn off all screens at least one hour before bed.
- Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual like meditation or listening to soft music.
- Invest in a high-quality mattress and pillow.
- Keep your room completely dark and noise-free. Use an eye mask and earplugs if necessary.
- Exercise Daily
- Cut off caffeine 4-5 hours before bedtime.
- Try a white noise machine (This is the exact one I have in my bedroom)
- Try a non-habit-forming herbal supplement or a relaxing herbal tea
Inadequate sleep can cause a lot of damage to your body. Shoot for 7-9 hours of sleep every night!
6. Detox Your Cleaning Cabinet
When you start paying attention to the back of many store-bought household cleaners, and you’ll be horrified. It’s shocking the number of synthetic and toxic chemicals we spray all over our house under the guise of cleaning. Especially shocking because those toxic chemicals are so much more harmful to our bodies than the germs we’re trying to kill ever were.
Many earth-friendly green cleaners are available on the market now that greatly reduce the levels of toxic chemicals in your home. But even a lot of the “green” cleaners still have questionable ingredients, so make sure you read the labels carefully.
Try creating your own! It only takes a handful of ingredients to make your own cleaners and most of the ingredients you probably already have. Try replacing bleach with vinegar, bathroom tile “scrubbing foams” with baking soda, and use hydrogen peroxide to remove stains. Switch to vegetable-based liquid soaps for dishes and general cleanings. Essential oils are great for disinfecting and making every room in your house fresh and clean.
It’s amazing how well these natural products do in cleaning your whole house, and you feel good knowing that you’ve eliminated one of the biggest toxic culprits from your home. Here’s a great recipe for a homemade cleaner to get you started:
- 1 c. water
- 1/2 c. 70% isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
- 1/2 c. distilled white vinegar
- 1 tsp. pure vegetable glycerin
- 10 drops lemon essential oil
- 10 drops white fir essential oil
- 10 drops melaleuca essential oil
- Mix all ingredients in a 16 oz: glass spray bottle and label bottle. Shake well before and during use.
7. Detox Your Mind & Spirit
This may be the one area of your life you may not think much about, but in my humble opinion can be the most important way to detoxify your life!
Stress is a toxin in our system that we shouldn’t ignore. Our bodies cannot tell the difference between emotional stress and physical stress. It reacts similarly to both by producing generous amounts of cortisol which is the fight-or-flight hormone. Normal levels of occasional stress in our bodies produce cortisol levels that our systems can easily handle. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have normal stress levels.
Long-term stress creates an overabundance of cortisol that wreaks havoc on our bodies, throwing off internal systems that regulate everything from digestion to reproduction. When the body experiences stress over many months and years, it can lead to undesirable chronic diseases and symptoms like high blood pressure, weight gain, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, IBS, sleep issues, and increased risk for heart attacks and strokes.
So take time daily for deep breathing, yoga, meditation, and calming your mind. Whatever gives you peace and helps you to calm down, do more of that! Do more of what make you light up inside. You cannot hold onto stress. Please find a way that works for you to release it in a healthy way.
Also, watch what toxic information you are consuming. The news, violent shows, people on social media that you follow – anything that causes you to feel fear, stress, anxiety, let that SHIT GO! I haven’t watched the news in years, and my anxiety and stress levels are forever grateful!
You deserve to be the healthiest, happiest, most fulfilled version of YOU! And that means detoxifying your life of all the things that no longer serve you! Choose to shift to better foods and make better choices to take care of the amazing beautiful soul that you are!
For more information on how to detofixy your life, check out these posts!
- Is a Heavy Metal Detox Right For You?
- Is a Sugar Detox Right For You?
- The Best DIY Detox Bath Recipe
- Beach Body’s Three Day Refresh