Patients ask me all the time whether they should undergo a detox. My easy answer is ‘yes.’
Today more than ever, we are exposed to thousands of toxins in our environment. From cleaning products to car exhaust to food additives to the paint on our walls, researchers have identified a link between our increased toxin exposure to health issues of all kinds.
How can you tell if your body needs a cleaning? Symptoms such as indigestion, bloating, frequent headaches or a lack of energy are signs. Same goes for skin issues such as acne, eczema and psoriasis.
Before getting started, consider consulting with a naturopathic doctor to get an individualized program that will address your personal health concerns.
In the meantime, here are my Top Five tips for safe and effective detoxification:
1) Clean-up your diet
What are you eating every day? Try keeping a journal for a week to get an accurate sense. If your diet includes processed foods (white flour, sugar, hydrogenated fats or corn syrup sweetener), chances are you feel lethargic by mid-afternoon, short on brain-power and struggle to lose weight. Gradually remove these foods and replace with whole grains, dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds for added fibre and essential nutrients.
2) Keep hydrated
Water is absolutely essential for cleansing, so if you are not a habitual water drinker, purchase an attractive stainless steel container and keep it on your desk and/or carry with you. Drink 1.5-two litres daily. To boost alkalinity and cleansing, try adding squeezed lemon. Keep in mind that coffee and black teas are diuretics, and Limit yourself to one cup per day, and enjoy green tea as a healthier source of long-lasting energy.
3) Stay active
Aim for at least 30 minutes of movement per day. Whether it is walking the dog or vacuuming, any consistent activity will help increase circulation and remove toxins. To boost cleansing even more, try to sweat during your exercise to help flush toxins and stimulate your lymphatic system. Hot yoga and saunas can be beneficial too, just 10-20 minutes daily.
4) Try some cleansing teas
A few of the most common herbs for cleansing include milk thistle, dandelion root, schisandra (for liver detoxification), burdock root and nettle (for any skin ailments). While used for centuries and recommended by most natural health practitioners, always consult with a herbalist or naturopathic doctor before incorporating any of these herbs into your routine as they may interfere with some prescription medications.
5) Enjoy turmeric and cayenne
Hot, spicy herbs promote increased circulation throughout the body – a key component to detoxification. Try filling a pair of salt and pepper shakers with tumeric and cayenne, and begin adding to salads, soups, pastas, stir-frys, etc. Use sparingly at first until you have acquired a taste for them – then apply liberally to all your foods. However, avoid using if you suspect an ulcer is present.
Dr. Odessa Gill is a naturopathic doctor and contributing expert to The Daily Squeeze.. Find more healthy news at DailySqueeze.ca.