10 Steps to Detoxify and Get Healthier for Spring
By Andrea Renee Rivera | Certified Yoga and Meditation Instructor
Spring is an ideal time to detoxify your body, according to ancient healing traditions. Traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, the ancient healing system from India, both recommend springtime as the ideal season to detox your body. The rebirth of nature that happens during this time harmonizes with a cleansing and renewing of your body. Plus, some of us tend to get lax about our diets and exercise routines during the cold winter months, which means come spring we’re ready to come out of hibernation.
Modern living isn’t exactly pure. Every day we’re exposed to chemicals in our food and water, pollution in our air, and emotional stress in our lives. Over time, these toxins accumulate in your body and can manifest as insomnia, fatigue, digestive problems, aches and pains or even chronic disease.
Detoxification gives your body a chance to rest, clear out toxins and become nourished. Generally this is done by first removing and eliminating toxins, then providing your body with healthy nutrients. There are numerous over-the-counter supplements you can take to aid in your detox, and some people even do so by fasting.
During a fast, your body uses up glucose, the body’s main source of energy, and then moves on to its next source of energy, fat. It is therefore said that fasting helps with weight loss and to detoxification of your body, as toxins from pollution, food, water and more that are stored in your body fat begin to dissolve and are released by your body.
There are steps you can take right now to help cleanse and renew your body, none of which involve extreme fasting diets. We’ve described the top 10 ones below:
1. Cut back on processed food and focus on whole, natural foods instead.
Processed foods contain preservatives, artificial colors and flavors and many other additives that are not good for your body.
Adding more raw foods to your diet is also a popular way to start a detox, as eating raw foods is said to increase energy while boosting mood, slowing aging and fighting chronic diseases. And as much as possible, choose foods free of pesticides, genetically modified ingredients and other additives. If you must budget, switch first to organic animal products (meat, eggs and dairy), as animal protein tends to accumulate toxins faster. Next, choose organic versions of the most heavily polluted produce.
2. Quit smoking.
Cigarettes contain over 4,000 different chemicals.
3. Drink more pure water.
Drinking pure water helps flush toxins from your system while helping your cells function more efficiently. But be careful not to drink just any water. A recent Environmental Working Group study found 141 unregulated chemicals, and 119 regulated ones, in U.S. drinking water supplies. And bottled water, which typically comes in BPA-containing bottles and may in fact be nothing more than bottled tap water, is not a safe alternative.
To put your mind at ease and get safe, superior quality water from your own kitchen, consider a kitchen water filter that reduces chlorine, chloramines, cysts, VOCs, pesticides, and herbicides below detectable levels for the life of the filter. The best water filters combine the filtration and enhancement technologies to deliver the purest and most natural tasting water available. It should effectively reduce harmful contaminants.
4. Remove contaminants from your shower.
When you step into your hot shower, you are inadvertently exposing your body to a slew of toxins that can damage your health, inside and out.
These toxins stem from a chemical that is added to the water supply on purpose, ironically to kill bacteria. The chemical is chlorine, and it’s added to all public water supplies to kill disease-causing bacteria in the transport pipes and the water itself. Give Your Body PURE Water With Quality Shower Filtration. By taking a hot shower you end up absorbing over 600 percent more chlorine and other chemicals than you would from drinking the same un-filtered water all day!
5. Use natural cleaning products in your home.
Using typical cleaning sprays and air fresheners at least once a week can increase your risk of asthma by 30-50 percent. Instead, opt for antimicrobial cloths, dusters and mitts for all of your cleaning needs. Look for terry cloths that contain patented built-in antimicrobial protection and are made of ultramicrofibers that are only 3 microns in size, which is even smaller than many bacteria. With antimicrobial cleaning products, unlike ordinary cleaning rags and sponges, you don’t need to use chemical cleaners to achieve the deepest clean, which makes them perfect for anyone who’s looking to keep toxic cleaners OUT of their home. If you choose to use cleaning products, you can opt for natural varieties that are environmentally excellent and safe for cleaning products lines – containing no hazardous ingredients, petrochemicals, perfumes, dyes or animal byproducts.
6. Be careful of what drugs you take.
Sometimes medication is necessary, but you may want to think twice before constantly popping pills for every ache and pain. Many can cause side effects and may contain chemicals that can damage your kidneys.
7. Limit your alcohol intake.
Alcohol is a poison, and in excess amounts it will cause harm to your body. How much is too much? According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, most adults can use alcohol moderately — meaning up to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women and older people — and not experience problems. (One drink equals one 12-ounce bottle of beer or wine cooler, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.)
8. Switch to natural personal care products.
The vast majority — some 89 percent — of the 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products (products that you rub into your scalp and skin, spread onto your face and trust on your body) have never been evaluated for safety by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) panel, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or any other institution.
9. Regular daily exercise.
It is one of the best ways to help your body eliminate toxins and stay healthy. It will help you relieve stress and improves your circulation and overall health.
10. Meditate and focus on the positive.
It’s a simple (and free) way to detoxify your mind and spirit.
© 2017 Health Realizations, Inc. Andrea Renee Rivera is a Certified Yoga and Meditation Instructor, Medical Chigong Practitioner and Masters Candidate at Yo San University of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.