Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Is It Time to Detox?

Health + Wellness
Is It Time to Detox?

Are you feeling a little sluggish, even though spring is finally here?

The truth is, we face toxins daily—out in the world and at home—from chemical flame retardants in our couches and carpets to toxic chemicals in consumer products, and from BPA in our food cans to toxic skincare products, and, of course a number of daily assaults on fresh air and clean water.

Drink two liters of water each day. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

How can you tell if you are experiencing toxic overload? If other underlying conditions have been ruled out, then here are a few symptoms you might be experiencing: constipation, bad breath, an extra sensitivity to smells and a difficulty in shedding pounds. Other clues include muscle or joint pain, sluggishness, difficulty concentrating, headaches and mood swings.

Rodale offers a quiz, adapted from The Detox Prescription by Woodson Merrell, MD, to see if a major detox is in order.

Some swear by detox methods—whether it’s called a cleanse, a fast or a diet. But do detox diets truly offer any health benefits? According to the experts at Mayo Clinic, detoxification diets are popular—and some individuals report feeling more energetic and focused—but they're not scientifically proven. The body can be quite capable on its own of cleansing toxins through the kidneys and liver. Also, one can experience side effects from a detox diet, from fatigue to dehydration. And, of course, get approval from your physician before beginning any detox program, or taking any herbs or dietary supplements.

There are fads and there are tricks, like any special diets, but if you are serious about lightening the toxic load on your body, here are some ideas for you to consider.

First, when is the best time to detox?

Basically all seasons but winter, when our bodies are tired and cold. Here is why spring is a good time to detox:

  • Spring brings regeneration; it is a good time to refresh our systems.
  • Waste builds up during the winter, so we need to clean out our bodies.
  • According to Chinese thought, spring is the time to cleanse and nourish the liver.
  • The transition from winter into spring is a great time to work towards losing weight and cleanse accumulated toxins from the body.

So how do you know which detox program is right for you?

Every Diet lists dozens of detox diets, raw food cleanses and juice fasts to consider. A basic detox diet is recommended to include organic food and drink; high mix of vegetables and fruit; two liters of water each day; and whole unprocessed foods like grains, nuts and seeds. A detox diet should eliminate alcohol, caffeine, tobacco and drugs; processed and refined foods; added sugars; and certain supplements due to additives.

AARP offers the following tips for a gentle detox diet, which should be followed for at least two weeks, gradually adding back your regular foods in moderation:

1. Drink at least eight to 10 glasses of filtered water every day. The kidneys rid waste products from our bodies and water plays a key supporting role.

2. Eliminate white flour and white sugar.

3. Eat six or eight little meals every day of whole unprocessed foods that include vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains.

4. Each of those meals should include a serving of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts. Garlic, onions and cilantro all contain properties that aid detoxification.

5. Eat real fruit, rather than drinking fruit juice, which is often high in sugar.

6. Unless you are a vegetarian, include small portions of lean animal proteins and fish. If possible, organic and pasture-raised meats and dairy products are recommended to avoid ingesting additional hormones or antibiotics.

7. Avoid stimulants, such as caffeine.

8.  No drugs or alcohol.

9. If you suspect you might have food sensitivities, try eliminating wheat/gluten, eggs, dairy, yeast, soy and corn products, and see if you feel noticeably better after a few weeks.

10. Take a daily multivitamin.

Gaiam offers a Detox 101, with their five favorite detox diets—from a simple fruit and veggie detox to a juice cleanse—or, something for everyone.

Gaiam also offers the following 10 diet, supplements and lifestyle practices to cleanse your body daily, even after a detox diet has been completed:

1. Eat plenty of fiber, including brown rice and organically-grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Beets, radishes, artichokes, cabbage, broccoli, spirulina, chlorella and seaweed are excellent detoxifying foods.

2. Cleanse and protect the liver by taking herbs such as dandelion root, burdock and milk thistle, and drinking green tea.

3. Take vitamin C, which helps the body produce glutathione, a liver compound that drives away toxins.

4. Drink at least two quarts of water a day.

5. Breathe deeply to allow oxygen to circulate more completely through your system.

6. Transform stress by emphasizing positive emotions.

7. Practice hydrotherapy by taking a very hot shower for five minutes, allowing the water to run on your back. Follow with cold water for 30 seconds. Do this three times, and then get into bed for 30 minutes.

8. Sweat in a sauna so your body can eliminate wastes through perspiration.

9. Dry-brush your skin or try detox foot spas/foot baths to remove toxins through your pores. Special brushes are available at natural products stores.

10. What is the most important way to detoxify? “Exercise," says Peter Bennett, N.D., co-author of 7-Day Detox Miracle. "Yoga or jump-roping are good. One hour every day." Also try Qigong, a martial-arts based exercise system that includes exercises specifically for detoxifying or cleansing, as well as many other exercises with specific health benefits.

How has detoxing made you feel? Any steps you’ve tried that you’d recommend or tell others to avoid?

——–

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Sweet and Juicy Benefits of 20 Natural Disease Fighters

6 Spring Foods to Buy at the Farmers Market

10 Ways to Teach Your Child to Eat Well

——–

Coast Guard members work to clean an oil spill impacting Delaware beaches. U.S. Coast Guard District 5

Environmental officials and members of the U.S. Coast Guard are racing to clean up a mysterious oil spill that has spread to 11 miles of Delaware coastline.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

What happened to all that plastic you've put in the recycling bin over the years? Halfpoint / Getty Images

By Dr. Kate Raynes-Goldie

Of all the plastic we've ever produced, only 9% has been recycled. So what happened to all that plastic you've put in the recycling bin over the years?

Read More Show Less

Trending

Plain Naturals offers a wide variety of CBD products including oils, creams and gummies.

Plain Naturals is making waves in the CBD space with a new product line for retail customers looking for high potency CBD products at industry-low prices.

Read More Show Less
Donald Trump and Joe Biden arrive onstage for the final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, on Oct. 22, 2020. JIM WATSON / AFP via Getty Images

Towards the end of the final presidential debate of the 2020 election season, the moderator asked both candidates how they would address both the climate crisis and job growth, leading to a nearly 12-minute discussion where Donald Trump did not acknowledge that the climate is changing and Joe Biden called the climate crisis an existential threat.

Read More Show Less
What will happen to all these batteries once they wear out? Ronny Hartmann / AFP / Getty Images

By Zheng Chen and Darren H. S. Tan

As concern mounts over the impacts of climate change, many experts are calling for greater use of electricity as a substitute for fossil fuels. Powered by advancements in battery technology, the number of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles on U.S. roads is increasing. And utilities are generating a growing share of their power from renewable fuels, supported by large-scale battery storage systems.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch