When thinking of doing a spring cleanse or a detox, I recommend a 5 day period from Monday to Friday. Weekends are often a more difficult time to make nutritional changes.
When detoxifying, you may feel unwell at the beginning, as your body begins the task of eliminating all of the built-up toxins. If you stick with the plan though, you will find that the renewed sense of health and well -being are worth the effort.
- Eliminate Coffee
Coffee is acidic and can act as a diuretic. It can also interfere with insulin levels and cause high blood pressure. Instead, drink herbal teas like green tea that are high in antioxidants and can help with caffeine withdrawal.
- Eliminate Alcohol
Alcohol is metabolized by the liver. In order for your liver to focus on neutralizing toxins in the body, it is best not to introduce anything that will cause an additional burden on your liver.
- Eliminate Processed or Fried Foods
These foods are lacking in nutrition, often high in fat and sodium and provide little fiber.
- Eliminate Red Meat and Dairy
Focus instead on lean meats like chicken, fish and egg whites. These are lower in saturated fats and less inflammatory.
- Increase Fruits and Vegetables in the Diet
Try to eat a wide variety of coloured produce, organic if possible. This will ensure adequate intake of antioxidants which are powerful neutralizers of free radicals and fiber. The added fiber will help your bowels stay regular and eliminate the released toxins.
- Focus on Whole Foods
This includes whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal, fruits and vegetables, lean meats, herbal teas. Avoid processed foods.
- Increase your Water Intake
Water is very important for many metabolic functions in the body including elimination and it keeps your skin hydrated.
- Consider Some Supplements
Multivitamins and essential fats will ensure that your body is getting the necessary vitamins, minerals and fats to function optimally. A good probiotic will ensure gut health and improve bowel function. Consult with a naturopathic doctor to individualize supplementation.
- Consider a Herbal Supplement that Maximizes the Effects of the Detoxification Diet
For example, milk thistle is an herb that will support the liver and encourage detoxification.
- If Possible, Use a Sauna a Few Times a Week
This will encourage the elimination of toxins through perspiration. For best results, use an infrared sauna that allows for deeper detoxification.