Detox is a trendy buzzword nowadays – and for good reason. In our modern world, we’re exposed to an onslaught of harmful toxins every day. From environmental pollutants to processed foods, our bodies are constantly bombarded.
This can overload our natural detoxification pathways, and lead to a slew of symptoms. Luckily, optimizing your body’s detox isn’t as hard as you think.
Making simple shifts to your diet and lifestyle can enhance detoxification and help you tap into your body’s innate ability to heal. In this article, we’ll cover how to tell if your body could use a detox and the best way to detox your body naturally and safely.
But first, let’s answer a question on a lot of people’s minds…
Many people roll their eyes if you mention a detox. After all, your body comes equipped with a natural detoxification system. Your eliminatory organs work hard to remove harmful wastes and toxins every day. These include your liver, kidneys, gut, lungs, skin, and lymphatic system.
But the reality is, we live in a toxic world. In fact, there are over 80,000 chemicals registered for use in the US.
Between fertilizer, pesticides, heavy metals, and other contaminants, toxins are everywhere. They’re in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and the products we use.
Due to the toxic nature of our world, our eliminatory organs can get backed up. And when your body can’t keep up with all the toxins thrown at it, symptoms can show up.
That’s where detox comes in. A detox supports your eliminatory organs so they can get rid of any harmful toxins that may pile up.
If your body’s struggling with detox, it may send you some warning signs.
Symptoms will vary, but here are some clues you may benefit from a detox:
Many cleanses and restrictive diets boast they’re the fastest way to detox. But for full body detox to be safe and effective, quick fixes are not the best approach.
The best ways to detox are common sense strategies that are part of an overall healthy lifestyle. Practicing these healthy habits regularly helps keep your detoxification pathways open.
So without further ado, here are 10 ways to boost your body’s detox:
If you want to improve detox, start with what you put on your plate. While there’s no magic detox diet plan, here are a few general guidelines to consider:
Conventional produce is grown with harmful fertilizers and pesticides like glyphosate. Organic produce is NOT. So by choosing organic, you’re lightening your toxic load right off the bat.
Packaged foods are low on nutrients. But they’re also filled with artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and additives. All of which your body has to process. So stick to whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and lean protein.
Sugar causes inflammation, which over time can damage your liver. In fact, diets high in sugar are linked with fatty liver disease. So steer clear of added sugars to help your liver work its best.
Like sugar, alcohol makes your liver work overtime. When your liver processes alcohol, it doesn’t have the resources needed to remove other toxins effectively. So to support whole-body detox, keep alcohol to a minimum (or avoid it altogether).
Antioxidants protect your body from free radicals, which can damage your cells. So be sure to eat plenty of antioxidant-rich foods. These include berries, grapes, red cabbage, kale, artichokes, spinach, beets, and pecans.
Your gut bacteria help your body detox. So if you want your detox to be strong, improving your gut health is key. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, and kefir are rich in probiotics. These foods help your gut microbiome stay in balance, so the good guys outnumber the bad.
Prebiotic-rich foods serve as fuel for your gut bacteria, keeping them well-fed. Prebiotic foods include garlic, onions, artichokes, chicory root, bananas, leeks, and asparagus.
Cruciferous vegetables are detox superstars. They boast sulfur-containing compounds like DIM and sulforaphane, which promote liver detox. Cruciferous veggies include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and arugula.
If you want to be an effective detox machine, you need to drink plenty of water. Detoxification organs like your kidneys and liver depend on water to filter and remove toxins. Without enough water, toxins can build up in your blood.
A good rule of thumb is to aim for around two liters of water per day. But if you’re super active or live in a warm climate, you’ll likely need more.
To ensure you’re not adding more toxins into the mix, always drink purified water. Tap water may contain contaminants such as heavy metals, chlorine, fluoride, and bacteria.
Want to up your body’s detox from the get-go? Try starting your day with a glass of lemon water. The citric acid helps kick-start digestion while giving you a dose of vitamin C.
Besides water, other drinks that support detox include green juice, ginger tea, dandelion tea, green tea, and kefir.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but one simple way to support detox is to reduce the amount of toxins you come in contact with.
Here are a few ways to turn down the volume of incoming toxins:
Physical movement improves circulation, speeds up your breathing, and promotes sweating. All of which support detox. Exercise also helps boost your mood and eases stress, helping you stay in a state of mind for optimal detox.
Plus, exercise gets the lymphatic system and the bowels moving, helping your body filter, transport, and excrete waste.
For effective detox, you need quality sleep. While you sleep, your body is busy with important repairs and cleanup. In fact, your glymphatic system flushes wastes and toxins from your brain while you sleep.
So to keep your detox game strong, aim for 7-9 hours of sleep every night. If you find it hard to get quality shut-eye, try improving your sleep hygiene:
Stress triggers the release of cortisol, your body’s ‘fight or flight’ hormone. As cortisol shoots up, your body goes into emergency mode. Your blood pressure and heart rate rise, and energy is diverted away from non-essential tasks. This includes digestion and detox.
This means even if you’re eating uber-clean – if you’re stressed out – your detox will suffer. So to improve your body’s natural detoxification, you need to keep your stress in check.
Meditation, mindfulness, yoga, and deep breathing are all proven ways to ease stress. Find what works for you and commit to setting aside at least 10-15 minutes of daily relaxation.
Sweating allows you to release toxins and waste through your skin. This eases the burden on other eliminatory organs like your liver, kidneys, lymphatics, and gut.
And using a sauna is an easy way to sweat it out. Using a sauna raises your body temperature, causing your to sweat profusely. This allows you to flush harmful toxins from your skin.
In fact, research shows that often heavy metals are released more via your sweat than from your urine. Sauna also improves circulation and promotes relaxation, which can also upgrade your detox.
Many spas and wellness clinics have sauna access. But you can also invest in a portable sauna to turn your bedroom into an at-home spa. (Here’s my favorite one. Mention my name and get $500 off 😉).
Many people flock to fasting to lose weight. But intermittent fasting boasts loads of other health benefits, including detox.
Fasting – aka abstaining from food for a period of time – boosts autophagy. Autophagy, which means ‘self-cleaning,’ is basically your body’s internal housekeeping. It’s when your body reuses and repairs damaged cells.
Autophagy happens while you sleep. But it happens when you fast too. By giving your digestive system a break, it allows energy to be diverted toward other vital processes – like detox!
If you’re new to intermittent fasting and aren’t sure where to start, check out this article. It breaks down different types of fasting diets so you can pick what works for you.
Want to enhance your detox powers? Consider taking the plunge into cold water therapy. Immersing your body in cold water increases white blood cell production, giving your immune system a boost.
Cold immersion also stimulates the lymphatic system, which helps remove toxins from your body. Plus, cold water exposure activates the vagus nerve, helping the body shift into a calm parasympathetic state. For effective detox, you want to be in parasympathetic mode.
While cold plunge is my favorite version of hydrotherapy, you don’t have to go to extremes to see benefits. Even ending your shower with a few minutes of cold water can be enough to boost your body’s detox.
To optimize detox, food and lifestyle habits should always be center stage. But adding targeted supplements into the mix can support your elimination pathways and enhance detox on a major scale.
There are heaps of detox supplements on the market. But they’re not all created equal. And for detox to be safe, it needs to be approached methodically.
If the eliminatory pathways like the kidneys, gut, or liver are blocked, detox can be a bumpy ride. Toxins can recirculate, damaging tissue, and making you feel like crud in the process.
To safely release toxins, they need to be bound before they’re excreted. Drainage needs to be at the forefront too.
With my clients, I’ve had the most success with Quicksilver Scientific’s products. By far, my top three favorites for detox supplements are:
Implementing the dietary and lifestyle habits we’ve covered can go a long way to support your body’s natural detoxification. But if you’ve tried cleaning up your diet and various detox methods and are still struggling, we’re here to help.
At Core Flex Wellness, we take a functional health approach toward detoxification. We get to the root of what’s impairing your detox – and then provide you with targeted support and strategies to cleanse your body safely and gently.
Ready to get your energy and vitality back and experience a whole new level of health and well-being? Click here to set up your complimentary discovery call.
Coreflex Wellness is located in Basalt, CO, and serves clients throughout Aspen and Glenwood Springs. These areas include but are not limited to Snowmass, Carbondale, New Castle, Palisade, Grand Junction, Telluride, Durango, Montrose, Eagle, Edwards, Frisco, Boulder, and Denver.