Spring Cleaning for Your Body – Naturally
By Christine M. Okezie, CHHC, Natural Foods Chef
Spring has sprung! Almost instinctively, we want to clean out our closets and homes. For many of us, it’s the perfect time to spring clean our bodies too and rejuvenate our health. Proponents of springtime cleanse and detox regimens believe that cleansing the body can eliminate the build-up of poisons in the tissues we often accumulate during the winter season giving way to stronger immunity, more energy and improved metabolic function.
However, when we think about detox, most of us think about restrictive diets and fasting. While fasting can have beneficial results in certain situations, it’s usually not the best option for most of us looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Mono-diets are extreme and when you come off them, what’s to keep you from rebounding right back to the toxic foods you were eating before. It is important that when we decide to detoxify our body, we work at the body’s own pace and allow time for gradual discharge and adjustment. Too extreme or rapid a cleansing can cause great discomfort, bad reactions and even be dangerous in cases of high levels of toxicity.
The truth is the human body is already beautifully designed to detoxify and repair through its own protective mechanisms, protecting us everyday from toxic exposures. So the question becomes what can we do to support the body’s natural detoxifying capabilities.
Instead of a body detox plan that relies on gimmicks, tonics or extreme diets, why not try an all-natural body detox that actually supports you to make a sustainable change toward better eating habits and a healthier lifestyle. Try cleansing with whole, organic foods that facilitate healing, reduce cravings and inspire a new appreciation for what we are putting in our bodies. A balanced health-supportive way of eating will leave you feeling energized, happy and alert. Added benefits include shedding unwanted weight and jumpstarting your metabolism.
Everything you need to start your natural total body detox you can find right in your everyday supermarket.
Below is a Top 10 List of the Foods You Should Look for in a Detox Diet or Simply to Stay Healthy:
1. Green Leafy Vegetables – Kale, arugula, spinach, wheat grass, collards. Rich in chlorophyll, they help the body rid itself of heavy metals, smoke and harmful
chemicals by cleansing our blood and liver.
2. Apples – Rich in pectin, apples bind with toxins in our intestines and expel them directly from our blood through the digestive tract.
3. Garlic – Contains selenium and allicin, which have a special ability to cleanse the liver and bloodstream.
4. Nuts and Seeds – Contain anti-oxidant minerals and vitamins.
5. Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Flaxseed Oil – These heart healthy oils lubricate the intestines allowing the oils to be escorted out of the body.
6. Citrus Fruits – Load up on Vitamin C oranges, grapefruit and limes. They stimulate the digestive tract and help detoxify the liver.
7. Fermented Foods – Sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tempeh, and kombucha tea give our bodies probiotic bacteria that support a healthy gut and may also help our
bodies break down pesticides.
8. Red & Yellow Fruits and Veg – Carrots, Beets, Squash and Sweet Potatoes are rich in beta carotene which acts to rid the body of harmful toxins like cigarette
smoke and air pollution.
9. Herbal Teas – Loaded with anti-oxidants, these help get rid of waste.
10. Whole Grains – Brown rice, quinoa, millet. These high fiber grains act like a scrub brush for our entire GI tract.
Recipe: Delicious Detox Green Smoothie
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
¼ cup chopped fresh pineapple
3 stalks kale
1 cup baby spinach
1 teaspoon flaxseed oil
1. In a blender, add the coconut milk. Fill halfway with fruit and the rest with the greens. Depending on the power of the blender, you may need to add slowly
2. Blend for 1-2 minutes or until very smooth.