It’s that time of year! Spring is in the air, we’ve got a pep in our step and we feel motivated to bust open the windows and air out the house. While you may be busy tidying and dusting, don’t overlook that now is a great time to ‘spring clean’ your body too! After a long winter of hunkering down on the couch and indulging in warming, comforting foods, spring brings the perfect opportunity to detox.
Please don’t be intimidated by the word detox! A ‘detox’ is often associated with fasting, deprivation, cabbage soup for days or subsisting off of juice. But a detox doesn’t have to be so scary and rigid! It can be as simple as drinking more lemon water or replacing processed food with more fresh fruit and veggies to help flush out the bad and bring in the good. A refreshing, gentle detox can be as, if not more, effective than a strict cleanse.
The truth is, your body is always detoxing, and considering all it gets exposed to, it’s doing a pretty good job. But sometimes it gets backed up and needs a little support, hence a spring cleaning! But in order for a detox to be effective, we must ensure we are supporting all of the detoxification pathways of the body - the colon, the liver, the kidneys, the lungs, and the skin.
If you’ve been feeling a bit sluggish lately or you’ve had a lot of colds this winter, you’ll benefit from a detox. How about sore, achy muscles? Maybe you’ve been feeling a little (or a lot) bloated! These are all signs your body is sending to you that is it time to clean house!
So if you are ready for a spring cleaning and want increased energy, better digestion, and glowing skin read on! I’ve gathered some tidbits for you on the function of each detoxification organ, as well as some delicious foods and supportive supplements which will naturally cleanse the body.
Being regular is pretty darn important! If your bowels are not moving along smoothly and emptying out, waste will accumulate and create toxicity. Basically, all the bad stuff which our body has lined up for elimination will be reabsorbed and begin recirculating throughout the body. How gross is that?
Cleansing your digestive system will reduce uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating, cramping, and constipation. It can also clear your complexion and improve your energy levels.
Foods for the Colon
1. Flax seed
2. Chia seeds
Supplements for the Colon
2. Digestive enzyme
The liver has many functions, up to 500 actually! But it’s main purpose is as a filter. The modern diet, environmental pollutants, and toxic personal care products has got the liver working on overtime! It is the second largest organ and it works tirelessly to sift through everything that comes into your body, uses what it can and gets rid of what it can’t. You can see why it’s important to give your liver some love!
Foods for the Liver
1. Dandelion greens
2. Vegetable juices, such as carrot, beet and celery
Herbs for the Liver
1. Milk Thistle
3. Globe Artichoke
The first point I would like to make here is, drink more water! Your kidneys have the pretty hefty task of flushing waste from the blood and without enough water they can’t do their job very well. An easy way to tell if you need to up your water intake is to check the colour of your urine -bright yellow is an indication that you need to start sipping on water more frequently. The kidneys also pitch in by balancing pH levels, regulating blood pressure, stimulating the production of red blood cells and converting vitamin D into its active form.
Foods for the Kidneys
Herbs for the Kidneys
1. Uva Ursi
Harsh Canadian winters can be tough on skin. Freezing temperatures and biting winds, contrasted with central heating, can leave skin itchy, dull and blemish ridden. Spring is a time to rejuvenate the skin and get back our glow! You may or may not know that the skin is the body’s largest organ and plays a starring role in the detoxification process - eliminating toxins by sweating them out. But keep in mind, it can both release and absorb toxins. Which means we need to be cognisant of what we are putting on our skin such as lotions, shampoos and makeup. Make sure you are reading labels carefully and stay away from nasty ingredients like parabens, fragrances, BHA, and sodium laureth sulfate for example. Exercise is a great way to excrete toxins, with the added bonus of keeping fit! Make time to work up a sweat three times a week for 30 minutes. Lastly, consider dry brushing your skin daily. This improves lymphatic drainage, boosts immunity and removes dead skin cells.
Foods for the Skin
Supplements for the Skin
1. Vitamin C
3. Omega 3
The lungs are an integral part of the detox squad. With each breath, cells become replenished and are given energy to perform a plethora of essential functions. Breathing brings in oxygen and expels carbon dioxide, a waste product of metabolism. The lungs are responsible for filtering out fumes, allergens, mold, and airborne toxins. However, some do not use their full lung capacity due to congestion and shallow breathing. A lack of exercise, stress and anxiety, obesity and poor posture all contribute to shallow breathing and poor lung capacity. Meditation and practicing breathing exercises can help relieve stressors.
Foods for the Lungs
1. Chilli peppers
2. Red bell pepper
Supplements for the Lungs
1. N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC)
Alyth Kersley Holistic Nutritionist
For more check out Alylth's website.
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Closed Monday May 22 for Victoria Day
Give us a call 416-466-2129
The Big Carrot is located in the Carrot Common, 348 Danforth Ave. 3 Blocks east of Broadview Ave. or 1 block west of the Chester subway.
Metered Parking is available on Danforth Ave. and in the Carrot Common parking lot.