It’s Detox Season
Spring is here!
The new season brings new growth and regeneration to the earth, and with that marks a wonderful time of year to detox. As the seasons change, our body is primed to “let go” and remove wastes that tends to build up during the winter months. Moving from winter to spring provides a beautiful opportunity to cleanse the body and enter into the summer season with a cleaner internal terrain.
The Detoxification Basics:
The body’s detoxification system includes:
- Liver – master organ of detox
- Colon- removes waste from the digestive tract
- Kidney – filters toxins and removes water soluble wastes
- Lymphatic- responsible for moving immune cells around the body
When we think about effective and safe detoxing we want to focus on the entire system (not just the liver) because all of these organs are related. Problems (e.g. unpleasant symptoms) can arise if one organ is operating slowly and you being to mobilize toxins from another. For example, if we put all the focus on detoxing the lymphatic system but the liver and colon are congested, then we end up reabsorbing the mobilized toxins, which can lead to terrible side effects.
A good detoxification kit/program will focus on multiple organs!
Why is it good to Detox?
Our body is constantly exposed to toxins – pollution in the air, foods we eat, fluids we drink, cleaning products, beauty/cosmetic products, and toxins our body NATURALLY produces through normal metabolic processes!
This constant bombardment of toxins can take a toll (even on a healthy system), which is why it is a great idea to complete seasonal detox programs. Imagine your body as a car and the detox is the oil change. You need to change to the oil to keep the car running smoothly. A detox can be viewed through a similar lens.
Our body talks to us through symptoms. Below are a few of the telltale signs that the body needs support with detoxing:
- Body odor
- Difficulty losing weight and water retention
- Bad breath
- Constipation and abdominal bloating
- Foggy mind
- Difficulty concentrating and headaches
- Joint pains or stiffness
- Acne, psoriasis
- Sudden PMS symptoms
HOW TO DETOX
- Detox Kits and Programs
Walk into any health store or health section in a larger grocery store and you will find numerous detox kits on the shelves which can makes things overwhelming and confusing.
How to pick which detox kit is best for you?
Find something that works for your body and your routine, consulting with a holistic nutritionist can also be helpful. Drop by the Big Carrot’s Dispensary and chat with one of our consultants to help find a program that might be right for you. Keep in mind that most effective detox programs require a minimum of 3 weeks in order to remove the majority of toxic buildup and re-establish balance within the body.
- Herbs and Nutrient Supplementation
Improves liver function by increasing the production of bile helping to eliminate accumulated toxins. Dandelion root can also help to increase levels of glutathione in the body. Glutathione is one of the body’s most important and potent antioxidants (a substance that neutralizes harmful toxins). The majority of the body’s glutathione is made in the liver.
Dandelion root is easily incorporated into the diet through supplementation or simply enjoyed as a tea. Dandelion tea is naturally caffeine free and has the richness and bold-flavour of coffee, making it a great substitute without the jitters.
Along with dandelion root, milk thistle also helps to enhance glutathione production. It assists in the detoxification pathways of the liver allowing toxins to get pushed through and eliminated instead of getting stagnant. It’s also popular for its protective and regenerative abilities.
It can be added into the diet through supplementation or by drinking tea. There are plenty of excellent detox teas available on the market that incorporate milk thistle and other herbs that assist with gentle detoxification and that are totally safe to be used on a daily basis.
3) Foods for Detoxification
Beets and Beet Juice
Are natural blood purifiers that help the body disarm and eliminate harmful toxins.
Use raw beets raw in a salad, roast them, add them to smoothies, or enjoy them in fresh pressed juices. Drinking beet juice is one of the most potent ways to obtain these beneficial cleansing properties but simply adding them to meals is also useful.
Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, and bok choy are classified as cruciferous vegetables. They activate, enhance, and regulate the detox pathways of the liver. These vegetables are also packed with loads of fiber which help to regulate the colon and encourage regular bowel movements; allowing for toxins and excess waste to be removed from the body. They also contain compounds that help to excrete excessive hormones and break down carcinogens (compounds that may cause cancer in living tissue).
The goal of detoxification is to remove accumulated wastes and support the body’s natural detoxification process. It is not about deprivation, juice fasting, or drinking lemon water with cayenne pepper in the hopes that it will reverse lifestyle choices. It is about giving our body the opportunity to release accumulated stagnant waste products, and strength the detoxification ability of our body naturally.
The benefits of annual detoxes are well documented and have been practiced by ancient cultures for thousands of years. The process of removing excessive toxins enhances the function of organ systems with the goal of reestablishing balance so that optimal health and vitality is achieved. Always consult your doctor, naturopath, or holistic nutritionist if you have questions or concerns about completing a detoxification.
Laura Benson, Holistic Nutritionist & Wellness Supervisor, The Big Carrot Danforth Community Market.
Photo by Wesual Click on Unsplash