The beginning of a new year is one of my favorite times because of just that – new beginnings. A fresh start. It’s a time that inspires changes for the better; for our health, happiness, and let’s face it, just plain sanity.This time of year calls us to clean out and refresh. Time to clean house, so to say, and let’s not stop at closets, toys, or old files. Taking it further to include a body cleanse, and the accompanying mental motivation for lasting healthy habits, is a win-win way to begin the year.
Where to start?
A whole body approach — one that goes beyond digestion — is most effective. The digestive system is the main focus of most cleanses. That means you avoid certain foods and beverages and incorporate others while taking specific supplements (see tips below) that aid the digestive process. But also key in the cleansing is to care for your other body systems like the skin, blood, lungs, kidneys, liver and lymphatic system. Rest, healthy foods, tonifying nutrients, herbal extracts, breathing, exercise, and pure water are all ingredients for smart whole body cleansing.
Why is it helpful?
Basically, cleansing helps the body be more efficient in the “housecleaning” of toxins collected in everyday life.
Simply breathing and “being” create toxins that need to be eliminated along with all the daily substances that we inhale, ingest or absorb from the environment, food and products. (Think food additives, medications, caffeine, alcohol, cigarette smoke, building materials, compounds in plastics, synthetic chemicals in body care and household cleaners, pollution, etc.) Stress and inflammation add to the load, creating the endless “to do” list for the body’s cleansing system.
When is it time?
The body sends signals that it might need some detox help: headaches, digestive discomfort, skin problems, chronic fatigue, low energy and weight issues. Periodic focused cleansing (up to 4 times per year for many programs) helps your body’s detoxification system recover and rejuvenate to operate more efficiently.
Top 5 Cleansing Tips:
1. Support your liver.
This hard-working organ filters all the blood in the body several times a day,
Transforming toxins so they can be eliminated by your body. To cleanse the liver, experts suggest lessening daily toxic load and including liver-supportive herbs:
Milk Thistle contains silymarin for liver cell protection and regeneration; its antioxidant power helps scavenge free radicals during cleansing.
Dandelion Root stimulates the gallbladder, kidneys and liver for more efficient removal of toxins.It increases the production of bile, which aids toxin elimination.
Artichoke Extract is closely related to milk thistle, and contains the liver-protective compound cynarin.
2. Drink water.
Hydration helps to moderate hunger and wash away toxins. Add lemon or unsweetened cranberry juice to stimulate digestion. Also enjoy “cleansing herb” teas such as dandelion, licorice, peppermint and chamomile.
3. Eat right. Eat light. Get your nutrients and fiber. Eat lots of green foods, cruciferous veggies and cleansing foods (beets, artichokes, lemons, onions, garlic, cranberries, apples, avocados, spinach, berries and oatmeal). Avoid artificial ingredients, hydrogenated fats and highly processed foods. Avoid caffeine, sugar and alcohol. Eat smaller portions and go organic.
4. Get extra help from supplements:
Probiotics support your immune system and intestinal health while replenishing healthy gut flora.
Enzymes are complex proteins that break down food particles into nutrients.
Gentle, natural laxatives and fiber aid digestion and elimination.
5. Take it low and slow.
Increase circulation and breathe deep with low-impact exercise like walking, stretching and yoga. Try and reduce your workload and slow down your activity level. Avoid stressors and rest!
Is it time for a fresh start in your house? Out with the old and in with the new. Think revived energy levels, new healthy habits and a fresh perspective. For more help stop by our Whole Body department and talk to our knowledgeable Team Members or pick up a Be Good To Your Whole Body brochure.
Do you plan on doing a cleanse for a new start to the New Year? What benefits do you anticipate?