1. Exercise & Move Regularly
While exercise and movement absolutely promote detoxification in our body, the common assumption that exercise will cause your body to “sweat out” toxins hasn’t actually been proven true. What is responsible for this detoxification stimulus is also what’s responsible for the increase in sweat: blood flow. Blood flow is essential for all of our organs to work most efficiently and effectively, including our kidneys, liver and colon, which sort toxins out of our blood and the nutrients we consume to be excreted from our body.
When we move, our blood vessels dilate and our heart pumps with greater force, pushing blood throughout our body, giving our liver the opportunity to pluck out toxins as they pass through our bloodstream. Moving our body also stimulates movement in our colon, which helps our body dispose of toxic waste more quickly.
Irregular bowel movements are linked to an increased risk of colon cancer because the longer waste sits in our colon, the more opportunity toxins have to seep out of that waste and into our cells, causing mutations that can lead to cancer. Regular exercise will increase these benefits, but it’s also important to get up and walk at least a couple times a day to keep these natural detox processes stimulated.
2. Lemon Water
Starting your day with a cup of warm water with lemon in it can give your digestive system a kickstart so that your metabolism is fired up all day long. Adding the tart juice from lemons to water is claimed to help your liver more effectively detox your blood and dispose of toxins that have already entered your body. Just be sure to remove the peels from the lemon before you soak it in your water.
The peel is the protective layer that prevents toxins from reaching the fruit, so toxins can accumulate in the peel. Allowing the peel to soak in your water could result in you consuming more toxins, even though your intention is to detoxify.
The sauna is another tool for increasing blood flow and helping our liver detox our blood. Again, “sweating out” toxins through the pores of our skin is a debatable claim, though some evidence does support it! Regardless, you can know for sure that spending time in the sauna will both give your liver a boost and give you time to unplug and put your mind at ease. If the claims that you’ll sweat environmental toxins – like chemicals, mercury and lead – turn out to be true then that’s an added bonus!
4. Restore Your Gut Health
The interest in gut health is growing – and with good reason! Our gut has been nicknamed our “second brain” because it is responsible for a lot of our hormone production and even maintaining our balance hormonally. Did you know that over 70% of the serotonin our body produces is made in our gut? For this reason, research surrounding depression has suddenly shifted from a focus on a chemical imbalance in the brain to a chemical imbalance in the gut – and they’re finding that balance can be restored through our diet.
Our gut is filled with bacteria, antibiotics and probiotics, that help with our digestion processes. When the ratio of antibiotics to probiotics is thrown off, it makes us prone to infection, causes hormonal imbalance, and makes our body less effective at absorbing the healthy nutrients of the foods we eat. This is why women are more susceptible to yeast infections after they’ve used an antibiotic treatment.
Since we tend to be overexposed to antibiotics – via prescription medications, the meats we eat of animals treated with antibiotics, or even in our water supply due to improper disposal of medications – eating foods rich in probiotics and high in fiber will help restore the proper ratio of bacteria in our gut.
The evidence surrounding the effect of your state of mind on your overall well being is astounding. Most people know that meditation can decrease stress and anxiety while improving focus and productivity, but many people don’t realize that studies have found meditation effective in reducing blood pressure, decreasing risk of heart attack and improving pain tolerance.
One Harvard study discovered that a group of participants in a mind body relaxation program had collectively decreased their overall healthcare costs, compared to the year before, by 43%! It’s pretty clear that detoxifying our mind can work wonders on detoxifying our body and improving our overall health.
6. Turmeric Tea
Turmeric is a root that’s pulverized into a powder and used as a common spice in Indian curry dishes, as well as to make detoxifying teas. Recent studies have uncovered it’s incredible ability to prevent and fight cancer, reduce pain and inflammation, (particularly in individuals suffering from arthritis), and aid the liver in purifying our blood.
You may have figured out by now that in order to properly detoxify, your liver needs to function optimally, and turmeric is incredibly good for your liver. Not only that, it improves circulation, which sets your liver up for success to rid your blood of toxins.
7. Dry Brush
Though there’s not solid scientific evidence to back this detoxification strategy up, it’s been heavily promoted by respected individuals in the health and wellness field, including the creator of the Pilates fitness method, Joseph Pilates. The claim is that dry brushing stimulates your sweat glands and nervous system, as well as your kidneys and liver. While the stimulating your kidneys and liver by rubbing a dry brush on your skin is a far stretch, triggering a response from your skin and nervous system is to be expected, which could serve it’s own benefits.
Our skin, the largest organ of our body, is exposed to all the environmental toxins that we breathe into our lungs, so exfoliating to remove toxins that have lodged into our pores is a logical technique and worth making a habit. Invest in a natural, soft bristle brush with a long handle so that you can access hard-to-reach spots.
On your dry skin, run the brush in long strokes down your arms and legs and in small, circular motions on your torso, and always start from up top and work your way down to your feet. Bathe immediately after to wash all the toxins and dead skin cells away.
8. Oil Pulling
This is another technique that some people swear by, though scientific evidence in it’s actual effectiveness is lacking. Basically people take about a tablespoon of good quality coconut or olive oil and swish it around their mouth like mouthwash for 15-20 minutes.
The belief is that it pulls bacteria out of your gums and into the oil, so you have to spit it out when you’re done! Some people with weak enamel have claimed it was the only effective remedy that prevented cavities, others have seen their teeth naturally whiten and some people even claim it energizes them. Either way, there’s been no evidence that it’s harmful to do, so go ahead and give it a try!
As mentioned above in #5, our mindset has been proven to affect our health. An overstimulated, over-exhausted mind can and will negatively impact our body’s ability to cope with stress and maintain optimal health. Taking time to unplug and unwind before bed is one of the best things we can do for our health.
Studies have shown that the light from screens make it more difficult to fall asleep and sabotages the sleep we do get. Since our body works hard to recover and re-energize while we catch some Z’s… if our snooze is sub-par, then so will be our body’s ability to perform it’s natural functions, including detoxification and fighting off viruses.
10. Epsom Salt Bath
The magnesium content in epsom salt boost your body’s ability to detox. Magnesium deficiencies can lead to chronic fatigue and a long list of health problems, but a practice as simple as a regular epsom salt soak can prevent that. Plus, sitting in the hot water creates a similar response in your body as a sauna or exercise does: it kicks your blood flow up a notch and stimulates your liver for more effective detoxification.
There’s a reason we need water to live. Our organs, including our detox organs, can’t and won’t function without it. Also, if there’s anything that’s going to literally flush toxins out of our body, it’s water. So sip the H2O to help your body look, feel and perform optimally.