Naturopaths specifically tailor a detoxification plan based on your needs, identifying where the toxic burden lies and what organs of elimination need support. Here are 5 general suggestions that most people can do to kick start a detox.
1) Reducing your toxin load is an important first step when doing a detox. Eliminate alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, deli meats, sulphites and saturated fats, all of which act as toxins in the body and are obstacles to your healing process. Try to eat more organic foods, especially foods that are high in pesticides. Refer to EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce and at least try to purchase the dirty dozen organic. Use natural products, cleaners and materials when possible.
2) Consume 8-10 servings or fruit and vegetables a day to help provide your body with the nutrients it needs and to help ensure you get the fibre necessary to allow your body to eliminate waste. Increasing consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts can be particularly helpful because they help to up-regulate liver detoxification enzymes. Also, sulphur-containing foods such as onions and garlic help to support the second phase of liver detoxification.
3) Make sure to eat your protein because a low protein diet will inhibit the second phase of liver detoxification. Balancing each meal with adequate protein, fibre and healthy fats is also important for blood sugar regulation and keeps hunger at bay. Keep your body fueled by choosing healthy snacks that include protein and healthy fats such as a handful of nuts (almonds and walnuts), vegetable sticks with hummus, etc.
4) Dry skin brushing is a gentle support of detoxification. It helps increase lymphatic flow and circulation of toxins out of the body. 5 minutes before showering, briskly rub skin in small circular motions with a soft bristle brush or loofah. Start at the toes and move inwards towards the heart. Same thing with the arms, start at the fingers and gradually move inwards.
5) Exercise is another important aspect of a detox. Aim for aerobic exercise at least 3 times a week. Exercise helps to releases toxins stored in fat tissue, promotes weight loss and lean muscle tone, improves mood, energy, and sleep quality, and reduces stress. Sweating is key!