As the holidays come to an end and 2018 comes roaring in - we have the lovely influx of the buzzword of every New Year - DETOX!!
Company’s love throwing that word around to get your ears perked up and your wallets open. The stores are full of detox kits, full-body cleanses, and more-or-less ineffective weight loss pills.
‘Detox’ is a polarizing issue, especially in regards to the holistic vs. conventional medicine worlds. The main argument against any ‘detox’ protocol is that the body is ‘always detoxing’; the liver, kidneys and other detoxification organs are always ‘on’, otherwise we’d die pretty quickly. With this thinking, ‘detox’ kits and supplements are a lot of bull.
I don’t argue this - it’s pretty simple science - of course we’d die if our body wasn’t detoxifying all the toxins we both ingest (whether through eating or breathing) or manufacture ourselves. A big HOWEVER - the efficiency of how we detoxify is an issue. For example, if your liver isn’t functioning as well as it should, the rate at which it processes certain toxins can be lackluster and as a result, there’s a bit of a backlog of substances that shouldn’t be hanging around as long as they should.
So on one hand - yes, we detoxify every day - but on the other - we may not be as efficient at it as we could be. Furthermore, we hinder ourselves by sometimes eating a less-than-ideal diet full of processed sugars and preservatives, adding even more to the load that needs to be detoxified.
Sound about right?
All that being said - would I advise you to go out right now and buy a detox or cleanse ‘kit’? Not really. First off, contrary to what marketing has you believe, the start of the New Year, the dead of winter, is not the most ideal time to do any sort of cleanse program, especially a JUICE cleanse, which a lot of people jump on as a quick way to shed weight (which will immediately be put back on by the way). Winters are for warming foods, not cold juices.
While some of the detox kits do have wonderfully supporting herbs in them, there are simple hacks you can do everyday that support your detoxifying organs and don’t require a ton of money.
These are fundamental, overlooked and effective hacks you can put into use to support your body, and make you feel like you’re doing something great at the same time.
Bonus? You’ll have more energy, clearer skin and more pep in your poop.
4 Detox Hacks that aren’t so Complicated
1) Drink Water
Sounds like a ‘duh’ thing, but it’s truly something that’s not done enough. When you’re dehydrated, your body can’t flush things out as easily, and holds on to waste for a longer period of time. Water helps the liver detoxify properly and flush out toxins, allows the kidneys’ to filter properly and promotes healthy bowel movements (all of which improve skin by the way). So it’s the FIRST step to healthy detoxification.
How to: Aim for 2-3L per day. I personally use 1L mason jars, so I know FOR SURE I’ve consumed at least 3L.
2) Add 1-2 tbsp. Milled Flax Seed Daily
This is for POOP! If you aren’t ‘going’ on a daily basis, you aren’t detoxifying efficiently. Poop is meant to spend a short stint in the colon - and then be on its merry way. But for many, largely due to diet, poop sits way longer than it should, becoming harmful to the body.
Think of it this way - the less fibre you have in your diet, the longer poop sits in your colon causing more toxins, estrogens and cholesterol to be reabsorbed in the body. One awesome hack - add milled flax to the diet. While whole flax seed is all insoluble fibre (no gelling), milled (ground up) flax seed contains soluble fibre which gels up and provides bulk for your stool. In addition, soluble fibre helps lower cholesterol levels by binding to cholesterol and excreting it.
How to: add 1-2 tbsp. Milled flax to your oatmeal, smoothies or put in water and drink it down (fyi it will gel up fairly fast). Try to have a decent amount of water around the time you have it. **When buying milled flax - looked for “Cold Milled” - this means that the flax was ground up, or finely chopped, without a lot of heat, which damages the beneficial fatty acids within the flax.
3) Take a Vitamin C Supplement
Vitamin C is a remarkable vitamin of which our bodies produce ZERO - meaning all of it has to come from diet and supplementation. From a detoxification standpoint, Vitamin C helps boosts glutathione production. Glutathione, the “mother” of antioxidants, plays a huge role in detoxification pathways within the liver. Vitamin C is not an expensive supplement and there are many benefits to be gained by adding this into your regime, from skin health (collagen boost anyone?) to digestive and hormonal health. This hack’s a no-brainer in my books.
How to: take 1000 mg., 2x/day with food. Vitamin C gets used up quickly by the body, so don’t take it all at once.
4) Sleep for BRAIN DETOX
Sleep is essential for our bodies to run at their peak. So much healing takes place when you sleep, and a lack of sleep causes incredible stress and fatigue on the body, resulting inflammation, blood sugar dysregulation and hormonal issues.
Interestingly though, sleep is also critical for brain detoxification. Research is new on this, but our brain contain its own unique lymphatic system, named the glymphatic system, which removes waste material from our brains. Cool right? The catch - this system is activated and does its work when we sleep! “By pumping cerebral spinal fluid through your brain’s tissues, the glymphatic system flushes the waste from your brain back into your body’s circulatory system and into your liver, where it’s ultimately eliminated.” (1)
Sound like a super way to have less brain fog right? It’s a super simple hack, but needs to be implemented regularly and diligently. Respect your sleep.
How to: 7-9 hours per night, in a dark room that’s not too hot.
There you go! 4 easy hacks you can apply TODAY to support your body’s detoxification systems.
One more wee thing - get your greens in you! Green foods are packed with vitamins and minerals that help give your body the tools it needs to detoxify properly, in addition to fibre to help move things along and chlorophyll, the green pigment in vegetables that provides a plethora of antioxidant benefits.
You’re amazing. Get these hacks in to lay a solid foundation before going to any next level stuff.
To a great 2018!