Using Food to Naturally Cleanse Your Body
The following steps involve which foods to avoid and which to eat more of to keep your body healthy.
- Say No to Joe: kicking the coffee habit is a tough one for many of us but making the effort to at least cut back is a start. Coffee is hard on our livers and slows our body’s ability to detox and cleanse. Try mixing up some decaf with your regular coffee and wean yourself slowly.
- Sugar Skip: Raw, unfiltered honey is the least processed of all refined sweeteners so try to side-step the white stuff and choose a locally produced option or coconut sugar, palm sugar, brown rice syrup, or stevia.
- Be Super with Superfoods: Leafy greens, broccoli, blueberries, pumpkin, prunes, and sweet potatoes are at the top of the list for the superfood group. These foods are packed with fiber, antioxidants, and healing vitamins and minerals to assist your body in sweeping out free radicals and keeping your system clean and healthy.
- Pantry Purge: If it isn’t there, you can’t eat it so give your fridge and pantry a glance when you’re motivated and stick to your guns. Get rid of anything that contains high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors or flavors, hydrogenated oils, preservatives, or harsh chemicals. These “foods” you’ll be cleaning out hamper your liver’s ability to function properly and have been linked to cancer.
- Bean Scene: Stock up on beans but skip the canned version. Cooking dried beans allows you to know exactly what goes into the pot to cook them and you can freeze any excess for later use. Don’t want to make a large batch for use now and later? Try fast cooking varieties like lentils! Beans are high in clean protein and fiber and can sweep toxins from the intestines.
- Get on the Wagon: You liver works overtime to filter alcohol from the system so if you’re focusing on a cleanse or detox, give up the bottle for a while. Even moderate drinking can interfere with your body cleanse so save drinking for special occasions and enjoy small amounts.
- Veg Out: Diets that are high in meat intake have been linked to heart disease, inflammation, cancer, and obesity. Try eating nothing but a plant based diet one day a week to give your body a break from meat. Want another challenge? Try to only allow yourself to have meat for one meal a day and keep the other meals as plant based. This gives your liver, blood, heart, and digestive system a break!
- Move It Move It! A healthy digestive system is so important to proper detox and cleansing so be sure to have your priorities in order for movements. High fiber foods are important but you can also consider flaxseed meal or psyllium in an 8 oz. glass of water to help keep your system moving and to protect against colon cancer.
Using Your Body to Naturally Cleanse Your Body
The title may sound silly but these steps are things you can do each day that will benefit your system’s naturally detoxifying and cleansing abilities by using… your body!
- Clean Thoughts, Clean Mind: When we keep our feelings of anger or grief bottled up it can take a toll on our health. Try to make a list of things that are bothering you and bringing stress, anxiety, fear, or sadness to your life then take a look and assess. What can you clean up? How can you make it better? By actively working to rid your body of unhealthy emotions you can do a spiritual detox and keep your system clear.
Breathe: Oxygen is alkalizing, so deep breathing is a simple way to counter excess acid and balance your pH. Spend 15 minutes a day sitting quietly and focusing on breathing. Don’t have 15 minutes each day? Break it up and give yourself mini-sessions throughout the day!
Stimulating Stretch: A great way to clear your mind and keep your body healthy is through stretching. Stretching stimulates circulation and lymph flow, keeps muscle supple, relieves stress, and removes toxins from the system. Try yoga, tai chi, or qigong if you’re looking for instruction. Otherwise, simple stretches each day can help keep your body cleansed.
Sleepy Siestas: If you’re like me, naps are as rare as a $3 bill but they are important! Try to schedule one whenever possible to deeply rejuvenate your body and reduce stress. Giving yourself even 15 minutes of quiet time is beneficial to reducing the toxins from stress and anxiety.
Meditate: Just as breathing, stretching, and naps are important to keeping your body clear, meditation can play a big role in relieving stress and supporting natural detox. You can consider using guided CDs if you don’t feel comfortable with getting to mindful meditation on your own.
Other Ways to Naturally Cleanse Your Body
These steps listed above may be easier than these that follow because they don’t require much change but these steps do. Consider them and choose what will work for you.
- Plastic Pollutants: Plastics contain chemicals that burden the liver, kidneys, lymphatic system, and can even lead to cancer. Ever heard someone say you shouldn’t reheat foods in plastic containers in your microwave? There’s truth to that! Try to cut out plastics by investing in glass or metal containers.
- Smart Cookies: Pans covered in Teflon, Silverstone, and other coatings may emit harmful PFCs (perfluoro-chemicals) that the EPA classifies as carcinogens so try to steer clear.
- Un-Plug: Computers, video games, cell phones… we have so much technology at our fingertips that we are moving farther and farther away from the simplistic things of life. Try to give yourself a break from the mind and electromagnetic pollution from all of these gadgets and take a walk or connect face to face with friends and family. Sitting down for a meal without phones or gadgets is a good rule to enforce in your home so that everyone comes together for a precious few moments to talk and share without the constant interruptions of technology.
- Be a Green Cleaner: Organ system damage, reproductive difficulties, increased cancer risk, and damage to lungs are some of the points of concern with toxic chemicals used in conventional household cleaning. Consider choosing products with a green seal or even making your own! Baking soda is a star in DIY cleaners and isn’t harmful or abrasive. Learn more about green cleaning here.
- Go Organic: Most foods contain herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics, chemicals to “treat” or “improve flavor”, and even hormones. All of these additives hamper the natural detox efforts of your system and can lead to unhealthy system function. To learn more about which foods are most and least likely to be contaminated, check out the Environmental Working Group’s guide or this list of the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen in a recent post.
Don’t be discouraged at this list of how to naturally cleanse your body; there are several options so that you will be enocouraged to find what works for you! Cleansing your body is an important part of your healthy life and doing a natural cleanse, whether it’s emotional or for a specific organ, is beneficial for each and every one of us. Find what will work best for you and feel free to share here what you have tried with success in the past. And, don’t forget to check our cleanse and detox section of the website as well as this post that outlines the products available to assit in naturally cleansing your body.