Do you detox every once in a while? Well, it’s especially good practice to detox when transitioning between seasons. Now that winter’s approaching, you should consider going on a detox. Why? Your body undergoes changes during the winter – your metabolism, hormones, and circulation adapt to the colder environment. But your lifestyle changes in the winter too – you might stay indoors more and eat different kinds of foods. In the summer, you might have enjoyed lighter, cooler foods and now, in the winter, you might be fonder of heavier meals and warm soups. These transitions introduce new levels of environmental toxins to your body than what your body is used to. The same holds true for your winter foods versus your summer foods – both types of foods have different kinds and levels of preservatives, GMOs, and fat content. That’s why it’s important to give your body a chance to reset itself by clearing any toxin buildup from your summer lifestyle before you change your lifestyle in the colder seasons. This gives your body an easier, fresh start and helps it better handle the influx of new winter toxins.
Here are two ways you can detox this winter:
Physical Detox Plan
You can help your body expel toxins by dry skin brushing every morning and taking an Epsom salt bath once a week.
Dry skin brushing is an Ayurvedic technique where you use a bristled body brush to gently brush your body using long, sweeping strokes. Brushing towards your lymph nodes helps move lymph through your lymphatic system. One of its many functions is to take toxins away from your tissues. By speeding up your lymph flow, you’re speeding up the detoxification of the toxins your lymph is carrying.
Dry skin brushing also exfoliates dead skin and impurities, while improving your skin’s blood circulation. Better skin circulation means more toxins can be moved out through your pores, and more nutrients from your blood can move into your skin cells.
According to the National Institutes of Health, placing Epsom salts in your bath helps flush toxins from your pores and replenishes your body’s magnesium stores. Dr. Shilpa Tarugu of Detox of South Florida explains that magnesium from the Epsom salts naturally enters through your pores, like osmosis. The magnesium boost helps detox your body from stress and anxiety because your body uses it to make more melatonin and serotonin, which both fight stress and promote calmness. The Epsom salts’ sulfates coax toxins from your bloodstream out through your pores.
Many holistically healthy foods both nourish and help clear your body of toxins. Artichokes are antioxidant-rich and have been found to help prevent cardiovascular disease. Artichokes also nourish your body with vitamin C, potassium, and other nutrients that are important to your immune and nervous systems. The chlorogenic acid and cynarin found in artichokes also protect and support your liver, which boosts its detoxification abilities.
Eating two Brazil nuts a day helps your body detoxify heavy toxic metals, like mercury. If you’ve been enjoying seafood during the summer, you’ve been exposing yourself to mercury because most seafood is contaminated with some level of mercury. Two Brazil nuts get you your daily selenium, which helps neutralize any mercury in your system. Your body also uses selenium to make enzymes that neutralize free radicals and other toxins in your body. Keeping your selenium stores optimal also keeps these toxin-fighting enzyme levels healthy.
But one of the best ways to detox through foods is by spending a day eating only antioxidant-rich nuts, vegetables, and fruits. Unlike meat, vegetables, and fruits are rich in cancer-preventing, cleansing compounds. This burst of antioxidants will flood your system and scavenge for and neutralize toxins in your system. Choose cruciferous vegetables, like spinach and broccoli, because they have higher levels of antioxidants and have been found to boost your liver’s detox enzymes. They’re also high in fiber, which cleanses your digestive system of any preservatives and toxins stuck to your intestinal walls.
Some other healthy detox foods include apricots, cantaloupe, and peaches because they’re high in vitamin A, which is good for your eyes and another powerful toxin-neutralizing antioxidant.
When detoxing stay away from dairy and sugary foods because they tax your digestive system. They’re also acidic, which can upset the balance of your gut bacteria and encourage candida proliferation. Candida make harmful toxins that your body has to eliminate, which sabotages your detox efforts. Putting strain on your digestive system also diverts energy from cleansing to digesting.
Your immune system also helps your body detox by fighting and removing harmful microbes that release toxins. But researchers found that simple sugars promote inflammation and hamper your immune cells’ ability to engulf microbes. Eating sugary foods can lower your body’s resistance, which means it isn’t as effective at preventing microbes from releasing harmful toxins.
Give your body a break and a chance to catch up before you start your new winter lifestyle. Try these detox tips to cleanse your body of any toxins left behind from the summer months. You’ll feel freer and you’ll help protect yourself from many sicknesses and diseases.