8 Ways to Support Detoxification
By Joanne Aponte, ND • January 15, 2017
It’s the new year and many of us are starting our diet and wondering “Should I do a cleanse?” A cleanse or detoxification is a great way to start with a clean slate, improve overall health and jump start a weight loss program. When it comes to detoxification, a clean healthy diet is key. Here are some tips for making your detox a success!
Bumping up your body’s nutrition will give the detoxification organs (liver, kidneys, lung and skin) the nutrients they need to work optimally. The other supportive techniques will help your body get rid of the gunk and keep you feeling good through the process.
- Consume nutrient dense, alkaline-forming and anti-inflammatory foods that support detoxification
- Top detoxifying food include:
- Herbs such as parsley, cilantro, turmeric
- Dark green leafy vegetables – kale, Swiss card, collards, dandelion greens, beet greens
- Artichoke hearts
- Other foods to eat during a cleanse program: beans/lentils, nuts/seeds, lean organic meat/poultry (in moderation), fish (salmon, cod, sardines), healthy oils – olive oil, coconut oil, flax oil, gluten free grains – oats, rice, millet, teff, buckwheat. Herbal teas – green tea, rooibos tea.
- Top detoxifying food include:
- Consume fresh vegetable juices (homemade)
- Focus on vegetables and greens such as kale, parsley, spinach, beet greens. beets, cucumber.
- Add 1 piece of fruit for taste – lemon, lime, apple, kiwi
- Try adding ginger or turmeric
- Castor Oil Packs
- Helps the liver detoxify, promotes circulation, decreases pain from spasms and improves lymph flow.
- Perform for 4-7 days/week. Rub castor oil onto the abdomen, making sure to cover the upper right abdomen where the liver lives. Cover with an old t-shirt or towel (castor oil is messy!) and apply a heating pad on top. Keep on for 30-60 mins or overnight. (can be applied without the heat source)
- Drink lots of water – ½ your body weight in ounces. Helps the kidneys flush out the gunk.
- Increase fiber intake – whole grains, beans/lentils, nuts/seeds. 1-2 Tbsp of chia and or flax seeds in 8-12 oz of water. Aim for 35 grams per day. Helps with elimination of waste through the bowels.
- Hydrotherapy – this is great for improving circulation. When the blood is moving, waste is moved out of the body and the organs receive the nourishment they need to work optimally. The below technique is also great for “waking up” in the morning.
- Alternating Hot & Cold Showers: This is the simple application of alternating hot and cold water in the shower or bath each day. Perform three cycles of three minutes hot and 30 seconds cold. End the third cycle on cold just before you get out of the shower. Use temperatures that you can tolerate.
- Saunas (Dry or Infrared) – Promotes sweating and the elimination of waste through the skin. Do this 3-7 times per week. Spend 15-20 minutes in the sauna followed by a 30 second cold shower or hop in the cold pool. Repeat 3-5 times. You can use the sauna at your gym! Be sure to drink plenty of water during and after the sauna. Replacing electrolytes after the treatment is very important. Lemon water with a little salt, Emergen-C or other electrolyte replacement supplement.
- Turmeric Elixir – the Indian spice Turmeric is a potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxifying substance. Great support for your liver!
- 1 cup warm (not hot) water; or you can use 1 cup warm milk of your choice (almond, coconut)
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- Juice of half a lemon
- Dash of cinnamon (optional)
- 1/8 tsp honey (optional)
Once the water’s warm, add turmeric, lemon juice and honey and stir well. Turmeric will settle to the bottom of cup, so continue to stir the water as you drink, so you get all the benefits of the turmeric. Make sure to drink while the water while it is still warm.
Dr. Joanne Aponte, ND
Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.