How To Detox Your Body Naturally
By Jodi Lee
Detoxification is a natural function of our body. No matter how healthy or unhealthy our daily routine may be, our body can always benefit from a break to properly recharge. You can see a detox like an oil change on a car, it’s absolutely essential for the long term functioning of your car. Same thing goes for our body. Over time, our body gets run down from not-so-healthy foods, caffeine, alcohol, stress, toxins in our everyday environment, and unhealthy habits that sneak into our daily lives. A detox gives your body the time, space, and right conditions to restore balance and vitality once again. The human body is always working to detoxify the various organs of the body so they can function in the most effective way possible and ward off disease and infection.
Detoxification is one of the oldest and most effective healing methods known to man. Hippocrates, “the Father of Medicine,” Galen, Paracelsus and other great physicians throughout history prescribed detoxification. Cleansing has been helping heal people for over 20,000 years!
Taking time to aid in this process can have both short and long term health benefits. Some of these benefits include a healing the body from illness, strengthening your immune system, radiant glowing skin, improved energy levels, assistance in weight loss, improved digestion and gut health, better mental clarity, balanced emotional health, and a general improvement in your quality of life.
We are bombarded daily with toxins from our environment, processed foods, polluted water, stress, vaccines, medication, and unhealthy lifestyle habits like smoking and a sedentary life.
Our colon can get congested with undigested debris and bad bacteria thriving on it. So the colon is the first to clean out as we need to unblock the passage to remove toxic wastes. Then we need to allow time for the body to heal and remove waste.
The smptoms listed below can give you an indication if you need to detox. If you experience two or more of those symptoms, you definitely are going to benefit from cleansing your system.
- Tiredness, irritability, mood swings
- Bloating, gas, constipation, bad breath
- Aches and pains
- Skin problems; acne, eczema, rashes
- Difficulties losing weight, weight rebound
- Food cravings, especially sugar and salt
- Poor concentration, foggy mind
- Headaches, migraines
- Difficulties sleeping, waking up really tired
Nutritional Guidelines For Healing
- Reduce sugar, refined foods and processed foods. For example, foods containing white processeds flour and refined sugar and artificial sugars. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine and drugs.
- Avoid exposure to unhealthy foods and chemicals: clean up the fridge, pantry and bathroom of all the foods containing pesticides, additives and toxic chemicals. Limit intake of dairy food as these can be clogging and draining on the digestive system. Avoid gluten grains as they may upset the stomach lining. Focus on whole foods, raw foods and life giving highly alkaline foods.
- Try a Juice or Smoothie Cleanse: try this for a week. A cleanse is very effective for detox and weight loss (however the sugar can be a problematic therefore focus on less fruit and more vegetables. Green smoothies and freshly made juices and or soups only for one week, no solids. Add coconut oil and flax seeds to stimulate detox. Add apple cider vinegar for beneficial gut flora.
- Break your fast: Start the morning with a ginger and lemon drink to stimulate digestion.
- Organ support: herbal teas and specific herbs such as Dandelion root and leaf, St Mary’s thistle, Schisandra, Echinacea, Cleavers, Burdock (liver, kidney Hydrangea root, Marshmallow root, Uva Ursi, Horsetail, Parsley, Ginger root), lungs, skin and lymphatics (Burdock, Chamomile, Echinacea).
- Spices to support detox process: turmeric, garlic, chili powder, ginger, cardamom, clove, oregano and cinnamon.
- Clean, filtered water: it is essential to drink min 2 L of water daily, more if physically active to flush toxins and hydrate the cells.
Herbal, Superfood & Supplement Therapy
- Alkalize the body: 1 tsp of superfood greens powder mixed with 12 oz water. Consists of the cold pressed juice of organic wheat and barley grass sprouts, freeze dried and powdered which are highly alkaline for our body.
- Flush out the colon: in the evening take 1 tsp or 300 mg of ascorbic acid or potassium ascorbate (no additives) in 12 oz water every 15 minutes until you reach bowel tolerance.
A Word About Heavy Metal Detox
We are all exposed to chemicals and heavy metals on a daily basis. They come from foods we are eating containing pesticides and herbicides, the air we breathe, the cosmetics we put on our skin, and our surroundings we have at work and home.
The most common sources are amalgam dental fillings, vaccination, cookware (aluminium, copper), cans, cosmetics, esp deodorants, hair dyes, exposure to petrochemicals, lead paints, fabric softeners.
Heavy metals accumulation in our system leads to suppression of the immune system leading to decreased ability to fight parasites, yeasts, bad bacteria.
Most concerning are mercury, aluminium, lead and arsenic. Heavy metals exposure or consumption causes damage to the nervous system and causes overall chronic inflammation. Conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, Multiple sclerosis, hormonal imbalances, chronic fatigue, depression and insomnia result from it.
The most effective ways to chelate heavy metals:
- Avoid: farmed fish, tuna, smoking, drinking tap water, food additives, environmental exposure, dental amalgams.
- Increase good fats: especially omega 3 to strengthen the cells membranes and functioning. Chemicals and heavy metals get attached to the cell walls receptors sites. Once the membranes are repaired by more good fats and detoxifying the overall system, absorption and waste disposal improves.
- Chlorella, Wheatgrass and Coriander: bind with chemicals and heavy metals to excrete them out of the body.
- Increase intake of green vegetables, as they contain high amounts of highly available chlorophyll.
- Zeolite: very effective for removal of mercury, lead, and cadmium.
- Grounding: walking without the shoes, discharging radiation from the body is crucial for a proper detoxification, less exposure to the computers and mobile phones. Switch off wi-fi at night time and when you are not using internet.
- Daily movement and deep breathing: yoga, tai chi, Pilates, walking, biking, hiking, swimming, deep breathing, meditation. Exercise can really accelerate the elimination of those trapped fats and toxins. All of these activities help with sweating, lymphatic system activation, increase metabolism and improve oxygenation. Spend more time outside to get fresh air and connect with nature.
- Additional detox therapies: infrared sauna, foot baths, lymphatic massage, dry skin brushing, rebound trampoline, Epsom baths, essential oils, oil pulling, coffee enemas, Colon hydrotherapy, Magnesium citrate, Probiotics.
Ready to make a change but not sure where to start? Take your pick from a range of inspiring programs tailored to your specific goals. Our guided programs on Food Matters TV including everything from meal plans, guided meditations, sleep, cleansing and more. They’ll support and empower you to improve your health and be the best you can be!
The Best Foods to Eat for a Healthy Gut
What's in your grocery cart could reduce your risk of cancer thanks to foods that contain prebiotics and probiotics.
The vitamin E and omega-3 to omega-6 fats found in walnuts may have played a role in these results, but these little nuts aren’t the only food that keeps your gut healthy. Choosing foods that fall into one of two categories—prebiotics or probiotics—is the secret to maintaining a healthy balance of good bacteria. Here are some delicious ways to get a good dose of both.
- Onions: Caramelize some in-season spring onions and put on some grilled chicken or a lean steak. You can also pickle them to add to tacos or a salad.
- Asparagus: Whether you enjoy asparagus grilled, steamed, or in a chilled soup, this versatile veggie will help get that good bacteria growing.
- Whole wheat foods: Fiber is the preferred fuel for beneficial gut bacteria, so choose whole wheat bread as a base for avocado toast.
Probiotics contain the good bacteria to help create a healthy and balanced gut and digestive system. (Did you know that Your Gut Bacteria Can Help You Drop Pounds?)
- Yogurt: Whether you prefer your yogurt plain Greek-style or loaded with fresh fruit in a parfait, choose varieties that contain ‘live active cultures’ on the label for the most benefits.
- Kimchi: This staple of Korean cuisine does more than add a kick to fried rice or lettuce wraps. The tangy acidic flavor is evidence of bacteria hard at work.
- Kefir: Those shot-sized bottles of kefir in the dairy aisle have big benefits for gut health. They contain live bacteria cultures and beneficial yeast that makes your gut happy.
Is a vegetarian or vegan diet for you?
Before you discard all animal-based foods, learn how to approach this style of eating in a healthy way.
Although most older Americans still enjoy their steaks and chicken, an estimated 2.5 million of those ages 55 and older have abandoned red meat and poultry in favor of a predominantly plant-based diet. Some people decide to go vegetarian or vegan because they can’t bear the thought of harming any living creature. Others do it for the health perks, of which there seem to be many.
“There’s certainly some research on the benefits of the vegetarian diet,” says Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She ticks off the various advantages associated with this way of eating—lower body mass index and blood pressure; reduced risks for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer; and longer life.
If you’re thinking about going vegetarian or vegan but are worried about making a big change in how you eat, know that there are many different layers to this way of eating. “There are options within a vegetarian diet if a woman wants to get her feet wet,” McManus says. The most common approaches are these:
- Semi-vegetarian.You still eat animal products, but more selectively. Many semi-vegetarians eat chicken and fish but not red meat.
- Pescatarian. You avoid meat and poultry but still eat fish and seafood.
- Lacto-ovo vegetarian. You skip all meat, fish, and poultry but include dairy and eggs in your diet.
- Vegan. This solely plant-based diet is the strictest form of vegetarianism. You eat no animal products at all—not even eggs or dairy products.
Watch your nutrition
Vegetarian and vegan diets can be healthy, but they can lack certain nutrients. You may have to use a little creativity to ensure you get enough protein, calcium, iron, and vitamin B12.
You can find many of these nutrients in eggs and dairy if you’re vegetarian, and from plant sources if you’re vegan. But you may need an added boost. “Because vitamin B12 is found only in animal sources, if you’re a vegan you might consider taking a supplement,” McManus says. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in both fish and flaxseeds, but your body doesn’t absorb the plant-based form as readily as the omega-3s from seafood. Plant-based supplements are available if your diet needs more of these heart-healthy fats.
Keep in mind that going vegetarian doesn’t give you carte blanche to eat whatever you want—especially if you’re trying to control your weight. Go heavy on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains but limit foods high in saturated fat, such as ice cream, whole milk, and cheese. And watch how much you eat at each meal. “People who are trying to lose weight can certainly do it on a vegetarian diet, but they have to limit portions,” McManus says.
When you eat out in restaurants, ask the chef to substitute beans for the meat in an entrée. You can also stick with the salad bar or order a few vegetable-based appetizers and sides instead of an entrée. McManus, who is vegetarian, uses this technique herself. She also visits ethnic restaurants. Indian, Thai, and Chinese cuisines all feature an abundance of vegetarian options.
The transition to a greener diet doesn’t have to be difficult. McManus recommends starting by increasing the number of vegetables on your plate at each meal. “Fill half the plate with vegetables—cooked, raw, or in a salad,” she suggests. Then incorporate an all-vegetarian meal once or twice a week. If you like it, keep adding vegetarian—or vegan—meals until you’re fully immersed in the diet. To keep your food choices diverse without fish, poultry, and red meat, play around with different vegetables and grains, and spice up your meals with seasonings. “I think sometimes people say, ‘Vegetables are so boring,'” McManus says. “Well, they don’t need to be. There are so many cuisines with great spices to choose from.
Vegetarian and vegan diets: Where to find the nutrients you need
Examples of plant-based food sources
Vegetarians: Low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, cheese
Vegetarians and vegans: Fortified soy milk or rice milk, fortified orange juice, tofu with added calcium, broccoli, beans, leafy green vegetables, almonds, almond butter, sesame seeds, soybeans
Vegetarians: Eggs, enriched breads and pasta
Vegetarians and vegans: Soy nuts, tofu, kale, spinach, beans, peanut butter
Vegetarians: Eggs, milk and other dairy products
Vegetarians and vegans: Lentils, beans, quinoa, oatmeal, nuts
Vegetarians: Eggs, milk and other dairy products
Vegetarians and vegans: Fortified soy milk or orange juice, fortified cereals
What I Eat In A Day| Balanced Vegan Diet
10 Tips: Choose My Plate
Use My Plate to build your healthy eating style and maintain it for a lifetime.
Choose foods and beverages from each My Plate food group. Make sure your choices are limited in sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars. Start with small changes to make healthier choices you can enjoy.
NOTE: An earlier version of this tip sheet is also available in 19 additional languages.
1. Find your healthy eating style
Creating a healthy style means regularly eating a variety of foods to get the nutrients and calories you need. MyPlate’s tips help you create your own healthy eating solutions—“MyWins.”
2. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
Eating colorful fruits and vegetables is important because they provide vitamins and minerals and most are low in calories.
3. Focus on whole fruits
Choose whole fruits—fresh, frozen, dried, or canned in 100% juice. Enjoy fruit with meals, as snacks, or as a dessert.
4. Vary your veggies
Try adding fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables to salads, sides, and main dishes. Choose a variety of colorful vegetables prepared in healthful ways: steamed, sauteed, roasted, or raw.
5. Make half your grains whole grains
Look for whole grains listed first or second on the ingredients list—try oatmeal, popcorn, whole-grain bread, and brown rice. Limit grain-based desserts and snacks, such as cakes, cookies, and pastries.
6. Move to low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt
Choose low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, and soy beverages (soymilk) to cut back on saturated fat. Replace sour cream, cream, and regular cheese with low-fat yogurt, milk, and cheese.
7. Vary your protein routine
Mix up your protein foods to include seafood, beans and peas, unsalted nuts and seeds, soy products, eggs, and lean meats and poultry. Try main dishes made with beans or seafood like tuna salad or bean chili.
8. Drink and eat beverages and food with less sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars
Use the Nutrition Facts label and ingredients list to limit items high in sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars. Choose vegetable oils instead of butter, and oil-based sauces and dips instead of ones with butter, cream, or cheese.
9. Drink water instead of sugary drinks
Water is calorie-free. Non-diet soda, energy or sports drinks, and other sugar-sweetened drinks contain a lot of calories from added sugars and have few nutrients.
10. Everything you eat and drink matters
The right mix of foods can help you be healthier now and into the future. Turn small changes into your “MyPlate, MyWins.”
Based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
With countless supplements on the market today, there are a few factors to consider when choosing a multivitamin. “It’s important to first point out that multivitamins are not actually necessary for everyone,” says Laura Moretti, MS, RD, a Clinical Nutrition Specialist who specializes in sports nutrition and female athlete triad at Boston’s Children’s Hospital. “If you’re eating a balanced diet where you consume a variety of nutrients, you might not need one.”
However, it is recommended that certain groups of people take a multi each day in order to fill some nutritional gaps. And while it’s best to consult with a primary care physician or registered dietitian about your individual needs, Moretti offers a quick primer on multivitamins before shopping at your favorite wellness store.
Who Should Be Adding A Multi To Their Regime
According to Moretti, those who do not consume a healthful diet, who eliminate one or more food groups, who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, or those have a poor appetite (possibly due to health complications) may not be receiving the 27 nutrients the body requires. “There’s a lot of potential deficiencies with these lifestyles and we just want to make sure you’re getting everything your body needs,” she states.
As a general rule, Moretti says the top essential nutrients for females include folic acid (for childbearing-age women who might become pregnant and pregnant women), calcium, and vitamin D. “Low bone density is something we see a lot, so ensuring that females, in particular, are getting an adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D will help for bone health,” she explains.
The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention recommends that women of childbearing years take 0.4mg of folic acid, while the US Preventive Services Task Force states that dosage can climb to 0.8mg. Moretti suggests 1,000 mg a day of calcium—taken in separate doses since we only absorb about 500 mg of calcium at a time—and at least 1,000IU of vitamin D. “Your doctor might recommend a higher dosage of vitamin D, but that would be something determined by a blood test.”
Whether you choose a capsule, tablet, powder, liquid, or chewable supplement is entirely your choice. “I’m fine with any form,” says Moretti. “The way I see it, whatever is easy for someone to commit to will work!”
And there is no better time of day to take your supplement, either. “if it’s in the morning after eating breakfast or at night before going to bed, it does not matter—as long as you’re getting it in,” says Moretti.
Keep in mind that supplements are monitored as a sub-category of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “They’re regulated as a food, not like a drug, so the FDA does not have to look at these products before they hit the shelves,” continues Moretti. She warns against multivitamins that promote increased energy since they may contain stimulants, which could lead to numerous side effects, such as headaches, dizziness, increased heart rate, disturbed sleep patterns, and anxiety. “Be careful,” she adds.
Nutrition: Tips for Improving Your Health
Good nutrition is one of the keys to a healthy life. You can improve your health by keeping a balanced diet. You should eat foods that contain vitamins and minerals. This includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and a source of protein.
Ask yourself the following questions. If you answer yes to any of them, talk to your doctor about your health. You may need to improve your eating habits for better nutrition.
- Do you have a health problem or risk factor, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol?
- Did your doctor tell you that you can improve your condition with better nutrition?
- Do diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or osteoporosis run in your family?
- Are you overweight?
- Do you have questions about what foods you should eat or whether you should take vitamins?
- Do you think that you would benefit from seeing a registered dietitian or someone who specializes in nutrition counseling?
Path to improved health
It can be hard to change your eating habits. It helps if you focus on small changes. Making changes to your diet may also be beneficial if you have diseases that can be made worse by things you are eating or drinking. Symptoms from conditions such as kidney disease, lactose intolerance, and celiac disease can all benefit from changes in diet. Below are suggestions to improve your health. Be sure to stay in touch with your doctor so they know how you are doing.
- Find the strong and weak points in your current diet. Do you eat 4-5 cups of fruits and vegetables every day? Do you get enough calcium? Do you eat whole grain, high-fiber foods? If so, you’re on the right track! Keep it up. If not, add more of these foods to your daily diet.
- Keep track of your food intake by writing down what you eat and drink every day. This record will help you assess your diet. You’ll see if you need to eat more or less from certain food groups.
- Think about asking for help from a dietitian. They can help you follow a special diet, especially if you have a health issue.
Almost everyone can benefit from cutting back on unhealthy fat. If you currently eat a lot of fat, commit to cutting back and changing your habits. Unhealthy fats include things such as: dark chicken meat; poultry skin; fatty cuts of pork, beef, and lamb; and high-fat dairy foods (whole milk, butter, cheeses). Ways to cut back on unhealthy fats include:
- Rather than frying meat, bake, grill, or broil it. Take off the skin before cooking chicken or turkey. Try eating fish at least once a week.
- Reduce any extra fat. This includes butter on bread, sour cream on baked potatoes, and salad dressings. Use low-fat or nonfat versions of these foods.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables with your meals and as snacks.
- Read the nutrition labels on foods before you buy them. If you need help with the labels, ask your doctor or dietitian.
- When you eat out, be aware of hidden fats and larger portion sizes.
- Staying hydrated is important for good health. Drink zero- or low-calorie beverages, such as water or tea. Sweetened drinks add lots of sugar and calories to your diet. This includes fruit juice, soda, sports and energy drinks, sweetened or flavored milk, and sweetened iced tea.
Things to consider
Balanced nutrition and regular exercise are good for your health. These habits can help you lose or maintain weight. Try to set realistic goals. They could be making some of the small diet changes listed above or walking daily.
Doctors and dietitians suggest making healthy eating habits a part of daily life rather than following fad diets. Nutrition tips and diets from different sources can be misleading. Keep in mind the advice below, and always check with your doctor first.
- Secret diets aren’t the answer. Fad or short-term diets may promise to help you lose weight fast. However, they are hard to keep up with and could be unhealthy.
- Good nutrition doesn’t come in a pill. Try eating a variety of foods instead. Your body benefits most from healthy whole foods. Only take vitamins that your doctor prescribes.
- Diet programs or products can confuse you with their claims. Most people in these ads get paid for their endorsements. They don’t talk about side effects, problems, or regained weight.