Whether through the air we breathe, cleaning products we use, food we eat, we come into both internal and external toxins and pollutants everyday. Fortunately, our body works daily to detoxify these toxins thanks to the work of the the liver, kidneys, intestines, blood, skin, lungs, and lymphatic system.
But, these organs can become bogged down from time to time due to dehydration, lack of exercise, poor food choices, constipation, lack of sleep, excessive alcohol consumption, exposure to chemicals, or medications. This is why it is so beneficial to follow the Clean Eating lifestyle!
While following the Clean Eating lifestyle, we are much less likely to accumulate a heavy toxic burden in our bodies making an extreme detox or cleanse unnecessary for most.
By enjoying Clean foods and practicing healthy lifestyle choices, we can tailor the Clean Eating lifestyle to naturally boost our bodies ability to detox. The transitions of the seasons (think Spring and Autumn) are excellent times to detoxify and reset.
Below are 10 Clean Eating Ways to Detox Your Body!
1. Eliminate Refined Sugar and Processed Foods
Processed foods are high in sugar, white flour, vegetable oils, and preservatives which are all toxic for our body. By reducing or eliminating these products from our body we greatly reduce the toxic load on our system. Instead, stick to Clean Eating by choosing unprocessed foods that have all their nutrients still intact! White sugar, white bread, cereals that have been overly processed can be replaced with clean sources like sweet potatoes, oats, brown rice, and dates or date syrup.
2. Eat High Quality Protein
Proteins, or more specifically-amino acids, play an important role in detoxification. Amino acids are needed to make enzymes and other molecules that are necessary to the detoxification pathways in our body. This is why a juice or raw food cleanse may not be the best option when compared to a Clean Eating detox. The best protein sources during a detox include organic free range or grass fed meats that are free from growth hormones. Fish can be an option but be sure to choose wild caught fish that is low in mercury (which is toxic to our body). Plant-based options such as beans, lentils, nuts and seeds are an excellent clean protein choice that are free from any growth hormones and contain fiber that can further promote detoxification by keeping us regular! Plus, fiber can bind to toxins and remove them from the body.
3. Wash Your Produce Well
Conventional produce is heavily sprayed with toxic pesticides and herbicides that have been shown to contribute to health issues such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and weight gain. Washing your produce very well before using can help remove these harmful chemicals. If it fits your budget, opt for organic produce whenever possible-specifically if you are going to consume the skin of the food-to avoid these pesticides all together.
4. Stay Hydrated And Jazz Up Your Water
Drinking water is vital in the detoxification process as it helps flush out toxins through our detox pathways. To boost the detox power of your water add some fresh lemon or lime juice. This stimulates the liver; the primary detox center in our body, and is also high in Vitamin C which further supports the immune system.
5. Boost Your Glutathione Levels
Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that plays a big role in removing heavy metals, free radicals, and toxins from the body. Glutathione is mainly found in the liver where it performs its detoxifying functions. Sulfur is needed for the synthesis of glutathione so to boost glutathione levels consume more sulfur rich veggies like cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, garlic, onions, leeks, and bok choy. Try these Grilled Lemon Brussels Sprouts!
6. Add Fresh Herbs and Spices To Meals
Herbs and spices have long been used for their many medicinal properties. Modern research has confirmed that many of these plants offer many health benefits. Cilantro for example is often used as part of a heavy metal detox. Parsley is a gentle diuretic so it helps flush toxins out naturally. Basil can help remove toxins from the blood. Turmeric is a powerful detoxifier for the liver and digestive system and is excellent for reducing inflammation. So when you need more flavor, be generous with these herbs and spices in your next meal!
7. Eliminate Alcohol and Reduce Salt Intake
While fine in moderation, alcohol and salt aren’t the best choices when trying to detox. Consuming too much alcohol or salt can lead to water retention and constipation. Two things we don’t want went detoxing! Remember, we want those toxins moving out of our bodies, not sticking around. As mentioned above, herbs, spices, vinegars, and lemon juice can help add flavor (and detox power) to meals and water, too!
8. Incorporate Dry Brushing
Beyond eating a clean nutrient dense diet, there are other things we can incorporate to further detoxify our bodies. Our skin plays a major role in detoxifying our body. Dry brushing your skin can reduce inflammation by moving the lymphatic fluid in our bodies, increasing circulation, and opening up our bodies detox pathways. A side-effect is smoother skin which I think is something we can all get behind!
9. Practice Yoga
Exercise can be helpful during a detox as it helps remove toxins from your body through sweat. While we love exercise of any kind, yoga can be especially beneficial during a detox. Sometimes the best exercise is one that helps center and calm our minds and bodies instead of adding extra stress. Whether you prefer gentle Yin yoga or a fast pace Vinyasa practice, you will be doing your body good by increasing circulation of blood and lymph while easing tension.
10. Get Some Sleep
Getting enough quality sleep is so important for our health. Our bodies do some of their best work, repair, and detoxing while we are asleep. Sufficient rest reduces inflammation, stress, and weight gain. It can also help keep our cravings and moods in check. Create a high quality sleeping environment by setting and sticking to a bedtime, aiming for 7-8 hours of rest each night. Keeping your bedroom quiet, dark, and cool can enhance your quality of sleep which will enhance your body’s ability to detox.
By the end of your detox, you should feel refreshed and energized. Hopefully, you will feel excited and motivated to maintain some of these habits to continue living a healthy, Clean Eating lifestyle!
Have an accountability to partner to support you in reaching your Clean Eating goals. As the saying goes “the village makes us stronger”, and that’s exactly why we created the 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge! The challenge is fully equipped with meal plans, step-by-step guides for getting started and a private community of people who are on the same journey as you are. Join us for 30 days of accountability support and let us help you get the results you want. Billie-Jo, Daisy and the CleanFoodCrush team are waiting for you on the other side 🙂