Some wise scientists once claimed that it takes 21 days for something to become a habit, but much longer to break one. Today, instead of tackling how to break bad habits, I want to introduce to some good habits that you should introduce into your daily routine… Detoxing habits.
Detox is basically the elimination of toxins from your body, which accumulate due to a number of things including non-organic produce (pesticides, herbicides), stress, dental fillings (mercury), inhaling smoggy air (especially in cities), smoking and eating processed foods. Now you might wonder what’s wrong with all these toxins, well firstly they are TOXINS, meaning they are toxic to our bodies. They cause cell damage, disease, weaken your immune system AND your body’s method of dealing with toxins is to store them in fat cells, resulting in weight gain. For this reason, effective detoxing often results in weight loss, as these stored toxins are released and expelled from the body, negating the need for those extra fat stores. Detoxing is like spring cleaning your insides, and when done properly it makes you feel energised, healthy and happy. There are many detox programs out there, from juice cleanses to food based detoxes which involve eating a clean diet over a period of time. However, there are also many small things you can do each day, to initiate and aid your body’s natural desire to detox itself. Here are a few ideas:
Lemon Tonic Drink
Starting each day with a cup of warm water with the juice of half a lemon and a capful of (organic) apple cider vinegar is always a good idea. Not only does it kickstart your metabolism and prepare your empty stomach for food, but it detoxifies your liver and removes toxins from your body. Lemon, despite being acidic when eaten, is alkaline in the body and so helps to balance the pH of your digestive system, which when slightly alkaline is healthier and works better! Lemon tonic is simple, takes a few minutes to prepare and is an easy habit to add to your morning. P.S. Thanks to Katie from Thrive for the info and inspiration for the lemon tonic.
I have not personally done this yet, but I have read in numerous places about the benefits of oil pulling. It involves taking a tablespoon of oil (coconut oil or other high quality oil) and swirling it around in your mouth for 5-20 minutes then spitting it out. It seems simple, but oil pulling is extremely good for ‘pulling’ toxins from your body which then accumulates in the oil, hence why you must spit it out. It is also great for cleaning out your sinuses and getting rid of mucus in your mouth and lymph system. Here is a great Mind Body Green article on oil pulling and its benefits.
Exercise and Sweating
Whilst being covered in sweat is not the most glamorous thing in the world, sweating is one way of releasing toxins from the body. Vigorous exercise or time in a sauna will get you sweating, which will release toxins through the pores of your skin, BUT ensure you shower directly afterwards to prevent the reabsorption of the toxins which are now on your skin. Sweating in a sauna also increases circulation, which in turn aids detox. The ultimate detox involving sweat is a Bikram yoga class, because you sweat A LOT and the asanas compress and stretch every organ, stimulating detoxification.
Dry brushing has become somewhat of a hype in recent times, with everyone raving about the benefits, whether it be for achieving a glowing complexion or detoxifying. This hype isn’t without reason, as using a dry brush for five minutes or so daily removes dead skin cells, exfoliates your skin and aids detoxification. The best time to do it is right before you hop into the shower, so you can wash away the excess skin cells that have been scrubbed off.
Even the best detox system is useless without good hydration, as hydration helps the flush the toxins out of your body and lymph system. Drink plenty of fresh, filtered spring water and enjoy naturally hydrating organic foods such as cucumbers and melons.
Eat Detoxing Foods and Superfoods
By adding in natural detoxifiers to your diet, you aid detoxification. Some of the best detoxifying foods include herbs, in particular parsley and coriander, as well as lots of leafy greens and fruit. There are also some incredible superfoods renowned for their detoxing powers, including chia seeds, which when mixed with water form a gel-like substance that literally binds with toxins and expels them from your body. There is also aloe vera, which again is a gel that binds and removes toxins before they can be reabsorbed. Finally superfood greens, such as spirulina, chlorella and certain seaweeds and algaes are great detoxifiers; there are all kinds of green powders out there that can be taken with water or added to smoothies.
Epsom Salt Baths (Magnesium Sulfate)
Take a bath to detox? Sounds like the perfect plan. But up the ante on your normal bath by adding epsom salts, which is magnesium sulfate. By soaking in an epsom bath your pores open and your body absorbs the salts, which are key nutrients for overall health and wellbeing. Epsom salts also extremely good at extracting toxins and heavy metals from your body, hence the detoxing nature of them. Here is a great article about the detoxing ways of epsom baths.
Here is a great Food Matters article about detox and weight loss that explains many of the habits I have listed in this post.
Keep healthy, create detoxing habits, Erica xx