Every once in a while people need to detox their body. Even if you’re eating as clean as possible, toxins build up in your body, making it function poorly. Many of these toxins can be just from your environment – the air around you or even things to touch. We don’t see most of the toxins going into our body, so sometimes it takes a time of sickness or just not feeling ‘great’ to realize we need to clean ourselves out.
To most people, the term ‘Detox’ seems to mean just fully eliminating anything bad from your body. But essentially, what you’re doing is trying to help your system (mainly parts like your liver) work better, which then cleans your blood and your body.
Detoxing doesn’t have to be a complex activity. While there are many articles on water fasts and other extreme detox methods, you can also help your body detox through just a few changes to your diet.
Through researching this, I’m already doing the first two, and I plan to try the others listed below as well. These aren’t ground-breaking new ideas, they’re not sudden ‘flush your body’ kind of methods, but things you can do daily to help clear your body of toxins. Use as many or as few as you want in your daily life.
1. Green Tea
One of the most common (and easiest) ways of detoxing is by just drinking green tea. If you’re a coffee person, swap out your morning ‘grind’ for a good green tea.
Green tea is known as almost ‘magical’, filled with antioxidants and vitamins include A, B2 and E. One of the more powerful antioxidants it contains is “epigallocatechin-3-gallate”, or EGCG for short. This compound is a powerhouse of health, with reports of it helping everything from from fighting off cancer-causing free radicals to stimulating neuron creation.
The antioxidants also help the liver function better, which helps clean out your blood, and help promote digestion. That, mixed with the water you’re drinking with the tea, makes it help detoxify your blood and your body.
2. Lemon in Warm Water
I’ve talked about the Benefits of Lemon in Warm Water before, but in this case we’re using as a detoxification method. Lemon juice is known to have a compound in it called D-limonene, which is a nutrient called a terpene. These nutrients have antioxidant and anti-inflamatory agents. They also contain enzymes that break down toxic compounds in the liver that are bad for cells. These can include things like caffeine or harmful fats. Essentially these enzymes break down the harmful compounds so that the liver can flush them out.
Why drink it in warm water? There are a few theories about this. First, lets just clarify, don’t drink it in cold water, and don’t drink it in boiling water. The cold water doesn’t help with digestion, which is why you’re wanting the lemon juice in the first place. In boiling water, the lemon’s enzymes could be hurt. So drinking in either room temperature or just warmer is key.
Essential oils are a good additive to your daily drinks/lifestyle. There are quite a few to choose from, but the one we’re looking at today is Peppermint Oil. This oil is produced from peppermint leaves (which also provide one of the minty tastes in lots of foods), and has been studied frequently for its effects on the liver and easing the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, as well as other intestinal problems like gluten intolerance.
Peppermint is known to help the liver by increasing the flow of bile from the liver to the gallbladder. This in turn reduces the amount of fat and cholesterol that the liver has to process, giving it a better chance at working hard against other toxins.
Taking a drop of pure peppermint oil (make sure you find the one that says its pure) in a glass of water 20 minutes before eating is the best way to take it. Some people also prefer capsules instead of the drops, but just make sure there is nothing harmful in the capsules themselves before you take it (ie: wheat, dairy, etc).
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries to help improve digestion and overall health. In its most natural form, its full of enzymes and vitamins. The acids found in apple cider vinegar bind to toxins and help eliminate them from the body easier. It also is known to break down mucus in the body and helps the clean the lymph nodes, promoting better circulation.
The acidity of the vinegar can help balance your body’s pH as well.
The best way to take apple cider vinegar is 2-3 teaspoons in water with meals. Never take it straight, as the acidity could hurt your tooth enamel and esophagus. Its also important to get the purest, unfiltered version of the vinegar, which should have sediment in it. If its fully clear, its been too filtered and you lose the goodness of it.
5. Ayurvedic Tea
Ayurvedic tea has a history going back 5000 years in India. There are many versions of this tea, but the main idea is that all parts come from the India area, and has been used for many years by healers there. The most general version of this tea includes Fennel, Cumin and Coriander, often mixed with other herbs like Licorice or Ginger. The health benefits for this tea are raved about. The fennel is known to help improve and heal your gut. cumin reduces glucose in your blood and reduces cholesterol and boosts your metabolism. Coriander helps reduce swelling in the body and helps clear out the liver. Ginger is known to help with digestion, and reduces inflammation.
You can find pre-made mixes of this tea in stores and online, but the best way to make it is fresh. This example uses green tea and lemon as additions to the basic tea, which can help the flavor. Using a french press, boil water, add 3-4 slices of thinly sliced ginger, 1-2 teaspoons coriander seeds, 1-2 teaspoons cumin seeds, 1-2 teaspoons fennel seeds, 1 bag (or loose-leaf equivalent) green tea, one slice of lemon. Let steep for 5 minutes before pressing. You can add more water and steep again if needed.
You can obviously add all these things to your daily diet. They are not complex, or hard to do. It just takes a mental effort to get these into your routine and eventually you’ll be helping your body and feeling better. If you don’t have these things at home just add them to your next shopping trip!
Do you do anything else that is a simple detox? Let us know in the comments!
Header image by Argya Diptya
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