If you’re feeling heavy, bloated, tired, and morale is at a low, your body could benefit from a detox to get rid of toxins and extra kilos built up during the winter. Here are a few tips for rebooting your system while also supporting immune health. With talk of detox all year round, it can be hard to choose the right moment to cleanse your body in a safe way.
As days get longer and the first rays of sunshine return, spring is the ideal season to eliminate toxins built up in the liver, the colon and the gallbladder during the winter months.
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Unlike a diet, which aims to restrict calorie intake, a detox — ideally lasting a week — seeks to restore and regenerate the body without weakening it. Indeed, a detox aims to stimulate the body’s natural elimination processes via organs responsible for cleansing the body (sometimes referred to the emunctories): these are the skin, liver, intestines, kidneys and lungs.
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As a result, coffee, fatty or sugary foods, or foods that require more energy to digest — such as fish, meat and eggs — should be avoided during a detox to prevent overloading the organs with extra work — at least for the first three days.
On the contrary, detoxers should opt for fresh, organic, pesticide-free fruit and vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants and vitamins. With each change in season, it’s important to support your immune system with nutritional food choices. Thus, it’s better to eat less — especially in the evening — than switch to drastic menus like soup/salad regimes.
The end of winter is also a great time to venture back outside and get moving. A wealth of scientific research has proven the benefits of walks in the forest, for example, to clear the mind and reduce stress, in particular. A detox can also involve a digital detox, switching off and limiting screen time to give the nervous system a break.
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Steam room or sauna sessions are also recommended — for those who don’t suffer from circulatory or cardiac conditions — to eliminate toxins and relax muscles numbed by the cold.
Generally speaking, any kind of exercise that stimulates the lymphatic system — like walking, running, aqua cycling, hiking or yoga poses — will help eliminate waste products from the body. Be sure to drink sufficient quantities throughout the day and take the time to breathe deeply.
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Finally, certain herbs and spices can help boost a detox. Look for cleansing meadowsweet, milk thistle, fumaria and lemon in the form of herbal teas (to be avoided in cases of kidney failure). As for spices, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, ginger and cumin can help aid digestion and purify the liver.