Bad skin, food allergies, poor elimination, low energy levels? These are many of the symptoms that are signs of toxicity in your body and tell you that it may be a good time to start cleansing.
Internal cleansing is a natural detoxifying process that is going to help your body to cleanse through its channels of elimination. In this post I’ll discuss the best detoxing foods and cleansing programs.
Why is cleansing beneficial?
Organs are linked together and if one doesn’t work properly, it may have an impact on the other ones. When you are not eliminating properly, wastes may not be expelled for days, toxins back up in your colon, which can cause auto-intoxification.
These toxins eventually seep into every cell and tissue, especially into the weaker parts of you body.
The purpose of eating detoxifying foods or doing a cleanse is to support and enhance the normal cleansing functions of your emunctories, which are the organs that enable accumulated toxins to be eliminated. Our body has five emunctories: the liver, the intestines, the kidneys, the lungs, and the skin, our largest organ.
Problems of digestion can lead to toxic build-up. Poor digestion might be the reason for a lack of absorption of vital nutrients needed for a healthy body. That is why it is very important for your body to purify through a cleansing process.
The Best Detoxing Foods
Certain types of foods possess powerful cleansing properties. These are good foods to include in your cleansing diet unless you have food sensitivities to any of them. Here are some of the best detoxing foods:
- Dandelion greens (liver tonic, blood purifier)
- Kale (detoxes and flushes out the kidneys)
- Ginger (promotes excretion of toxins, combats inflammation)
- Garlic, legumes, onions, eggs (high sulphur content)
- Apples (water soluble fiber, blood purifier, increases lymphatic action)
- Pears (water soluble fibre)
- Lemons (alkalizes the blood!, stimulates liver function)
- Grapes (antioxidant, stimulates liver, bowel, kidney function)
- Artichoke (stimulates the liver, metabolizes fats)
- Beets (blood purifier, liver cleanser, stimulates lymphatic system)
- Parsley (blood purifier, stimulates the bowels, good source of chlorophyll to detoxify)
- Grapefruit (cleanses the liver and gallbladder)
- Cabbage family vegetables : broccoli, Brussels sprouts
- Green tea (helps get rid of free radicals)
Also, Apple Cider Vinegar has great cleansing properties. It helps the body to detoxify the liver, remove toxic waste and improve circulation. I highly recommend it!
Another easy way to get all the nutrients you need and help your body detoxify is to add vega powder to your diet. Vega powder contains complete protein from a multisource plant-based blend, as well as a variety of greens (kale, spinach, broccoli and alfalfa). It’s such a great way to detoxify your body. For example, you can add vega powder to a delicious detoxifying blueberry smoothie!
Also, I started using moringa powder. It’s a very potent antioxidant and it can be used for treating so many widespread conditions as inflammation-related diseases, cancer or diabetes. Moringa is an excellent source of protein, vitamin A, potassium, calcium and vitamin C. Detoxification with moringa oleifera herb powder is highly effective without the side effects. I add a teaspoon of moringa powder to my breakfast every morning. Not only it increases my energy levels, it also helps my body to cleanse more efficiently.
In my point of view, eating the right foods is the most important thing to do to get rid of toxins on a daily basis. But if you want to go to the next level, here are the best natural options to encourage detoxification:
The Different Types Of Detox Programs
Herbal cleanses are ideal to do two to four times a year, especially at the change of the seasons, because they really stimulate your body to drain. Different ingredients are commonly used in herbal cleanses, such as:
- Fibre sources (psyllium, triphala, flax seeds, borage seeds) or magnesium hydroxide to improve bowel function.
- Burdock root to detoxify the lymphatic system.
- Artichoke, dandelion roots, or milk thistle to support liver function.
- Juniper berries, uva ursi, to cleanse the kidneys.
- N-Acetylcysteine (NAC), glutathione, calcium-D Glucarate, to neutralize free radical damage.
There are a lot of herbal cleanses you can choose from. Here are the ones I recommend:
- Total Colon Care from NatureWise: Total Colon Care is an holistic blend of herbs and enzymes that naturally encourages detoxification and the elimination of waste from the body. It promotes health in the intestines and digestive organs.
- Dr. Tobias Colon: This 14-day cleanse supports detox, weight loss & increased energy levels. It contains natural laxatives, fiber and herbs that are gentle on the intestines. There are also probiotics to help promote healthy levels of bacteria in the intestinal tract.
- Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox from Garden of Life: it’s an easy 12-day cleanse that is very popular in Canada!
If you suffer from a skin problem, it might be a good idea to do a liver cleanse, as skin problems might be linked to a liver dysfunction.
Our liver filters blood to remove toxins and excess hormones. Without the liver’s detoxifying process, toxic fats can lodge in the cells and can contribute to skin conditions.
How to detox your liver?
Watch this video below! Dr. Axe explains how to cleanse your liver naturally.
According to Dr; Axe, you can detox your liver by:
- Removing all toxins from your diet (processed grains, sugars, fast foods, packaged foods, conventional meat and diary, and eat real foods).
- Consume liver detoxifying herbs like milk thistle, turmeric, and dandelion.
- Detoxing your emotions (your emotions directly affect your organs like frustration, resentment, unforgiveness, and anger).
- Eating real liver (chicken or beef liver).
- Consuming foods that cleanse the liver (sprouts, salads, sour foods, probiotic rich foods).
Juice Or Fast
You could also juice or fast for a few days.
Keep in mind that cutting off food completely from your diet can be dangerous, because it could deplete your system from essential nutrients and weaken your immune system.
You have to know what you are doing and reincorporate food little by little, or your stomach is going to overreact.
The Master Cleanse
The Master Cleanse is also a way to detox your body. It is also called the “Lemon Cleanse” and the “Maple Syrup Diet”.
The cleanse involves drinking only lemonade made from fresh lemon or lime juice, Grade B maple syrup, Cayenne pepper and water. No solid food is eaten for the entire cleanse.
The Master Cleanse is more gentle on the body than a fast because it does contain some essential vitamins and minerals.
If you’re looking for a gentle cleanse to see how your body reacts, a homeopathic detox is a gentle way to stimulate your body’s natural drainage process and allow autoregulation and elimination of toxins.
For poor circulation or cellulite for example, you could think of draining your lymphatic system through a homeopathic detox.
Cleansing your body can be quite demanding for your system. You may experience fatigue, mild headaches, changes in bowel habits, emotional sensitivity, or even weight loss.
How your body responds to a cleanse depends on your individual biochemistry.
At any time, if these symptoms intensify, stop the cleanse and seek your practitioner for advices.
Here are some lifestyle suggestions to avoid side effects:
- Reduce stress whenever possible.
- Avoid smoking.
- Exercise every day but avoid harsh exercises or anything too physically demanding.
- Sleep and rest a lot.
- Choose a diet that includes nutrient-rich, chemical-free foods!
Please ask a licensed health care practitioner to help you select and monitor your cleansing program. A cleanse can be quite aggressive for your system; they should not be done if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you experience any unusual or severe symptoms when you are cleansing, be sure to contact your practitioner. Also, a cleanse that focuses on only one aspect of detoxification can potentially lead to health problems. It is very important to open all the pathways of elimination first through a general cleanse, and then think of targeting one organ, such as the liver, if needed.
Dietary advice on a cleanse
Because balance starts with nutrition, it is advisable to follow some dietary suggestions if you want your cleanse to be more effective:
- Eat fresh organic fruits and vegetables.
- Choose grains preferably among these ones: buckwheat, quinoa, millet, amaranth or spelt.
- Avoid meat (if you can’t, free range chicken or turkey is best), wheat pasta (go for brown or wild rice instead), refined food, and sugar.
- Stay away from alcohol and caffeine. If you are addicted to coffee, swiss water decaffeinate coffee is a good alternative. This decaffeination process uses only water to remove caffeine from coffee. Most other decaffeination processes use chemicals like Methylene Chloride.
- Avoid bread with wheat flour. You can find bread without flour in many natural food stores.
- Avoid fried foods and fatty substances, apart from good fats. Essential fatty acids are important to take on a daily basis: flax oil rich in omega 3 or all kind of omega 3,6,9 oils, plant-based or fish source. Evening primrose oil is also good for skin problems with its high content of GLA.
- Time for a snack? Have some raw nuts like almonds, and seeds like hemp, pumpkin or sunflower, preferably unsalted and unroasted.
- Take some fibre, either psyllium seeds or flax seed, to support healthy bowel movements and strengthen the colon (proper bowel function entails having two to three bowel movements per day!)
- Drink lots of water (more than eight glasses a day).
- Don’t overeat as it puts a high amount of stress on your digestive system and try to find the time to cook nice recipes with good food!