From Thanksgiving to New Years, many people find themselves ditching their diets and wandering from their normal healthy habits. People who normally eat healthy and drink moderately find themselves invited to party after party, gifted plates and trays of sugary baked goods, and served rich and calorie heavy meals. The desire to join the revelry, to enjoy time with family and friends, can often overwhelm the desire to stick to a healthy eating plan or to say no to festive cocktails passed our way. When the wrapping paper is finally put away, and the party invitations begin to dwindle, how do you reset your system? Clearing your body of toxins can be the first step towards getting your vibrant health back.
How to Naturally Detox
The colon plays a major role in the body's digestion process, and is often the focus of detoxification efforts. Semiliquid food waste travels from the small intestines to the colon, where it loses water and solidifies. The practice of natural colon cleansing dates back to ancient Greece. Colon cleansing is based on the belief of autointoxication, that undigested meat and other foods cause mucus buildup in the colon, which produces toxins in the body.
Symptoms of autointoxication are said to include:
- Weight Gain
- Low Energy
Colon detoxification can include enemas, herbal supplements, probiotics, digestive enzymes, greens, and juice diets. Enemas are a tool that uses liquid to help remove waste from the colon, and can be performed at a doctor's office or at home. Some detoxification supplements may contain herbs with a long traditional use for supporting constipation relief, or for restoring the moist mucus environment of the colon. Probiotics and digestive enzymes help restore optimal health to the GI system by breaking down foods, and replenishing good bacteria that keep the gut healthy. Green juice detoxes usually include drinking nothing but fruit and vegetables juices and water for a period of 1 -5 days. The juices usually contain at least 50% green vegetables, which are a good source of chlorophyll. Proponants say that the chlorophyll helps to remove toxins, and the absence of solid food and inclusion of vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables helps the body to heal.
The liver may also need some healing and restoration after a holiday season. Toxins, like alcohol, food additives, preservatives, flavor enhancers, food coloring, pesticides, and other chemicals, enter our bloodstream through the food we eat, drink, are inhaled, or can be absorbed through our skin. The liver takes fat-soluble toxins and converts them into water-soluble toxins that can then be excreted through the kidneys or colon.
Symptoms that your liver needs help with the detoxifcation process are said to include:
- Abdominal bloating
- Pain over the liver
- Trouble digesting food
- Acid reflux/ heartburn
To support a healthy, natural liver detoxifcation process, the first step is to reduce your exposure to external toxins. That means cutting out alcohol, foods that contain pesticides, artificial dyes, or chemicals, and avoid smoke and other toxic fumes like industrial cleaners.
Eating raw fruits and vegetables, like in a green juice diet, is also beneficial to the liver. At the very least, adding an extra serving of organic, raw fruits and vegetables to every meal will deliver beneficial nutrients like vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and phyto-nutrients that will help your liver to heal. Supplements that contain liver supporting herbs, such as dandelion, milk thistle, turmeric, and B Complex vitamins will also support a healthy, and detoxified liver. If you have been over exposing yourself to alcohol toxins very recently, it is also a good idea to drink plenty of fresh water and include some electrolytes in order to prevent dehydration.
Giving some attention and care to detoxification efforts now can help your body recover from the over-eating and over-drinking that many people experience over the holidays. By giving your body a "reset", it can set you up for more success, and put you on track for a healthy and happy new year.
Melissa Zimmerman, Healthy Goods