Willpower and skating the line of safety are two of the biggest reasons that many people cringe at the word detox. But, there are dozens of ways you can detox and rid your body of all those harmful toxins without testing your willpower or getting dangerously close to a nutrient deficiency.
We are not just talking about your typical juice cleanse or the least relaxing retreat in the world. The trick is staying healthy and in prime physical condition while using simple, gentle, and natural methods.
Add More Spices to Your Diet
First up: spices. This doesn’t mean hot foods only. Adding any number of spices and herbs from plain old black pepper to recently-famous turmeric to your diet can have far-reaching effects. Recent studies show that some spices are capable of stimulating the body in ways that decrease your risk of diabetes, help you maintain a healthy weight, and boost the metabolism and endocrine systems. Some spices include; black pepper, paprika, turmeric and cinnamon.
From adding much-needed trace vitamins and minerals to facilitating your body’s natural detoxifying efforts- adding in 2 – 3 more spice-laden meals to your diet every week can make a big difference when it comes to your health.
Do not start scrubbing yourself down with salt or walnut husks. In the case of exfoliation, beauty should not equal pain. When you use rough exfoliants, tiny tears can open up in your skin. To you, it might just look like a little inflammation right after use- but that’s proof it’s working right? Nope.
Those microscopic abrasions are letting bacteria into your body. That, in turn, can lower your immune system’s chance at fighting off colds and infections, raise your stress levels, and lead to premature aging. Not exactly the results you were hoping for?
There are alternatives. The best options for scrub-type exfoliants are colloidal oats (which are just oats that have been ground up in a food processor) or jojoba beads (beads made of a skin-friendly oil that breaks down after use). These options are both very gentle, removing only the skin that is ready to be removed, and come with their own detox benefits.
The third option is “dry brushing.” This is the process of brushing your skin gently once a day to remove any trapped dead skin cells and increase circulation at the same time. The brushes used are typically made with natural bristles- that usually means plant fibers. If you decide to try it, choose a brush that is soft enough for you to use comfortably. Your skin might be a little pink after a session due to increased circulation- it should never be bright red or painful.
Don’t feel like self-massage and want someone to do it for you? That idea is just as good.
Get a Massage
If you’ve ever gone to see a massage therapist for your aches and pains, it’ s likely that you ended up feeling drained for a few days. That’s because your body just experienced a major detox session. Any massage, not just those labeled “detox” or lymph draining” can help rid your body of trapped toxins. The good news is that the more you make massage a regular part of your healthy lifestyle, the less sick you will feel.
If you’re putting off going for a massage because of that sick feeling, there are ways to mitigate it- like the next tip on the list.
Drink More Water
Water helps dilute and flush out anything you don’t want inside your body in addition to keeping everything functioning as it should. Without water, all of your processes slow down. Chronic dehydration can lead to severe fatigue and even low blood pressure or fainting.
To enjoy the full benefits of many other detox methods, water is a critical component. You’ll need to up your intake before and after a massage, a trip to the sauna, a detox bath or hot shower. That is unless you want to feel those detoxing side effect of course.
However, there is such a thing as too much hydration. Though it’s hard to get “water poisoning” a little too much hydration can cause unpleasant side effects due to an imbalance in your electrolytes, mainly: salt, potassium, magnesium.
What if water is a little too bland for your taste?
Take Some Time for Tea
Tea is just as good as, if not better than, water. Not only does it provide a healthy amount of hydration and come in hundreds of varieties, but tea also contains a few critical trace minerals that it may be hard to get from your diet alone.
If you’ve never been a big tea drinker before but are considering making the swap for detox purposes, a pre-mixed detox tea could be your best option. Having everything laid out for you makes the switch easy.
If you would rather go straight to loose-leaf teas, you should start with an English Breakfast tea (or black tea) as opposed to green tea. While plenty of people love green tea, just as many find it to have a sour or “green” taste, usually from improper brewing.
Getting your body back to its default, healthy state isn’t all about what you eat or how much plastic you use on a day-to-day basis. To properly filter out all of those toxins, you have to be in the right place. If you don’t get at least seven hours of sleep a night, you aren’t going to get there anytime soon. Stress from lack of sleep, work, and major life events leads to excess cortisol.
All that cortisol can lead to weight gain, heart disease, lowered immune system function, decreased bone density, and on and on. To fight cortisol, many people will tell you to meditate, to take long walks and have a better exercise routine. There’s an easier way: take a nap.
In just 10 to 20 minutes a day, with very little effort, you can reset your cortisol levels to baseline. All you need to do is take a power nap.
Switch Up Your Shower Routine
The way you shower is just as important as what you shower with. Casting a critical eye on just what you happen to be treating your skin with every day might show you where some of your toxins are coming from. Once you’re happy with the products, you use you might want to consider incorporating a few at-home hydrotherapy techniques to open your pores and soften your muscles, releasing the toxic substances trapped within.
When it comes to shower products, you aren’t limited to scent-free or only “all natural” brands. Even mainstream companies offer great alternatives and some companies that happen to be “all natural” create products that are still much too harsh to be used on human skin.
When looking for soap, keep an eye out for “hydrating” and “hypoallergenic” varieties. It might sound strange, but even oily skin types can benefit from soap that offers built-in natural oils and hydration. If you have oily skin but choose a harsher soap, your body will respond by putting out more oil.
Take a Critical Look at Your Supplements
If you’re looking to be healthier or build muscle, chances are you take some daily vitamin or supplement. The thing is, even brands you might find at your local grocery store can contain substances that you aren’t aware of.
If possible, always verify that the brand and products you choose have been vetted by an independent lab. In the last few months alone, several studies have revealed widespread mislabeling. Given that supplements aren’t regulated the same way over-the-counter medications are, unethical companies and fly-by-night operations sometimes produce batches that contain absolutely none of a listed ingredient or lace them with prescription drugs and steroids to “enhance effectiveness.”
Experiment with Essential Oils
Essential oils should be looked at in the same critical light as a supplement: you get what you pay for, and you should always request to see proof of purity. A disreputable company might try to cut their oils with a carrier or try to pass off a “fragrance oil” as an essential oil.
Essential oils can be used in a variety of ways, but the easiest and most effective is to add them to a bath or massage oil so that they may be absorbed through the skin. Oils such as juniper and grapefruit can gently increase circulation and stimulate the lymphatic system. Rose and neroli oils can help soothe inflamed skin and balance hormones. For safety, no more than 10 to 15 drops should be used per quarter cup (or 2 oz) of carrier oil.
Though essential oils have been used for hundreds of years, their medical applications had been disputed until modern medicine was capable of breaking the oils down into and cataloging their base components. Since then, their use has slowly become more widespread.
As a precaution, never apply essential oils directly to your skin. They are highly concentrated and must be diluted in a carrier oil (like olive, coconut, or jojoba) before use. You should also avoid orange and lemon oils as, when used on the skin, they can cause increased risk of sunburn and photosensitivity.
Practice your Breathing
The majority of us take more than 20,000 breaths a day. Many of those breaths will be shallow, leaving carbon dioxide still stewing in the lower reaches of your lungs and denying your body of enough oxygen circulating to be maximally productive.
The optimal number of breaths per day is around 15,000. That amounts to about ten breaths per minute. Spending just 3 to five minutes a few times a day practicing how you breathe can help you slow down, reduce stress and anxiety levels, and maintain a healthy respiratory system for the rest of your life.
Your Body Is Amazing – Let It Work for You
The human body is an amazing filter. The problem is, with the advent of industrialization and office jobs your body now has to deal with hundreds of new toxins it hasn’t had time to adapt to as well as fewer ways to work them out. By committing to make just a few tiny changes now and letting them grow into lifelong habits you’re making your future that much easier.