DIY Cleanse: Easy Ways to Flush Toxins

Natural Ways to Flush ToxinsHow do you avoid the inevitable? Toxins are virtually everywhere, especially within the North American diet. They’re in processed foods, non-organic fruits and vegetables, household cleaners, even skin and hair products. It may feel like no matter what you try, you just can’t avoid them.

When you’re indoors, you can take in dust and mold. Outside, you potentially inhale exhaust, smog and heavy metals. Several toxins can lead to respiratory diseases, skin infections, mental disorders, fatigue, headaches and the list goes on. Where can you hide? We all need that protective plastic bubble.

The good news is you can reduce your exposure and safely flush toxins out of your body with a few simple changes to your diet and lifestyle.

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Eat Foods to Improve Liver Function

The liver is the workhorse of the human body, where all toxins (including alcohol) land first to be filtered for elimination. So it’s important to nourish your liver with certain healthy foods that can improve its function and help protect it from toxic damage. Sulfur-containing foods like eggs, garlic and onions are essential for liver detoxification, activating liver enzymes. Any food with soluble fiber can benefit the liver, too. Apples, pears and avocado are all great options for soluble fiber and vitamin C. Avocados are also heavy with glutathione-producing compounds (a potent antioxidant), which help reduce liver damage and protect the body from toxic surplus.

Don’t forget your greens! Leafy greens such as spinach and arugula help create bile to remove chemicals from your body. Bile is fluid made in the liver, essential for digestion. Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower are all from the brassica family of veggies, which can help to improve liver function. And herbs that can benefit liver detoxification include cinnamon, licorice and turmeric.

Vegetable Juice Cleanse

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Making vegetable juices at home and drinking a glass a day can certainly help the body detoxify. What about juicing fasts or cleanses where your diet is solely your juice for a short period of time? Juice cleanses typically run between three and five days, and may increase your energy and clear your mental state. Your organs will be cleaner, which can produce better digestion, reduce headaches and clear any problem skin conditions.

Fresh and organic vegetables are preferred because they contain less pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. People on juice cleanses will spread three to four 8- to 12-ounce juice “meals” throughout the day. Beets are a great go-to vegetable for juice cleanses. They contain fiber pectin, which helps remove liver toxins. Try lemons, ginger and kale as well. Delicious!

Hydration, Hydration!

This one isn’t new, but are you drinking enough? Water is a tried-and-true method for toxin removal. You don’t want to flood your body with water, but the right amount will allow for the release of toxins. The rule of thumb is to try to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. While that might seem like a lot, try looking at it like one glass every two hours, which really isn’t that much at all. Boost nutrition by adding lemon, lime or cucumber slices. Lemon especially gets digestive juices flowing.

Toxins can so easily enter your body, but with a good game plan to flush them out, you can have renewed energy and peace of mind.

Sources:
Murray, M., M.D., et al., The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (New York: Atria Paperback, 2012), 127.
Benson, J., “Seven foods that will naturally cleanse your liver,” Natural News website, May 23, 2012; http://www.naturalnews.com/035946_liver_cleanse_foods.html.