We’ve all seen those ads promoting detoxes and cleanses. They push promises of flatter tummies, more energy, and even weight loss. But what if I told you there’s a bit more to detoxification than taking an herb, supplement, or doing a juice cleanse?
Don’t get me wrong. There are some reputable programs and protocols out there. But there are also tons of scams that will likely leave you feeling worse than you did before.
Common pitfalls of doing commercial cleanses and detoxes include severe symptoms of detoxification and vitamin and mineral deficiencies, ultimately leading to cravings and damaged metabolism.
But guess what? Your body already has the ability to neutralize and eliminate unwanted and harmful substances, bacteria, and even parasites. That’s right; your body was made to do this.
If you’re in optimal health, it’s likely that your body is already doing these things without much or any additional support from a commercial detox or cleanse. However, most of us aren’t in optimal health, and our bodies need extra support.
But before you go out and spend lots of money on supplements or a program. I’m going to give you a crash course in ways you can naturally support your body and its natural detoxification processes.
First, let’s start with how the body rids itself of toxins.
What are the detox pathways?
To keep it simple, there are six avenues that the body uses to neutralize toxins. These systems include the liver, kidneys, digestive, lymphatic, respiratory, and skin.
By ensuring these systems are functioning properly, you can encourage the body to remove waste efficiently.
Here are ways to support these systems and promote long-term, efficient detoxification.
A Proactive Approach to Natural Detox
The first line of defense is to stop or limit your exposure to unnecessary toxins like plastics, pesticides, synthetic fragrances, and other chemicals found in home and personal care products.
There’s no way to avoid all chemicals completely, but slowly reducing your toxic load can have a huge impact over time.
Here are some ways to reduce your exposure to environmental toxins:
- Avoid foods that tax the liver, like alcohol, caffeine, and fried foods.
- Reduce or eliminate inflammatory foods.
- Switch to clean skincare, makeup, and personal care products.
- Consume organic fruit and vegetables when possible to avoid pesticides.
- Avoid plastics when possible. This includes water bottles and cookware.
- Use non-toxic household cleaners.
Ways to Support Drainage Pathways
Fortunately, there are some really simple and inexpensive ways to support your detoxification pathways. Most of these can be easily incorporated into your daily routine.
- Eat enough fiber. Eating a variety of fiber-rich plants is a great way to improve the diversity of your gut microbiome. Fiber also absorbs some unwanted characteristics to be released when you have a bowel movement.
- Consume other gut-friendly foods. In addition to fiber-rich foods, prebiotic and probiotic foods are another way to encourage a good gut microbiome.
- Sip some bone broth. Bone broth has tons of minerals that supports detoxification and collagen to help soothe and heal the lining of the gut.
- Dry brushing is one of my favorites. It helps encourage lymphatic drainage and exfoliates the skin, making it easier for toxins to exit.
- Get moving. Another way to encourage lymphatic flow is to exercise daily. Two of the most effective exercises for lymphatic flow are jumping on a rebounder and yoga which includes twists and inversions.
- Hydrate properly. Of course drinking more water encourages the kidneys to help flush out waste. But also be sure to drink water with electrolytes and minerals added or opt for spring water.
- Get adequate sleep. Sleep is one of the most important times in our day. The body gets time to work on healing itself. This is also a crucial time for detoxification processes.
- Have some green tea. Now, I know that I mentioned earlier that you should avoid caffeine if you’re trying to reduce your toxic load; however, high-quality green tea, especially matcha has been shown to support liver health. Find out how to make the best matcha latte here.
- Consume more bitter greens like dandelion, watercress, chard, and kale. These greens stimulate bile production, which helps rid the body of toxins through the digestive system.
- Massage is another way to support lymphatic flow and promote stress reduction. Opt for a professional full-body massage or search YouTube for some self-massage videos.
- Deep breathing has a number of benefits including toning the vagus nerve, increasing lymph flow and even improving digestion.
- Saunas can be a pricey investment. However, there are some more affordable alternatives like sauna blankets or simply using a gym that has one.
- Take a Magnesium bath. Magnesium is a mineral that’s responsible for many processes in the body, some of which involve detoxification. A magnesium bath allows the body to absorb the mineral through the skin while you relax.
- Ditch the tight clothes, especially sports bras. Tight items like sports bras impair blood circulation and decrease lymph flow, making it more difficult for your body’s natural detox.
- Watch your posture. Poor posture is not only a literal pain in the neck, but it can also negatively impact digestion. If your digestive system isn’t working optimally, it’s harder for natural detox to occur.
So before you try the next fad detox or diet, try these techniques instead. Not only will you look better, but you’ll also feel better. Since these are things you can incorporate into your lifestyle long-term, you can have long-lasting results without uncomfortable detox symptoms, metabolism damage, or hard-to-manage cravings.
Did any of these surprise you? Let me know what you think in the comments!