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What's the best way to cleanse?

There is a lot of hype surrounding detoxing and cleansing.  Cleansing can be safe and healthy when done correctly, but can also exacerbate and even cause health issues if done improperly.  

You are likely aware that we all are exposed to toxins, chemicals and heavy metals on a daily basis, through our foods and environments.  It is important to keep in mind that your body is always naturally detoxing; within you there is a detox system equipped at eliminating these dangerous compounds from your body.  Unfortunately, there are more toxins in our environment today than ever before, putting an extra load on our bodies and taxing even the healthiest individuals. When we talk about cleansing and detoxing, we are focusing on how to support and enhance your body’s natural detoxification- something that almost all of us could use living in these times.  

How does the natural detoxification process work?
Many organs in your body work together in the natural detoxification process.  Your skin pushes out bacteria and toxins through sweat, your kidneys filter blood and eliminate toxins through urine, your lungs expel CO2, your intestines absorb nutrients and excrete waste, and your liver also filters toxins.  Along with environmental exposure to toxins, there are factors that can diminish your body’s natural detox system. Some of these factors include: stress, physical inactivity, a diet high in processed foods, and other unhealthy habits such as too much alcohol consumption.  Doing a natural cleanse, in which you address the above factors, will support your natural detoxification process. While other cleanses can leave you feeling run down and depleted, this natural cleanse can actually boost your energy and help you feel your best.  

There are many different cleansing programs out there (some of which are extreme and not backed by science).  So how do naturally cleanse without having to pay for an expensive program? What you need to keep in mind is decreasing the above factors, which diminish natural detoxification, and supplying your body with the nutrients it needs.   

Here are some general guidelines for following a cleansing diet:

  • Eliminate added sugars: In general, follow a sugar-free diet.  Switch out sugary beverages like soda with tea and water.  

  • Hydrate:  Being well-hydrated plays an important role in detoxification.  Think about it, when you do not get enough water, elimination slows down.  The holistic rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces daily. 

  • Cut Processed Foods:  Processed foods contain additives and fillers, which slow down your natural detoxification and even increase the toxic load on your body. 

  • Eat Whole Foods: Eat a variety of whole foods: vegetables, fruits, proteins, and whole grains.  One thing that some people don’t consider, when starting a cleanse, is how the season affects what type of cleanse should be done and which type of foods to eat.  In traditional medicine systems, there is an awareness of “food energetics”, in which foods are considered to have warming or cooling properties. In the cold of winter, these traditional systems tell us that eating warming foods helps to support the body’s optimal metabolic state.  Eating seasonally is one important aspect of a detox diet.  Here are some foods to include: bone broth, grapefruit, brussels sprouts, berries, chia seeds, and nuts.

  • Sleep: Getting enough zzz’s allows your body to rest and restore.  Research shows to aim for 8 hours daily.  

  • Stay Active: Daily exercise is important to elimination.  Walking, jogging, biking, and yoga make great work-outs. 

  • Reduce Stress: Be mindful of your stress and implement stress-reducing techniques, such as yoga, meditation, and journaling into your lifestyle. 

  • Use Natural Products: Remember that what you put on your body, goes into your body.  Choose natural skincare products that are free of chemicals and fillers.  You can trust Edye’s Naturals for your organic skincare needs. Edye’s Naturals products are made in small batches and contain only organic oils.  Each product is specifically formulated with a blend of organic oils, which contain different nutrients that together help to nourish and heal the skin.  Also be mindful to choose natural detergents and cleaning products.  

Remember that not all cleansing diets are healthy.  Support your body’s natural detoxification system by eating a whole food diet and eliminating unhealthy foods.  Instead of trying a fad cleansing program, try the above suggestions to optimize your body’s own detoxification system to promote health in the long-run. 

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