Spring Cleanse!

We are exposed to a staggering amount of toxins from our food, water and environment that build up in our bodies – all of which cause problems for the daily functioning of our cells, tissues, and organs. There are more than 80,000 chemical products on the market, add in processed foods, occasional alcohol, heavy metals and the ever-growing stress we place ourselves under, and you have the perfect storm for numerous health issues.

Exposure to toxins can cause a sluggish digestive system and particularly affect your liver function, the main organ responsible for eliminating chemical products from the body. This is why it is beneficial to cleanse your body once or twice a year. A detox, or cleanse, is a program designed to help rid the body of the buildup of toxins – while our liver, kidneys, skin, colon and lymphatic system all do a great job, due to the sheer amount of chemicals we’re exposed to, these amazing systems need a little boost!

How do you know your body could benefit? While it’s safe to say that most of us cannot avoid exposure and therefore should do this without question, if you’re looking for specifics your body may present with the following signs and symptoms:

  • Frequent illness or colds

  • Poor skin condition

  • Fatigue and lethargy

  • Bad breath and a visible, thick coating on your tongue

  • Constipation or diarrhea

  • Poor digestion and bloating

Since spring has officially arrived and we’re all shedding the winter layers to enjoy the fresh air, lighter foods, and warmth from the sun, now is a great time to incorporate some cleansing herbs as well as making a few key nutritional changes to help your body eliminate wastes and restore your metabolism!

Cleansing Basics

Aim to eat simple foods in their whole form. Processed foods have nothing useful to offer you and are simply full of chemicals and sugar! Re-educate your taste buds to appreciate a fresh variety of veggies and fruits. And as always, focus on your greens! Dark leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables are rich in nutrients and support the body’s natural detoxification processes.

Stay hydrated. It will stop you from overeating, since often when we feel hungry we’re actually dehydrated! Water also helps the body to detoxify, and in turn keeps your digestive system healthy. Make it a habit to sip on water and herbal teas throughout the day.

Eat foods high in fiber to help your body stay full. Fiber helps the body to remove toxins and prevents them from being recycled back into your blood, keeping your digestive system functioning efficiently so that nutrients can be well absorbed. Great choices include asparagus, collard greens, broccoli, beans, and grapefruit. Flaxseed is my go to- it’s great sprinkled on salads and in smoothies!

Make sure to exercise, sleep, and keep stress levels low. These are all essential to help lower cortisol, a hormone responsible for fat formation in the body. Cortisol increases when we’re stressed out or miss out on our sleep, so its important to exercise to allow our body to move toxins out. Excess cortisol leads to fatty liver cells, which in turn leads to insulin resistance and estrogen dominance – both of which cause chronic inflammation and disease.

Herbs for Detoxification

Two of the most popular botanicals for enhancing the body’s own detox pathways include milk thistle and dandelion root. These herbs are referred to as cholagogues – which means they support and improve digestion and gastrointestinal health, as well as promote healthy bile flow.

Dandelion root (Taraxacum off.) is one of the best herbal diuretics and the vitamins and minerals in the plant also help to strengthen the immune system, balance blood sugar levels, relieve heartburn and soothe gastrointestinal issues. It is also a great source of carotenes and potassium.

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a powerful liver detoxification herb that encourages regeneration while protecting your liver cells from damage. It also relieves symptoms of dyspepsia including upset stomach, nausea, bloating and gas.

Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) is the world’s best source of natural fiber, which helps to break down food to improve overall digestion and helps the liver metabolize cholesterol and fats, which reduce bloating.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a bright orange spice that assists enzymes in the body to flush out toxins consumed via our diet. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric and what makes it a great anti-inflammatory herb with antioxidant properties and the ability to aid in detoxification.

Remember, the key is to naturally help your body to eliminate impurities and toxins from accumulating in the body. A cleanse is not meant to be a drastic diet based on depriving yourself and in turn feeling exhausted, hungry and totally frustrated. This spring, start by making small positive dietary and lifestyle changes – as your body rids itself of the toxic buildup, you’ll be amazed at the huge effect it has on your overall health and wellbeing!

Change is both positive and empowering – the goal is to feel lighter, cleaner, and healthier – but remember to start slow and if you have any concerns consult with your natural health practitioner. If you would like more information, or a customized done-for-you detox plan, reach out – we’re here to help

(c) 2018 Carlisle Integrative Wellness

The author(s) of this site encourage you to consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition. No information on this site should be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition.

By reading this website, you acknowledge that you are responsible for your own health decisions. Do not take anything from any website, including this one, and try it without proper research and medical supervision.

Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods, herbs, or supplements have not been evaluated by governing bodies and are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.

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