My personal journey with cancer, education, and experience with clients have taught me that our bodies are better served by treating “detoxification” as a daily process rather than a seasonal event. We live in a chemical-filled world that can expose us to toxins, every day. Learning how to deal with and minimize these toxins was one of the things that drew me to the field of holistic nutrition. Here are some simple things you can do each day to lighten up your toxic load.
Hydrate, Get Micronutrients, and Detox with Lemon Water in the Morning
Start your day with a tepid (room-temperature) glass of water and the juice of ½ a squeezed lemon. Lemon juice contains citric acid and has a mild detoxifying effect. Starting your day with lemon water gives you hydration, antioxidants, electrolytes and a boost of vitamin C – all important factors in the detoxification process.
The Importance of Hydration
There is no kinder, easier, and simpler form of self-care than drinking 2 litres of fluids every day. If you drink caffeinated beverages, live in a humid or hot climate, or exercise you need more. But let 8 cups be your goal.
We get some of our hydration from food, which is why it’s important to seek foods that are naturally high in water content. Water-containing vegetables include lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, celery – so embrace the side salad it’s a simple addition that provides so much. Fruits that hydrate include strawberries, cantaloupe, oranges, peaches, and watermelon. H20 helps your liver, kidneys, colon, and skin to do their detoxifying work better by flushing out tissues, stimulating bile production and supporting enzyme exchange within your organs.
Strengthen Your Liver with Liver-Friendly Foods
Your liver is one of your most important organs. Detoxification is a continual process that requires many key micronutrients.In order for detoxification to be safe and successful, you should ensure your liver is supported with brightly coloured, nutrient dense foods.
Liver-friendly foods include these nutrients are bitter greens like chicory, dandelion greens and arugula; and, better known, dark green cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. These green foods along with garlic help to increase the liver’s natural detoxification enzymes. Other liver-supporting foods include apples, avocados, beets, cabbage, carrots, celery, and green tea and turmeric.
Don’t forget the fibre
Great big poops. Everyday. That is the goal! If this is not normal for you, then we have work to do. Optimizing bowel function ensures what is detoxified is eliminated. Eating plenty of fibre is a good start, but a truly healthy gut requires a comprehensive strategy.
Make Organic Choices
Does choosing organic really make a difference? Yes, it does. Health Canada has officially identified 44 different toxic substances, including PCBs, toluene, and styrene, present in our food and other parts of the environment. Some toxins are not yet officially acknowledged as toxic, yet can cause health problems, including weed-killers like glyphosate (Roundup) which has been named a carcinogen by the World Health Organization.
Start with choosing organic versions of foods that are recognized by The Environmental Working Group as one of the “dirty dozen”. These foods, which include conventionally grown strawberries, spinach and ten other common fruits and vegetables, are the most-heavily contaminated by pesticides. The Environmental Working Group also has a list of the “Clean 15” foods which contain lower amounts of pesticides. So spend your dollars with this in mind. But remember, always wash your fruit and veggies well, whether organic or not.
Finally, Just Breathe.
“Beauty sleep” is a thing. Make sure to get proper rest so your body can rejuvenate and restore itself. Practice self-care by setting up a healthy bedtime routine, move every day, and incorporate stress management techniques that you enjoy. Stress itself is toxifying and it makes it harder for our bodies to deal with the toxins present in our internal and external environment. Start by letting go of the toxic expectations of yourself and others – a beautiful way to lighten your toxic load and feel your best, naturally.