Spring cleaning and getting summer ready may inspire you to clear out other kinds of spaces, in a way that improves your mind and body.
Similar to how cleaning out your physical spaces can improve your sense of peace or focus, clearing out your body of what it doesn’t need can reset and improve your health.
Our bodies are designed to keep up with us as much as possible in order to extract nutrients from the food we eat and eliminate from our bodies what doesn’t belong.
However, chemicals still make their way into our bodies through the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink. We also allow foreign chemicals and toxins to enter our bodies through drugs (prescribed or not), alcohol, and tobacco. Our bodies can’t always handle the overload, and chemicals that don’t get excreted become stored in our cells.
While not everyone needs to go on a full-on cleanse in order to detox, the principles of detoxing could benefit anyone. For instance, simply eating cleaner and drinking more water alone will improve your skin, blood sugar, and energy.
Detox vs. cleanse — what’s the difference?
Detoxing involves making nutrition and habit changes to your lifestyle in order to improve your body’s overall ability to do its job releasing toxins and foreign chemicals from your body. Your liver and kidneys do most of the heavy lifting in this domain. Detoxing is meant to renew your baseline or “normal” of health.
A cleanse is a short-term or temporary intervention for cleaning out your digestive system in order to reset and restore your gut health. Cleanses have detoxifying effects.
Why detox or cleanse?
People who detox or go on cleanses are usually interested in some or all of the following benefits:
- Boost energy
- Feel lighter and cleaner
- Decrease cravings
- Experience deeper sleep and clearer skin
- Improve digestion (less gas and bloating)
- Enhance the body’s ability to mobilize and excrete toxins
- Decrease congestion and allergy symptoms
- Discover food sensitivies
- Create healthy habits
Where to begin
Here are some simple action steps you could take based on the outcomes you want to achieve:
Have clearer skin
- Drink more water — roughly 2 litres — and listen to your body if it needs more. Drink water in place of other beverages like sugary drinks, sodas, drinks with complicated ingredients and artificial sweetners, and cow’s milk.
- Drink less coffee where possible. Reduce other forms of caffeine and alcohol.
- Consume healthy fats with omega-3s like avocados, chia seeds, flax seeds, and olive oil.
Eliminate bloating and improve digestion
- Substitute processed foods for natural whole foods, or foods made from simple ingredients not processed in factories.
- Eating lots of fibre-rich, non-gluten foods like brown rice, quinoa, and buckwheat in place of other more processed carbs.
- Eat complete meals and snacks by ensuring you always include the 3 macronutrients: complex carbs, quality fats, and lean proteins.
- Eat at regular intervals (3–4 hours) between each meal or snack in order to keep your blood sugar regular and metabolism running steadily.