It’s probably time to re-energize yourself by doing a total-body cleanse and detox. There are many things on the market to choose from, but we want to make it as simple as possible for people to start; by simply choosing the right foods! Being conscious of the foods you choose can jump-start your immune system, reduce inflammation, ease stress on the body and help you take back your health. Nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, fruits and high-quality animal protein will provide you with an abundance of vitamins and minerals to help strengthen your system and to start optimizing your health.
Detoxing has become a popular trend in recent years. Many people are looking for ways to cleanse their bodies of toxins and improve their overall health. One way to achieve this is through detox diets that incorporate specific foods to help rid the body of harmful substances. However, did you know that you can detox with foods alone?
Warning Signs Your Body Needs to Detox
- Digestive issues and inconsistencies
- Depression/ Anxiety/ Mood Swings
- Brain Fog
- Arthritis/ Joint pain
- Underactive thyroid
- Migraines/ Headaches
- Poor quality sleep
- Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue Syndrome or Auto-Immune Disease
Avoid or Limit
When we talk about “toxic foods” we are talking about foods that are known to increase inflammation, wreak havoc on the G.I system, slow metabolism, perpetuate malabsorption and increase risk of chronic illness. If these foods are eaten in limited quantities, a strong constitution can handle the insult, however, most people feeling “crappy” are consuming these foods on a regular basis and are not aware on the chronic damage that is happening inside the body. The toxic foods I’m talking about are alcohol, sugar, trans fats, gluten, dairy, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and caffeine. The best way to clean your system and have your body run with efficiency is to avoid:
- Pre-Packaged Foods
- Alcohol & Caffeine
- Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners
- Inflammatory Foods (Gluten & Dairy)
- GMO Foods (Soy, Corn, Canola Oil, Hydrogenated Oils)
Caffeine is not necessarily evil or toxic, it’s usually the things we add to our coffee that are the bad guys. However, our dependence on coffee is what is so “toxic.! If you are relying on coffee or caffeine to start your day in the morning or to stimulate a morning bowel movement, these are subtle signs that your body is not performing at it peak, and attention is required.
Alcohol is the ultimately refined carbohydrate (a dose of alcohol is like a dose of straight sugar), it breaks down quickly into sugar making it very hard to regulate healthy blood sugar levels. It suppresses the central nervous system and often leads to a weakened immune system. Excess alcohol intake may also lead to leaky gut, interfering with nutrient absorption, which could then lead to deficiencies. In addition, those looking to lose weight may want to put down the wine, it has been shown that nightly consumption of alcohol can inhibit weight loss by up to 70% over the next 24 hours!
Excess sugar is toxic for numerous reasons! Sugar is often the cause for insulin resistance, weakened immune system, ravenous food cravings, fatigue, insomnia, inflammatory responses and foggy brain. By reducing your sugar intake you can drastically change your system! Once you’ve cut out the sugar your blood sugar can reestablish balance and your sugar craving will subside. If you are quitting sugar but need to use a sweetener try using organic stevia.
No matter how you look at it, gluten causes inflammation. When we eat gluten, it acts as a fuel source for the “bad” gut bacteria. If there is worse than good gut bacteria we have set the stage for a cascade of inflammatory processes, as well as negative immune responses.
Dairy is known to be one of the top five food allergens and is seen to significantly increase inflammation in a large percent of the population. It is one of the main triggers for digestive symptoms such as gas, bloating, indigestion, constipation and diarrhea as well as other symptoms including acne and nasal congestion. It is considered to be “damp” in Chinese Medicine, meaning it is mucous producing and creates accumulation in the system, slowing metabolism and inhibiting weight loss.
One of the best foods for detoxing is leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach and chard. These vegetables contain chlorophyll which helps to remove harmful toxins from the liver and digestive system. Additionally, they are rich in vitamins and minerals that support overall health.
Another important food for detoxing is garlic. Garlic contains allicin which helps to boost liver function by eliminating harmful substances from the bloodstream. It also has antibacterial properties that help to fight off infections in the body. Incorporating garlic into your diet can be as simple as adding it to salads or using it as a seasoning in your cooking.
These are the perfect lifestyle changes to start today to optimize your health and re-spark your energy! If you are looking for assistance in regaining your health and reducing your risk of disease we can offer guidance and other options in our office to help you succeed. We are a comprehensive wellness center offering Acupuncture, Functional Medicine, Holistic Nutrition, Lab testing and Hypnotherapy. Please call our office today to let us help you feel AWESOME again!