Three detox tips for a healthier body and a happier mind
Stress, chronic fatigue, depression and unexplained allergies are just some of the typical 21st-century problems that people nowadays are being faced with and it is all taking its toll on our physical and mental health. But the good news is that we can do something about it. Today we are showing you three ways to successfully detox your way to a healthier body and a happier mind.
What is detoxing?
The Oxford English dictionary defines a detox as ‘a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances’. So detoxing basically means cleansing the body by filtering out toxins and removing impurities from the bloodstream and the cells. There are several ways to detox and some programs require a little more patience and perseverance than others, but in general any type or amount of detox is good for you and health experts believe that virtually anyone can benefit from a yearly, seasonal or even monthly cleanse. Time to hit the reset button and start afresh!
The lemon water detox
We all know that lemon juice is a wonderful source of vitamin C, but did you know that having a glass of hot lemon water on an empty stomach first thing in the morning also supports the body’s digestive function and helps the liver and kidneys to drain toxins? According to research published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition and the Journal of Biochemical Nutrition, people who drink just one glass of hot lemon water a day have lower BMIs, lower cholesterol levels and stronger immune systems than people who don’t. And on top of that knocking back a glass of hot lemon water a day might also lift your spirits, because citrusy flavors and smells are known to invigorate the senses and boost your mood.
If having a few sips of hot lemon water a day is not enough for you then you might make a good candidate for the Master Cleanse program. The Master Cleanse is a famous lemon juice detox program that has been around since the 1940s and is still popular today with many Hollywood stars and celebrities. The idea of the program is to replace all your meals by six to twelve glasses of freshly squeezed lemon juice, two tablespoons of maple syrup and a sniff of cayenne pepper in hot water for a period of ten days in a bid to eliminate all toxins from the system. It is a pretty hardcore program and it is definitely not suitable for everyone as it temporarily deprives the body of essential nutrients, but studies do show that lemon water-type cleanses like the Master Cleanse significantly lower the level of toxins in the bloodstream and are therefore a great way to detox the body.
The raw food detox
If liquid diets are not your cup of tea – no pun intended – then maybe a raw food detox is. During a raw food detox you can’t eat any processed foods like pasta or bread and you are not allowed to cook, boil, steam or grill any of your food. Instead you can only eat food that comes straight from nature. Think raw fruits and vegetables, fruit and vegetable juices, nuts, seeds, grains, you name it. Eating only clean raw food is a great way to flush toxins from your system while still giving your body all the nutrients it needs. Not only will you feel more energized, but chances are that you will also feel more positive and more focused because of the high amount of essential vitamins and minerals that your body is suddenly getting.
It may sound daunting at first to only eat raw food, but you would be surprised by how much fun you can have experimenting with raw food recipes. And the best part? You can eat as much raw food as you want during your detox and you are free to decide on the duration of the program. Do you want to eat nothing but raw food for two weeks straight? Great, go for it! Do you want to have one raw food day a week? Perfect. Do you just want to have the odd raw food day now and then to make up for those occasional naughty days? It is all up to you.
The sauna detox
If you are not willing to make big changes to your diet then how about detoxing your body with a visit to the sauna? Not only are regular sauna visits a great way to relax and let go of the stress of everyday life, but they are also wonderful for cleansing the body. Studies have shown that repeated sauna sessions are perfect for removing solvents, organic chemicals, pharmaceuticals and heavy metal toxins from the body and research proves that sweating intensely for 15 minutes already flushes more than a third of all toxic material from the blood stream.
And there is more, because paying regular visits to the sauna also strengthens the immune system and boosts the cardiovascular system. Experts say that the body already benefits from as little as two 20-minute sauna sessions a week, but for a more hardcore detox program you can hop into the sauna up to two times a day.
Now it is up to you to decide if you are in need of a cleanse and to determine what type of detox suits you best. Remember to always speak to your doctor before embarking on an intensive detox program. Good luck and happy detoxing!
Melissa Van Roosbroeck is a style and fashion writer.