Spring is a natural time to take stock of our health and to shed excess weight gained during the winter months. Nature provides many springtime foods that help the body do this naturally.
The following information highlights the importance of detoxifying and some tips for cleansing from the inside out.
Why Detoxification is Needed
Toxins are obviously more of a problem in today’s industrialized world than in simpler times. Free radical exposure happens as a result of eating foods and breathing air containing chemicals and pesticides. When you add the factor of stress, our bodies often experience overload.
Exposure to toxins have long been linked to illness and disease. One way to avoid toxins like pesticides is to buy sustainably grown food.
Because toxins are often stored in fat cells, it’s believed to be a contributing factor to obesity, which is linked to many serious health problems, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, lower back pain, dementia, and osteoarthritis.
The structure and function of cells are also affected by toxins, which can result in chronic fatigue, lupus, migraines, and other serious conditions.
The symptoms of illness caused by toxins can be mitigated and potentially reversed through detoxification. In the case of heavy metals like mercury, which can be ingested in some seafood, detoxification should take place under the care of a physician. If you eat fish, we recommend using the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guide to ensure you’re eating fish that’s not only safe, but also sustainable.
Benefits of Detoxifying
Health benefits of detoxifying include:
- Increased energy
- Easier weight loss
- Strengthened immune system
- Improved skin
- Sharper thinking
- Decreased inflammation
Tips on Detoxifying
Some of the springtime foods that help with detoxification are bitter greens, such as kale, cabbage, chard, arugula, spinach and watercress. Broccoli in particular helps to stimulate detoxifying enzymes in the digestive tract.
Garlic is well known for stimulating the liver and supporting heart health by reducing blood pressure and lowering cholesterol. It also boosts immune function. Sauté greens in garlic for a delicious side dish. Additionally, chopping a clove of garlic and mixing it with equal parts lemon juice and olive oil makes for an outstanding salad dressing.
Berries are also excellent for detoxification. Organic berries are recommended since pesticides are heavily used on many fruits to keep off insects. Check out the current EWG’s guide of the 48 fruits and vegetables with pesticide residue. The lower numbers mean higher levels of pesticides are present.
Start the day with 8 oz. of warm water and lemon juice. It not only jump-starts the digestive process, it stimulates the liver.
While there are many detoxification programs that you can adopt, simply eating nature’s springtime offerings may be enough. Between smoothies, all-you-can eat salads, and a healthy portion of cooked vegetables at mealtime, you can readily incorporate detoxifying elements into every meal.
Springtime is almost here. Enjoy nature’s offerings while detoxifying and supporting your best health.