Spring Cleansing – Easy Solutions
Spring is finally here after that horrible winter! With the change of season turning into warmer weather, many people ask about beginning cleanses or detoxes. First off, I think it is important to mention the difference between the two. The words “cleanse” and “detox” are often used interchangeably but they are in fact separate things.
A cleanse is more of a lifestyle change. This can involve changing up your diet to include more fresh foods rather than packaged processed things, drinking more water, getting more sleep and exercise, and in general taking the toxic load off of the body. A detox is the actual metabolic process that takes place when you begin cleansing your body. This process can take months to complete depending on toxic burden your body has to begin with.
I prefer to think of the cleansing part as a long term lifestyle adjustment. If you can maintain this throughout your daily life, it will be much easier to detox when you decide to. There are many simple things that you can incorporate into your daily routine that can help you cleanse the body all year round.
- Lemon water first thing in the morning really wakes up the digestive system and the metabolism. Squeeze about a half of a lemon onto a litre of water and drink upon rising. It not only hydrates your whole body but helps get the liver working properly for the day. The most water you drink during a cleanse, the better. Water helps flush toxins from the system.
- Avoiding anything from a package. Reading ingredient lists is so important when it comes to food choices. The number one rule I tell my patients is that if you cant pronounce it, don’t eat it!
- Adding a few tablespoons of chia throughout the day can work wonders on your digestive tract. These little seeds are super foods, packed with tons of vital nutrients. When they become moist, they gel up and make an excellent fibre for your intestines, allowing everything to slide out easily.
- Magnesium can also help move the bowels. You will want to start with a small dose and work your way up till you notice a bit of a loosening of stools. Taken before bed, this powerful nutrient has time to work overnight.
- Herbal detox teas can be helpful when it comes to elimination. There are many herbs out there that work on supporting the liver, moving the bowels, and eliminating toxins. Be sure to speak with your naturopathic doctor about what herbs might be best for you!
- Lots of exercise is important for cleansing! It is always a good idea to incorporate some activity into your day, but during a cleanse it can be helpful to eliminate. Plus, sweating is another detoxification route for the body so the more you sweat the better. You may also consider saunas if one is available to you.
- A good nights rest is essential when clearing toxins from your body. A proper sleep allows your body to heal over night therefore making it easier to process toxic loads. Aim for at least 8 hours of sleep while cleansing, and remember to keep the electronics out of your room!
Shannon Sutter, Naturopathic Doctor
The Pomegranate Tree, Oakville