Did you know you can help support your body’s natural detoxification processes by doing a few simple things each day? Here are 10 simple ways to support detox everyday that are easy to incorporate into your daily regime.
What do you think of when you hear the word “detox”?
I’ve talked to countless people over the years about the subject of detoxification. When I used to work at a health food store, most people asking about detoxes were actually on the lookout for something to ‘cleanse’ their system from chronic constipation. Basically, what kind of pooping-pills did we have in stock?
Having healthy bowel movements is indeed very important when it comes to detoxification (we’ll get into that in a moment), but laxatives on the other hand? Not so much.
What Is Detoxification?
Detoxification is simply the process carried out by the body to safely eliminate toxins and other potentially harmful compounds. A big thank you to our liver, kidneys, skin, lungs, and digestive system for taking the lead on this big task.
To learn more about the basics of detoxification, read my full post on Detox 101. I cover everything you need to know there, including myths.
Although there are some instances where rigorous detoxification regimes are warranted (for example, in cases of heavy metal toxicity) , today I want to share 10 simple ways to to support detox everyday; little things we can do on a regular basis that have a huge impact on the health and function of our crucial detoxification organs. And for the record, this is what our focus should be on when we think about the word ‘detox’, instead of pills and teas and other quick-fix diets.
10 Simple Ways to Support Detox Everyday
1. Eat More Vegetables
Fresh, whole veggies contain phytonutrients that support our liver, plus essential fibre for proper elimination. Ideally, we should have bowel movements 1-3 times per day with ease.
Fibre, namely insoluble and soluble, both help to support detoxification. Insoluble fibre is like a scrub brush in our colon, brushing waste material along, and soluble fibre is like a sponge, absorbing and pushing material and toxins through.
When it comes to sources of fibre, think all leafy greens, fruits and vegetables here, but also ground flaxseed, chia seeds or hemp seeds. Flaxseeds are a great source of dietary fibre providing almost 23g per 100g of whole seeds. A good starting dose is with 1/2 to 1 tbsp per day.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of water every day helps flush out water-soluble toxins, supports our kidneys, and keeps our digestion functioning optimally which is key for eliminating waste, especially if dealing with constipation. Opt for a water filter if possible, such as Brita, to avoid excess water contaminants.
3. Move Your Body
When we move we increase our heart rate, improve circulation, and sweat! Sweating is one of our bodies greatest methods for detoxifying. Start small if you aren’t already moving regularly, such as a brisk 15-30 minute walk after dinner or in the morning, or choose an activity that you love! I started taking adult ballet classes a couple months ago and it has quickly become one of my favourite weekly activities.
Experiment with your water by adding fruits such as lemon or lime and herbs such as rosemary, mint, or fennel. Not only do each of these foods help boost our metabolism and stimulate digestion, they also give water a refreshing, tangy twist. Add to a large glass of water and let infuse for a few minutes.
Try this easy blend:
- 1L filtered water
- 1/2 fresh lemon
- 3 leaves mint.
4. Get Some Houseplants
The quality of the air we breathe is key when it comes to the amount of toxins or pollutants we’re exposed to. One of the ways we can improve the air we breathe is by getting ourselves some houseplants!
There are many species of plants that are known as air purifiers. Yep. Here are some of my favourites.
- spider plant
- snake plant
- boston fern
- peace lily
5. Non-Toxic Skincare
Our skin is our largest organ and absorbs what we put on it. If you’re using makeup, moisturizers, cleansers, lotions or soaps that contain parabens, pthalates or artificial fragrances, make swaps over time to less toxic products. This also goes for pads or tampons and using aluminum-free deodorants instead of antiperspirants, especially so you can allow yourself to properly sweat!
Check out my video on non-toxic skincare essentials for the basics, but keep it simple and swap one product at a time.
6. Non-Toxic Cleaning Products
Much like our skincare, making swaps over time to less chemical-laden household cleaning products is a great way to lessen the toxic load. Products like bleach, bathroom and glass cleaners release fumes that we inhale. Try making your own or making non-toxic swaps. I personally love Sal Suds by Dr. Bronner’s for versatile cleaning.
The pots and pans we use to heat our food can be lined or coated with non-stick materials that can leach into our food or release fumes when heated. If possible, opt for cast iron, glass, stainless steel, or non-toxic ceramic (I use Green Pan).
8. Reduce Plastic Use
9. Dry Skin Brush
Dry skin brushing is literally the act of brushing your skin while it’s dry! If you’ve never done this before it may seem strange, but it’s a fantastic way to slough of dead skin cells, improve circulation, and stimulate the lymphatic system. Our lymphatic system is simply a network of vessels where lymph fluid drains from the tissues into the blood, and ensuring it’s not stagnant is a major part of detox.
How to do it: Brush gently toward the heart in circular motions on dry skin before shower. Up the arms, up the legs, down the back and chest. It only takes a minute or two!
10. Stop Smoking/Reduce Alcohol
When it comes to supporting liver function and detox, reducing alcohol and not smoking is a no brainer. I know it’s the summertime and it can be a little trickier to avoid drinks with friends or family, but if you’re thinkin’ about detox, alcohol is hard on the body and cigarettes especially contain highly toxic compounds that our liver works extra hard to process. Reduce intake or give yourself a break, and if you are planning to drink, opt for club soda or sparkling water with your drink instead of sugary blends.
I hope you found this post helpful!