It is that time again! We’ve entered the peak of spring and if you’ve not already, now is a wonderful time to reduce ama, i.e. toxins, from the body that were built up during the stagnate, heavy winter months. And really it’s not as hard as some believe. Of course, you could do a three-day juice fast; however, you’ll experience wonderful benefits by cleansing with food. Eating clean, whole foods is the key and reducing toxin producers. Traditionally, this is the liver cleansing time of the year, so include foods that cleanse the liver, as well.
Key Health Benefits of Detoxification
• Feel young, look great
• Increased vitality, energy, and stamina
• Reduction of allergic symptoms
• Improvement of digestive functions
• Better concentration, clarity and mental focus
• Enhanced mental performance
• A sense of calm and ease
• Increased resistance to illness
• Reduction in risk for many chronic diseases
• Reduced symptoms of chronic toxicity
• Weight loss
Liver Cleansing Foods: Avocados, Beets, Carrots, Lemons, Limes, Dark Leafy Greens, Green Tea, Garlic, Grapefruit, Apples, Olive Oil, Whole Grains, Cruciferous Veggies, Walnuts, Tumeric, Cabbage
Time to Cleanse the Liver: For more than 100 years, naturopathic medicine has identified a host of diseases that are treated by enhancing liver function. Medicine teaches us that the liver is our largest single organ and is responsible for screening every molecule that circulates in the body. Any weakness or debility of the liver’s ability to clean the blood impacts every other organ system. Many chronic health problems arise from “sluggish” liver function. Amazingly, even when the liver is not working at optimum function, it is able to do much of its most important work. The liver is a detoxification powerhouse and it works to keep you healthy. A spring cleanse or fast is an easy way to ensure that the liver maintains its healthy balance. We must ensure cleansing of the Kapha in the body to allow the liver to open up and release the mucus and fluids that have accumulated during the stagnate period of the winter, i.e. we want to lighten up all the heaviness (Kapha is the heavy earth element).
What to Eat: For the three days of the detox, you could eat just whole foods, grains, fruits, and vegetables, and ingest no stimulants in order to give your body a break, relax the liver, detox the kidneys and adrenals, and enhance digestion. If you eat meat, you might want to try a vegetarian or vegan diet for a few days. If you already eat mostly whole foods and have a balanced diet, perhaps you want to move in the direction of eating fewer grains and beans and instead dine on vegetables, fruits, and juices only.
Foods to Lose: Eliminate regular tea, coffee, fizzy drinks, alcohol, junk food, fatty and fried foods, foods containing hydrogenated and trans fats, sugar and foods containing it, processed foods and foods with additives. Reduce and then avoid dairy and wheat products. Meat (Animal products).
Reduce your exposure to other toxins by using only natural products on your skin and for household cleaning.
Foods to Use: Fresh fruit and vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, rutabaga (swede); whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds. Flavor with fresh herbs, turmeric and ginger.
Foods that are especially cleansing this time of year aree: Leeks, dark greens (kale, mustards, spinach, dandelion), watercress, artichokes, asparagus, bok choy, celery,
Be sure to go into a cleanse with specific intentions: remind yourself that you are not starving or denying yourself anything. Tell your body and brain that you’re doing this so that you can live healthier, longer. Too, give yourself a break from the madness: try not to overschedule or overwork yourself during a cleanse; maintain light, nourishing exercises like yoga and walking; make time to be outdoors which is especially nourishing; try meditating or journaling; maybe take a break from or lessen TV and electronic use. Our energy is consumed daily by all of the ways we put ourselves out into the world. So, if just for a few days of a cleanse, it’s interesting to discover just how much energy we have within us when we’re not giving it all away.
Our bodies work hard for us daily. Cleansing is our way of giving our digestive system a little break so that our body can do more important things. And your body will give back–it’s amazing just how much more “spring”y one feels when they’re not feeling weighed down by the ick of winter toxins.