Did you overdo it on your summer vacation, making one too many trips to the hotel buffet? Or you spent many a summer night having drinks with your neighbors in the backyard?
Even if you did neither, your body could still benefit from a gentle detox — emphasis on the word gentle.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), autumn is synonymous with the Metal element, which relates to the lungs and large intestine. It is a good time to let go of baggage — physical and emotional — that may be wearing you down, according to TCM principles. And you guessed it —fall is the perfect time for a cleanse.
A healthy detoxification program should always begin gradually. Here, we would like to share some simple steps — based on Dr. Eliaz’s experience as an integrative medical doctor — for safe and effective detoxification. You can expect to have more energy, better-looking skin, a stronger immune system, and more.
First, Reduce Your Exposure to Toxins
Every day, we are exposed to harmful, health-robbing toxins, including pesticides like glyphosate, bisphenol-A (BPA), phthalates, PFOA, formaldehyde, PDBEs, and heavy metals. They can be found in everything from cleaning and beauty products to cookware to even the air we breathe. We are also bombarded with toxins from processed, fried, and non-organic foods, alcohol, stimulants, medications, and more. These toxins accumulate over time and damage our DNA, create inflammation, and impair critical biological functions.
Lower your exposure by choosing all-natural foods and non-toxic personal care and cleaning products whenever possible. Also, make sure your home and work environments are properly ventilated. Have yourself tested (or try an elimination diet) if you feel you may be sensitive to gluten, dairy, eggs, or other allergenic foods that can increase the permeability of your digestive tract, allowing toxins to enter your bloodstream more easily.
Alkalize Your Diet with Mineral-Rich Foods
An alkaline diet can aid in the removal of toxins, reduce inflammation, and boost overall health and energy. Increase your intake of vegetables and fruits that are high in alkalizing minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Avocados, potatoes (skin on), and dry beans are reliable sources of potassium. Green leafy vegetables are rich in magnesium. And broccoli, sea vegetables, collards, and chard are packed with calcium.
You can easily make an alkalizing mineral solution by combining potatoes, celery, parsley, green beans, zucchini, beet tops, kale, onions, and seaweed in a full pot of water, simmering for an hour or two, and saving the broth. This makes a highly nutritious, mineral-rich liquid for a seasonal cleanse.
Other alkalizing food sources include liquid chlorophyll and powdered “green foods” supplements, as well as the highly alkaline umeboshi plum paste, a sour plum commonly used in Japanese cuisine.
Let Go of It All
In today’s environment, we are often bombarded by stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts and emotions. Stress affects us physically by degrading immune function and increasing stress hormones, which promote blood sugar imbalances, inflammation, and oxidative stress. You can help clear this toxic burden on your mental, emotional, and physical health through the process of “letting go.”
One proactive and well-researched method of letting go is regular meditation practice, even for just 10 minutes a day. Simply sit quietly and focus your attention, as well as your breathing, on a particular object such as a small stone. As thoughts and emotions arise, simply acknowledge, and release them, bringing your attention back to your breath.
Studies show that meditation can improve psychological/emotional well-being and help with issues ranging from cardiovascular disease, inflammation, and immune activity to pain, anxiety, sleep, depression, memory, and more.
Dehydration can lead to inflammation and oxidative stress, thus increasing toxicity. Drink plenty of pure water and herbal tea to help flush toxins from your body and keep your body’s natural detox pathways running smoothly. In fact, proper hydration helps all your body’s systems function more efficiently. Also, in some parts of the country, fall does not guarantee cooler temperatures — staying hydrated is especially important in hotter climes.
Exercise to Support Lymphatic Detox & More
Simple moderate exercise on a regular basis helps keep the lymphatic system moving, release stored toxins, increase circulation, and improve immune response. Movement also helps in releasing physical, emotional, and psychological energies that may leave us feeling “stuck.” Even just 15 minutes of walking — especially in nature — can offer powerful benefits for detoxification and overall health.
Pre-Cleanse with Gentle Supplements
Gentle detox supplementation begins with natural ingredients that help clear toxins from the circulatory and digestive systems while providing overall health support.
Start with an organic medicinal mushroom formula, which helps remove toxins and provides powerful benefits to every major body system. Mushrooms are excellent antioxidants. They modulate the immune system, detoxify the body, and even repair damaged tissues.
Reishi mushrooms are a reliable source of antioxidants. Shiitake and maitake support immunity and cellular health. Cordyceps supports energy and internal organs, and tremella mushrooms support blood sugar metabolism.
Medicinal mushrooms demonstrate an uncanny intelligence in the body because they are drawn to areas that are toxic, injured, or stagnant, and help to remove toxins and initiate the healing process.
Another key supplement is modified citrus pectin (MCP), which safely removes heavy metals and environmental toxins from the circulation and digestive system, reduces inflammation, enhances immunity, and helps protect against cancer and chronic illness by blocking a harmful inflammatory molecule (galectin-3) involved in the formation of disease.
Add In More Targeted Detox Nutrients
After gently detoxifying your circulation and digestion, you can gradually advance to more thorough detoxification of organs and tissues — this is where toxins are often stored over time. For in-depth detox, I recommend incorporating compounds, herbs, and nutrients such as N-acetylcysteine (NAC), selenium, MSM, alpha-lipoic acid, milk thistle, cilantro, goldenrod, garlic, and dandelion leaf. These natural detoxifying agents have their own affinities for specific organs and systems of the body, and work to eliminate toxins without side effects. They also boost energy and provide antioxidant support to combat oxidative stress caused during toxin removal.
Top Detox Foods & Clean Diet Rules
We are what we eat — and what we do not eat. Of all the ways to influence health, diet has the greatest impact. The right foods can nourish us and assist our bodies in their remarkable detoxification abilities. The wrong foods can rob us of nutrients and stop us up with harmful chemicals. According to Dr. Eliaz, the best natural foods for a cleansing and detox-style diet are:
- First, do no harm. Before you start flushing toxins from the body, make sure you are not putting any more toxins into your body. Reduce or eliminate red meat and dairy. In addition, eliminate alcohol, processed foods, cooked oils, sugar, caffeine, and table salt, which all generate inflammation and can increase toxic burden.
- Increase servings of fresh vegetables (organic, if possible), whole legumes, seeds, nuts, grains, and lean, organic protein. Emphasize leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale, which are extremely high in potent phytonutrients and boost detoxification capacities. Alkalizing vegetables, like spinach, avocado, and cucumber, help counteract acidity and remove toxins. For maximum detoxification, eat your vegetables raw, juiced, steamed, or sautéed in water.
- Increase fiber intake. I recommend flax seeds, psyllium, and rice bran. Chia seeds are also an amazing source of fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Be sure to drink at least 8–10 glasses of filtered water each day. Herbal teas and low-sodium vegetable broths are great choices as well. As mentioned above, dehydration impedes cleansing and may cause toxins to reabsorb into your system.
- Embrace culture! Do not shy away from cultured or fermented vegetables. The fermentation process makes nutrients more bioavailable, boosts immunity, and aids detoxification. Sauerkraut, kimchee, and other cultured foods are rich in probiotics, enzymes, and other nutrients that support digestive health and internal cleansing.
Unfortunately, toxins are a permanent fixture in our modern lifestyles. By making mindful choices with diet and natural ingredients, however, we can reduce toxic burden and improve our overall health, energy, and vitality—for life.
Your Fall-Into-Detox Protocol
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