When we hear the word ‘detox’ a range of ideas may come to mind. Perhaps immediately your thoughts wander to strange herbal concoctions or pungent wheatgrass shots! Perhaps you have tried a detox program before and found the initial symptoms to be unpleasant. Or perhaps you have experience with detoxing on a frequent basis and are aware of the incredible physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits of a deep cleanse. Either way, it’s important to dispel common myths around what a detox is, and to truly understand why it is important to give our body a break from time to time.

So, Why Should I Detox?

Our body is constantly working to dispel toxins and unwanted matter from its various systems. Over time, the body gets run down from unhealthy food choices, alcohol, caffeine, drugs, stress and environmental toxins that are a part of modern day life. No matter how healthy your diet or lifestyle may be, external factors still require us to give the body a chance to recharge and dispel anything that may be holding us back from experiencing superior health and long lasting vitality. When our vital organs are placed under too much pressure and unable to work efficiently, this is when illness and disease can appear. Taking time to cleanse the body and nurture these vital organs goes a long way in prevention, and also has immediate effects- greater energy, clearer skin, better digestion, mental clarity and so much more.

Is your body screaming out for a detox?! Here are 10 tell-tale signs:

1. You constantly feel fatigued, stressed and overwhelmed

2. You experience frequent headaches and/or lack of mental clarity

3. You often have skin breakouts and blemishes and/or a tiered, dull and lack-luster complexion

4. You seem to pick up colds, flus, bugs and viruses easily and are often on medication

5. Your digestion is troublesome, uncomfortable and irregular

6. Your slip into making less-healthy food choices and often have fried foods, processed meat, dairy, gluten, processed foods, refined sugar or fast food

7. You frequently have coffee, alcohol, drugs (prescription or otherwise) or cigarettes

8. You are exposed to common environmental toxins such as carbon emissions, cigarette smoke, herbicides, pesticides, artificial fragrances and household chemicals

9. You are carrying excess body weight

10. You often feel emotionally unstable, depressed, unmotivated and lacking energy and enthusiasm for life

A detox is your opportunity to give your body a break and allow your own self-cleansing and self-healing processes to kick into gear. Our bodies are innately intelligent and a period of cleansing Is the perfect way to hit the reset button and start on a path to a healthier, happier, more vibrant you!

Here are just some of the benefits of a holistic, natural detox:

  • Prevention of chronic diseases
  • Stronger immunity
  • Assistance in losing stagnant weight
  • Improved quality of life
  • Increased energy
  • Radiant, glowing skin
  • Bright, clear eyes
  • Mental clarity
  • Balanced emotions
  • Improved self-confidence and empowerment
  • New healthy habits and routines
  • Improved longevity

What Is A Detox?

Most of us tend to agree that  detoxification or ‘detox’ diets are short-term interventions designed to eliminate toxins from the body, promote health and assist with weight loss. 

But in essence, it is really just creating the perfect conditions to support our body in doing the job it was already made to do… “Detox”. 

Here are some great tips to help you out when doing a total body detox and why these tips are so important for your overall, long-term health:

Hydration 

Importance: Elimination of toxic particles and the rejuvenation of cells. 

Tip: Aim to drink between 1-3 L of water per day.  
How to make this happen:  

  • Use meal times as a reminder to hydrate. Drink 500ml water (with lemon juice if you prefer) upon rising, and repeat half an hour before lunch and dinner. Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day. 
  • Replace your 3pm coffee with herbal tea.

Exercise 

Importance: Strengthen your lung capacity/ability. 
 
Tip: Aim to move your body regularly throughout the day 
How to make this happen:  

  • Break exercise into smaller chunks of time. Take 10 minutes in the morning to stretch, go for a half hour walk before heading to work, or take the stairs instead of the elevator in your building.
  • Incorporate being active into your social life; catch up with friends for a walk, run or gym session instead of a coffee or cocktails.

Real, Live FOOD! 

Importance: Specific foods assist with deactivating toxins and removing them from the body (specifically heavy metal build-up).
 
Tip: Aim to incorporate as many fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet as possible.
How to make this happen:  

  • Juices, smoothies and salads are a perfect place to start. Incorporate chlorophyll-rich foods such as wheat grass and barley grass, as well as herbal teas and sea plants such as nori. 
  • Coriander, and foods containing citric and malic acid (grapes, oranges, lemons and other citrus fruits) as well as selenium-rich foods (such as Brazil nuts, mushrooms and sunflower seeds) have been shown to assist with the removal of heavy metal build up within the body. 

Sleep

Importance: Sleep assists with the rejuvenation of cells and helps with the healing and repair of your heart, muscles and blood vessels.
 
Tip: Aim to sleep 7-8 hours per night 
How to make this happen:  

  • Be aware of the importance of sleep hygiene (avoid caffeine before bed, allow 2 hours between your last meal and bedtime,  use dim lighting).  
  • Make a conscious effort to wind down before rolling into bed. Put your phone down, turn off the TV, free yourself from distractions and make your sleep space as comfortable as possible.

Get Outside 

Importance: Breathe fresh air into your lungs; receive your daily dose of vitamin D and boost your mood. 
 
Tip: Eat more meals outdoors; exercise outdoors instead of in a gym or studio every once in awhile.  
How to make this happen: 

  • If you’re going to be inside all day, take your breakfast outside to a sunny place.  
  • Instead of eating lunch at your desk, go for a walk outside and sit in a comfortable, relaxing space.  
  • Breathing in fresh air and feeling the sun's warmth on your skin can help to both clear your lungs and boost your mood.  

 So there you have it! Detoxing is not as confusing or restrictive as you may have thought. By assisting your body's natural detoxification system to do its job, chances are a little boost of self-care will be a relaxing and enjoyable experience for you! Plus, the benefits of feeling amazing afterwards make it all so worthwhile.