Spring has just begun and our minds naturally turn to cleaning, both for our physical spaces and for our bodies. After a season spent mostly indoors, we yearn for sunlight, movement, and fresh food.

Though our bodies are built for detoxification, we are exposed to an unprecedented number of toxins. This includes herbicides, pesticides, air pollution, medications, household cleaners, cosmetics and body care products, artificial ingredients in our food, and pollutants in our water. That’s just to name a few!

Think of your body like a cup. When toxins are coming in too quickly, they begin to accumulate and build up. The cup overflows. When that happens, we can experience all sorts of issues from weight gain to brain fog to hormonal imbalances and more. That’s why it’s essential to support our body’s detoxification processes. 

While deeper cleanses are helpful a few times per year, incorporating detox into your daily life is imperative for long-term health. Here are five practices to get you started.

Hydrate First
Start each day with 8-16 ounces of filtered water with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Detox with Food
Focus on eating organic food, especially when it comes to meat and dairy. If you can’t afford to always go organic, check out the Environmental Working Groups Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen to decide what to prioritize. Eating foods in their natural state will help you avoid many of the added chemicals in processed foods. Prioritize fresh veggies and aim for a salad every day. You get a bonus if you can incorporate bitter greens like arugula and dandelion to stimulate the liver.

Support the Liver with Herbs
The liver filters blood coming from the digestive tract before sending it to the rest of the body. It detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. Among other metabolic processes, the liver produces bile, which breaks down fat into fatty acids to produce energy. Liver health is also essential for healthy hormones. Herbs such as dandelion root, milk thistle seed, and turmeric root used in teas, decoctions, and tinctures help the liver function better.

Have a Daily Bowel Movement
Ensuring that the bowels are moving daily is akin to cleaning out the garbage. A daily BM moves toxins out of your body. Eat plenty of fiber from whole foods, especially dark leafy greens, to help keep things moving. Stay hydrated. Add in a 2-3 tablespoons of fresh ground flax daily to help bind toxins and move them out of the body. You can also supplement with magnesium citrate in the evenings to get you going.

Sweat
Sweating is one of our body’s natural processes to move toxins out of the body through the skin. Sweat on a regular basis through exercise and sauna.

By using these simple practices on a daily basis, you’ll notice better energy, improved brain function, and a better mood within a few weeks!

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Writer Katie Gerber is a holistic health and nutrition coach serving clients locally in the front range as well as online. In 2014, she completed Aviva Romm’s Herbal Medicine for Women certification. After thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2014 and the Colorado Trail in 2016, Katie decided to use her botanical medicine and nutrition knowledge to help fellow wilderness lovers seeking more energy and better health. She transitioned from her career as a pastry chef, and enrolled in the Institute for Transformational Nutrition. She now uses her lifelong passion for holistic health with her background in the culinary arts to help people live healthier lives, in alignment with nature. Katie writes for several publications and speaks at local events. When she’s not writing and working with clients, you’ll most likely find her in the mountains, in the garden, or in the kitchen testing recipes. Find out more about Katie, her articles, and her adventures at her website.

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or sell any product.