#1 CLEAN UP YOUR DIET
Start by reducing foods known to upset gut health such as junk foods, processed foods, refined grains, sugar, alcohol, and coffee. Instead, incorporate nutrient-dense juices, smoothies, soups, and deliciously healthy entrées.
Eat foods such as avocados, spinach, beetroots, carrots, green leafy vegetables, asparagus, apples, nuts, dark chocolate, and cruciferous vegetables. These foods have powerful antioxidants. They reduce fat buildup in the liver, help in the breakdown of toxins, and support detoxification. While cleansing, it is best to buy organic to avoid toxins like GMOs, pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides. Consuming toxins while trying to cleanse your body- does not make a lot of sense!
#2 KICK UP THE GUT HEALTHY SUPERFOODS
- Kefir: Kefir is a great source of enzymes and probiotics for your gut, and since it’s predigested, it’s easier to digest than other forms of dairy.
- Kimchi: Kimchi is spicy, pickled cabbage. Kimchi contains healthy bacteria such as lactobacilli.
- Sauerkraut: Real sauerkraut is fermented and contains healthy bacteria as well as a host of vitamins and minerals.
- Bone broth: Bone broth is an excellent source of collagen and gelatin which protects the gut from becoming overly permeable.
- Chlorophyll: Chlorophyll is highly alkalizing and cleansing to the liver.
- Spirulina: Spirulina helps protect your gut microbiome and encourages the growth of healthy bacteria.
- Papaya: Papaya has an enzyme called papain which aids digestion.
#3 SUPPORT YOUR LIVER
Certain environmental toxins can induce damage and dysfunction in the liver. Many natural practitioners suggest milk thistle or liposomal glutathione supplements support optimal liver health. Bitter foods such as dandelion leaves, raw radishes, and bitter greens are also recommended to promote bile excretion. You can even kick up the cruciferous veggies such as kale, broccoli, collard greens, and arugula. Cruciferous vegetables help your body make diindolylmethane (DIM), a substance that helps the liver detox.
#4 REDUCE ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS
As I mentioned earlier, exposure to toxins such as such as antibiotics, heavy metals, pesticides, and artificial sweeteners induces gut microbiome toxicity and cause disease.
Here are some of the way's toxins sneak their way into our daily lives:
- Pesticides (food supply)
- Heavy Metals (water)
- Aluminum Chips (found in anti-perspirants)
- Phthalates (found in skin care items, perfumes, nail polish and hairsprays)
- Furans & Dioxins (found in tampons)
- Chemical Solvents (found in dishwasher detergent & laundry care items)
- Parabens (found in lotions, makeup, shampoos, and conditioners)
- Choosing safe alternatives to these products that are free of these common chemical toxins is so important during your detox!
#5 GET OUT OF FIGHT OR FLIGHT MODE
- Because stress activates the “fight or flight” response in the body, it prevents your “rest & digest” nervous system from functioning (PS…this is when your immune system is most active, and your digestive system is functioning optimally).
- Here are a few ways to activate your ‘rest & digest’ nervous system.
- Breathing – Taking a few deep breaths activates your “rest & digest” nervous system, alleviates stress and stimulates the immune system.
- Restorative Yoga – A great pose to do during your detox is called “Feet up the Wall” pose, and it’s exactly like it sounds! Scoot up against a wall and raise your feet and legs up the wall. Doing this for just 5 minutes can provide stress relief!
- Epsom Salt Baths – Draw yourself a hot bath with Epsom salts and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. The Epsom salts contain magnesium to help you relax and soothe tired muscles.
#6 CATCH UP ON SOME ZZZ'S
- Quality of sleep and gut health are interconnected. Sleep deprivation leads to the death of certain bacteria, while others increase. This results in a shift in the delicate balance of bacteria in your gut. This imbalance will then lead to a host of other issues, including weight gain, heartburn, changes in your metabolism rate, and other long-term effects.