There’s been a lot of talk lately about the best ways to “detoxify” your body. But what does this really mean? Essentially, your body works to maintain a certain balance of minerals and chemicals at all times – depending on what you’re putting in your body and what you’re getting out. Both are important parts of keeping your body clean – garbage in, garbage out – so before you begin planning a detox, try to eliminate the toxins already present in your diet (think fast food, acidic foods, processed food)
While there are many ways to “detox”, the methods I’ve tried to include here are fairly easy to integrate into your life, and are least likely to induce some of the more unpleasant side effects detoxing can cause. Here’s a few options:
Option 1: Drink more water – and spice it up! 8 glasses a day isn’t right for everyone, but most people need to drink more water than they think. To find the right amount of daily intake for your weight, height, and activity level, you can use a calculator like the one here. Once you figure out how much you need, you can play around with adding things to your water like lemon and cayenne pepper. Both have scores of benefits which include adding minerals and antioxidants, alkalizing your body and improving blood circulation.
Option 2: Take a salty bath. Adding Epsom salts to your bath is a great way to detox. Through osmosis, the magnesium and sulfate in Epsom salts in absorbed through your skin, creating a better mineral balance in your body, eliminating toxins and relaxing your muscles. More on the benefits of Epsom salt here.
Option 3: Get a good massage. Massages aren’t just good for working out the kinks in your shoulders – deep massages can help work out the acid build up from muscle knots and also improve blood flow to your lymph nodes, which are essential to fighting off disease. More on how massage eliminates toxins available here.
Option 4: Get regular. If you’re like me, you might be blessed with a family member who is concerned enough about your health to ask you almost daily “Are you regular, honey?” Well, your nana’s not wrong to ask – how often and how comfortably you do #2 is a good predictor of health in many ways. A good way to improve this is to add fiber to your diet (think leafy greens, whole grains) and probiotics. Probiotics are great for your digestive system, and come in many forms beyond yogurt – probiotics are in kombucha, tempeh, miso – also kefir, which makes a great high protein alternative for milk in your morning smoothie.
Option 5: Eat more real, eat more raw. A good rule of thumb I’ve heard is “No more than five ingredients” or, at the very least, nothing you can’t identify or pronounce. The more real food you eat and the less you break it down until it’s unrecognizable (what is a protein bar, really?) the healthier it will be. Perfect is the enemy of the good, so don’t make yourself crazy – but taking a week and eliminating all the food that comes wrapped in plastic and “contains no real juice” isn’t a bad idea.
Author: Emily Smalter
Emily is currently enrolled in a Master’s of Social Work program at Kansas University. Outside of her schoolwork, Emily advocates for women to have a stronger voice in both the public and private realm, and spends her spare hours writing on how to make the seemingly smaller tasks in our lives more manageable.