Ah, Spring. It’s finally here! The parting of rainclouds and warmer weather tends to inspire many of us become a better version of ourselves. For many, kicking off the spring season with a detox is a quick and easy way to start feeling great after a long winter. For many people, detox is synonymous with juice cleanses and occasionally curbing our alcohol habits. At Parsley Health we believe detoxing is much more than that. Detoxification is a process of transformation in our bodies and there are many alternative ways to detox that don’t involve a bunch of spinach and kale green juices.
Our bodies are programmed to detoxify themselves naturally through our liver and kidneys, but when those organs are feeling overloaded, they turn to our pores for help. Breaking a sweat through exercising regularly can help flush toxins out; just make sure to hydrate afterwards. Saunas can also assist in the detoxification process and can be especially helpful when you’re feeling under the whether.
We at Parsley Health often prescribe our members yoga for many beneficial reasons, but one of them relates directly to detox. A spinal twist will help stimulate your digestion and support natural elimination, so when you’re feeling any kind of bloating or digestive distress, try a simple spinal twist. Start by laying flat on your back and hug both knees to your chest. Drop both knees to your right side, and turn your head to the left. After about 5 long breaths, repeat on the opposite side.
Start by drawing yourself a nice, relaxing Epsom salt bath. Epsom salt contains magnesium, an essential mineral that is commonly depleted during times of stress. In addition to magnesium, Epsom salt has many additional vitamins and minerals that help aid your body’s detoxification process. After the bath, give your skin a nice scrub until it turns punk. Your skin is your largest detox organ, so stimulating pores can help push toxins out. It also stimulates circulation beneath your skin, which improves blood flow and promotes cellular renewal. Plus, taking a bath (feel free to add in some candles and music) doubles as self-care.
The more water you drink throughout the day, the more you’re supporting your liver and kidneys in the detoxification process. If you’re a moderate water drinker, detoxing your body may be as simple as upping your water intake. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men drink at minimum about 13 cups of water a day, while women should drink about 9 cups. That said, if you’re trying to detox, aim to drink far beyond the suggested minimum. If you’re not much of a water drinker, try carrying a full water bottle around with you all day. It will naturally remind you to drink more. If you don’t enjoy the taste of water, add some lemon, berries, mint or cucumber to add some flavor. Lemon is especially important if you’re trying to detox since it is full of healthy electrolytes helps your liver produce enzymes.
Our liver is the king of detoxification in our bodies. Its sole job is to take whatever enters our system an either convert it to something our body can use, or eliminate whatever is not useful to us as waste. Teas containing milk thistle or dandelion may boost our liver function and prevent the buildup of toxins in our bodies. Researchers believe that this herb can enhance our liver function by protecting against cell damage and rebuilding liver tissue.
Inflammation is a hot topic in the health world, and it is something we often discuss with our members here at Parsley Health. Chronic inflammation is often the culprit behind cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. You can reduce inflammation in your body by increasing your intake of vegetables that are rich in fiber and antioxidants. Examples include spinach, kale, broccoli, garlic, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. At Parsley Health, we recommend that half your plate be filled with these vegetables. In fact, our Parsley Health 7-Day Detox is a protein and veggie based nutrition plan that will keep you feeling both full and full of energy.
Dr. Robin Berzin is the founder and CEO of Parsley Health. A Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Robin completed medical school at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and trained in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.