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21 Simple Ways to Detoxify Naturally

clean diet

You don’t necessarily have to go on a 3 week cleanse to support your natural detoxification process. You can start by taking small steps to clean up your diet and lifestyle. If you take one step at the time, by adding healthier foods to your diet and slowly eliminating unhealthy foods, it will be easier for you to maintain a healthy diet for a sustained period of time. Small steps equal big change. Whether you go it alone, buddy up with a friend or work with a health coach, it’s the small steps that go a long way. If you are on a mostly clean diet throughout the year, you won’t even need to detox that much. Plus your detox symptoms will be less intense. A clean, healthy diet supports your body’s self-cleansing and healing mechanisms, which are vital for optimal health. To support your body’s natural ability to detoxify, use these 21 simple ways to detoxify naturally.

  1. Eat lots and lots of dark leafy green veggies. Greens do not only aid detoxification but also deeply nourish every cell of your body. They are high in nutrients like calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K. Eating your greens has tremendous health benefits. Some of the benefits are alkalizing your body, blood purification, immune strengthening, increased circulation and improved digestion. To reap the most benefits, try to eat at least 50% of greens at each meal.
  2. Drink more water. Drinking plenty of water helps your body to detoxify naturally. Hydration helps the breaking down of the foods you eat, it eases blood flow, and is an essential element in eliminating waste from your liver and kidneys. Water is an essential part of who we are. It’s 75% of our body. To stay hydrated throughout our day it’s essential to drink lots of water. Make sure you drink the real thing. Tea or coffee, soda or flavored water can actually dehydrate your body.
  3. Exercise. Exercise helps to detoxify the body. It helps to move lymph. When our lymphatic system is clogged, waste is not properly eliminated and builds up in our body. Walking, running, swimming, rowing and other types of exercise such rebounding help the body to eliminate accumulated wastes, toxins and poisons.
  4. Eat whole grains: The fiber in whole grains aids your body’s ability to eliminate waste. Whole grains release sugar slowly into the bloodstream whereas refined grains can cause a rapid rise and then decline in blood sugar levels. It often provokes an exaggerated release of the hormone insulin to lower it. When this happens often, it can impair the body’s ability to maintain consistent blood sugar levels creating health problems in the long run.
  5. Breathe: Deep breathing is essential for detoxification. Each breath brings vital oxygen to our cells and clears the lungs. Deep breathing is essential to fight off stress. With each exhale, we remove waste out of our body. If we don’t use the full range of our breath, we limit our oxygen supply and stale air gets left behind. This directly impacts our energy levels and our body’s capacity to heal itself and manage the stresses of life. Practices like pranayama or yoga can help you improve your breathing and leave you feeling more energized.
  6. Limit your fat intake. Healthy fats, like fats found in avocados, nuts, seeds and oils like extra virgin olive oil, flax seed oil and coconut oil, are essential for your health. Reduce your intake of animal fats and unhealthy fats, such as sunflower oil, soy bean oil and other industrially processed vegetable oils. Limiting fats from your diet during a detox is important as it can force fat metabolism, the burning off of fat cells. This is important, because lots of waste is stored in our fat cells. Experiment with what works for you.
  7. Eat local, seasonal food. Eating local, seasonal foods keeps your body clean. When we eat in tune with the seasons our body naturally gets the right nutrients at the right moment. We eat hearty and more fatty foods, like stews and soups in winter. In spring we eat less fat and add more green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits to our diets.  Transitioning from winter foods to spring foods will support the natural detoxification process. Local, seasonal foods are also higher in nutrients than foods that are flown in from afar. It’s simply fresher. Eating local also support local business and reduces your carbon-foot print.
  8. Vary and experiment with your protein intake. If your diet is very high in protein, you might want to look at decreasing your protein intake. Vary and experiment with your protein intake. Try out other sources of protein and cut down your intake of meat or fish. Supplement with beans, whole grains or eggs to create more variety in your diet.
  9. Juice it up! Making green juices and smoothies is a great and efficient way to detoxify and quickly get lots of healthy nutrients in your system. It’s an easy and quick way to boost your health. I cannot imagine my life without my juicer.
  10. Detox your mind
    A big part of a detox is not just cleaning up your physical system from unwanted toxins; It is also helps you to get rid of emotional waste. Just as your body needs to detox if you overindulge in unhealthy foods, your brain needs to detox from stress, negativity, overwork, and anxiety. Learn how to manage stress more efficiently and practice letting go of old patterns and behaviors that no longer serve you. Nourish yourself by giving your mind a break. Go out for a run, take a walk through the park, meditate, sleep.
  11. Satisfy your sweet cravings: We all crave the sweet stuff. By including more sweet flavors in your daily diet, you can reduce your sugar cravings. Add beets, onions, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, turnips or other sweet veggies in limited amounts to your diet or eat some fruit. By including natural sweetness in your diet, it is easier to resist your urge to grab a candy bar or eat a pack of chocolate chip cookies.
  12. Choose healthy sugar alternatives. Cut down on sugar, especially white, refined sugar, but also the so-called healthy alternatives. Sugar in whatever form can spike your blood sugar levels. Healthier alternatives are agave nectar, date sugar, raw honey, stevia and maple syrup, but use them sparingly.
  13. Cook your own food. Home-made is the best! When we cook our own food, we are in charge of what we put into our bodies. The food we cook for ourselves has a different energy than the food you buy in restaurants or stores. Instead of processed, ready-made meals and foods, use fresh, clean and whole foods.
  14. Read food labels. If you buy processed, ready made foods, make sure you check the ingredient list. Buy organic whenever possible and only products with no more than 5 ingredients listed and only ingredients you understand. Food should contain foods only and no chemical, toxic substances such MSG or aspartame. These food additives are not recognized by your body and can do some serious damage to your health.
  15. Sleep. Make sure you get enough sleep. Healthy sleep enhances detoxification. During sleep your body focuses on important tasks such as processing memories, removing toxins and replenishing energy. Good sleep repairs, rejuvenates and detoxifies.
  16. Uncook! Increase the amount of raw foods in your diet. Eating raw foods helps to cleanse your system. Uncooked and unprocessed foods contain vital enzymes that get lost in cooking. Your body can more easily absorb nutrients from raw foods.
  17. Go dairy-free. Decrease your dairy intake. A high intake of dairy products has been related to increased risk of several chronic diseases, such as diabetes, osteoporosis, some cancers and cardiovascular disease. There are many great dairy-free, plant-based options out there, such as almond milk, rice or coconut milk.
  18. Probiotics and enzymes. A healthy gut is essential for detoxification and the absorption of nutrients from your diet. If you suffer from digestive problems, probiotics and digestive enzymes can help restore gut health. Both probiotics and digestive enzymes aid digestion. Your digestive tract is key for natural detoxification as it is responsible for the final stage of removing waste products. Good digestion equals good health.
  19. Eat less gluten. Everybody responds differently to gluten. However, a lot of people are unknowingly suffering from digestive problems and other health issues due to sensitivity to gluten. Gluten sensitivity can negatively impact our elimination and even cause people to become deficient in vital nutrients and minerals. You might want to give going gluten-free a go to find out it affects your health in any way. Reade more about going gluten-free here.  
  20. Decaffeinate. I love coffee but I know it drains my adrenals and makes me more fatigued in the long run. It makes me hyperactive and affects my sleep. Plus the boost I get from coffee makes me feel I can take on the whole world but makes it really hard to listen to what my body really needs. Cut down on coffee or eliminate it completely. Great alternatives to coffee are simply drinking more water or black, green or white tea or herbal coffees. If you want the boost of a cup of coffee, eating raw chocolate, eating an energy bar or drinking green tea works miracles for me.
  21. Redefine success. Give yourself some slack here and there. We tend to be overly critical of ourselves and get easily discouraged as we only focus on big wins. Redefine success and celebrate all those small achievements on your road to health. Smalls steps equal big gains. Simply do the best you can and enjoy your life. If you fall off the wagon, get back up. Don’t beat yourself up about it. I make sure I live healthy and eat healthy most of the time but I also give myself the opportunity to indulge once in a while. On Saturdays I allow myself to indulge in things I usually don’t eat, like a bowl of ice cream from my favorite ice cream parlour, a piece of sour-dough bread or a glass of red wine. 

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About chantal

I am Chantal Soeters, a certified yoga teacher and Health Coach. I am passionate about helping YOU live a happier and healthier life. You can find me here online or teaching yoga classes in and around Amsterdam, blending green juices and smoothies in my kitchen, whipping up raw desserts and cooking up my crazy and wild food experiments.

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