3 Easy Ways to Support Your Body's Natural Detox

It's no wonder "detox" programs are so popular today - our world contains more toxins than ever before in history.  As our modern world continues to progress, we are faced with toxins in our water, food, air, cleaning products, body care products, carpets and building materials.

Nurturing our body's ability to detox on a daily basis is more important now than ever before in history.

The good news is this: your body was created to utilize nutrients from food for energy and develop new, healthy tissues, while filtering out the bad stuff.  Our bodies are incredibly intelligent.  All of this happens without us ever having to think about it.

The bad news, however, is that if you are not taking good care of your body's detoxification systems, they become clogged, stagnant and slow-moving.  To get your body's detoxification systems working in good condition again, there are three areas to focus on: liver, lymph and digestion.  Here are a few easy, natural ways you can support each one everyday:

LIVER
The liver is a well-known detox organ.  In Western culture, we put a lot of emphasis on this super-achiever.  What you eat has a big impact on how the liver is able to perform.  The two best foods for your liver are lemons and leafy greens (especially parsley and cilantro -- but all leafy greens are great).  The two worst foods for your liver are coffee and alcohol.  Start your day with a glass of lemon water, add chopped parsley or cilantro to each meal and limit your coffee and alcohol intake to about 2 servings per week.
BONUS TIP: The liver loves turmeric.  Add some to meals or take in capsule form, particularly for pitta and kapha types.  Vata types can take turmeric in smaller quantities.

LYMPH
Oh, the forgotten lymph.  This fluid runs everywhere in the body and is an essential filter for toxins, yet it is hardly talked about at all in Western culture.  The lymph has a tendency to become slow or stagnant, which can result in skin problems, especially pimples around the mouth and chin area, weight gain around the middle, water retention and dark circles under the eyes.  How do you get it moving again?  Move your body everyday.  If you are not getting any exercise currently, start by adding one 20-minute walk each morning, or practice 20 minutes of yoga before breakfast.
BONUS TIP: The Ayurvedic herb manjistha supports healthy lymphatic flow, best for vata and kapha types, although it will not increase pitta.

DIGESTION
Always #1 in Ayurveda for EVERYTHING.  When your body is properly absorbing and assimilating, it can also properly filter out toxins.  When digestion is impaired, undigested matter gets built up in the GI tract, overwhelming the liver and slowing down the lymph.  The digestive tract is where nearly all disease and imbalance begins.  Often HOW we eat is more important than WHAT we eat.  Focus on sitting down in a calm, quiet environment to eat.  Be sure to eat a light breakfast, large lunch and light dinner.  Rest for 5-10 minutes after each meal, lying or leaning on your left side to allow food to properly digest.  Eat your last meal at least 2-3 hours before bed.
BONUS TIP: The Ayurvedic combination trikatu (translates to mean "3 hots") supports healthy digestive fire (agni).  Best for vata and kapha types, pitta types do better with a "cool" or "pitta" formula that is less heating.  Fresh lemon juice and ginger are also excellent, safe, and natural digestive stimulants.

SEASONAL CLEANSING
While all of these tips can support daily detoxification, if there is an existing build-up of toxins, it is helpful to follow a cleanse protocol during spring and/or fall. (These daily tips are still important, though!)  This is an excellent way to ensure your detoxification pathways are clear and working well to correcting imbalances and avoiding disease.  Check out more info on my upcoming cleanse groups and retreats.  You can also email me to find out more about upcoming spring dates and times. 

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