Spring cleaning shouldn't just mean your house. This is the perfect time to take stock of your health, too. Look at your diet, exercise routine, how you take care of your skin -- the spring is the perfect time to reboot and the best way to do that is to detox.
These six detox ideas will help you reboot this spring.
1. Go vegetarian.
The benefits of a plant-based diet go on and on. Eating a diet that is mostly fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help protect the heart, keep blood sugar in check and maintain a healthy weight. Make sure to get plenty of protein with beans or legumes. An easy way to start is by going vegetarian during the week -- just don't overdo it on the weekend. If you want a greater challenge, go vegan and eliminate all animal products. Dairy can be irritating for the digestive system (causing you to bloat) and can also contain a lot of fat and calories.
2. Try some yoga.
Yoga is a practice thousands of years old. The activity of stretching and holding the different postures strengthens and elongates the muscles and encourages proper blood flow to all the body's vital organs. What yoga can also do is encourage digestion to move waste. Twists are particularly beneficial for this purpose. Try sitting on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and your back tall. Bend one leg to bring your foot flat on the floor. Take the opposite arm and grab the knee of the bent leg, pulling the leg toward the torso as you twist toward the leg. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.
3. Throw your meal in the blender.
The smoothie craze is well under way and with good reason. Smoothies are a delicious way to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet for detoxification, even when you're on the go. The blended food is also easy for the body to digest, extracting vital nutrients and keeping you regular. You do have to make sure you have the right combination of ingredients though. Here is an easy guide to follow:
1 banana for potassium as well as texture
1 cup frozen berries for antioxidants and to eliminate the need for ice
1 cup greens for vitamins and minerals
2 tbsp nut butter for protein and healthy fats
1/2 cup plain, low-fat yogurt for probiotics and protein
1/4 cup almond or soy milk for calcium and texture
1 tbsp pure maple syrup to sweeten (optional)
Blend until smooth and enjoy for breakfast and/or an afternoon snack You can also add a scoop of protein powder or a scoop of your green drink mix.
4. Drink smarter.
Staying hydrated is critical for the detox process, as it helps the body flush out toxins and excess sodium that can make you bloat. When detoxing, it's best to stick to water and ditch drinks loaded with caffeine, sugar and artificial ingredients. To help you drink more throughout the day, try enhancing your water with fresh fruit and herbs to give it a more exciting flavor. Allow the fruit and herbs to soak in the water for a couple of hours to intensify the flavor. Aim for at least eight 8 fl oz-glasses of water a day.
5. Enjoy a detox bath.
A nice soak in the tub can also help you remove toxins and nourish the skin. Soaking in Epsom salts will also help the joints absorb nutrients like magnesium. A detox bath should be between 10 and 40 minutes and be comfortably warm. Include essential oils for aromatherapy and additional nourishment. Make sure to drink plenty of water before and after, moisturize the skin once you get out and then take it easy for the rest of the day afterwards.
6. Add some herbs.
Herbs and spices have been used for thousands of years to treat everything from skin conditions to infection. They can help you add flavor to your foods when cooking to reduce less healthy ingredients like salt and assist in your detox by stimulating the digestive system. Herbs and spices can also be taken in supplement form for a more concentrated dose. The best herbs to help you detox are ginger, dandelion root, fennel, burdock root and red clover. You can also find many of these herbs in tea form, without caffeine.
If you're taking any medication or are pregnant or breastfeeding, check with your doctor before adding any new supplements to your routine. A detox bath isn't recommended for those with a heart condition or diabetes.
Shop for the supplements mentioned in this story and more at eVitamins. Happy detox!