January is nearly done—are you still adhering to your New Year’s resolution? For many of us, January is a time to detox our bodies to fix the damage we did back in December. Too much food, too much alcohol, and way too many late nights. That can really take a toll on the body, which is why by the time January rolls around, many of us are looking to get healthy again.
When it comes to detoxing, there is an on-going debate as to whether or not we really need to do it. For starters, our bodies are equipped with their own detox system, which derives from the liver. Anything we take in goes through the liver to be filtered through and expelled properly. Others believe that when we overdo it during the holidays, our livers can’t handle the stress, so we need to help it out.
As long as you have a healthy liver without illness or disease, it is enough to support proper detoxification, but that doesn’t mean you can’t clean up your diet to help things along.
But how do you know if you should even detox or not? Are you just detoxing because it’s the start of the New Year and you feel you should? To make sure you are detoxing for the right reasons, here are some symptoms to pay attention to that are signs you need to clean up your act.
Symptoms to recognize if you need to detox and to perform a detox
Some symptoms related to your body crying out for a detox include brain fog, dark circles beneath your eyes, acne, bloating, fatigue, nausea, and general malaise.
While many people rush out to buy juice cleanses and other products to cleanse their liver, it’s actually much simpler than that. All you need to do is make easy lifestyle changes to improve your health.
To start, you will want to slowly cut back on your intake of tea, coffee, alcohol, salt, and sugar. For some, dropping these items all at once can lead to withdrawal effects, so go slowly. If you drink three cups of coffee a day, lower your intake daily by using smaller cups, eliminating a cup, and then not drinking it at all.
You will then want to integrate more fruits and vegetables into your diet and cut back on red meat. Instead, opt for lean protein like chicken and fish as these are easier to digest. Upping your fiber is also a good idea, as it can promote regular bowel movements to release more toxins.
Ensure you are staying well hydrated with water. Water helps boost circulation and helps to remove toxins.
Furthermore, you will need plenty of water if you are consuming more fiber or else you will end up constipated.
Instead of opting for straight fruit and veggie smoothies, which often doesn’t contain nearly as many nutrients as the actual fruit and vegetable, just eat these foods whole.
To complement your detox, you should also be exercising. Exercise is beneficial for controlling blood sugar levels, weight loss, building muscle and bones, balancing hormones, and above all, it makes you feel good due to the release of endorphins. If you’re a beginner, you can start by adding 20 to 30 minutes of activity into each day.
The last and probably most important aspect of detoxing is to ensure you get proper sleep. Sleep is the body’s natural way of resetting itself, so if you aren’t getting enough of it, you won’t be as healthy as you could be.
By combining these tactics together, you can ensure that not only will your body be better at detoxifying itself, but you will experience improved health overall.
Reprinted with permission from Bel Marra Health.