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A New Year Detox

When you hear the words “detox” or “cleanse,” you probably think of a juice fast or some other kind of starvation diet. While fasting may help give your liver the time and space it needs to clean your blood, you don’t necessarily have to go to extremes to get your body into a healthier state. With just a few simple changes, you can glow from the inside out. What better time to show off healthy, glowing skin and radiant hair than at the beginning of a new year?

Essentially, detoxification helps to clear toxins out of your system. Your body does this day in and day out, but with the amount of toxins in our environment, it can easily get overloaded. When that happens, some impurities will stay in your system and the body may suffer. If you want to start detoxing without having to fast (I prefer not to skip meals, he-he), follow these simple guidelines.

Resist Temptation – Cutting out things like coffee, alcohol and cigarettes can be rough, but your body will thank you. When your liver is hard at work processing these substances, it simply cannot be detoxing. Also, cut out any refined sugars and processed foods. Yup, that means sugar and pastries.

Drink Lots of Water – Water helps your body flush out toxins, so when you’re actively detoxing, amp up your water consumption. The old advice of drinking eight, 8 ounces glasses/day might be a good suggestion to follow.  Also, remember that too much of anything can be harmful, so don’t overdo it.

Love Lemons – Vitamin C helps the body produce glutathione, a compound that drives away toxins. One way to get more is to splash some lemon juice into all that water you’re drinking.

Focus on Fiber – Fresh fruits and veggies are the foundation of any good detox program. They provide the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants your body needs to function, so you’ll want to make sure you’re getting enough. High fiber foods like oatmeal and quinoa are also great additions. The key to a good detox is to eat whole, natural, organic foods. No pesticides or preservatives here. Homemade soups and salads work very well on these programs.

Detox Your Mind – Stress can really get in the way of your body’s detoxification system. It leads to stress hormones that can create toxins and slow down the process. Engage in activities, such as yoga, meditation and exercise, which can reduce your stress levels.

Herb it Up – Herbs are believed to help cleanse and protect the liver. Just know that herbs can react with certain foods and with each other, so talk to a doctor before adding these to your diet.

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