The heat of summer naturally turns thoughts away from hot to cooling foods, making it the best time to do a cleanse. Cooling foods can improve digestion. Most food cleanses are based on cooling foods, such as fresh fruit, vegetables, and herbs like mint, which are readily available in the summer.
Summer pleasures such as barbecue, summer cocktails, and restaurant food can cause upset stomachs. Digestive issues and food poisoning are also more common in the summer. Summer is also the time we can adjust easier to eating lighter making it easier to implement a cleanse. However, a summer cleanse doesn’t need to revolve only around diet; there are other methods you can do to encourage the body to remove toxins.
Detoxing has been around since ancient times. Ayurvedic medicine (traditional Indian medicine) with its thousands of years of history encourages detoxification. Detoxing the body is also a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The history of Native Americans, Egyptians, and Greeks include methods to cleanse the body from the inside.
How Cleanses Work
A cleanse or detox clears the body of toxins and resets the body, so it functions more effectively, especially the digestive system. Our bodies excrete waste & contaminants on a regular basis through sweat, urine, and feces. The liver is the organ mainly responsible for processing toxins. However, sometimes the detoxifying system doesn’t function optimally and needs an assist.
The reason the body’s natural detoxifying system may not be enough is due to the modern diet, especially the Western diet. It’s mostly made up of processed foods, factory-farmed meat, foods that contain corn byproducts, and wheat. It lacks diversity and as a result is hard on the digestive system. Additionally, the body can be over-burdened with chemicals, food additives, and environmental pollutions.
Benefits of Doing a Cleanse
Detoxing encourages weight loss, supports the skin, encourages better sleep, reduces inflammation, increases energy, and improves liver function, mood, and general well-being.
Periodical cleanses also help to improve poor eating habits. Noticing how better you feel better after a cleanse or detox program, encourages you to move toward eating healthier and away from foods that make you feel poorly. Basically, a cleanse reboots the body.
Summer Cleanse Suggestions
Cleanses come in all types and forms from very restrictive juice types done for weeks to gentler ones that modify your current diet to those done over the course of a week. There are also one-day detox methods that are a good place for beginners to start.
It’s essential that you seek the advice of your healthcare practitioner before starting any detox or cleanse program. This advice is especially important if you are under medical care for a health condition, take medicine, or are thinking of doing a restrictive detox program.
Watermelon or a melon cleanse is an Ayurvedic detox method. It’s especially well known in the yoga community. For three or four days, all you eat is watermelon. Watermelon is mostly water, but it also contains vitamins A and C; it also contains lycopene and other nutrients. Many people are surprised to learn how filling and satisfying watermelon is. There are instructions online from many sources on how to do a watermelon cleanse.
5 Day Cleanse is a gentler and more natural approach to detoxing as recommended by Mehmet Oz, M.D (Dr. Oz). His cleanse plan includes juices, smoothies, fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts, and even fish and chicken in individual serving portions (4-6 ounces). It focuses on eliminating processed foods, dairy, sugar, and carbohydrates from flour, rice, and potatoes. Here’s the link to the meal plan Dr Oz’ Five Day Summer Cleanse
Doing a detox based on food is not the only way to incorporate detoxing methods. Here are a few other things you can do to either complement a cleanse or add to your daily or weekly routine:
- Many yoga poses, such as twists, legs up the wall, warrior II, half moon, and camel are used to detoxify the body. Any form of regular exercise assists the body’s detoxifying systems, especially the workout causing you to sweat. Showering after exercising removes the toxins released onto the skin from perspiring.
- Saunas and steam baths produce perspiration. As mentioned, sweating is another way the body eliminates toxins. As with exercising, be sure to shower afterward.
- Breathing exercises, such as deep breathing or skull cleansing breath based on the yogic principles improve breathing. They exercise the diaphragm and detox the lungs. Breathing exercises are best done under the supervision of a certified yoga instructor or health practitioner.
Thee are many choices when it comes to what kind of cleanse to do. You can either go all-in with a cleanse that is restrictive in types of food and length of time; you can do a lighter program that is a day long or one that encourages better eating habits over a week or two. Other non-dietary methods can also promote the body’s natural detoxifying system for over-all better health. No matter the length or type, they all have one thing in common, taking care of yourself leads to better health. However, before starting a cleanse or detox program, speak with your doctor first.
This information is for educational purposes only. It’s not intended to diagnose, treat, or promote any health improving methods, suggestions, or programs.
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