As the body’s largest organ, the liver has a pretty big job to do. Along with over 500 other different functions, it provides the body with the much-needed exit door for toxins. It does this by filtering out all the blood that comes through the digestive tract and sorting through different nutrients, toxins, and hormones.
Since the liver is a detoxifier all on its own, it can be hard to imagine how you can help the process out. But some detox programs can actually give the liver a little boost when it comes to getting its job done properly. During winter, a specific type of detox may be especially important because the what the body needs during those cold months of the year is different than in other seasons. So, what is a winter detox, exactly, and how can you do it for optimal health? Read on for our easy steps to a simple winter detox.
In the simplest terms, a winter detox is just a detoxification program that occurs in the winter season. There’s much more to it than just doing your simple juicing and cleansing, though. A detox is designed to reset and rejuvenate the body to help battle fatigue and other unhelpful symptoms that happen when the body is weighed down by too many toxins.
When it comes to winter detoxification, the idea is to focus on eating better, moving more (even though it can be hard to get outside exercise), and balancing your body and mind. A winter detox should include foods that have warming properties to ensure that the optimal metabolic state is reached. It’s important to keep warm in the winter for overall health because when the internal temperature is stable, the body is more likely to be able to fight off viruses and infections.
When the seasons change, the body undergoes some changes, too. This is because it has to prepare itself to adapt for the colder temperatures. Processes like metabolism, hormone levels, and circulation all need to adjust when colder temperatures roll in. Lifestyle changes such as more indoor time and the consumption of heavier comfort foods can also lead to changes in the body. With all these different changes come all-new toxins for your body, some of which it might not be used to.
The biggest benefit of doing a winter detox is to help your body adjust to those changes. Since there will be new toxins to eliminate, the body will need to be ready and able to get rid of them so that any side effects from being over-toxified don’t set in. Think of it as a fresh start for your liver.
If you want to do a detox, it might be tempting to look up a quick three-day program so you can get it over with. However, the safest way to detox the liver is by taking your time. This is because toxins need ample time to be released from the body or they may end up sticking around and triggering an inflammatory response. This can lead to flu-like symptoms (and the feeling that you’re hurting your body more than helping).
You don’t want to end up overloading your detox pathways so that nothing can get out, so you’ll also want to pay close attention to what you’re putting into your body during a detox. If you’re trying to eliminate toxins but continue to consume others, it’s a losing game. You have to be tuned into your body and really listen to it. If something doesn’t feel right, chances are you should slow the detox program down.
Here are our four key steps to a simple winter detox.
Eating a proper diet is vital to a winter detox. You’ll want to eat warming foods designed to help keep the body’s temperature where it needs to be during long bouts of cold weather. Start by eliminating sugars, processed foods, and caffeine from the diet, and eating winter detox foods such as healthy soups, walnuts, fruits like blueberries and cranberries, Brussels sprouts, and salmon.
Mental or emotional health is just as important as physical health during a detox. When stress is at an all-time high, the body can have a more difficult time removing toxins, as the overabundance of stress hormones slows the detoxification process.Taking a long mineral bath or doing an online yoga class from the warmth and comfort of your own home can go a long way toward reaching a nice and relaxed state.
Feeling sluggish in the winter happens to everyone. Less vitamin D, coupled with the fact that circulation suffers in cold temperatures by trying to preserve warmth for the internal organs, can lead to winter tiredness. Stay cozy with warm socks, blankets, sweaters, or heating options when you’re in your home.
Even if your diet is ideal and your winter detox is going smoothly, supplementation can help make sure that your body is getting what it needs while it’s hard at work getting rid of what it doesn’t. Riboflavin is a great supplement to take because of its immune supporting benefits, and milk thistle, dandelion root, and turmeric can all help the liver get the toxins out.
Doing a winter liver detox can help you rid the body of the toxins that build up over the course of the colder months, and keep you healthy throughout a season where many people are more susceptible to illness.