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Does Your Body Need a Spring Cleaning?

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With the onset of spring comes longer days, more energy, and the urge to declutter and clean our homes. Through detox and intermittent fasting, we can give our internal systems well-deserved cleaning.

Think about what we are exposed to on a daily basis:

  • pesticides on our produce,
  • hormones in our meat,
  • fluoride in our drinking water,
  • herbicides on our lawns,
  • pollutants in the air we breathe,
  • harmful chemicals in our body care products and
  • GMOs in our food.

All these hazards can build up in your body—in fat cells, tissues, joints, bone marrow, brain, liver and muscles—and make us toxic.

This toxic burden can result in:

  • fluid retention,
  • slowed metabolism,
  • chronic inflammation,
  • acid reflux,
  • back pain,
  • hormone imbalance,
  • memory fog,
  • weight gain and
  • adverse effects on liver, kidney, gut, lung and central nervous system health.

While the body was designed with a natural detoxification system, our modern world has given us a toxic burden that no one could have imagined possible. This is where we can step in to help our overwhelmed bodies.

Cleansing

Considering the toxins we are exposed to every day, it is imperative to practice occasional cleansing. This detox process helps eliminate environmental toxins and internal toxins like yeast overgrowth, excess hormones, and bacteria. There are many ways to detox, including specific diets, greens, cleansing supplements like glutathione, activated charcoal and regular exercise.

From a dietary standpoint, we must reduce or eliminate “bad” food choices (sugars, processed foods, etc.) and environmental toxins that can overwhelm the liver. We must also add everything our bodies need to detox optimally, which includes clean food and filtered water. The best options for natural detox include:

  • low-sugar,
  • high-fiber,
  • nutrient-dense,
  • organic plant foods,
  • antibiotic-free protein and
  • healthy dietary fat.

In addition to a proper diet, a well-designed detox plan may also focus on:

  • supporting your gut and immune system,
  • reducing chronic inflammation,
  • minimizing exposure to toxins,
  • gentle exercise and
  • good sleep.

Cleansing is one of the best strategies for optimizing your health! It can also have positive effects on:

  • physique,
  • skin,
  • disease prevention,
  • anti-aging and pain issues,
  • energy,
  • mood,
  • digestion, and
  • mental clarity.

Intermittent Fasting

Fasting is another tool you can use in conjunction with cleansing. Studies show that intermittent fasting can have significant health benefits for both the body and the mind.

Many people are talking about intermittent fasting for health, anti-aging or weight loss reasons. (You may have heard of the 5:2 Fast, Warrior Diet, Alternate Day Fasting, 24-hour Fast and other current trends.) The practice has actually existed for thousands of years for both spiritual and physical health. Hippocrates, Plato, Buddha, Pythagoras, Herodotus and other enlightened leaders embraced it and extolled its virtues.

While the term can cause many to become uncomfortable, it need not be intimidating. Essentially, fasting is simply consuming food during a specific period of the day. With intermittent fasting, we are decreasing the timeframe of our eating window. In reality, most of us already practice this when following the old adage of not eating after 6 p.m. Wise advice, considering that nighttime eating has recently been well-associated with a higher risk of obesity, as well as diabetes.

What can you drink during intermittent fasting? Remember that any drink containing calories, proteins, or carbohydrates will technically break your fast, so it’s best to stick to zero-calorie or very low-calorie options during fasting periods. Water, black coffee, unsweetened tea or diluted apple cider vinegar are a few good options.

The article, Intermittent fasting: Surprising Update, from the Harvard Health blog, explains the promise of this practice: “A growing body of research suggests that the timing of the fast is key, and can make intermittent fasting a more realistic, sustainable, and effective approach for weight loss, as well as for diabetes prevention.”

The entire idea of intermittent fasting is to allow the insulin levels to go down far enough and for long enough that we burn stored fat. A study out of the University of Alabama done on a group of obese men with prediabetes showed that after five weeks, the group that fit their meals into an early 8-hour period of the day (7 a.m.-3 p.m.) had dramatically lower insulin levels and significantly improved insulin sensitivity, as well as significantly decreased appetites.

Intermittent fasting can also offer benefits such as increased:

  • weight loss,
  • longevity,
  • metabolic rate,
  • neuroprotection,
  • resistance to stress,
  • cellular mechanics,
  • human growth hormone production (for anti-aging),
  • immunity,
  • mental clarity, and
  • energy efficiency.

Conclusion

Cleansing and intermittent fasting are powerful tools for optimizing health. By adopting a clean diet, supporting detoxification pathways, and strategically timing our meals, we can help our bodies function at their best. When practicing intermittent fasting, it’s important to remember what you can drink during the fasting periods: stick to water, black coffee, unsweetened tea (like Flora Flor Essence Gentle Detox Tea), or diluted apple cider vinegar (such as Dynamic Health Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother) to maintain the benefits of the fast. Incorporating these practices into our lives can lead to improved energy, mental clarity, longevity, and overall well-being.

Please be aware that, as with any diet, you should always consult with a health and wellness professional before beginning — and sometimes while practicing — an intermittent fasting practice.