By Dr. Jenna Dye, Naturopathic Physician
Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe it is already 2024! As the new year begins, many of you are thinking about your New Year’s resolutions and health goals! I always look forward to a fresh healthy start by a simple and effective detoxification protocol. This detox can include diet modifications, immune system support, and gentle cleansing, and can provide a jump start to optimal health for the entire year.
Detoxification is the process of clearing toxins from the body. A healthy functioning body has the capacity to handle a certain level of toxins day to day; however, there are many factors that can hinder our body’s ability to detoxify and support a healthy immune system. Toxins are found in our environment, products we use on our skin and clothes, as well as food we ingest. An overload of toxins can weigh down our immune system and accumulate in our cells. This accumulation negatively affects our immune system and can lead to chronic illnesses such as autoimmune diseases, allergies, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and skin conditions.
Our body detoxifies through the following systems:
• The Gastrointestinal System: Liver, gallbladder, and intestines
• Respiratory System: Lungs, nose, sinuses
• Integumentary System: Skin (sweat)
• Lymphatic System
• The Urinary System: Kidneys and urine
Healthy detox/cleansing tips for optimal health:
• Drink filtered water and drink at least ½ your body weight in ounces each day.
• Eliminate sugar, refined foods, processed foods, canned foods, salt, coffee, and cured meats.
• Eat organic and fresh when possible.
• Include whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, nuts, healthy oils, seeds, and healthy fats.
• Consume dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, dandelion greens. These support the liver and help promote healthy digestion.
• Avoid alcohol and nicotine.
• If you have food sensitivities, it is important to eliminate them during any detox. Doing this will help decrease inflammation and allow the body to detox more efficiently.
• Ensure that you have regular daily bowel movements. This will aid in the elimination of toxins. If you suffer from gastrointestinal disorders, it is important to find the root cause and support the digestive system.
• Sleep: Your body needs proper rest. Seven to eight hours of sleep will help facilitate the cleansing.
• Exercise: During any detox, regular exercise of at least 30 minutes per day is beneficial. It does not have to be intense, even just walking can be beneficial.
• Breathing: Take the time to breath, we often forget this part. Take breath breaks often and breathe deeply through the nose and exhale through the mouth.
• Keep sinuses and lungs healthy during cleansing, daily neti pot use or nasal rinses can be helpful.
• Use clean beauty and cleaning products to help support the detox systems.
• Keep your resolutions simple and attainable so those healthy habits can last throughout the entire year!
Cleansing/detoxing can help the body restore itself and help maintain excellent health and wellness. There are many different detoxification protocols. It is always best to check with your doctor to see which methods would be the safest and most beneficial for you. Naturopathic physicians can individualize treatment by supporting foundational health, treating underlying health conditions and developing specific detox and cleansing protocols specific to your health.
Dr. Jenna Dye is a licensed naturopathic physician. Her role is to support the body’s foundation to restore and maintain optimal health. Together with her patients, this is achieved by identifying and removing barriers that may be impacting health while creating a healing environment. For more information visit drjennadye.com.