The human body is one of the most fascinating, complex and efficient machines to exist. It has the power to grow, evolve, cleanse and heal itself constantly without us even realising it. The problem arises when we think our body is invincible and we don’t treat it like a living creature that requires care to function optimally and prevent developing illnesses. Even though our body’s nature is to work continually for everything to run smoothly, when we live an unhealthy lifestyle disconnected from nature, we overwork our system and disrupt our organism from getting rid of all the toxins it accumulates.
The nutritional expert at SHA Wellness Clinic, María Romeralo, emphasizes the importance of detoxing the body when we’ve fallen out of the healthy bandwagon. In fact, Traditional Chinese Medicine states that spring is the ideal time to revitalise and cleanse the body. According to TCM’s Five Element Theory, the liver is the dominant organ during springtime, therefore it is important to cleanse it during this season. Strengthening the liver throughout spring will determine our state of health for the rest of the year.
The liver is the main organ of detoxification and is also responsible for over 500 bodily functions. It filters everything we ingest; therefore, it works continually to rid our body from the toxins we accumulate. As TCM highlights, the liver is responsible for the smooth flow of qi (energy) throughout the body. When the liver functions smoothly, both our physical and emotional health are in balance.
During wintertime, our body builds up toxins from the preservatives, pesticides, stimulants and heavy metals our food contains. Our diet is heavier; we move less and spend less time outdoors. All of these factors cause stagnant energy in our body, preventing vital organs to function optimally.
When spring arrives, our body needs to adapt to the new season.
Spring represents growth, energy flow and life, and just like all living things, we must synchronise our bodies with nature and its natural cycles. So, how can we adjust to the change of season? Romeralo recommends adapting our diet in spring, as our body will adjust accordingly and our organism will cleanse itself from the excess toxins accumulated throughout winter.
A spring detox will provide multiple benefits to your health and wellbeing, from improved digestion, strengthened immune system, increased energy, better sleep, lowered heart rate, weight-loss, glowing skin, better memory and concentration to a decrease in stress levels.
What foods should we and shouldn’t we include in our diet?
The foods we should avoid slow down the body’s natural detox function. Why? In the case of caffeine and sugar, they provoke a rise and drop of sugar levels in the blood, which as a result causes the release of cortisol (the stress hormone) and stress slows down the detoxification process. Therefore, we should avoid them or keep them to a minimum during a detox.
We should aim to eat vegetables that are either steamed, blanched, quickly sautéed, raw or pickled and avoid eating foods that have been fried or cooked in the oven.
Another tip is to never overeat, rather you should practice Mindful Eating and eat until you’re 80% full, like the people of Okinawa do, the population that live the longest.
During a detox period, we shouldn’t feel like we are depriving ourselves, rather that we are eliminating foods that have a detrimental effect for our health and substituting them with healthier alternatives.
The first few days might be hard to adjust to, but in just a matter of days, we will start to feel more energetic, vital and emotionally and physically balanced. In addition, the nutritionally dense food we will be ingesting will strengthen our immune system and improve our digestive health.
Spend this spring detoxing your organism to boost your health for the rest of the year and to feel your best during the summer!
Easy recipes to detox the body:
Our nutritional expert Melanie Waxman has created easy recipes to detox your organism throughout spring.
For an in-depth detox, we recommend practicing yoga. Try this yoga routine to deepen your cleanse.
Tags: detox, nutrition, traditional chinese medicine
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