Summer can do some serious damage on your body. Between ingesting caloric fare at all those barbecues and imbibing sugary cocktails, there's a good chance that you'll notice a difference in your energy level, waistline and overall feeling of wellness by the end of the season. Now that fall is approaching, it's the perfect time to flush out all the impurities and start fresh. While a cleanse may sound scary to some people, these programs don't have to involve starving yourself. In fact, by consuming the right foods, liquids and supplements, you'll feel more nourished than ever before, and you might be able to boost your immune system for the colder months ahead. Still skeptical? Follow these tips to detox in a way that's totally doable.
What to eat
You don't have to live on all-liquid diet to detox. According to Organic Authority, nutrition specialist Jolene Hart recommends avoiding dairy, sugars, flours and alcohol as much as possible, as all of these foods can contribute to mucus in the stomach. Organic Authority also noted that it's best to stick to vegetarian meals during your cleanse to rid your body of excess proteins and fats from meat.
Focus on whole grains like barley and quinoa that are high in insoluble fiber, which collects toxins in the colon as it moves through your intestines. Fruits and vegetables that have higher amounts of soluble fiber also move slowly through the digestive tract, keeping you full while absorbing any impurities so that they don't stay in your body. Apples, broccoli and cauliflower are all in season and chock full of fiber. Another cleanse-friendly food is kale: Try using the leaves to make a crunchy salad with pomegranate seeds, sunflower seeds and just a drizzle of olive oil.
Beets are also practically made for an autumn cleanse. FitSugar explained that because their fiber helps to produce more antioxidant enzymes, the liver and gallbladder are able to flush out bile and other toxins. Plus, they're chock full of folate and potassium, which are both essential to a healthy body.
While many colon cleanses can be unsafe, the Elemis Cleansing Deep Drainage Body Enhancement Capsules do essentially the same thing without the risks. Just take two of this herbal supplement with breakfast to alleviate bloating, mildly suppress your appetite and stimulate your colon.
Whatever you're cooking up, Organic Authority recommended adding seasonal spices like like cinnamon and nutmeg, which can help support a healthy large intestine and respiratory system. These spices work especially well with root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and squash.
What to drink
One of the simplest beverages to drink during your cleanse is lemon water. FitSugar reported that the concentrated citric acid has a high pH, meaning it can help to break down fat molecules. Try drinking hot lemon water in the morning, as the source asserted that it can help facilitate digestion when you first wake up while also helping you to burn more fat throughout the day. FitSugar also pointed to green tea as an excellent choice. A high antioxidant content can help to stave off sickness and disease while also facilitating the production of detoxification substances. For dual benefits, squeeze a lemon wedge into your cup of tea.
Juices are also a fantastic way to fuel up while detoxing. Organic Authority advised using seasonal fruits and vegetables like grapes, apples and dark leafy greens for the best results. For a nutritional powerhouse, the source suggested combining 1 beet, 1 apple, 3 radishes and 1 cup chopped kale in a blender and mixing until smooth.
Ginger is another ingredient that is packed with perks for a cleanse. FitSugar reported that the spicy root can strengthen your immune system while also helping your body to banish toxins through a healthy sweat. As an added bonus, ginger can soothe an aching stomach. Consider adding it to your next smoothie to reap all of these benefits. To give your body a total refresh, FitSugar recommended blending together 1/2 bunch of spinach, 1 handful of watercress, the juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 diced celery stalk, 2 chopped apples and a 1 inch slice of peeled ginger in a fruit and vegetable juicer. The watercress invigorates the liver's cleansing enzymes, while celery acts as a diuretic.
If you're looking for something sweeter to sip on, Prevention Food Director Lori Powell suggested combining 1 cup of frozen unsweetened raspberries, 3/4 cup chilled unsweetened almond milk, 1/4 cup frozen pitted unsweetened cherries, 1 1/2 tablespoons honey, 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger, 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed and 1/2 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and blending until smooth.