Why, and How, Should you Do a Summer Cleanse?

Maguy Lichaa

What better time to revive our wellbeing goals than summer? With the start of warm weather and the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables, summer is a great time to cleanse our bodies, and minds, and to revitalize in tune with the new and brighter season.

Our winter diets tend to increase the workload of our livers. For example, according to research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, our cholesterol levels are highest during the winter months.

As exercise is directly linked to lower cholesterol levels, researchers believe that this is in part due to a decrease in physical activity during winter months.

Throughout the year, the liver works continuously to detoxify our bodies and filter or breakdown substances such as alcohol, caffeine, medications, sugar, and trans fats. In addition to cholesterol levels, it regulates blood sugar, and supports our hormone balance and metabolism.

In combination with what we eat and drink, and the medications we take, our liver is constantly exposed to toxins from cleaning and additives in cigarettes, aerosol products, heavy metals, insecticides, and other chemicals that surround us in our day-to-day lives.

Consider also the effect that stress has on our liver.

A study published in Clinical Endocrinology, demonstrates a link between the stress hormone cortisol and fatty liver disease, while a study conducted by the University of Edenborough also suggests that stress has a damaging effect on the liver.

So what can you do to summer cleanse your liver, overall body and mind? To increase your energy levels and clarity of mind and to avoid illness?

Start by planning your summer cleanse. It is important that you have time to rest and adjust to the detoxification and it is helpful to have stocked up on the healthy foods it requires.

Then follow these 10 simple steps:
  1. Drink at least 8 – 10 glasses of filtered water each day. You can make a great start by drinking a glass of warm water with some fresh lemon juice added first thing in the morning.
  2. Eat clean! Avoid foods high in fats and cholesterol or salt, as well as processed or canned foods and juices, corn, dairy products, gluten, soy, sugar, and white flour – aim for organic and try healthier seasonings such as lemon juice, mustard, pepper, thyme, and vinegar.
  3. Add detoxifying food items to your diet. Have at least 8 – 10 servings of colorful fruits and vegetables a day, particularly from the family of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, kale, and kohlrabi) and the allium family (garlic and onions).
  4. Add liver-detoxifying juices to your diet! A combination of carrot, beetroot, cabbage, and ginger is a great example.
  5. Ensure a regular bowel movement by increasing your intake of fiber, found in flaxseed meal and other seeds, fruits, legumes, nuts, vegetables, and grains such as bran wheat and oats.
  6. Avoid, or at least try to minimize, the use of antibiotics, hormones, sedatives, stimulants, alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine.
  7. Supplement your diet with a high-quality multivitamin and mineral supplement.
  8. Get moving, however gently – stretching, swimming and walking are great ways to start.
  9. Sweat, try to use a sauna or steam room at least three times per week.
  10. Manage your stress levels and work to get your nervous systems in a state of calm. Rest, relax, practice mindfulness, enjoy the outdoors!

As your body needs time to adjust to your new habits, implement these changes for a minimum of 10 days. You can repeat the cleans several times each year or whenever you feel bloated or sluggish.

Depending on your body type, environment, food intolerances, and health issues, you may require a specific detox program. Consider consulting a naturopath or other expert and taking a food intolerance test. Detox regimens are intended for short-term use. Always consult your doctor before changing your diet or health program, especially if you have a pre-existing health condition.

Refresh your body with a summer cleanse now!

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