When envisioning a detox, life might seem a little greener (and a little less gray) on the other side. But living a holistic life is much more than buying organic and attending a yoga class every now and then.
What’s more, an overall detox involves cleaning up both internal and external worlds on an ongoing basis. Though the constant intent is needed on your behalf, those 15 tips can help you detox your life and home completely.
15 Ways to Detox Your Life and Home
1. Identify Toxins in Your Environment
Introducing yourself to and identifying toxins in the environment heightens greater awareness and opportunity to detox your life and home. Common environmental toxins such as metolachlor, trifluralin, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (also known as 2,4-D), permethrin, toxaphene, and DDT have been shown initiate oxidative stress.
Arsenic common to drinking water and some foods, BPA (Bisphenol-A) found in water bottles, dioxins and furans released from industrial processes, and airborne chemicals and heavy metals found in cigarette smoke can also be damaging to the body’s cells.
2. Find Natural Alternatives to Harsh Chemicals
Though you have the best intentions to keep your home clean day-in and day-out, the products used may actually be loaded with harsh chemicals. So rather than buying toxic disinfectants, find eco-friendly options or better yet, prepare homemade, all-natural cleaners for the ultimate ingredient control.
3. Conserve Energy
From toxic volatile organic compounds to carbon monoxide, air pollutants pose health risks at all ages and may even cause premature death according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers proactive tips to reduce air pollution, including biking or walking whenever possible, carpooling or using public transportation as often as you can, mulching or composting leaves and yard waste, and looking for the ENERGY STAR label when buying home or office equipment.
4. Purify with Indoor Air with House Plants
In the 1989 NASA Clean Air Study, researchers found whereas all plants are capable of absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, others are capable of remove toxic agents that fume common households, such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.
Ridding of such chemicals not only gifts a breath of fresher air, but lowers the risk of mild to severe health consequences, including headaches, dizziness, eye irritation, anemia, and cancer.
For a “home-grown” detox, home plant purifiers include a florist’s chrysanthemum, Boston fern, spider plant, peace lily, snake plant, Chinese evergreen, aloe vera, bamboo palm, and weeping fig.
5. Take Time to Declutter
Our home should, well, feel like at home. But after years of stockpiling the kitchen drawers and hanging onto old clothes, your once known safe haven may feel more like a war zone. But rather than feeling entirely overwhelmed, battle each area of the house piece-by-piece.
For instance, one day take an hour to go through your closet, another time to organize the pantry, and so on. With consistency, your house will transform into that welcoming, calm home once again.
6. Go for Colorful Foods
Amidst the grey area of diet recommendations and advice, nutrition experts can at least agree on the more color on your plate, the better. Colorful fruits and veggies get the green light for a number of reasons, though in relation to detoxification, the antioxidant compounds work.
Plus, their high-fiber content (and oftentimes low-caloric value) supports weight management, heart and digestive health.
7. Eliminate Trans Fats
While most nutrition experts tend to advocate for “all foods fit” in relation to a balanced diet, trans fats are the exception to the rule. Also recognized as partially hydrogenated oils, trans fats are essentially manmade fats in which liquid oils are injected with hydrogen to form a more shelf-stable, solid fat.
The body has difficulty processing these sort of fats and becomes at risk for numerous health concerns, including systemic inflammation, diabetes, heart disease, and premature death.
Fortunately, the FDA is making an effort to completely eliminate trans fat from the food supply. But until its removal is finalized, avoid products manufactured with trans fats, including margarine, fried foods, pastries, and chips.
8. Moderate Sugar Intake
Along with being a major contributor of empty calories in an Americanized diet, sugar can release pro-inflammatory cytokines and delivers some not-so-sweet consequences to the body, including the risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Easy ways to scale back on sugar include reducing the obvious sources of sweet treats, taking advantage of nutrition labels for added and hidden sugars, and reconstructing the kitchen pantry to house more nutritious food options.
9. Ensure Adequate Water Intake
Water is the elixir of life, as it is the major component of most body parts and organs. It also flushes body waste primarily in the urine and converts food to components needed for optimal body functioning.
But remember, BPA (Bisphenol-A) found in water bottles can be harmful to health, while tap water may also supply arsenic and chloride. To enjoy water in its most natural form, consider purchasing a filtration system and stainless steel reusable water bottle.
Straying away from plastic is also a triple win-win(-win) for the body, natural environment, and economy, as 38 billion disposable water bottles end up in U.S. landfills each year and costs 26 times more than a filtered pitcher.
We all know we need it, but the U.S. population as a whole falls shy of the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Not only can this impact emotional health and zap energy, but achieving adequate sleep is one of the best way to rejuvenate the body’s detoxification capacity on both mental and physical levels.
(And not to mention, feeling well-rested limits carb and fat-rich food cravings and keeps you energized to exercise!)
If struggling to attain quality sleep each night, try creating a healthy bedtime routine by staying consistent with sleep and wake hours, powering down from electronics, and taking a warm bath. Also make sure the environment is conducive to sleep, including with supportive pillows and a mildly cool room. And if a coffee aficionado, try confining its intake to the early morning and afternoon hours.
11. Manage Stress
While “sweating the small stuff” may not substantially disturb health and can actually be quite motivating in terms of performance, ongoing stress can lead to systemic and chronic inflammation in the body, create a sluggish immune system, and increase vulnerability to colds and other illnesses.
Alleviate and manage stress by meditating, practicing yoga, exercising, calling up a friend, getting out in nature, or taking your furry friend on a walk. Doing so can also support a better night’s rest!
12. Evaluate Relationships
Although relationships do have obstacles from time-to-time, overall they should bring positivity to our lives on a regular basis. So whether it be with a significant other or friend, evaluate and reconsider relationships to them if all they do is add more toxic stress and negativity to your life.
13. Avoid or Quit Smoking
Cigarettes are undeniably harmful to health, even beyond the rising risk of lung disease and cancer, as individuals who smoke are planting toxins in their body and shaving off precious years off life at a faster rate. In fact, the CDC reports overall mortality (or death) of smokers is three times higher among people who have never smoked!
What’s more, they are placing others at risk related to secondhand smoke, which causes 7,333 annual deaths from lung cancer, 33,951 annual deaths from heart disease, an estimated 41,000 deaths each year!
So with tobacco identified as the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., there really is no better time to quit smoking. Not only are you limiting toxins and benefiting the health of your own body, but detoxing the lives of others by reducing secondhand smoke.
14. Sweat It Out
While health experts remain skeptical on whether or not exercise can rid toxins from sweat, it is well understood exercise improves blood flow, along with diminishing negativity in the mind.
Aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of cardio each week and incorporate at least two to three strength training sessions into your workout regimen. And if you only have a few minutes, even a quick 10-minute walk in(and especially out)doors can immediately boost mood and energy levels.
15. Disconnect from Technology from Time-to-Time
While technology certainly does offer benefits, being overly attached can zap us away from real-time connections with loved ones. Use technology to your advantage, including for work and education, and reduce exposure to toxic messages often posted to social media sites.
But aside from the social negativity technology can bring, it can likewise increase electromagnetic fields in your home. While the World Health Organization declares a low frequency of such radiation from cell phones, WiFi, and televisions does not raise substantial health concerns, they do reveal there are some gaps in knowledge about existing biological effects needing further research. Disconnecting from such devices can safeguard from potential risks.