Top 5 Foods to Include in Your Whole Foods Cleanse
Many people look to January as a time to re-start their healthy eating habits, often to lose weight, increase energy, or simply feel more vibrant. One of the most common practices in reaching these goals, is cleansing, otherwise known as detoxing. As a Holistic Wellness and Empowerment Coach, I love to recommend a whole foods cleanse to my clients. Doing so helps to jump-start healthy eating habits and provides a little extra support to all of your body systems so you can get back to functioning optimally and feeling your best.
Whole foods cleanses are actually quite simple. To start, you want to incorporate lots of healthy foods from natural sources to support the body, in an effort to aid in flushing out the toxins from your system and further support your digestion.
Here are some of the top foods to incorporate into your next whole foods cleanse for optimal results.
1. Lemon water with apple cider vinegar. Drinking a glass of this mixture in the morning helps to support your liver, improve digestion, balance blood sugar and alkalize your body, setting it up for optimum health. Cancer, arthritis, gout, etc. (disease, in general, really) are all conditions that thrive in an acidic environment. Your body becomes acidic when too many sugars are consumed (including flour products) or stress is too high. Lemon juice acts as a liver cleanser by assisting in detoxification, purifying and stimulating the production of digestive acids, which leads to better breakdown of foods and assimilation of nutrients.
2. Probiotics and/or fermented foods. Consuming probiotics through your diet increases the good bacteria in your gut. Through eating too much sugar, white flour products, too much alcohol, caffeine and living with excess stress or taking antibiotics, your gut flora can get out of balance, which often leads to weight gain, stomach discomfort, decreased assimilation of nutrients, depression, just to name a few. Your gut is responsible for producing 95% of the serotonin in your body and holds roughly 70% of your immune system, which is why gut health is crucial for not only a balanced mood, but for your overall health. By incorporating foods such as cultured vegetables, kefir water, coconut water kefir, coconut yogurt and sauerkraut, you can naturally promote good gut health and have a delicious snack, too! Supplementing with probiotics is a great idea too. Aim for a product with at least 20 billion CFU’s (colony forming units) daily. Take this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, or with a light meal. Taking more is okay too (I know some people taking 100 billion CFU’s daily) so find what works for you and make it a habit.
Morning Lemon Elixir
Author: Lindsay Christianson
- 1 cup water - room temperature
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1 Tablespoon Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar
- Dash of Himalayan sea salt
- Mix everything, drink and enjoy!
3. Loads of green veggies. Veggies should be a staple in any healthy diet, but they have benefits beyond being naturally low calorie and nutrient-dense. Veggies, especially green leafy veggies, help to alkalize your body and flush out the toxins being released through the cleansing process. A little thing called chlorophyll (remember that from science class?) is the gem that makes green veggies particularly effective at cleansing your body. The added benefits of increasing oxygen content and purifying the blood make them crucial to any whole foods cleanse.
4. Sea vegetables. Packed with antioxidants that help alkalize the blood and strengthen the digestive tract, they are a great addition to any cleanse. Their gel-like texture helps to grab onto toxins and flush them through – and out – of your system very effectively. They also contain a broad range of minerals and make a great substitution for salt in foods like soup, salad, or stir-fry.
5. Plenty of water! Last, but not least, is probably the most crucial element in any cleanse. Plenty of water (generally measured at ½ your body weight in ounces per day). Although this is the amount we should all be drinking on a regular basis, most people live in a dehydrated state from both under-consuming hydrating beverages, like water and over-consuming dehydrating beverages, like coffee and soda. Water is crucial for all systems of the body to be functioning properly and helps the flow of waste out of your body. Simply increasing your water intake to these levels can result in rapid improvements in your health, including skin elasticity and softness, daily elimination of bowels and much more, as your body and detoxification systems are supported.
The most important thing to remember about a whole foods cleanse is that it doesn’t have to be a short-term fix. You can incorporate any (or all) of these foods on a daily basis and reap the benefits of a healthy, vibrant body on a regular basis. While it is often easier to first commit for a shorter amount of time, you may find that you feel so much better that you don’t want it to end! Grab a buddy and get to cleansing!
As a Holistic Wellness and Empowerment Coach, Lindsay Robin empowers mamas to ditch the guilt so that they can create the life they crave AND be amazing mamas! Her own personal journey and training began with food, which led her to become a certified health coach to learn the skills for managing her daughter’s behavioral challenges. This continues to expand and grow as she uses transformational coaching techniques to guide women to their true desires and better communication with their intuition.
Lindsay loves adventure and learning new things and is passionate about travelling, making and eating healthy meals, playing with her kiddos, Scottish dancing and listening to Ted talks.She lives in Minneapolis, MN.
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