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Spring clean your body naturally

bougainvilleaThe cold is finally giving up it’s grip on Manitoba and the snow is melting away, us hearty ‘tobans can say goodbye winter, hello spring!! With spring time comes spring cleaning, where we thoroughly clean the house, but what about our bodies? During this change in weather it is also a good time to think about cleansing our internal selves, I don’t know about you, but I had my fair share of comfort foods over the winter months and I am feeling a bit sluggish. Our organs do a great job of cleansing our bodies, but over time they can be overburdened which means they may not function as optimally as we would like. However, we can support our major purifying organs and allow them a little sigh of relief!

The liver

This precious organ is the powerhouse of detoxification in our bodies. It does everything from filtering blood coming from the digestive tract, produce bile which allows your body to absorb and break down fats, breaking down toxins so that they may be excreted from the body safely to storing glycogen; our which is kind of our body’s back up fuel. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, the liver has over 500 functions in the body! Whew!

When the liver is not functioning at it’s best a host of issues may occur such as: bruising and bleeding easily, a fatty liver, fatigue, yellowing of the skin and eyes, nausea and vomiting.

vegetables and fruits in the shape of a heartHow to support the liver

When it comes to supporting the liver, prevention is key. Bombarding it with processed foods, high amounts of sugar, alcohol and trans fats makes for an exhausted liver. It is very important to be mindful of the quality and quantity of foods that we eat. If we consume these types of foods everyday it may lead to liver problems in the future.

Cruciferous vegetable such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onion, garlic etc. are high sulfuric foods; the liver requires large amounts of sulfur to cleanse.

Supporting herbs such as Milk thistle, dandelion root and artichoke leaf aid the liver in promoting cell regeneration, promoting production of bile and helping to metabolise fats.

The Lymphatic system

This intricate network of lymph vessels runs throughout our bodies removing cellular waste, transporting nutrients to their destinations to maintaining the fluid levels in our bodies. It is also a very important system that keeps the body free from infection and disease. Everyday our bodies encounter various types of microbes that find their way into our bodies and get trapped in lymphatic fluid. Eventually these microbes get trapped in lymph nodes and our immune system go to work by attacking them with white blood cells, wherein they die and are eliminated from the body.

Signs that the lymphatic system is stressed include swelling in lymph nodes (some are found in the armpit and throat), joint pain, tendency to get colds, muscle aches and pains to name a few.

woman getting a massageHow to support the lymphatic system

Dry brushing is one of simplest and relaxing ways to stimulate stagnant lymph fluid movement within the lymph vessels. Brush the brush with a bristle brush starting from the extremities of the body towards the heart.

Go for a massage! Not only is it oh so relaxing it helps to move fluids, relax the muscles and encourage better blood and lymph circulation.

Move your body, no really!!! get up and do 10 jumping jacks right now! Exercise helps to keep your fluids moving which allows nutrients to travel in your body and reach your cells. Being sedentary leads to aches and pains and fluids tend to sit and remain stagnant in the body. Go for a walk, join a yoga class or try a HIIT workout on You Tube. Get moving!

The Colon

The bulk of our wastes is eliminated via the colon, and by bulk, I mean solids! It is about 5 feet long and tubular, the role of the colon is to remove water, nutrients and prepare what’s leftover for elimination from the body. Friendly bacteria also aid in digestion in the colon by helping to break down undigested food, aid the absorption of nutrients, produce certain vitamins such as vitamin K, they also help the body’s natural defenses as the gut plays an important role in immunity!

Signs the colon may be overburdened are constipation, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort or pain, bloating and gas.

How to support the colon

First and foremost is to populate the colon with a diverse array of beneficial bacteria. Probiotics play such an important role in digestion and gut health. Consume probiotic rich foods such as fermented sauerkraut, yogurt, water kefir, kimchi and kombucha.

Eat your fibre. Fibre is the undigestible parts of plants and grains, it helps to bind and bulk of stool for elimination. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies unpeeled when possible, whole grains, beans and legumes.

Lastly drink plenty of water not only is good for hydration and a necessity for life, it helps to lubricate the colon and allows stool to pass easily without any straining. A good sign of proper hydration is light yellow to clear urine.

There you have it! A few good tidbits to work on when spring cleaning our bodies. It’s important to be patient, respectful and mindful of our bodies, it’s a well-oiled machine that’s designed to propel us though our lifetime. With the proper love and care it will serve you as such!

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