As the weather cools down and the leaves change color, it’s a natural time to think about detoxing your body. After all, the summer months can be hard on our systems, with all the processed foods, sugary drinks, and alcohol that we tend to consume. If you’re feeling sluggish, tired, or moody, it could be a sign that your body needs a cleanse.
If something is wrong with the body, it signals it immediately. The key is not to miss these signals and interpret them correctly, and detox is the best way to listen to your body. The ideal time for a cleansing overhaul is autumn: You’ll need lots of vegetables and fruits. If you start now, by winter you’ll be in perfect shape without a strict diet. Before taking anything away from the body, you must first identify what it’s lacking, and then replenish that deficiency. So, let’s begin interpreting the signals.
Signs of Needing a Detox
What does a craving for sweets say?
When we are upset about something, we subconsciously start dreaming of a piece of cake. Stress is the primary reason for our craving for sweets. This happens because sugar stimulates the production of serotonin, which enhances mood and relieves anxiety. The second reason for the craving for sweets is a lack of trace elements, particularly chromium, which is involved in metabolism and energy.
It helps control blood sugar levels and, together with insulin, transports glucose to the body’s cells, helping them absorb quickly. A deficiency in chromium leads to elevated glucose levels, along with an uncontrollable desire to eat pastries, cakes, and other sweets. Another reason is poor nutrition due to an irregular workday. Again, it’s about the blood sugar level. If you are constantly on the run, and three full meals a day are out of the question, your brain begins to sound the alarm. It receives a signal to raise the sugar level, and in response, it makes you reach for a cookie.
The adrenal glands secrete stress hormones in response to situations when our body needs higher hormone levels for survival. All this should happen gradually, but the ever-accelerating pace of life forces us to constantly stimulate the adrenal glands; we need energy! And what do we do? We consume coffee in large amounts, an effect comparable to whipping a horse to make it run faster.
“Constant Hunger” Syndrome
This arises from a lack of vitamins, minerals, and omega acids. When consuming food, it’s important to maintain the Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio, which should be 3:1, but what is happening? 20:1. You need to reduce the dose of Omega-6 and increase the intake of Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. To do this, prepare a fruit cocktail with a small number of flax seeds for breakfast, or simply add some water to ground flax seeds and mix thoroughly (it turns into a kind of porridge).
These signal an intolerance to gluten and lactose. You can get rid of these symptoms by excluding bakery products and dairy from your diet. Due to the fact that gluten is very sticky, it adheres to the walls of the small intestine, often leading to disturbances in the digestive and immune systems.
The harm of lactose is due to its complete or partial intolerance, related to the insufficient content of lactase in the body, intended to facilitate the absorption of milk sugar. There are many recipes to help you properly adjust your diet: nut yogurt, banana pancakes with coconut flour, cauliflower and flaxseed pancakes, paleo cookies with date and walnut stuffing.
Swelling – Lack of Magnesium and Water
Magnesium is the foundation of our nervous system, and during stress, an intracellular magnesium deficiency often occurs. There are known physiological conditions accompanied by an increased need for magnesium: pregnancy, breastfeeding, periods of intense growth and maturation, old age, heavy physical labor, physical strain in athletes, emotional stress, insufficient sleep, air travel, and crossing time zones. A magnesium deficiency can arise from the intake of caffeine, alcohol, and some medications, such as diuretics, which promote the removal of magnesium through urine.
4 Phases of Autumn Detox
If you want to take care of the health of your body and undergo a detoxification, you will have to completely rebuild your diet for a while.
Detox always has to start with eliminating the deficit. First, we get tests done: a complete blood count and a hair spectral analysis.
The main indicators to check first are zinc, magnesium, selenium, vitamin D, as well as ferritin. Ferritin is an iron-containing protein complex, a kind of iron depot, found in all tissues of the body and serves as a reserve of iron in case of unforeseen circumstances. Most of the ferritin is found in the liver and muscles. After receiving the test results, consult with a specialist who will help determine the dosage of supplements to eliminate the deficit.
Include in your daily diet: sesame seeds, hemp seeds, amaranth, spirulina. There are several rules that will help improve the absorption of vitamins and minerals:
- Soak all nuts, grains, and seeds overnight. They contain phytic acid, which prevents the absorption of nutrients in our intestines.
- Exclude for the “soft detox” period oxalates – salts of oxalic acid, found in spinach, sorrel, and chard; goitrogens, which suppress iodine absorption by the thyroid gland (all types of raw cabbage).
- Assist digestion, drink bile-stimulating herbal tea: artichoke, dandelion, immortelle, mint, oregano, chamomile.
- Calm digestion, eat black currants, persimmons.
- Add the right fats: seal fat, avocado, deep-sea fish, caviar, eggs, olive oil, macadamia nuts, and Brazil nuts; probiotics (sauerkraut, coconut yogurt, beet kvass) and prebiotics (soluble psyllium or plantain fiber).
Remember that it’s always best to consult with healthcare providers who are knowledgeable about your individual health needs before making any major changes to your diet or lifestyle.
Phase II “Elimination” (10 days)
During which we exclude gluten (wheat products): flour, wheat porridge, barley, spelt, pasta, oatmeal, bulgur, semolina, couscous, bread, buns. Allowed: millet, buckwheat, corn, rice, legumes.
If, after 10 days, you reintroduce gluten into your diet, you will immediately understand whether such food suits you or not. For the next 10 days, we exclude dairy products. During this time, you continue to take vitamin D and other vitamins in which a deficiency was identified in Phase I.
Phase III “Immediate Detox”
For a week, we remove the consumption of animal protein (meat, fish) from the diet. The only exception may be homemade eggs. During this time, we eat vegetables (tomatoes and peppers only in cooked form), non-sweet fruits (grapefruit, lemon, apricots, avocado), cereals, and replace potatoes with Jerusalem artichokes or bananas.
Phase IV “Exit”
For 5 days, we reintroduce gluten. On the very first day for breakfast, we eat oatmeal with a piece of bread, then we include poultry, fish, red meat in the diet. During this time, we monitor our well-being, watch for reactions, and if unpleasant symptoms occur, bowel disorders, we can easily determine which products do not suit us. Then we drink a glass of milk, eat cheese pancakes, load the body with dairy products and again look at our reaction.
This plan involves significant dietary changes, so it may be advisable to consult with a healthcare provider, such as a nutritionist or a doctor, who is knowledgeable about your individual health needs before beginning.