The Benefits of Drinking Detox Water (with Recipes)

From DoYouYoga, by Jessica Rose

Our bodies are amazingly efficient self-cleaning machines that work to naturally detoxify our blood, lymphatic system, lungs — you name it — 24 hours a day.

With that being said, yogis throughout history have been practicing detoxification methods. From Ayurvedic detoxes (including the Vastra Dhauti detox where you swallow a cloth to clean out the esophagus, stomach, and intestines) to fasts, to certain asana postures to help the body along in its cleansing process, with a firm belief that these practices hold the key to optimum health and longevity.

I have tried a few different detoxes, and although I’m no expert, one key component to detoxification that has constantly rung true and can easily be practiced everyday, rain or shine, is upping your water intake.

The better hydrated we are, the better our organs and systems can push out toxins and do their jobs properly to help keep us squeaky clean and vibrant. And one of the newer topics in detoxing is detox water, or infused water.

The Benefits of Drinking Detox Water
The beauty of detox water isn’t so much that you’ll be packing a huge nutritional punch by infusing your spring water with fruits and veg, but that it can be a big help if you’re trying to cut other, harmful drinks out of your repertoire such as soft drinks or sugary coffee drinks.

The better your water tastes, the more water you will be inclined to drink, hopefully replacing the bad-for-you beverages with your fancy — yet oh so easy — new detox water. Your body will thank you, and you will probably notice a brighter, more vibrant, and better-functioning version of yourself in no time. Violá!

So, on that happy note, here are some easy ways to make your own detox water, using any quantities you prefer. Just remember to buy organic whenever possible and to eat the good stuff at the bottom for an added fiber and nutrient boost!
Warm Water with Lemon, a.k.a The Yogi’s Digestive Elixir
You don’t need to swallow a towel to keep your digestive system fresh and clean! Simply squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a cup of warm water and drink first thing in the morning before breakfast.

How It Helps You Detox:

This is so easy and effective, and has immediate results on your digestive system in the form of elimination.

Lemon: The lemon juice acts as a natural astringent to clean out the bowels, and the warm water gets things moving to help you release everything your body no longer needs. Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and metabolism booster. The sourness also stimulates Agni, the digestive fire.
Cucumber, Ginger, Mint, and Lime Water, a.k.a The Yogi’s Cocktail
This is the yogic version of my two favorite cocktails rolled into one luscious, powerfully detoxing, (alcohol-free) thirst-quencher.

It’s a combination of the ingredients for a Moscow Mule and a Mojito — minus the booze, sugar, and ice — otherwise known as a detoxer’s nightmare. Give it a try, you just might like it even more than the originals!

Combine:

  • One carafe of spring water
  • 1/4 cucumber
  • 1-inch chunk of ginger root, sliced according to taste (I’m obsessed with ginger, so I grate it to ensure I get the pulp with the water, but you might prefer chunks or slices)
  • A few sprigs of mint
  • One lime (more or less according to taste)

How It Helps You Detox:

Cucumber: Hydrating, full of nutrients, and anti-inflammatory.

Ginger: Stimulates digestion and circulation — two very important factors in detoxing.

Mint: Activates salivary glands to stimulate the digestive process.

Lime: High in Vitamin C, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, helps produce enzymes that promote optimal liver functioning.
Coconut Water Pina Colada
Another zinger without the bad stuff, this mix uses the super-hydrating powers of coconut water along with nutrient-dense pineapple and blueberry. Coconut water is naturally very sweet, so if you’re looking to replace soda or sugary lattés with healthier options, this might be a good gateway drink for you!

Combine:

  • One carafe of coconut water
  • One cup of fresh pineapple chunks or rings
  • One half cup of fresh organic blueberries

How It Helps You Detox:

Coconut water: High in fiber to provide a natural way to stimulate digestion, super hydrating powers.

Pineapple: Immune-system boosting, anti-inflammatory, good for digestion, and aids in circulation.

Blueberry: Huge anti-oxidant content, which fight development of free-radicals (a.k.a toxins!) that can lead to a myriad of health problems

Cheers to your health!

Have you tried any of these detox waters? How do you like them? Share with us below!

What You Can Expect From A Detox: A Functional Medicine Doctor Explains

From MBG, by Dr. Martha Calihan

 

Have you ever thought about doing a “detox” but weren’t really sure what that meant or what it would involve? Maybe you were worried about a lot of digestive upset and GI symptoms. Or maybe you assumed it’d be very expensive or involve only drinking juice for a week.

As a doctor of functional medicine, I frequently have patients ask me about detoxes, especially since there isn’t yet a lot of research in this area.

There are, however, some really good reasons to consider a detox as part of your health program — and the start of the new year can be an excellent time to experience the many benefits of a good detox.

Detox 101: What You Need To Know

To begin with, it’s important to have a good understanding of what detoxification really is and how it can affect your health.

The body has some amazing and very intricate processes to deal with all the substances to which we are exposed — from our food to environmental chemicals, hormones, pesticides, and so on. Our liver is the major organ of detoxification, and there are a host of specific detoxification pathways that help keep the body unencumbered from toxic accumulation. When we eat food, it’s broken down and eventually passes through the liver, which filters the blood, removing any toxins. From there, much of the toxic burden passes through the bile into the intestines, where it can exit the body.

A detox can set the stage for long-lasting healthy choices.

A good detox program has several goals. First, we want to reduce, for a time, the burden on the digestive system and the liver, to allow it the resources to function at an optimal level. We also want to support the detoxification pathways with the proper and necessary vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients.

Plus, we want to reduce the burden on our immune system of repeated exposure to the excessive inflammatory foods that are too often in our diets. And finally, we also want to make sure that the digestive tract is functioning well so that the toxins can be easily excreted from the body.

What a Typical Detox Might Look Like

It’s helpful to plan your program with the help of your health care practitioner to make sure you’re being supported in a way that’s most appropriate for you. A detox could last anywhere from a week to a month, depending on one’s health concerns.

It often starts with reducing the amount, and types, of food you ingest. This is to reduce the burden on the digestive and immune systems. So in the first several days of a detox you’ll eat a small variety of fresh whole foods, or perhaps just a quality protein shake that is supplemented with the proper nutrients.

Virtually all programs will have you avoid specific foods, typically the most inflammatory foods, including wheat, dairy, corn, and soy at the minimum. You’ll also be avoiding sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.

Further specifics will depend on an individual’s particular situation and goals. But in general, during the course of the detox, all processed foods are avoided and the goal is to consume only fresh, organic when possible, foods.

The program might also include specific supplements to support detoxification at the cellular level. Milk thistle is commonly recommended to support the liver, the major organ of detoxification. Dandelion root, artichoke, and beet are all additional nutrients that support detoxification.

You’ll need good hydration to have effective elimination, too.

What You Might Experience During a Detox

During the first several days, you may notice some food cravings, particularly for sugars and other carbs. These can be addictive substances, and there can be a sense of withdrawal from them. You might experience some fatigue or other physical symptoms. Typically these will subside in a day or two.

But eventually, you are likely to notice that you actually feel better. Your energy may increase; you may notice reduced joint pain, brain fog, fatigue, and lethargy. You are likely to lose some water weight and feel less puffy. Your mood may be improved and you might sleep better.

This all can happen because you are supporting your body to function more efficiently with the reduced burden of toxins and inflammatory foods.

When you’ve completed your detox, the food reintroduction process is just as important as the removal phase, because this is when you can pinpoint which foods make you have symptoms. It’s wise to reintroduce one food at a time and give it two or three days to see how you feel before you add in anything else. You might be surprised by what you learn.

I’d encourage anyone to think about a detox program to help you feel a real increase in your energy and well-being and to lower the toxic burden on your body. The experience will probably change the way that you eat, even after the program, as you’ll have gained an awareness of what you feel like when you eat certain foods. It can help set the stage for long-lasting healthy choices.

You can generally do a program several times a year; it’s a great way to mark the changing season and give your body a boost. I suggest that you work with your health care provider to choose the best program for you and give it a try. You might just feel amazing!