If you're expecting this article to contain product links to detox teas or a how-to guide to colon cleansing, you've clicked the wrong link (and your idea of what detoxing means could use...well, a cleanse of its own as well). Whether you realize it or not, your body's natural detoxification system is running 24/7 to eliminate toxins, fight oxidative stress, and promote overall well-being at all times.
That said, our exposure to modern toxins is at an all-time high, and our detox pathways need a little extra TLC from time to time. Luckily, there are a number of healthy practices that you can incorporate into your regular routine to help support your elimination organs and increase your body's antioxidant activity. (A victory for detoxification and longevity alike!)
Here are some easy ways to support your body's everyday detox efforts and promote whole-body health:
Drink more water.
We all know proper hydration is key to numerous facets of health, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that drinking more H2O supports yet another biological process (we are 60% water, after all). When it comes to detoxification, water plays a major role in escorting water-soluble toxins out of the body via urine, sweat, and even our breath.
That said, not all water is created equal. Unfortunately, many of us don't even realize we're drinking water that contains phthalates, heavy metals, mold, E. coli, arsenic, and other environmental toxins. And we're not just talking city tap water, either—disposable plastic water bottles are some of the biggest culprits.
To make sure you're taking in fewer toxins than you're eliminating with your water consumption, consider testing your water and installing a water filtration system to ensure the cleanest H2O possible. Then check out these sustainable water bottles—you deserve a cute reusable bottle that makes drinking water fun!
Sweat it out in the sauna.
Once you've hydrated properly, it's time to get sweaty to help rid your body of those toxins! In addition to eliminating unwanted compounds through the skin, infrared saunas have been shown to promote mental well-being, clear skin, cardiovascular function, a healthy immune system, and more.
Don't have access to a sauna? No worries, any form of sweating supports your body's natural detox pathways. Taking a hot bath or breaking a sweat while exercising are equally effective at promoting detoxification.
Up your antioxidant intake.
While our natural detox pathways are quite efficient at eliminating toxins and neutralizing free radicals, we're exposed to more modern environmental toxins than ever before. With that comes an increased need for us to up our antioxidant activity via food and supplements to maintain a healthy antioxidant-oxidant balance in the body.*
Eating foods rich in antioxidants (e.g., green tea, berries, beets, chia, and flax) and leveraging a daily detox supplement that promotes healthy antioxidant activity (like mbg's daily detox+, which features a bioavailable form of master antioxidant glutathione, vitamin C, selenium, milk thistle, and NAC) can help combat oxidative stress on the daily and fuel whole-body detoxification.* Additionally, effective detoxification pathways and increased levels of antioxidants promote longevity (talk about a win-win situation).*
Roll out your yoga mat.
It turns out yoga has a profound impact on not only our mental health but our physical health as well.
A 2015 clinical study from the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that healthy, young people who practiced yoga regularly over 12 weeks had healthy oxidative stress balance and higher serum levels of master antioxidant glutathione. (But be honest—did you really need another reason to get on your mat?)
Take a deeeep breath.
Taking deep, diaphragmatic breaths helps promote healthy lymphatic circulation. As one of the six major detoxification organs, the lymphatic system helps circulate fluid throughout the body, getting nutrients (and unwanted compounds) where they need to go. Focused breathwork massages your lymph and helps support the removal of toxins.
Try this three-minute breathing exercise to aid the detoxification of the lymphatic system (it includes torso twists to support liver detox as well!). And if you're interested in establishing a regular breathwork practice, check out mindbodygreen's comprehensive breathwork class.
Detoxing isn't a harsh "cleanse" you do once in a while but rather a daily biological process your body does with or without your support. To promote healthy redox balance and the proper elimination of toxins, consider incorporating these practices on a daily and weekly basis to actively support your natural detox pathways.
Morgan Chamberlain is a supplement editor at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science degree in magazine journalism and a minor in nutrition. Chamberlain believes in taking small steps to improve your well-being—whether that means eating more plant-based foods, checking in with a therapist weekly, or spending quality time with your closest friends. When she isn’t typing away furiously at her keyboard, you can find her cooking in the kitchen, hanging outside, or doing a vinyasa flow.