Digestion : Spring Cleanse

After a long winter of indulging in comfort foods, you may be feeling sluggish and ready for a health reboot. Spring is the perfect time to restore vitality by ridding the body of toxins accumulated over the winter. A few simple steps can help stimulate the liver, restore balance, and leave you feeling energized.

Support the Liver

A toxin is any substance that is foreign or poisonous to the body. Toxins can be either environmental or internal. Environmental toxins include household chemicals, food additives, pesticides, and other pollutants. Internal toxins are waste products created by normal processes within the body.

An effective cleansing program should be targeted to support your liver -- the body's primary organ for detoxification. And while the liver's ability to detoxify the body is truly amazing, because we're all exposed to a variety of toxins on a daily basis, it can become overwhelmed trying to keep up.

The Basics

It's important to eat plenty of organic greens and cruciferous veggies like cabbage and broccoli, plus antioxidants from brightly colored fruits and veggies. These foods contain nutrients that support enzymes in the liver that remove toxins.

Reduce your intake of dairy and red meat, which can stress the liver. Opt for plant-based protein from nuts, beans, and seeds. Also avoid processed sugar, alcohol, and caffeine.

Drink plenty of fluids. Brenda Watson, CNC, one of the country's foremost authorities on internal cleansing and detoxification, recommends drinking half your body weight in ounces of purified water per day.

"It is necessary for most all functions of the body, including digestion, absorption, and circulation," she says. "Water helps detoxify the kidneys, helps dilute toxins, and is imperative for transporting nutrients in and waste out of the cells." Adding lemon to your water is a great way to help alkalize the body, which is important during a detox program. Also enjoy herbal tea and the juice of organic fruits and vegetables.