Mighty Mommy shares five ways you can cleanse not only your body and mind but your home.
One of the hottest trends we’ve seen over the past several years is cleansing or detoxing. Detoxification is the practice of ridding the body of toxic or harmful substances. Today, though, "detox" has become a catch-all term for any number of non-traditional diets, fasts, or procedures that proponents claim reset your metabolism, remove unwanted pounds, and eliminate so-called "toxins" from the body. Though the popularity of cleansing has increased, the jury is still out as to whether or not there really are health benefits to this process. According to Stella L. Volpe, professor and chair of the department of nutrition sciences at Drexel University in Philadelphia, there is no scientific evidence that any of these so-called cleanses really benefit a person's health.
Despite whether or not science can support the benefits of a good cleanse, there’s something psychologically appealing about treating our bodies to a fresh detox drink, which can help to naturally reduce inflammation, boost energy, support digestion, cleanse the liver, and promote healthy skin. Even better, when we include our families in the process, we’re setting the tone for our kids to treat their bodies with health and kindness.
In light of the positive effects detoxing has in general, Mighty Mommy shares five ways you can cleanse not only your body and mind but even your home:
Tip #1: Cut Back on Sugar
You may have heard sugar referred to as the “silent killer.” Sugar in itself offers absolutely no nutritional value what so ever to the body and is often coined with the term empty calories. The World Health Organization used to recommend that you get no more than 10% of your daily calories from sugar, but now they're considering lowering that to 5%.
In my podcast How to Make Sure Your Kids Don't Eat Too Much Sugar, I interviewed QDT’s Monica Reinagel, also known as Nutrition Diva, and she shared that as a general rule, we should aim for no more than 5 -10% of our daily calories to come from added sugars. For a six-year old, that would be somewhere around 16 to 25 grams per day or 4 to 6 teaspoons of sugar. For a 12-year old, that works out to 20-40 grams per day or 5 to 10 teaspoons. One way to cleanse your family is to cut back on sugar. The Nutrition Diva discussed the obvious sources like soda, candy, and other dessert foods, as well as breakfast cereal containing a huge source of added sugar so take a good look at how much refined and hidden sugars your family is taking in on a regular basis and start eliminating even a few of these items from your menu.
Tip #2: Drink More Water
Experts recommend drinking eight to ten glasses of water each day to maintain good health. Water helps keep the body well hydrated, which is essential because almost every cell in the body needs water to function properly. It also helps to relieve fatigue, aids in weight loss by flushing out harmful toxins in the body, and assists with our body’s digestive system.
See Also: How Much Water Should I Drink?
Many popular detox drinks can be made with ingredients you already have at home, like apple cider vinegar, cucumbers and watermelon, but if you hydrate regularly with plain old water, you will still be doing your body a tremendous service. My favorite cleanse is simple—drinking lemon water. It helps flush out the toxins in your body by enhancing enzyme function, stimulating your liver. I introduced lemon water to my family a few years ago and my kids routinely drink it both cold as well as hot throughout the year. The taste takes some getting used to but it’s a cleansing habit that I hope my kids will enjoy well into their adult years.
Tip #3: Eat More Fruit
Experts recommend eating 5 – 9 servings of fruits and veggies every day. I can tell you from my experience in raising 8 kids for the past 23 years, we probably hit that goal less than 5 – 9 days total! Sure I’d like to see my family gobbling up more leafy greens and vitamin-laden vegetables but truth of the matter is, I have picky eaters amongst my kids so we tend to stick to safe veggies like broccoli with cheese sauce and baby carrots dipped in ranch dressing. I may not be able to persuade my gang to go bonkers for steamed asparagus and hearty root vegetables, but I have had success getting them to explore new fruits. Fruit has been recognized as a good source of vitamins and minerals, and for their role in preventing vitamin C and vitamin A deficiencies and, overall, most fruit is juicy, sweet, and delicious. So a great way to stay cleansed with nature’s goodness is to continually introduce new fruit to your family’s diet. Kiwi, plums, melon and a mixture of berries are great additions to tried and true favorites like grapes and apples. See Also Nutrition Diva’s Episode: Is Fruit Good For You?