EASY WAYS TO SPRING CLEANSE YOUR BODY
March is the time that green plants start to grow and offer us an array of health – and cleansing – benefits!
Spring cleaning has always been a popular activity to do in your home, and spring cleaning your body is important too! Our bodies are bombarded by an array of “bad guys” that create a environment in our bodies that isn’t the best for optimal health. Tap water, pollution, inorganic/processed food and even things like stress can be hard for the body to constantly filter, and this is where food can help!
Green Foods are particularly cleansing – green plants have a high level of chlorophyl, which has a cleansing affect on the blood, as well as protecting your cells from the dangers of radiation. Chlorophyl also binds to heavy metals that can accumulate in our body from tap water, food that has heavy metals in it (tuna, canned foods) and use of certain cookware. Green plants are notorious for helping the liver release toxins, which is very important since the liver is the main “housecleaner” of the body, and makes it easier for the liver to breakdown fats and other nutrients to send them where they need to go. Chlorella and other aspects of green plants have been shown to fight cancer cells and other pathogens that cause illness such as fungus, mold, bacteria, etc.
There are many green plants that are available to us, especially in the spring! It is a great time to start eating seasonally and locally in the spring as there is an abundance of fresh, body cleansing foods available.
My own favourite for spring detoxing is nettle. We are fortunate enough to have wild stinging nettle growing around us, so we get the benefits of the nettle plus the fact it’s absorbing nutrients from healthy soil that has an abundance of nutrients, not sprayed by any harmful pesticides or unhealthy fertilizers.
Nettles are very popularly known for it’s liver cleansing properties, but it’s also been known to strengthen the immune system as it has a lot of Vitamin C for a green plant. It has also been used to help people with anemia, which is an iron deficiency of the blood, and nettles help to rebuild iron stores, with the help of it’s vitamin C, because the blood needs both iron and vitamin C to be fully absorbed. Nettle is also 40% protein which is high for a plant!
Nettles can be used in tea, soups, smoothies, and my favourite – pesto! Stinging nettles are called that because of just that – they sting – so always wear gloves when harvesting, and quickly blanch to relieve the sting, and either cook or dry.
This pesto is unique as it is nut free and dairy free – I replace the cheese/pine nuts usually found in pesto with pumpkin seeds, which are very high in the immune system boosting mineral zinc, and are notorious for killing off pathogens like parasites.
NETTLE & BASIL PESTO RECIPE
1 1/2 cups basil . 1/2 cup dried nettles . 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil . 1/3 cup of pumpkin seeds . salt & pepper to taste
Place ingredients in a food blender & pulse. Mix with a simple pasta or rice dish or drizzle over warm flatbread.
Another important key for cleansing the body is hydrating. Drinking water on it’s own is an act of cleansing and detoxifying, and dehydration is most likely a root cause of many health conditions that get overlooked.
The body needs extra hyrdration support while cleansing to take the unwanted waste of the cells and out of the body, via the kidneys/bladder, or even through our pores while we sweat.
Electrolytes are important minerals in the body that help to regulate our heartbeat, help with muscles contract, and many other things that need to stay in balance. Caffeine, excessive sweating, and dehydration are one of the factors of electrolytes becoming out of balance. This is why sports drinks like Gatorade are popular for post workouts or during spots, unfortunately they have many types of sugar, including corn syrup, and food colourings and preservatives as well.
CLEANSING LEMONADE RECIPE
330 ml Coconut Water: “Nature’s Gatorade,” as it’s electrolyte properties are very similar to what we lose in sweat.
1/2 Lemon: Lemon is a very popular liver cleanser, helps to fight bad bacteria, and it’s vitamin C content helps to boost the immune system.
1 TBPS Spirulina: This algae is considered a superfood based on the high level of nutrients per serving – among the many vitamins it has, it also has 2800% more beta carotene than carrots, and 3900% more iron than spinach! The vitamin C in the lemon helps utilize and absorb the iron in the spirulina.
Shake in a masonary jar & serve over ice. Serve with half soda water for a healthy bubbly treat!
OTHER WAYS TO HELP CLEANSE OUR BODY
Alongside food, there are many other ways to help cleanse your body:
Take a daily nature walk and observe the many plants/trees around
Sweat it out! Try an epsom salt bath, sauna, or a hot yoga class
Dry skin brush your body before having a shower
Try deep breathing practices to absorb more oxygen and relieve stress
Plant an indoor garden or outdoor herb/flower gardens on a porch railing
Get a lymphatic massage or acupuncture focussed on detoxifying.
By Carla Budd, Holistic Registered Nutritionist for EarthBites (our school garden project!)