Spring has sprung! The birds are chirping, the trees are budding, and the first early flowers are beginning to poke out from the dirt. Spring is a beautiful time of rebirth and renewal, and just as the world around us is waking up, cleansing, and renewing itself, our bodies, too, could use a little Spring cleaning. Many of us get into a rut during the winter. We probably aren’t always making the best food choices, and the bountiful availability of fresh foods is still months away. Perhaps we’ve become more sedentary this winter due to shorter, colder days, or maybe we still have a touch of the winter blues. The beginning of Spring marks a perfect time to embark on a detox program and leave winter — with all its dark, cold moods and unhealthy habits — far behind.
The benefits of a detox program are many: more energy, improved digestion, decreased inflammation, clearer thinking, better sleep, fewer cravings, and more. Detoxing can also help jumpstart weight loss. A detox plan usually includes detoxifying supplements, but may also include dietary changes as well. Some plans last just a couple of days, while others are intended to be followed for weeks or even longer. Since all of us are exposed to toxins on a daily basis no matter how “clean” we try to eat and live, we can all benefit from most any cleanse or detox plan. However, certain health and lifestyle factors may affect which detox program is best for you at this moment. Below, I’ve outlined a few of our favorite detox plans to help you choose which one to try.
The 21 Day Detox Program
Best if: You suspect food allergies or intolerances, or you have gotten into a rut of unhealthy eating
The 21 Day Detox Program would be my top choice after a long, lazy winter. This plan not only provides supplements to encourage the cleansing process, but also helps you completely revamp your diet and get back on track. Three weeks (plus a couple more weeks to slowly reintroduce foods) might feel like a big commitment, but your health is worth it! Developed by Dr. Erica LePore, ND, this is a comprehensive detox program that includes dietary changes as well as supplements to target inflammation, digestive health, liver support, and heavy metal and toxin removal. This plan also helps you pinpoint which foods you may be reacting poorly to. The 21 Day Detox Program includes all the supplements you’ll need, plus a full guide written by Dr. LePore so you know exactly how to carry out the plan. Ready to get started? The 21 Day Detox Program is available here. If you want to hear a first-hand account of this program first, you can read more here.
Oxy-Clean 6 Day Colon Cleanse
Best if: You’re feeling backed up, foggy, and sluggish
Compacted fecal matter lodged in the colon can really weigh you down! If you feel like your digestive system isn’t functioning optimally — you’re often constipated, have diarrhea, or are always bloated and gassy — or you just feel dragged down by a heavy gut, you may need a colon cleanse. The Oxy-Powder Colon Cleanse takes less than a week to flush everything out. You don’t necessarily need to follow a special diet; you’ll take Oxy-Powder, Latero-Flora (a probiotic supplement), and a colon cleansing cocktail made from ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. The concoction will clean out your digestive tract while you sleep. You’ll likely experience watery stools as everything is liquified and passes out, which is a sign that the cleanse is working. Within a few days you’ll be feeling lighter and cleaner! Oxy-Powder can also be taken long term to keep the colon clean, and on an as-needed basis to detox after a day or two of overindulging.
Harmful Organism Cleanse
Best if: You suspect you may have parasites
You might have a problem with parasites if you feel like something is sucking the life out of you. You may feel tired, weak, and mentally foggy. You may struggle to fight off colds and viruses, and be unable to maintain a healthy weight. Parasites can literally steal nutrients from the food you eat, leaving your body chronically deprived. The Harmful Organism Cleanse Kit contains a natural supplement to cleanse your body of these harmful parasites and ward off invaders, as well as a probiotic designed to fight off bad bacteria and yeast. You can do the parasite cleanse alongside the Oxy-Powder colon cleanse detailed above.
Best if: You’re exposed to lots of toxins via food, medicine, workplace, or environment
Toxins surround us all, but some of us get more exposure than others. A liver detox is particularly important for those that drink a lot of coffee or alcohol, take daily medications, eat foods containing hormones or chemical additives, or have work exposure to toxins such as chemicals, smoke, cleaning solutions, radiation, or fumes from paint or plastics. Unfortunately, while many of these toxins might be hard to avoid, they can really tax the liver, leaving you feeling sick or just not quite yourself. A clean, unstressed liver is so important to maintaining a clean, toxin-free body, so it’s critical to keep this organ functioning optimally.
Dr. Junger’s 3-Day Liquid Cleanse
Best if: You’ve been gaining weight or relying on packaged foods
It happens to the best of us, especially when we’re stressed or overworked — sometimes you can’t help but turn to packaged, processed foods. The problem is, what started as a reaction to a rough day or a quick lapse for the sake of convenience, can quickly become an addiction, and the cravings for junk food escalate. The first of Dr. Oz’s “Detox for Your Body Type,” the 3-Day Liquid Cleanse developed by Dr. Junger recommends eating all-liquid meals for 3 days, in the form of smoothies or soups, to reset your system. You’ll also take a supplement with milk thistle to support the liver. The goal of this detox plan is to aid the liver in eliminating fat, and it is ideal for those who are “fat all over.”
Dr. Junger’s 5-Day Gut Flush Cleanse
Best if: You’re so bloated that you’re worried friends will start asking if you’re pregnant
Bloating may not only leave you feeling self-conscious, but it can also be extremely uncomfortable, even painful. Dr. Junger’s 5-Day Gut Flush, also featured on Dr. Oz’s “Detox for Your Body Type” episode, is targeted at those who crave fatty or salty foods. Instead of opting for an order of French fries, you’re encouraged to eat whole, unprocessed foods. While lunch is a solid meal, breakfast and dinner primarily consist of smoothies or soups. Probiotics are the focus as far as supplements are concerned, as they help alleviate the digestive problems caused by an overgrowth of bad bacteria.
Dr. Junger’s 7-Day Vegan Cleanse
Best if: You have lots of signs of inflammation, including aches and pains or itchy skin
Think you can handle going vegan? Don’t worry, it’s only for a week! The 7-Day Vegan Cleanse from Dr. Junger encourages you to temporarily eliminate meat and dairy products, and instead focus on healing superfoods. This detox diet counteracts the inflammation that can lead you to have aches and pains, sore joints, and dry, itchy skin or scalp. Hallmarks of this body type are intense sugar cravings and being over-stressed. Unlike some of the other detox plans, the 7-Day Vegan Cleanse allows you to eat full, satisfying meals of solid foods, so it may be easier for those who struggle with more restrictive plans that can leave you feeling deprived.
Best if: All these other plans scare you, but you still want to detox
If you’re not looking for an intensive detox, but just a real food to gently encourage toxin elimination, chlorella is just what you need! All you have to do is take a couple chlorella capsules or add a scoop of chlorella powder to your morning smoothie — it doesn’t get much simpler than that! Chlorella draws out toxins and heavy metals while improving the bacterial balance in your gut, plus provides lots of protein, vitamins, and minerals. This is also a great way to start for those new to detoxing or reluctant to get started.