By Linda Melone
After a winter when reduced activity may have you feeling a little off, a spring detox might help jump-start a more energetic you. If that sounds like a plan, keep the following three ideas in mind.
Ease Off Electronics
Sometimes connection can morph into hyper-connectivity—with no off switch. “Many of my patients have a hard time unplugging from the world around them, especially with their phones, Instagram and Facebook,” notes acupuncturist Elizabeth Trattner, AP Ac.
The best solution: Show yourself some tough love in a natural setting. “The easiest way to begin an electronic detox is to plan a trip outdoors to a place with bad cell phone reception,” Trattner suggests. “Or take off all apps off your phone and restore them after your trip.”
Trattner also suggests reducing time spent watching TV, noting that “unfortunately, almost everything is toxic on television, especially the news and reality television.”
Weaning yourself off the screen may help improve sleep. Research shows that the blue light from electronic devices affects melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone.
According to research from the National Academy of Sciences, people reading or viewing a screen immediately before bedtime took longer to fall asleep, experienced less REM sleep (the dreaming, restorative kind) and took longer to wake up when compared with people reading a printed book.
Instead of screen time, soak in an Epsom salt bath or do some restorative yoga as part of your pre-bedtime ritual.
Forgo Fast Food
One way back to optimum health is to cut out fast food.
What qualifies? “I like to keep it simple and call ‘fast food’ any restaurant with a drive-through window,” says naturopathic doctor Susie Dittmer, ND. “Take, for instance, a typical hamburger; most of the real ingredients are gone.”
In many fast-food meals, shortening or oil replaces butter, powdered egg substitutes are often used in place of real eggs and processed sweeteners and preservatives are typical.
“It becomes an unhealthy meal of sugar, fat and salt,” says Dittmer.
Eat Real Food
What should you put on your plate instead? Well, for starters, eating more veggies adds fiber and more antioxidants to support a clean body; organic produce is best. Wild-caught fish and grass-fed meat provide clean sources of protein.
In addition, just changing the way you eat—such as through fasting, juice cleanses and other detox methods—can create major benefits.
Research shows prolonged fasting combined with a low-calorie, high-nutrient diet improves metabolism, brain functioning and life span in animal subjects.† What’s more, some studies have linked exposure to environmental toxins with weight gain.†
†The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described.