5 Steps to Detoxify Your Body Naturally
(Family Features) As you prepare your mind and body for the warmer months, you may be interested in detoxification as a way of cleansing and eliminating toxins. A typical detoxification period may include fasting and a strict diet combined with light, appropriate exercise.
According to Ayurvedic practices, an ancient Indian science focused on whole-body healing and health optimization, it may be beneficial to detoxify. Consider these steps toward detoxification from the experts at Buddha Teas:
Aim for a Healthy Lifestyle
Before considering the specifics of daily routines and phases of detoxification, it’s important to focus your lifestyle around healthy practices. For example, aim to minimize stress by participating in uplifting activities such as mindful walking, meditation, spending time in nature or other hobbies that put you at ease. Remember to rest both your mind and body, and get an appropriate amount of sleep each night.
Take 3-7 days to prepare your body for detoxification. The start of your journey should involve the elimination or drastic reduction of caffeine, tobacco, alcohol and recreational drugs.
Active Cleansing Phase
During the 7-14-day active phase, it’s important to create and follow a singular diet of kitchari, which consists of mung beans, basmati rice, spices and vegetables. As a complete protein that’s easy to digest, kitchari helps reset your digestive system while restoring digestive fire and supporting the elimination of toxins. If you’re looking for a place to start, consider trying a few different recipes online, or purchase from a natural foods store.
If kitchari isn’t right for you, opt for oatmeal in the morning and steamed vegetables or vegetable soup with basmati rice for lunch and dinner. Be conscious of portion control; eat enough for satisfaction without overeating. Aim to finish your evening meal 2-4 hours before sunset.
Another important aspect of the active phase is liquid intake. Drink hot water with lemon juice in the morning. Throughout the day, consider a hot tea with bitter herbs like Buddha Teas’ Detox Dharma Blend. This delicious option consists of carefully chosen herbs and spices that come together to help eliminate toxins. Other effective hot teas include nettle leaf, dandelion root and dandelion leaf.
Create a Morning Routine
To stay on track during the active phase, it is helpful to create routines, starting with your morning wake-up call. After brushing your teeth and other daily to-dos, try relaxing techniques like sipping 8-16 ounces of hot water with lemon juice, self-massaging, taking a warm or hot shower or bath, gently exercising and combining these activities with an appropriate active phase morning meal.
Create an Evening Routine
Proper relaxation prior to bedtime can help encourage restful sleep. Avoid watching TV about one hour before bedtime and consider massaging your feet with herbal oil for a few minutes before rinsing with cool water. Drink a peaceful beverage like a milk substitute mixed with Buddha Teas’ Golden Milk, which is developed from an Ayurvedic recipe that provides satisfaction and comfort while supporting the body and mind.
As your active phase comes to a close, slowly reintroduce foods like dairy, wheat, soy, meat and fish. Continue activities like gentle yoga, walking, tai chi and qi gong then rejuvenate your body with hot beverages like turmeric ginger tea, chaga tea and mushroom tea.
Learn more about detoxification and its benefits at www.BuddhaTeas.com.
Photos courtesy of Getty ImageSOURCE:
5 Healthy Habits to Help Reduce Stress
(Family Features) Between work, family obligations and a constantly changing world, people in the United States are stressed. In fact, U.S. workers are among the most stressed in the world, according to a State of the Global Workplace study. While some stress is unavoidable and can be good for you, constant or chronic stress can have real consequences for your mental and physical health.
Chronic stress can increase your lifetime risk of heart disease and stroke. It can also lead to unhealthy habits like overeating, physical inactivity and smoking while also increasing risk factors, including high blood pressure, depression and anxiety. However, a scientific statement from the American Heart Association shows reducing stress and cultivating a positive mindset can improve health and well-being.
To help people understand the connection between stress and physical health, the American Heart Association offers these science-backed insights to help reduce chronic stress.
Exercise is one of the easiest ways to keep your body healthy and release stress. Physical activity is linked to lower risk of diseases, stronger bones and muscles, improved mental health and cognitive function and lower risk of depression. It can also help increase energy and improve quality of sleep. The American Heart Association recommends adults get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity, 75 minutes of vigorous activity or a combination.
Incorporate meditation and mindfulness practices into your day to give yourself a few minutes to create some distance from daily stress. Some studies show meditation can reduce blood pressure, improve sleep, support the immune system and increase your ability to process information.
A positive mindset can improve overall health. Studies show a positive mindset can help you live longer, and happy individuals tend to sleep better, exercise more, eat better and not smoke. Practice positive self-talk to help you stay calm. Instead of saying, “everything is going wrong,” re-frame the situation and remind yourself “I can handle this if I take it one step at a time.”
Gratitude – or thankfulness – is a powerful tool that can reduce levels of depression and anxiety and improve sleep. Start by simply writing down three things you’re grateful for each day.
Find a Furry Friend
Having a pet may help you get more fit; lower stress, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar; and boost overall happiness and well-being. When you see, touch, hear or talk to companion animals, you may feel a sense of goodwill, joy, nurturing and happiness. At the same time, stress hormones are suppressed. Dog ownership is also associated with a lower risk of depression, according to research published by the American Heart Association.
Find more stress-management tips at Heart.org/stress.
Understanding stress is an important step in managing and reducing it. Consider these things to know about stress and how it could affect your life:
- Today, 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. report being worried or depressed.
- Higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol are linked to increased risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular events like heart disease and stroke.
- The top sources of stress are money, work, family responsibilities and health concerns.
- Work-related stress is associated with a 40% increased risk of cardiovascular disease like heart attack and stroke.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images
American Heart Association
Sweeten Up Summer with a Frozen, Fruity Snack
(Family Features) Whether you spend your summer afternoons sitting by the pool, splashing in the shallow end or just soaking up the sun’s rays, part of the fun is beating the heat with a cool, refreshing snack. Heading to the freezer for a fruity ice pop can transport you from your own backyard to a tropical island, and the experience can be even more rewarding when the tasty treat is homemade.
Cool down after fun in the sun with these kid-friendly Pina Colada Sweetpotato Ice Pops, a tropical-inspired dessert made with coconut cream, sweetpotatoes, fresh pineapple, lime juice and honey.
Sure to please kids and adults alike, they’re a better-for-you option when a cold snack calls your name. As a “diabetes superfood,” according to the American Diabetes Association, sweetpotatoes provide a main ingredient that’s rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber along with a “sweet” flavor without the added sugar.
The ease of this summer snack means kids can help in the kitchen, and while you wait for the sweet concoction to freeze, you can share this fun fact with them: The one-word spelling of “sweetpotato” was adopted by the National Sweetpotato Collaborators in 1989 in an effort to avoid confusion with the potato and yam among shippers, distributors, warehouse workers and consumers. To add to the fun facts, a sweetpotato is not even botanically related to a white potato; they are two entirely different species from one another.
Visit ncsweetpotatoes.com to find more delicious summer recipe ideas.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
Pina Colada Sweetpotato Ice PopsPrep time: 5 minutes
Freeze time: 3-4 hours
Yield: 8 small ice pops
- 1/2 cup coconut cream
- 3/4 cup mashed and cooked sweetpotato
- 3/4 cup diced pineapple
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- coconut flakes (optional)
- In food processor or high-speed blender, mix coconut cream, sweetpotato, pineapple, honey and lime juice. Transfer batter to freezer molds.
- Place in freezer 3-4 hours. Top with coconut flakes, if desired.