Spring is the perfect time to reflect on our habits and look for ways to be proactive about our health. The question is, where do we start? We spring clean our homes, so it only makes sense that we spring cleanse our body too. A healthy detox is an ideal starting point, so I’ve included my two favourite liver and bowel detox products of all time. This season I’m also focusing on healthy brain, mood, skin and restful sleep. Here are just a few ways to help you get inspired about your health this spring.
Are detox products worth taking?
You’ll sometimes hear people repeat ‘our bodies can detox fine and there is no need to take detox products’. In my opinion that’s a valid point... for the stone age. But now in the 21st century, it doesn't make a lot of sense – especially if we consider all the toxins in our modern environment. These toxins are relatively new compounds that we encounter in our everyday lives. Toxins such as xenoestrogens leach into our food and drink from plastic packaging and containers. The best solution for both our bodies and the planet in this instance is to shop for stainless steel and glass alternatives wherever possible.
Meanwhile, our very own produce faces toxins such as herbicides and pesticides. In order to cut exposure, eating organic produce has proven to be an effective solution. These are just a couple of the toxins we can avoid. Due to ongoing health risks, other harmful toxins have been banned – but unfortunately, they still persist in our environment.
So, if we have herbs shown to support healthy detoxification pathways for efficient toxin removal, why not make the most of them? These well-researched plant extracts support liver health in many ways, including:
- Efficient liver detoxification pathways
- Antioxidant liver cell protection
- Healthy glutathione production and
- Healthy bile flow to excrete toxins.
What’s more, they have some pretty compelling research behind them too.
For liver love: Liver Cleanse
The liver is our ‘master detoxer’. It’s kind of like a factory – an amazing, meaty 500-room factory, performing 500 tasks simultaneously (it’s busy even when we’re asleep). It’s responsible for getting rid of toxins and waste that are byproducts of day-to-day functions like hormone residues and inflammatory chemicals -plus, it processes medications and alcohol. It also takes care of heavy metals like lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium.
The 500 tasks are not just detox jobs either, it’s also responsible for life-or-death tasks. The bottom line? It’s absolutely crucial to look after our liver health. Thankfully, the good news is there are many ways we can all show our liver some well-deserved love and care.
4 ways to show your liver some love
- Exercising regularly (aim for 30 minutes per day, most days)
- Maintaining a healthy weight, specifically a healthy waist to hip ratio (0.85 or less for women and 0.9 or less for men)
- Staying within alcohol guidelines (at least two alcohol free days per week, with no more than two standard drinks per day or 10 per week for women and three standard drinks per day or 15 per week for men)
- Taking a research-based liver support product.
So, what is the best cleanse for detox? Ideally when you’re looking to spring cleanse your body, look for a formula that supports healthy and efficient liver detoxification as well as kidney and digestive health.
BioBalance Liver Cleanse & Detox has a comprehensive formula that targets all these areas. It has a combination of ten research-based herbs and nutrients to support toxin metabolism, heavy metal detox, and clear skin too.
For a thriving microbiome: A healthy bowel sweep
After the liver has performed its detox tasks, it squirts toxins in green bile into the bowel to be passed out in faeces. Having enough fibre in the bowel is key here because fibre works like a sponge to soak up toxins. This is important because the bowel is a site of absorption too, so toxins being reabsorbed into the system is a very real thing. Fibre is a foundation of healthy detox.
Fibre, prebiotics and probiotics are all excellent for an internal bowel sweep, healthy digestion and a healthy microbiome. A psyllium fibre based powder that mixes into water is helpful because it helps with increasing water intake, which is key both when you’re detoxing as well as when you’re taking fibre. Inulin, a prebiotic fibre, feeds probiotic bacteria and it has a slightly sweet taste, making liquids more pleasant to drink.
On top of psyllium fibre and probiotic inulin, Lifestream Bowel Biotics Fibre powder also features lacto and bifido probiotics -great for bowel and full body health. This is my favourite product to support bowel detox by far. I often recommend this along with plenty of water for people with blemishes too. And customers tell us they love it.
For brain, mood and skin health: Omega-3
Healthy Omega-3s are so important for our health, they support such a vast array of health areas. But how many of us have two or more servings of oily fish EVERY week to get the recommended intake of Omega-3? Examples of oily fish include sardines, salmon, mackerel and mullet.
My main motivator for taking Omega-3s is to support brain, mood, and skin health. It’s also excellent to support joint and cardiovascular health. Plant-derived Omega-3's tend to be a more sustainable choice for the planet. But fish can also be sustainably and responsibly sourced (our Marine Sustainability Policy means all our fish oil products are certified by credible international marine sustainability groups).
For health reasons I tend to alternate monthly between my chosen plant oils ( flaxseed and hempseed) and a high-quality omega to obtain EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which fish oil is a rich source of. Purity and freshness are key considerations and I really rate Nordic Naturals for this.
Nordic Naturals Arctic Cod Liver Oil contains EPA and DHA, and also offers Vitamin D and Vitamin A. These two fat-soluble vitamins are stored in our liver (one of the 500 tasks it does) so they're not vitamins we necessarily need to take every day, making this an ideal option to alternate monthly with plant-based omegas.
For smooth, supple skin: Collagen
Collagen is super popular at the moment and for good reason. Research shows that taking collagen daily supports healthy collagen in our skin (consistency is key with collagen, it’s one that you ideally take each day). Our collagen levels naturally decline with age. This is one of the factors that lead to visible signs of aging, like wrinkles and less firmness. Collagen supports smooth and fresh, youthful looking skin, including skin firmness and plumpness.
Being in my late thirties means skin aging is more on my mind when I see a mirror and all the skin supporting qualities of collagen are on my wish list. Being recommended a product by a friend or colleague is always a great vote of confidence and I was put onto this one. I look for quality and a pleasant taste, and Two Islands Collagen Beauty Powder Vanilla ticks all the boxes. It mixes easily and is convenient to take. Personally, collagen is something I find noticeable if I stop taking it, rather than when I started.
For all-round wellness: Restful sleep
Spring is the perfect time to reflect on our quality of sleep, and identifying anything that could be affecting it. Physical things like getting enough regular exercise, meditating, and cutting caffeine intake after 2pm are great places to start. If I find I have temporary worries that occasionally play on my mind when I want to drift off into dreamland, a herbal helper in drop form can be an easy option to keep on hand.
Herbs in a dropper bottle are ideal because they can easily sit on your bedside table. Just 15 drops of Weleda Sleep Relax Drops as you get into bed can support healthy sleep onset. It can also be taken during the night if you wake, no need to swallow capsules with a glass of water, it’s as easy as counting out 15 drops - simple! This can be taken for daytime relaxation too, the bottle is small enough to be portable and the price is great too, such excellent value for money.
There are plenty of health areas we can focus on for spring. Keeping it simple and starting gradually can be a useful strategy to sustain healthy habits in the long term. Adding something new each week can be an easy way to establish healthy habits.
Vitamins and minerals are supplementary to and not a replacement for a balanced diet. Always read the label and use as directed.
- BioBalance Ltd, Collingwood
- Lifestream International, Auckland
- Nordic Naturals, Natural Meds, Napier
- Two Islands, Auckland
- Weleda NZ Ltd, Havelock North