4 Simple Detox Steps to Boost Longevity

Holiday cookies, cakes, and cocktails: Are you feeling the pangs of overindulgence?

You don’t have to wait until spring to detoxify your body and mind from unhealthy habits! Get a jump-start on the upcoming new year with four simple tips that will have you feeling renewed and ready to take on the holiday season!

Our bodies are naturally equipped to eliminate toxic debris that may have accumulated over time. However, excess stress, poor dietary choices, exposure to harmful environmental substances, and too little physical activity may slow down your body’s self-cleaning process. The good news is that you can awaken your body’s natural detoxification process and keep it burning bright!

1. Love Your Lemons

For centuries lemons have been used as a tonic, astringent, lotion, and diuretic. Drinking the juice of one lemon with twelve ounces of warm water in the morning can activate your liver to flush out toxins and cleanse your intestines. The lemon peel also contains a powerful compound called "D-limonene" which has been shown to block cancer-forming cells. In addition, lemons contain almost half your daily value of vitamin C, which is one of nature’s most potent antioxidants. So forget the morning cup of coffee and peel your way to health with a squeeze of refreshing citrus!

Bonus Tip: You can help support your detoxification with herbal combinations, such as Internal Cleanse, formulated with traditional Chinese herbs to nourish the liver and help rid your body of harmful toxins.

2. Detox with a Soothing Soak

Bath time is not just for children! Revitalize yourself in a warm bathtub infused with a blend of natural herbs to help draw out the toxins from your body and calm your mind. Combine one teaspoon each of: epsom salts, cinnamon, eucalyptus, fennel, peppermint, and winter green into a drawstring bag. Place the bag into your bathwater for several minutes and then step in for a long, relaxing soak. The fragrance and healing properties of each herb will melt away your stress and awaken you with renewed energy!

3. Expel with an Exhale

We often don’t think twice about breathing—but practicing proper breathing can have a significant impact on our state of health and state of mind. Yoga practitioners have integrated pranayama breathwork for thousands of years to improve health in mind and body, as well as to release toxins. It is estimated that we expel only about 30 percent of toxins in our bodies through defecation, urination, and perspiration—the rest is all respiratory. In addition to helping cleanse the body, modern research shows that correct breathing can reduce blood pressure, alleviate stress, and limit the production of stressful hormones. To help you transition into detox mode try the following exercise for five minutes a day to clear your mind, boost your energy, and improve your mood!

1. Sit comfortably in a chair, on your bed, or cross-legged on the floor. Close your eyes, and relax your face and tongue.

2. Take a deep, long inhalation for a count of five as you feel your belly, rib cage, and chest expand. Hold your breath for five seconds and then slowly exhale for another count of five as your chest, rib cage, and belly begin to relax.

3. Envision the word "calm" blanket your entire body as you exhale. Pull in your belly to expel any remaining air.

4. Cleansing Chlorophyll

Chlorophyll is responsible for giving plants their green hue and shares a similar structure to that of a human red blood cell. A study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research found that chlorophyll and its derivative chlorophyllin may limit the absorption of the contaminant aflotoxin in humans. Give your body a cleansing boost and make sure that you are receiving adequate amounts of this blood-purifying compound by mixing a powder of barley, wheat grass, spirulina, blue-green algae, or chlorella into a glass of water or cup of green tea.

Food for Thought:  Spinach contains 300-600 mg of chlorophyll per ounce. Other concentrated sources of chlorophyll include asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green cabbage, celery, collard greens, green beans, green peas, kale, leeks, green olives, parsley, romaine lettuce, sea vegetables, Swiss chard, and turnip greens. Eat up!

You can find more ways to detox and live a long and healthy life in Secrets of Longevity: Hundreds of Ways to Live to Be 100, which is now available on Kindle. In addition, The Natural Health Dictionary makes a great companion to your quest for longevity. It is a comprehensive guide that answers all your questions about natural remedies, healing herbs, longevity foods, vitamins, and supplements.

I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.

May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

—Dr. Mao

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To purchase Dr. Mao's book, "Secrets of Longevity" on Kindle, click here.

To learn more about Dr. Mao and other natural health tips, go to askdrmao.com.

To purchase Dr. Mao's book, "The Natural Health Dictionary," click here.

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