How to Get the Benefits of a Cleanse Without Actually Doing One

The word "detox" makes us think restriction, hunger, and mood swings. We asked health experts how to skip all that and get straight to the good stuff. 
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1. Start your mornings with a glass of room-temperature lemon water. (Room temperature is important, since cold foods and drinks can shock your system and cause the digestion process to slow down.) Squeeze half a lemon in and wait 15 to 30 minutes after drinking it to eat breakfast. Why it's so good for you: Lemons are packed with nutrients and immunity boosters like vitamin C, potassium, and pectin fiber, which curbs hunger cravings. They also help speed up enzyme function and stimulate the liver so your body can flush out toxins.

2. Pick up some activated charcoal. "It's the new detox," says Tricia Williams of Food Matters. The tasteless, odorless powder can be found in supplement stores and "gets toxins and poisons out before they can harm the body. Mix it with lemon juice and maple for a delicious black lemonade."

3. On cold days, sip bone broth instead of soup. "Our clients supplement their meal plans with one cup of chicken or beef broth a day for ultimate healing and repair. We like to add in carrot, celery, onion, garlic and thyme," says Williams.

4. If it comes in a bag, box, or can, skip it. "That's our rule of thumb," says Danielle DuBoise of Sakara Life. "A plant-rich diet full of organic fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes is naturally detoxing."

5. Swap sunflower seeds for fennel seeds. The sweet, nutty seeds are full of antioxidants. When chewed, they release beneficial oils that improve digestion and balance blood sugar.

6. Get your probiotics. Lactobacillus acidophilus is a good bacteria that lines the gut membranes and aids in eliminating toxins. You can add the powder form of it to juices and shakes, or eat it in the form of sauerkraut or yogurt.

7. Eat three meals but avoid snacking. "Eating your nutrients in one sitting and then fasting until your next meal allows your body to fully and properly digest all of its food so that it can devote more energy to cleansing as the digestive system rests. This also teaches you to cue in to signals from your brain about when you're actually hungry and when you're just bored," says Whitney Tingle of Sakara Life.

8. Increase the cacao percentage of your dark chocolate. If you're at 70%, up it to 80%.

9. Eat plenty of spices. "Spices like ginger, cinnamon, cayenne, cumin, and turmeric are super-cleansing and help your body reach its natural satiation point earlier," says Tingle.

10. End the night with chamomile tea. Not only does it help with insomnia, it aids in breaking down your final meal.

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