From chemicals in the water supply and hormones in cosmetics to dangerous pesticides in common foods, your body’s natural detoxification system definitely has its work cut out for it. A backlog of built up toxins can trigger symptoms like fatigue, aches, weight gain, inflamed or acne prone skin, depression, anxiety and an inability to focus, leaving you looking and feeling worse for the wear.
While smart moves like loading up on organic fruits and vegetables, staying well-hydrated and fitting in daily exercise are all excellent ways to help your body get rid of its toxic load, if you’re seeking a truly powerful way to cleanse and rebalance your system, look no further than an algae detox.
Algae such as spirulina and chlorella boast intensely detoxifying properties due to their ability to help your body convert dangerous toxins into water soluble versions that can easily be expelled through a process called methylation. Methylation is a biochemical reaction in which a methyl donor provides a molecule to the toxin, changing its structure and making it easier for your body to flush out.
Algae are packed with a variety of methyl donors, from amino acids to B vitamins, making them great detoxification helpers. Sulfur molecules from amino acids found in protein, broccoli, cabbage and garlic are also vital in allowing your body to deal with toxic threats like pesticides, herbicides, excess hormones and over the counter drugs.
This is why a whole foods cleanse with foods rich in sulfur molecule sources and supplemented by daily algae intake is often the best choice for detoxifying and recharging your entire system.
How To Get maximum rewards from your cleanse:
Aim for 80/20
Start your algae detox with a minimum 10-day dietary cleanse, choosing organic leafy greens, fresh herbs, spices, nuts and seeds to make up 80% of your daily meals and adding in grass-fed, free-range protein or wild-caught fish to make up the remaining 20% (see www.seachoice.org for a list of the least contaminated fish).
Make sure that vitality-boosting, detoxifying herbs like cilantro, milk thistle, ginger, turmeric and dandelion make up a large portion of the herbs on your plate.
Don’t Skimp On Hydration
Nothing is as vital to a successful cleanse as consuming plenty of pure water. Try for a minimum of 2 liters, sipped throughout the day, to support your body’s detoxification efforts.
Add in the Algae:
A good rule of thumb with all detoxifying substances is to start slowly, allowing your body to get used to the effects. Although both spirulina and chlorella are so effective at flushing out toxins that they often help to eliminate the side effects of detoxification, it’s still a good idea to start out at only ¼ tsp of organic, properly sourced algae per day, mixed in with your water.
Gradually work your way up to 1 tsp daily while keeping an eye out for any digestive disturbances. While many people find spirulina easier to handle, chlorella offers a much larger dose of iron and vitamin A and using both spirulina and chlorella together provides you with intensified health benefits.
If you do experience any adverse reactions at this higher dose, scale back and maintain your tolerance level of ¼ tsp. It’s important not to push your body when it’s reacting, as this will only slow down your detoxification by forcing your body to focus on trying to recover from the side effects instead.
Keep those Bowels Moving
As algae begins to bind toxins, pushing them out of your cells, they may come into contact with your nerves and cause pain (headaches, muscle aches and stomach upsets are common). That’s why it’s essential to keep them moving through and out of your body with bowel movement boosting exercises and plenty of H20.
Go for the Green
Juice, that is. After your initial 10 day whole foods cleanse, follow up with 3 days of juicing to really hit the reset button on your body’s digestive and detoxification functions. Juice cleanses are often nutrient rich and people on juice cleanses often say they feel revitalized and energized as well as experiencing improved mental clarity.
Choose leafy greens like kale, spinach and celery for an additional hemoglobin-producing chlorophyll boost and make sure to include spirulina or chlorella in the mix, for added protein and electrolytes, at doses of no more than ½ tsp per serving, per day.
Make Life Changes
If a juice cleanse just isn’t for you, maintain your whole foods plan for up to 1 month before gradually adding dairy and whole grains back into your diet. You can use this as an opportunity to identify food sensitivities and other health roadblocks by keeping a food journal and listing your reactions to each reintroduced item.
While no detox is a replacement for maintaining the right eating and exercising habits, algae detoxes can play a unique role in your health. An algae detox gives your body a chance to get rid of unwanted chemicals and metals that can stay in your body for a long time—helping reset and rebalance your body again.