Start Clean in 2024 - Wakunaga of America


Start Clean in 2024

Seven healthy ways to detoxify your body and mind in the New Year.

Forget those popular, yet overly ambitious, resolutions that aim to completely overhaul your life this year. Instead, focus on making small but concrete lifestyle improvements to build a foundation of good health. Because your body is exposed to countless harmful chemicals every day, shoring up your detoxification system with a cleanse is a great place to start. Here are the best ways to optimize your body's ability to flush out waste and toxins so you can be ready for whatever 2024 has to throw at you.

  1. Improve Your Eating Habits

Starting out the New Year with a detox diet is great, but it doesn’t do you much good if you simply revert back to your old patterns once the diet is over. Rather than a temporary shift in eating, strive to incorporate foods that support detoxification into your everyday routine. The best detox foods are high in antioxidants—think berries, nuts, and dark leafy greens—which effectively and safely counteract the dangers of oxidative stress and free radicals.1

Of course, limiting the amount of toxins that go into your body is just as important as eating detoxifying foods. Try to avoid processed foods that contain a plethora of synthetic ingredients, from preservatives and additives to artificial colors and sweeteners—all of which have been linked to a variety of health problems.

  1. Get Better Sleep

Sleep doesn’t just recharge your energy levels; it’s also essential for proper detoxification. That’s because when you sleep, your glymphatic system kicks into gear. This network of vessels moves beneficial cerebrospinal fluid into your brain and removes metabolic waste.2 But since this process only occurs during non-REM sleep, it’s important to get seven to nine hours of quality shut-eye nightly.3

  1. Drink More Water

Since as much as 60 percent of the human body is made up of water, it’s little wonder that staying hydrated provides a number of health benefits. For instance, your kidneys rely on water to remove waste and extra fluid from your body. Making sure you’re drinking enough water also helps to prevent the buildup of waste products in your large intestines. What’s more, studies show that healthy hydration can protect against constipation and relieve the bloating and discomfort that accompany it.4 How much should you drink? Experts recommend drinking at least half your body weight in ounces every day. For example, someone weighing 150 pounds should drink at least 75 ounces (or a little more than nine 8-ounce glasses) of water each day to ensure healthy hydration.

  1. Reduce Your Alcohol Consumption

Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink—or abstaining from it altogether—is one of the best ways to keep your body’s detoxification system on track. There are two primary reasons for this. First, alcohol has a negative effect on the composition and function of your gut microbiota.5 Second, your liver can’t function adequately or perform its necessary tasks when you routinely consume alcohol. This includes filtering waste and other toxins from your body. So while a Dry January will help to get your liver’s detoxification capabilities back on track, reducing the number of alcoholic beverages you consume the rest of the year will help your body and mind stay clean.

  1. Break a Sweat

Being active plays a key role in the elimination of toxins. When you move, your blood flow increases, and that delivers more oxygen and nutrients to cells while clearing out waste.6 Aerobic exercise also improves the function of your lymphatic system, which plays a vital role in waste elimination.7

According to the current , adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity. That breaks down to just 30 minutes per day, five days a week. The guidelines also recommend adding 2 days of moderate muscle-strengthening activity each week that target all the major muscle groups (think weightlifting or bodyweight exercises like squats or pushups).

  1. Keep Stress to a Minimum

Stress is unavoidable. And although a little stress here and there is sometimes the best motivation, living with constant pressure can have serious implications for your body and your mind. Stress affects every system in your body, including your cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine, gastrointestinal, nervous, muscular, and reproductive systems.8 Pinpoint your stressors and find ways to work around them. If you can’t sidestep them, try out a meditation app, deep-breathing or yoga to help you cope with the things that put you on edge.

  1. Try a Supplement

No matter how good your health routine is, your detox system could likely use a boost. Fortunately, one of the easiest ways to ensure proper cleansing is with a focused supplement regimen. Here are some of the most effective nutrients to enhance detoxification:

Aged Garlic Extract (AGE). Well known for its cardiovascular and cognitive benefits, AGE possesses powerful antioxidant activity that aids in the act of cleansing. In fact, some of its antioxidant capabilities have been shown to be more potent than those of vitamin C.9 AGE also helps to detoxify the brain by potentially reducing the buildup of cerebral beta-amyloid protein significantly.10

Digestive enzymes. Support healthy gastrointestinal function with a combination of digestive enzymes. In one double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of Italian adults experiencing functional dyspepsia, treatment with digestive enzymes—particularly protease and lipase—was found to be effective for reducing indigestion and improving sleep quality.11

Milk thistle. Also referred to as silymarin, milk thistle supports healthy detoxification in the liver through its robust antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. A recent pharmacological review suggests that silymarin can effectively restore liver function and liver cells.12

Additional antioxidants. As mentioned earlier, antioxidants are vital for fighting off the oxidative stress and free radicals that can damage your cells—including those needed for healthy detoxification. When choosing a supplement, opt for one that combines an array of antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, which have been clinically shown to reduce oxidative stress.13 And be sure your antioxidant blend includes selenium, as it’s been shown to be an even more powerful antioxidant than vitamin E, vitamin C, or beta-carotene.14

Cleansing your body for a fresh start might be easier than you think it is. By changing up your diet and a few lifestyle habits, your body’s detoxification process will be better equipped to handle the demands of modern life. Toss in a targeted supplement or two, and 2024 will likely be your healthiest year yet!


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  14. Fernández-Lázaro D. The role of selenium mineral trace element in exercise: Antioxidant defense system, muscle performance, hormone response, and athletic performance. A systematic review. Nutrients. 2020;12(6):1790.

This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.