Is a Seasonal Detox Worth the Hype? Functional Medicine Says Yes! | Nikki Yelton RD

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Is a Seasonal Detox Worth the Hype? Functional Medicine Says Yes!

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A seasonal detox enhances natural detoxification and reduces the burden on the digestive system and liver, allowing the body to take a break. Learn more about how you could benefit from a safe and guided detox.

Functional medicine practitioner drinking a seasonal detox smoothie

Reading Time: 7 minutes

We’ve all heard the craze and fads on detoxes, cleanses, and resets. But are they actually worth the hype? Do they really work? Truth be told, detoxification is an important process. It eliminates and purges toxins, resulting in a purified and cleansed body. A seasonal detox done right helps replenish nutrients and reduce your toxic load.

You might be surprised to learn that your body detoxes naturally without much intervention! Detoxification is an intuitive process that actually occurs daily, without any supplements, cleanses, or juices. How cool is that? Our bodies are a lot smarter than we’ll ever fully understand. The detoxification and healing process is a great example of this. 

Although our body naturally initiates detoxification, Ancient Ayurveda recommends supporting this natural process by taking the burden and workload off the organs that are responsible for detoxing daily. The science supports a gentle detox with the change of each season to restore your liver, kidney, and bowel function. This is called seasonal detoxing. As the seasons and temperatures change, our cells regenerate and recycle. This is why certain foods should be eaten during specific seasons as well. 

WHEN DETOXING DOES MORE HARM

Detoxing can be a controversial topic because not all detoxification processes yield helpful results each time. One of the biggest issues with most detox programs is the promise of quick weight loss. This often leads to more weight gain AFTER the detox is over. Most of the time this is due to a large calorie deficit from a juice fast or skipping meals. These short-term programs do more harm than good, and can leave you feeling more frustrated and less healthy than before you started the program. 

Completing a guided, effective, and safe seasonal detox however, can provide many benefits because it actually heals your body. It leaves you with lasting change as you replenish nutrients, support brain power, remove excess stored toxins, and activate energy pathways. An effective and safe detox that activates Phase 1 and Phase 2 liver detoxification helps improve energy, boost your immune system, remove excess waste, regulate weight loss, support healthy skin and hair, and improve mental clarity and stress.

THE NEED FOR A SEASONAL DETOX 

Our gut and body is exposed to an enormous amount of toxins every day. These accumulate over time if the liver can’t keep up with the frequent exposure of harmful chemicals, processed foods, and environmental pollutants. Think of your microbiome as the nucleus of your body. It’s central to every pathway, signal, process, and chemical reaction that gives us life. When the gut is “off” that usually means the rest of your body is feeling it too.

how to reduce toxins through a seasonal detox

By reducing the burden on the digestive system and the liver, we allow the body to take a break. It’s able to rest and rebuild good bacteria while getting back into rhythm. This reactivates our digestion, enzyme activation, assimilation and absorption of nutrients, and elimination of waste. It also enhances daily detoxification and allows the liver to function at an optimal level. 

This is key for reducing toxins that will result in hormone balance, optimal metabolism, a healthy weight, increased brain function, improved energy, and so much more. Giving your body a break from working hard to eliminate unwanted chemicals, processed foods, caffeine, and added sugars can do wonderful things for not only your gut–but your brain, mind, waistline, mood, and life too!

KEY SIGNS YOU NEED TO DETOX

Whether we realize it or not, the body frequently communicates with us. All we have to do is listen. The following symptoms are the body’s way of informing us that a seasonal detox may be beneficial to your health:

  • Indigestion
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Aches and pains
  • Headaches
  • Depression and irritability
  • Stomach pain
  • Food intolerances
  • Stubborn weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Skin breakouts 
list of signs you need a seasonal detox such as aches and pains
PURPOSE OF A GUT DETOX 

Given the important functions and responsibilities of the gut, it’s arguably the most important organ to detox regularly. Since we focus on reducing inflammation during a reset, it’s helpful to avoid common gut irritants known to cause GI-distress. Most detoxes are combined with an elimination diet that cools down inflammation. This helps you become your own detective in figuring out what foods are right for your body. After a reset, it’s much easier to identify your unique food triggers while also focusing on daily habits that improve your health. 

While I’m a firm believer food is our best medicine, I’ve also witnessed many cases with clients where food itself just isn’t enough. With that being said, most of us can’t effectively detox or heal with food alone. This is why when the right diet is combined with supplements, detox pathways open up and heal from the inside out. 

Combining diet with supplements that support Phase 1 and Phase 2 liver detoxification not only eliminates stored toxins, but also supports gut health and digestion so you can easily absorb the nutrients you are eating. When you provide the body with key nutrients, you get the most out of a detox. 

A gut detox is beneficial in the following ways:
  1. Reduces the burden on the digestive system and the liver. 
  2. Enhances daily detoxification and allows the liver to function at an optimal level.
  3. Removes toxins that can alleviate physical symptoms.
  4. Gives your body a break from working hard to eliminate unwanted chemicals, processed foods, caffeine, sugars, etc. 
four benefits of safe seasonal detoxification

These 4 areas are critical to an effective detox. You should never feel worse after a reset. An effective detox will leave you with lasting benefits long after you finish. 

10 BENEFITS OF A SEASONAL DETOX
  1. Resets the Microbiome- The microbiome of your gut can change overtime. However, a detox can reset it in less than a day!
  2. Improves Energy- By eliminating burdensome toxins, a detox promotes deep sleep. As a result, you’ll likely feel more rested and energized than ever before!
  3. Reboots the Metabolism- When your metabolism gets a jumpstart, you can expect the following health benefits: natural weight loss, balanced blood sugar, improved circadian rhythm, and more!
  4. Creates Good Habits- A seasonal detox sets the stage for a fresh start every quarter. It’s a great time to assess your mental, physical, and spiritual habits and make changes, if necessary.
  5. Promotes Healing- Once your body is free of toxic substances, overall inflammation is reduced. Given inflammation is the root cause of all diseases,  I’d say this benefit is a #1 priority.
  6. Improves Mental Clarity- After a seasonal detox, you can say good-bye to brain fog and hello to mental focus, concentration, and clarity.
  7. Improves Mood- Starting fresh with a detox allows you to release negative thoughts, increase serotonin production, and lift depression and anxiety.
  8. Balanced Hormones– As a result of releasing toxins, your body is free to produce and regulate your hormones as it should.
  9. Increases Nutrient Absorption- As digestion improves post-detox, so does the absorption of vitamins & minerals, leaving you more nourished than before.
  10. Reduces Cravings- A seasonal detox may be just what you need to help you tap into hunger cues more efficiently and kick those sugary or salty cravings!
SUMMARY

A good reason to do a guided seasonal detox is because you experience physical symptoms such as bloating or gas, aches and pains, constipation or IBS, acid reflux and heartburn. Other signs include a lack of energy, brain fog, poor memory, and intense sugar cravings. A detox may be especially beneficial to you if you want to improve fertility, suffer from an undiagnosed (or diagnosed) autoimmune condition, and/or you just feel like you need to give your gut a rest to heal from the inside out!

summary of your natural detoxification process, the signs you need support detoxing, and the benefits

A seasonal detox can set the stage for long lasting healthy choices. At this point, you might be wondering what is the best way to participate in a detox? Most importantly, you should work with your healthcare practitioner to make sure you are doing it the right way. You always want to support proper detoxification pathways with an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients. 

HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE IN A CLINICALLY DESIGNED DETOX

After working with many women struggling with gut health and autoimmunity, I realized that they needed a quick solution to jumpstart their healing and feel their best in less time. This is how my favorite mini course and program, the 7 Day Gut & Autoimmune Reset & Reboot evolved. 

This clinically designed reset and reboot is a comprehensive program designed to support your body’s natural detoxification process while also making sure you get the nutrients you need to thrive. We do this by helping you to eat the right real foods to nourish and support your organs in combination with taking targeted supplements to cleanse your body safely. The process activates Phase 1 and Phase 2 liver detoxification which helps cleanse your body and rid it of toxins. When you do that, your body is on the path towards healing and this is often the jumpstart most need to start seeing improvements with their health. 

One of my favorite features about the program is that everything is so simple and structured. You won’t have to prepare anything fancy and I teach you exactly how to put your meals together on your own. Or you can follow a structured meal plan (for those who like to take all the guesswork out). I even map out the exact supplement routine I recommend during and after your reset and reboot for best results. 

It’s only 7 days which is not only realistic and doable, but also long enough to clear a large toxic load, begin reducing inflammation, and experience incredible results. The key is to take the things that worked well and try to incorporate them into your routine afterwards. This is why I created an entire module that helps with what to do AFTER you reset. I break down how we can begin to build healthy habits that stick (because we all know fads never work)!

If you’re ready to feel fresh, rested, and renewed, you can join my 7 Day Gut & Autoimmune Reset and Reboot by getting on the waitlist here.

Why functional medicine supports a seasonal detox
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"When it comes to balancing our body, healing the gut, reversing autoimmunity, and achieving optimal health—we are a lot like a car that won’t run right. In order to fix the problem once and for all instead of relying on jumper cables, we must get underneath the hood, run the diagnostics, and replace the battery so that it runs good as new."

-Nikki Yelton, RD

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