A Gentle Detox for SeniorsPosted By HarborChase on October 15, 2022
It has been proven that what you eat directly affects your overall health. In other words, your digestive health is correlated to a number of health issues. Many older adults have high levels of toxins in their system due to their eating habits. Toxicity does not discriminate on age, so HarborChase Senior Living has come up with a perfect gentle detox for seniors.
Before you or your loved one attempts to detox, be sure to check with your doctor. Discussing all detox methods with your primary healthcare provider to ensure it is safe for you is essential. If you or your loved one is living with any serious medical illness, disease, or ailment, detoxing may not be right for you.
How would you know if you or your loved one needs to detox? Some signs that may indicate that your body has a high amount of toxins are if you are experiencing constipation, headaches, muscle aches, and a diet full of processed foods.
Detoxing is not necessarily for losing weight; it promotes healthy aging and removes toxins from the body. However, if your body’s toxicity is high, it can negatively impact a person’s quality of life.
Common Detox Misconceptions
“Detox” has become a buzzword surrounding the health world in recent years. So-called “detox diets” are promoted constantly by celebrities, health gurus, and even on some of our favorite talk shows. These diets claim to miraculously rid our bodies of toxins, improve our health for the better, and promote almost instant weight loss.
Detox diets often involve the usage of special teas, vitamins, minerals, and occasionally laxatives and diuretics. Sometimes they’re presented as a meal plan or diet guideline.
Don’t be fooled! While these claims are enough to get anyone ready to sign up for a juice cleanse, these specific plans rarely target the actual unhealthy toxins in our bodies and can end up doing more harm than good. In fact, many of these detox teas or vitamins only target water weight, and many detox meal plans drastically reduce carbohydrate intake, which explains the quick weight loss.
Carbohydrates are a favorite energy source of the human body; when we consume carbs, they’re broken down into glycogen, a form of sugar. Glycogen is stored in the liver, muscles, and other organs to be utilized when energy is needed. As a result, our bodies get rid of the extra water intake needed to store carbs when we deprive our systems of enough carbohydrates. As promised by these dramatic diet plan claims, the result is immediate weight loss and feelings of lightness in our bodies.
These weight changes, however, are not sustainable in the long term. When we reduce our intake of solid foods for a short period of time, whether dieting or fasting, our bodies immediately snap back to normal as soon as we begin to re-introduce solid foods to our daily meals.
Rather than fall for these celebrity-endorsed claims, it’s important to understand that a quick health fix is not attainable. Instead, through lifestyle changes and consistent healthy habits, we can achieve our wellness goals and improve our overall health!
Signs a Detox is Needed
Every so often, we all indulge in the occasional fast-food meal, cocktail, or dessert; there’s nothing wrong with that! Everybody deserves to treat themselves now and again, but the important thing to remember is that moderation is key.
When our bodies intake too many foods or beverages that are toxic to our systems, we can immediately notice the changes in ourselves:
- Feeling tired and sluggish
- Noticeable weight gain/loss
- Skin issues
- Digestive discomfort
While many toxins can be safely processed by our bodies daily, some can be more harmful than others. Thankfully, the process of helping our system along in getting rid of toxins provides so many other benefits to our general health.
When we slowly decrease our intake of unhealthy substances, like highly processed foods, alcohol, sodium, and sugar, and replace them with healthier options, like antioxidant-rich foods and prebiotics, we’re supporting and improving our gut health, which is crucial for detoxification and healthy aging.
Our gut microbiome is vital for overall health, especially that of detoxification. The “good bacteria” in our gut promote healthy digestion so our bodies get the nutrients they need to function properly. When our gastrointestinal systems aren’t working properly, or they aren’t developing enough “good bacteria,” it can affect the way that our natural detox process gets rid of toxins.
Our gastrointestinal system also connects and sends messages to our brain, with researchers stating that our gut health is immediately linked to our emotions and the way we process our five senses.
Safe and Healthy Detox for Seniors
While our bodies are naturally well equipped to rid our systems of toxins, there are many ways to enhance our detoxification process. Keep reading for HarborChase’s complete guide to gently – and safely! – detoxing:
Eliminate Certain Foods
The first step in any detox is to eliminate certain foods. These can be foods your body is slightly allergic to or highly processed foods. For example, white flour and white sugar are highly processed; substitute these products with whole wheat or natural options. Other foods that you should eliminate to detox are sugars, salts, and caffeine.
Drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water a day is the most natural way to aid your body in detoxification. Your kidneys help remove waste from your body, and water aids in this process. Another form of detoxing in water can be with steaming in saunas, hot and cold showers, and bathing.
Increase Certain Foods
If you or your loved one are eliminating processed foods, it only makes sense to increase the number of unprocessed foods you eat. These foods consist of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grains. Vegetables you want to add specifically are beets, broccoli, carrots, kale, onion, radishes, and brussel sprouts. Garlic and turmeric also aid in detoxification.
Certain fruits, especially organic fruit, are a great addition to a detox-focused diet. Organic fruit is free of chemicals and has a high liquid content which helps wash away toxins. Fruits to add specifically are berries, lemons, oranges, grapes, and limes. Adding these fruits to your diet will aid in detox. Just be sure you are getting real fruit, as juices are not a good substitute due to their high sugar content.
Exercising aids digestion and is a healthy way to detox naturally. This is due to the increase in internal temperature and the amount of blood flow to the organs. These reactions bring nutrients to the organs and cause your body to sweat, releasing toxins through the pores of the skin.
Exercising can sound intimidating, but it can be as simple as walking, riding a bike, or swimming. Yoga is another excellent exercise that detoxes the body and can detox the mind from negative thoughts.
Relax and Breathe
You may not think of breathing as a detox, but it is our bodies most natural detoxification process. Be sure if you or your loved one needs a detox to be sure they can take some time out of their day to relax and breathe. When you focus on breathing, it can regulate your heart and help the oxygenation process of the blood. This process then carries essential nutrients into the bloodstream, which is critical to your health.
It is also important to avoid alcohol and stimulants, like coffee. If there is a chance you or your loved one could have an allergic reaction to a specific food, such as gluten, you can try eliminating that food from your diet. It is also a great idea to take a multivitamin daily.
When you embark on your detox journey, discuss any detox programs with your primary care physician before implementing them. It’s crucial to collaborate with a health care provider to ensure that your chosen program is beneficial for your body and lifestyle.
Living the best years of your life shouldn’t be weighed down by feelings of sluggishness or discomfort. Remember to listen to the needs of your mind and body and seek out a healthy detox in the form of a lifestyle change! You don’t have to resort to false claims, juice cleanses, or weight-loss pills to look and feel your best.
Detoxing will help you gain sustained energy, feel happier, be less prone to infection, and sleep better.
HarborChase offers exceptional hospitality, care, and support and wants to help you or someone you love achieve their highest level of health and wellness. Learn more about the HarborChase active lifestyle!
Updated on October 2022