Because the days are much shorter in the Winter, you’re aware of the need to get more natural sunlight to ward off the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), caused by light deprivation. And you take special care to nurture the organs of the season, the kidneys and the adrenal glands.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS CLEANSING IN WINTER?
- The holidays tend to bring on weight gain for most people.
- Our bodies are striving for balance with nature, so as the season shifts to winter, our bodies need support with nourishing foods that support the kidneys (the central organ of winter).
- Winter builds up mucus in the body which can lead to allergies, getting sick, feeling sluggish.
- Instead of making resolutions for quick fixes, detox is a way to set an intention for the year. An intention to take care of yourself with a clean-eating lifestyle plan.
- You get to connect with the season and start to notice the difference between stress eating vs. real hunger.
- average weight loss of 4-10 pounds
- decreased belly fat and bloating
- feeling lighter
- tons of energy
- sugar cravings disappeared
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The kidneys and bladder work harmoniously in the detox process to eliminate wastes from the system. The kidneys filter blood to balance water and the body’s acidity level. They help your system keep the right amounts of sodium, potassium, chlorine, calcium, magnesium and phosphate while helping to pull out elements such as nitrogen, minerals, salts, and unwanted chemicals. In one day, the kidneys filter several thousand quarts of blood. And if the liver becomes burdened with too many toxins, the toxic substances move on to the urinary tract or outward through the skin. Irritated by these poisons, the urinary tract is a doormat for yeast infections, viruses and bacteria. That’s why it’s important to check the color, clarity and tone of your skin. A kidney problem may cause a bluish discoloration around the eyes. And also look at your hair. If it is too oily, too dry, thinning or too thick, it may indicate an imbalance in the kidney/bladder area.
The adrenals—those overworked and neglected walnut-sized glands nestled on top of the kidneys—need some TLC this time of year. If overstressed, your eyes may become too sensitive to light due to a slowing in your pupil contractions, forcing you to don sunglasses much of the time. You also might feel dizzy if you get up too soon because of a sudden drop in blood pressure.
Winter healing tea, herbs, and spicesNettle (Urtica dioica) is the wintertime herbal tea of choice because it is a rich source of alkalizing minerals especially helpful for kidney cleansing and adrenal support during this time of the year. Other kidney-protecting herbs include juniper berries (Juniperus communis), which act as a diuretic and are especially helpful in chronic bladder infections; gingerroot (Zingiber officinale), which is warming to the body and assists circulation in the kidney area; and marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis), which is good for soothing mucous membrane irritation in the urinary tract. The natural sodium and other electrolytes in unrefined sea salt and miso assists both kidney and adrenal function. Miso is a fermented soybean product that is especially noteworthy because it also strengthens the blood and lymph and is a good source of enzymes, calcium, and iron. Tamari, an aged soy sauce, is a flavorful alternative to salt that aids digestion (tamari is still very high in sodium, however). Ginger can also be used as a seasoning in cooking.
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