For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Nov 24 2016
by Alyssa Lam

5 Ways to Cleanse and Detox

By Alyssa Lam - Nov 24 2016

With the stress of classes and life in general, many college students often forget the important need to take care of their bodies. It has been known for centuries that an occasional detox is beneficial to the body in order to recuperate and stay healthy after a period of intense stress, or even partying. Detoxing is recommended for people who may experience unexplained fatigue, irritated skin, allergies, low-grade infections, puffy eyes or under-eye bags, bloating, constipation, gas, headaches, aches and pains, nausea, belly fat, food cravings, bad breath, mood swings, menstrual problems and mental instability.

You will often know when it is time for a detox, as you will not feel like yourself and feel the need to start fresh again.

During a detox, it is important to eliminate or try to minimize consumption of alcohol, coffee, drugs, refined sugars and saturated fats, all of which contain toxins that cause damage to your liver and overall body system. The following ways to cleanse your body of these toxins and live a little healthier may help you return to or work towards a healthier, toxin-free lifestyle.

1. Skin Cleanse

If you are one of the many people whose skin breaks out after a long, stressful week of studying or eating unhealthy, then these tips are for you. What people don't realize is that a lot of what you do day to day affects the skin on both your face and body. Stress leads to more breakouts and cystic acne. Thankfully, by doing a cleanse, you'll be on your way to soft, smooth, youthful and, most importantly, healthy looking skin.

The sites A Delightful Home and Toilet Tree Products have an amazing list of 29 DIY All-Natural/Homemade Face Cleanser Recipes that can be found by clicking on the link. From a chamomile facial cleanser to a lavender oil face cleanser, these DIY projects will not only brighten up your appearance but keep you feeling fresh. For even simpler recipes, check out Reader's Digest's "6 Nature Face Cleaners You Can Make Yourself."

Another helpful tip when skin cleansing is to go a few days without makeup. Embrace your natural beauty. Something that we do often is cover up our uneven skin tones, but in reality this could be causing harm to your skin as makeup clogs pores after long wear, especially if you are wearing a brand that is irritating to your skin. Let your face produce its natural oils and wash once daily with a gentle face wash.

2. Drink Detoxes

There are several benefits to detox drinks. Besides aiding to flush out toxins from the body and cleanse the liver, detox drinks work to reduce inflammation, aid weight loss, promote skin health and boost energy and mental alertness. Next time you're feeling thirsty and would rather not drink water, try grabbing for these drinks instead. Though, it is important to emphasize that drinking lots of water and staying hydrated should always be a priority.

Hibiscus Tea: Counteracts bloating by influencing the hormone that regulates water and electrolyte balance.

White Tea: Can attack belly fat by boosting fat breakdown and blocking the formation of fat cells; the caffeine content also helps to boost metabolism.

Green Tea: Boosts metabolism with caffeine content; speeds up liver activity and increases the production of detoxification enzymes.

Fresh Juices: While an intense juice cleanse may seem appealing, they are known to cause even more sluggishness; however, drinking fresh-squeezed juices and smoothies with all natural fruits and vegetables will do wonders in terms of digestion.

Lemon Water: The citrus aspect of lemon water contains rich antioxidants that stimulate live enzymes to help flush out toxins and boost sluggish bowels.

Fruit Water: If you aren't a fan of lemon water but really enjoy fruit juices, try fruit-infused water. Prepare water bottles the night before with cut up fruit and let the healthy antioxidants and minerals in the fruit diffuse into the water for a healthy drink; suggestions of what to put in the water are watermelon, cucumber, lime, grapefruit, raspberries, strawberries, mint, ginger, rosemary and dandelion greens; feel free to play around with different combinations to develop your favorite flavor.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Increases metabolism and speeds up weight loss; supports digestive function with its natural probiotics and enzymes; fights acid reflux and helps balance your body's pH levels, promoting cardiovascular health.

3. Sugar Detox

Several people would label themselves as a "sweet tooth," and studies show that the sugar addiction is on the rise amongst populations around the world, especially in young adults as sweets are often the "go-to" feel-good food for stress. However, once you're hooked on sugar, resisting it becomes a difficult task and the more it's perpetuated, the more you're likely to develop obesity and other serious health problems. Too much sugar at once can also make you sick. Instead of your daily, excessive consumptions of sugar, try these tips as a substitute.

Swap sweet cereals for unsweetened cereals and oatmeal. To give it more flavor, add fresh fruit that contains more natural sugars.

For lunch, eat a salad and don't forget protein, whether it be tofu or chicken. This will give you that midday boost you usually get from sugar, but most importantly, it will help you stay energized longer and prevent the post-sugar crash that usually occurs shortly after a sugary lunch.

For snacks, munch on whole-grain unsweetened granola, fruits, vegetables, nuts and hummus, instead of heavily processed crackers, chips and candy.

For the last meal of the day, eat foods that contain lots of whole grains as your carbohydrate intake in the form of whole-grain pasta, quinoa, brown rice, etc. This will give you light energy to keep your metabolism going before you hit the sack while giving your digestive system a break from processed and sugary foods that may be hard to digest.

For dessert, opt for fresh fruits and fruit salads instead of pastries and frozen treats. Like previously mentioned, fruits contain natural sugar in low amounts. They are also loaded with fiber and antioxidants that help people lose weight and feel full.

If you really can't live without candy or chocolate, go for a light amount of dark chocolate that contains the least amount of sugar.

4. Food Detoxes and Cleanses

Much of our health is a reflection of our food intake. Another helpful tip is to give your body time to digest food. It is recommended that you let your body digest food for at least 12 hours a night. So if you eat dinner at six o'clock, try not to eat again until at least six o'clock the next day. Here are some foods to eat to promote detoxification and healthy living.

Grapefruit: Contains chemicals that combat fat build-up; the scent of grapefruit has also been proven to activate calorie-burning brown fat cells and reduce appetite. (Tip: Make sure it does not interfere with medications you are taking.)

Guacamole: The avocado is known to aid the liver in fighting different toxins and cilantro contains oils that can sooth an upset stomach.

Turmeric: Works as an anti-inflammatory agent in the liver.

Asparagus: Contains many amino acids and minerals that protect the liver from toxins; also works to flush toxins out of your system as it is a diuretic.

Collard Greens: Cleanses the system of excess cholesterol when steamed.

Salmon: Rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and improved blood flow.

Beets: Contains proteins that help to repair and regenerate liver cells.

Mustard: Can boost metabolism with repeated consumption.

Spinach: Works to suppress appetite so you don't eat more than you should.

Bananas: Contains bloat-fighting bacteria and potassium that can help diminish water retention.

These are only some of several recommended by Eat This, Not That! Check out their website for more suggestions!

5. Mind Detox

Something that we often forget is that much of how healthy one is also depends on their mental health. Even if you are physically healthy, your mental health is also just as, if not more, important for you to function. Your mind influences your body so strongly that it even has the ability to trick you into thinking you're sick or drive you to the point of physical exhaustion with mental exhaustion.

To detox your mind, try meditating. You can now find many videos on YouTube or podcasts on Spotify that can aid you in your meditations. When you meditate, your mind becomes clearer, you develop a sense of self-discipline and you become more aware of yourself and your body in the universe. You can easily meditate in the morning or before bed daily to achieve a clearer, less stressed psyche. Repeated meditations over the course of even a week can reduce intense levels of stress and anxiety.

Yoga is also one of the best ways to detoxify the body, allowing for the removal of lactic acid, carbon dioxide and lymphatic fluids from the body. Stretching is actually proven to help relieve digestive problems, and eliminate toxins through sweat.

Most of all, something we all need to do more often, is get enough sleep. Nine hours of sleep every night is generally all you need to keep your body and mind in check. Sleep is so important, as it allows the body to repair itself and start each day fresh, so lay down, pull the covers over yourself and sleep away. Wake up every morning with a positive outlook.

No matter how your body has been feeling these past few weeks, we all need to take some time to look after our health. Try these tips today and work towards being a healthier you!

Editor's Note: We here at Fresh U cannot guarantee that all methods suggested will cure any health problems you may be facing or help to alleviate your symptoms. Above all else, your health is important and it is imperative to go see a doctor should you have any great concerns.

Lead Credit Image: Pexels

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Alyssa Lam - Northeastern University

Alyssa Lam is a freshman at Northeastern University and one of Fresh U Northeastern's Junior Editor-in-Chiefs. She is undeclared; however she has interests in following a pre-medical track. In her free time, Alyssa likes to cook, work out, draw, write, hang out with friends, explore, and try new things. She prides herself on the fact she is short yet fierce. Find her on Instagram @lyssalam6.

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