As the seasons change and signs of spring finally start to appear, you might find yourself rolling up your sleeves and going into full-on clean-up mode. From cars to closets, it feels like the right time to dump the junk and start fresh. But can you (and should you) apply the same detoxification strategy to your body?
I’m not a believer in quick fixes. In my line of work—and my personal life—I’m a proponent of holistic, food-based strategies and sustainable lifestyle modifications. Those are your tools for achieving real, lasting results.
The best time of the month to do a detox is when you’re ovulating.
With that said, do I believe in detoxing? Yes—as long as you do it the right way. In fact, if you’re sluggish, retaining weight, breaking out, moody, or brain foggy, it could be that your estrogen is elevated.
Since one of the essential jobs of your liver, your body’s primary detoxification organ, is to break down estrogen, giving it some extra support keeping your hormonal levels balanced could be a good idea. And the best time of the month to do a detox is when you’re ovulating.
There are 6 reasons your ovulatory phase is the ideal time to detox. Read on to learn why.
1. You don’t need to deprive yourself
Your liver has a hard job: It’s tasked with breaking down toxins into smaller components that are even more harmful and need to be purged from your body ASAP. This is why any healthy detox should focus on increasing foods that feed your liver, like avocados, broccoli, cilantro, and Brazil nuts—not deprivation. And you won’t need a magic detoxing pill or potion; your liver will keep you free and clear.
2. Detox when estrogen is high
Ovulation is a crucial time in your monthly cycle—it’s when you’re most fertile and feeling sexy, energetic, and super optimistic. It’s also the time when your estrogen is at its monthly peak, meaning it’s an excellent and essential time to give extra love to your liver anyway. That’s because, along with your large intestine and lymphatic system, your liver helps flush excess estrogen, which is the source of so many hormonal imbalance-related health issues. Love your liver during ovulation, and you’ll be repaid in efficient, effective, natural detoxification.
3. Take advantage of testosterone, too
I told you ovulation was a powerful phase! Not only is your estrogen at a monthly high, but so is your testosterone. The abundance of this androgen will give you extra energy, so use it to your advantage by staying active and exercising—physical activity’s another way to bring your hormones into balance.
4. Make sure your mood is on your side
Ovulation is also the time of the month when your mood is most stable and less prone to swings. If you’re going to be committing to a regimen of healthy eating and nourishing lifestyle habits, then the last thing you want to be is hangry. Detox while you ovulate, and you’ll feel calm and in control.
5. Use your yang
One last reason why ovulation is the time to detox: In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there’s a concept of balancing yin and yang energies. Yin energy cools down the body, while yang energy heats it up. When you’re ovulating, you’re at your most yang-dominant time of the month.
If you’re thinking of supplementing your natural, food-based detox with something more extreme—like activated charcoal, a raw juice fast, or the Beyonce-endorsed Master Cleanse (not methods I recommend, by the way)—then you should know it’s safest to do them during ovulation when yang heat is high. Cleansing is a very yin activity, so the combination of energy works best during that time; trying to put yourself through an extreme regimen during menstruation (yin time) or another point in your cycle makes detoxing more difficult.
6. Spring is liver season
And if you needed another reason to boost your liver in the spring, then know this: According to TCM, spring is the season when your liver is most available to do some hard work if you give it the right support. It’s considered the prime time to cleanse and give your body’s natural filter some extra TLC. Ready to get started? Here are six tips to make your detox as easy as possible—just remember to wait until you’re ovulating, to get the (hormonal) wind at your back, for best results.
Alisa Vitti, HHC, is a women’s hormone expert, an integrative nutritionist and a member of Well+Good’s Wellness Council, a handpicked holistic health squad that gives the best advice this side of your own personal guru. She is also the creator of the MyFLO hormone-balancing period tracker app, the best-selling author of WomanCode, and the founder of FLOLiving.com, a virtual health center that supports women’s hormonal and reproductive health. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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