How to Detox for Summer the Healthy (and Easy!) Way

Healthy, Natural Summer Detox Tips From Dr. Amy Shah (Source: Thinkstock)With summer in full swing, many of us are inspired to clean up our acts internally. However, a drastic cleanse isn't always the answer. Fortunately, there are many gentler, more accessible ways to help our bodies detox on a daily basis, such as natural approaches to food that can easily fit into our lifestyles for a week, a month or even forever.

For an easy, safe, gentle and healthy detox that does not require a full-on cleanse, we asked mom, physician and self-proclaimed health fanatic Dr. Amy Shah for some tips. Now based in Arizona, the NYC expat suggests a simple adjustment: eliminate wheat, dairy, soy, processed foods, sugar (fruit is allowed) and artificial sweeteners from your diet. As for what you should eat, think about upping your intake of fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables, for starters.

Which means more than lettuce! While Dr. Shah stresses the importance of eating "three cups of leafy greens and also three cups of cruciferous vegetables, which includes broccoli, kale and cauliflower" daily, you can also enjoy foods such as avocado, sweet potato, kale chips, lentils and chickpeas. She recommends following this easy detox for 21 to 24 days, if not longer, since it's healthy and consistent with long-term goals of wellness and longevity.

Healthy, Natural Summer Detox Tips From Dr. Amy Shah
Dr. Amy Shah says many people don't eat enough vegetables.
"When people say, eat your fruits of vegetables, that ends up being, for most of us, lots of fruits, and maybe a salad a day," she notes. "I turned that around to do mostly vegetables and some fruits. Unless you're actively trying, most of us aren't getting [enough vegetables]. It pretty much requires one green smoothie [or juice] a day, plus a salad, plus green vegetables with dinner, or something like that. Cruciferous vegetables actually [help] detox your body, they find the bad stuff in your gut. Your body uses those vehicles to get rid of a lot of toxins."

One way to make sure you're getting enough veggies is to jump-start the day with a fresh green juice. "If you can, fresh is ideal," says Shah. "Not even the bottled ones, the ones they squeeze in front if you is best." Her next choice would be a bottle of cold-pressed juice consumed within 48 hours, and finally, "a really good refrigerated green powder is a hundred times better than not having it at all."

Still unsure? "A lot of people don't even try because they think they feel fine—that was me," admits Shah. "But when I tried it, I realized I could be so much better than I thought I could be. My energy levels are so much better, it's also really good for your skin, your sleep is better, you look better. I also think that when you start to take care of your body, you start to take care of your mind, which is a huge part of wellness––your whole life becomes more clear too. [You realize] what matters and what doesn't."

Healthy, Natural Summer Detox Tips From Dr. Amy Shah
(Source: Thinkstock)