While our bodies are amazing and generally well equipped to eliminate toxins, they’re not able to deal with the high amount of harmful chemicals and toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis.
Enhancing our natural detoxification systems is the simplest step we can take to ensure overall wellbeing and avoid chronic illness.
In this blog we will explore what detoxing is, why detox may be beneficial and 6 ways you can detox safely.
A detoxification is a process that ultimately helps our “filtering” organs (liver and kidneys) work more effectively in the long run.
Whlist it is best to avoid incoming toxins in the first place, we know that this is not always possible, we can however, take control into our own hands by helping our bodies function better.
Drinking plenty of water, eating fresh fruit and vegetables, drinking green tea, spending some time sweating (either in a sauna or exercising), and getting quality, adequate sleep, are some very beneficial, practical strategies that we can employ daily to help optimise how our bodies manage daily stressors.
In this way, a detox can work on two levels: one by adding more nourishing vitamins and minerals and two, by breaking down harmful compounds and chemicals.
Detoxes can allow our system to recover, repair and renew and also negate any negative effects that may have been accumulating over time.
The result is better overall health, visible improvement in skin and hair appearance, higher levels of energy, fewer mood swings, and improved performance.
Our environment and lifestyle are the biggest reasons why doing a detox may be helpful.
Everyday stress, air pollutants, ultra-processed food, toxic chemicals in the cosmetics we apply, the cleaning products we spray around our houses, and heavy metals in the water pipes coming to our homes, make it hard for our bodies to keep up.
The body organs responsible for filtering out harmful substances haven't had enough time to evolve and keep up with how quickly things have changed in our modern lifestyles.
Our food is accumulating more and more amounts of preservatives, GMOs, pesticides, dyes and plastics and many of us are eating at all times of the day and night.
The issue is so prominent that there’s an actual term for these substances: “Persistent Organic Pollutants” (POP). POPs are harmful to the human body in countless ways and have already been linked to numerous symptoms and illnesses, such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
It can be overwhelming when you think about all the environmental and health issues that we’re fighting against today and it’s not always easy (or affordable) to make the best choices for your body.
An effective way to help alleviate some of the symptoms, slow down the damage, and support your organs is to detox your body.
Here are 6 ways to detox safely.
Antioxidants are a powerful weapon against invading pollutants and the best part about them is that they can be found everywhere. Plant foods in particular, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and high-quality vegetable oils and nuts, are rich in antioxidants.
Antioxidants ensure that our cells are protected against harmful substances and, according to numerous studies, they help eliminate reactive oxygen compounds (free radicals) in our bodies.
Excess free radicals attack healthy cells and make them age faster, leading to deteriorating health of the body and the brain.
One of the most relaxing ways to detoxify the body is in a sauna. Steam helps to reduce stress, stimulates metabolism and strengthens the immune system.
Heat also has a particularly detoxifying effect on the largest of all organs – our skin. When we are hot our body starts to sweat, leading to a loss of fluids, and pollutants along with it. In addition, the rising body temperature increases the blood flow to the cells, which helps remove toxins more quickly.
Note: If you’re suffering from high blood pressure and heart disease, you should check with your doctor before taking a sauna.
Chronic stress becomes problematic as it puts our bodies in a constant flight-or-fight state, resulting in the release of emergency chemicals.
This state is also called “distress”.
Distress is harmful to numerous bodily functions. It leads to a decreased function of the immune system, a weakening of the cardiovascular system, and a sharp drop in mental performance.
Bodies under chronic stress constantly release cortisol which causes faster aging in some brain areas and prevents the formation of new neurons.
Therefore, the reduction of cortisol is definitely one of the most important factors in the detoxification process.
There’s no way around it: a successful detox means zero alcohol and nicotine. Even though these stimulants can lead to a feeling of relaxation, they have the exact opposite effect on the body cells.
A cigarette does not only damage our lungs, but also the heart, immune system, and skin. The body can neither compensate for the consumption of nicotine.
The same applies to alcohol, which has to be filtered out primarily by the liver.
This process damages the cell structure of the liver and slows down the breakdown of fatty acids.
Fill up a glass water bottle and have it with you everywhere you go. Drinking water helps to flush substances through the liver, kidneys, lungs, intestines, skin, and the lymphatic system making sure the toxins move out too.
We all know that sugar messes with our minds and our bodies. All research links high consumption of sugar to obesity and depression, as well as serious chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, fatty liver disease and diabetes.
It also accelerates cellular and skin aging. Eliminating sugar, specifically added sugar, for at least a week and up to a month will enhance any detoxification (or healing) process and improve your overall health.
Overall, detoxifying is easier when you think of it as a long-term approach to a healthier life versus a quick fix.
While our bodies are naturally equipped to deal with low levels of some toxins, they often cannot cope with the elevated levels of toxins we are exposed to today.
The bottom line?
It’s up to us to assist our body with smart daily choices.