To detox your body you must first eliminate the foods that are toxifying your body. There would be no benefit in adding health foods to a diet that consisted of processed, artificially sweetened foods. To see real benefits, these foods must first be removed from the diet so that your liver can fully focus on detoxing any remaining toxins in the body.
What exactly are toxins?
According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a true toxin is defined as: “A poisonous substance, especially a protein, that is produced by living cells or organisms and is capable of causing disease when introduced into the body tissues but is often also capable of inducing neutralizing antibodies or antitoxins.
What exactly happens during detoxification?
When we detoxify our body’s liver must convert fat soluble nutrients to water-soluble nutrients before they can be eliminated. It’s a complicated process to convert these fat soluble toxins to water-soluble ones and involves a number of steps in the metabolic process. The kidneys eliminate many toxic substances that are soluble in water. They reabsorb essential chemicals and excrete unwanted chemicals in the urine within a few hours to prevent them from accumulating. The gastrointestinal tract is a harsh environment and prevents many harmful bacteria from entering the body. The colon is responsible for expelling unwanted solid matter from the body.
Where do you start?
Before starting, I would recommend you examine your diet first. Log what you eat and drink for 2 or 3 days and note your habits. How many cups of coffee do you drink per day? How much water are you getting in? What are you snacking on? What times are you eating your meals? Is there variety in your food? Are you preparing the food yourself or are they store bought?
The key to detoxing is that you must be consistent and you must keep your diet clean. You won’t see major changes with minimal effort. The suggestions I have made, must become daily habits before you will see a difference in your energy levels, your skin, your mood. Detoxification is a lifestyle change rather than making some changes for a couple of days then returning to your old habits afterwards.
I know it can be hard to change, so instead I would suggest incorporating one of the following things into your daily routine each week.
Drink lemon water first thing in the morning
Lemons can provide so many benefits to the body. Drinking freshly squeezed lemon juice with water first thing in the morning after you wake up aid your liver in clearing out remaining toxins. Being a powerful antioxidant, lemon can protect your body from various free radicals and also strengthen your immune system. Daily ingestion of one lemon is estimated to reduce high blood pressure by 10%. Lemon water allows your body to keep a higher pH level, helping your body fight off diseases.
Drink 2-3 liters water daily
It’s essential to keep hydrated throughout the day. Men should have a total body percentage of around 50 to 65% of water while women should have around 45 to 60%. Low fluid consumption in general and low water consumption in particular make it difficult for a body to eliminate toxins. As a result, low water consumption increases the risk for cancer and many other diseases. Drinking enough water is another basic axiom for good health are you’ve probably heard 1000 times but it’s true. You need to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water each day. That means having a glass of water every two hours. Don’t wait until you thirsty, schedule regular water breaks throughout the day instead.
Eliminate processed foods
Your liver is the primary organ that functions doing detoxification. To support the liver, a diet high in whole foods is essential to provide a wide range of important nutrients the liver needs to carry out it’s important functions. If you want a healthy liver there are three things you definitely want to stay away from such as saturated fat’s refined sugar and alcohol. A diet high in saturated fat increases the risk of developing fatty infiltration. In contrast, a diet rich in dietary fiber, particularly soluble fibre, promotes increased bile secretion. Foods that can protect the liver are foods such as garlic, legumes, onions, good sources of soluble fibre such as pears, oats, apples, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots and Dandelion. Cut down completely on drinking alcohol, if possible. Alcohol overloads detoxification processes and can lead to liver damage and immune suppression.
Increased movement stimulates our bodies. So when we exercises it flushes out our lungs and helps food pass through our gut quicker while also opening up the sweat glands and cleansing the skin through perspiration. Exercising promotes circulation of blood and lymph, a clear fluid containing white blood cells that flows through our bodies, therefore allowing organs such as the lymph nodes and liver to cleanse those bodily fluids. Any form of exercise is good, as long as you get heart pumping. Incorporate at least 30 minutes of exercise in per day, try walking, jogging, cycling, dancing, swimming, yoga, team sports such as soccer, basketball, martial arts.
Doing exercises that target your body’s core are especially beneficial for detoxing because that’s where the vital eliminating organs such as the colon, kidneys and liver are located. Doing crunches and abdominal twists, for example, will stimulate those organs and help waste past through the large and small intestines quicker.
- The Encyclopaedia of Natural medicine by Michael T Murray and Joesph Pizzorno.