What is detoxing?
Most people will be familiar with the idea of detoxing. In health and fitness industry this often means following a specific diet and sometimes using special products in order to rid the body of toxins. It has been practised around the world for centuries and when done correctly can protect the body from disease and renew the ability to maintain optimum health.
These days there are many ideas on how to detox. Often, these include the use of laxatives, diuretics, teas, minerals, vitamins and other foods that are thought to have detoxing properties.
Something that not everyone will realise though, is no expensive supplements or fad diets are needed to achieve these results. The body is well equipped to do this on its own. This sophisticated method of naturally eliminating toxins includes the liver, kidneys, lungs, digestive system and skin. In order to ensure this system can effectively eliminate toxins, it’s vital that these organs are healthy.
This is the key to effective detoxing.
How it works
The basis of detoxification is cleansing the blood. Impurities in the blood are removed as they pass through the liver. These toxins are then processed and made ready for elimination. The other organs mentioned above are also able to eliminate toxins in a similar fashion. When these systems are compromised, or not working optimally, the impurities in the blood are not filtered properly and the body will be adversely affected.
Rather than trying to fix the body by detoxing, ideally, it would be better to avoid putting these toxins into the body altogether.
How do you know if your body is not detoxing properly?
Lack of normal functioning and feelings of general malaise are often common when the body is not working to detoxify itself efficiently. Some of these symptoms include:
- Unexplained fatigue
- Sluggish metabolism and elimination
- Skin irritations
- Low-grade infection
- Puffy eyes or bags under the eyes
- Menstrual problems
- Mental confusion
How to ensure your natural detox system runs more efficiently
The optimal operation of the body’s natural cleansing process can be helped by ensuring a healthy and active lifestyle. A diet that includes whole unprocessed foods, few additives and plenty of water is essential as is regular activity.
Here are some more tips on achieving reduced build up and optimal elimination of toxins.
Drink more water
Water is essential in helping the body to remove waste products such as carbon dioxide and urea, released when cells produce energy. If allowed to build up in the blood can be harmful. Staying properly hydrated allows the efficient removal of these wastes through urination, sweating and breathing. Adult males should aim to drink roughly 3.7 litres of water per day while females should aim for 2.7 litres.
Maintaining an active lifestyle, through regular exercise, is associated with a living longer and reducing the risk of chronic conditions and diseases. This is thought to be achieved through the reduction of inflammation in the body. Generally, inflammation is needed during recovery from infections or to heal wounds but persistent, or too much infection, can actually weaken the body’s systems, including its detoxification system, and reduce the ability to protect against disease.
90% of ingested alcohol is metabolized in the liver where it gets broken down to acetaldehyde; a known cancer causing chemical before being further broken down to less harmful acetate that can be eliminated from the body. Drinking in excessive amounts elevates the levels of harmful acetaldehyde in the liver and can also cause fat build up, inflammation and scarring which decrease the livers ability to naturally filter waste and other toxins from the body.
Get more sleep
Ensuring at least seven to nine hours sleep per night allows the body to perform the functions needed to support its natural detoxification system. Without this time, toxins can build up and over time have adverse effects on health leading to both short and long term consequences such as obesity, stress, high blood pressure, anxiety, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Limit intake of sugar and processed foods
We all know that high consumption of sugary and refined or processed foods are linked to obesity and chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. These diseases are often harmful to the organs needed to detoxify the body. Fatty liver can be caused by the high consumption of sugary drinks, impairing its ability to perform its normal functions. Swapping junk food for healthier options like fruit, vegetables and whole foods helps your body’s natural systems to maintain optimum performance.
Eat Antioxidant rich foods.
As part of normal function, such as digestion, the body’s natural processes produce free radicals and other toxins, which can lead to oxidative stress. Increasing the intake of foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, cocoa, spices and drinks like coffee and green tea may help to combat oxidative stress as they have some of the highest levels of antioxidants including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
Decrease your salt intake
While increasing water consumption is vital to the elimination of waste from the body it important that this excess fluid is eliminated as well. High salt intake causes the body to retain fluid and can lead to bloating. This also decreases the elimination of toxins from the body. Foods rich in potassium – like bananas, spinach and squash can counterbalance some of the effects of the salt.