Detoxification, or the removal of toxins from our bodies, is primarily carried out through our circulation, and by sweating, breathing, and digestion. Rather than quick fix detoxes, we should be focusing on supporting our body’s natural detoxification system.
Did you know that excessive intake of natural ingredients that spike your blood sugar such as sugar, honey, and maple syrup can cause a buildup of toxins in your body? Most people know pollutants, synthetic chemicals, heavy metals, and processed foods are common culprits. These toxins all take a toll on your health, which is why detoxing is a key aspect of living a healthy life.
How do you cleanse and detox to start on your journey of better health? It’s important to reduce activities that expose us to toxins and support our body’s natural systems that eliminate toxins.
How do toxins get into our body?
Cars, manufacturing, and fast food have introduced harmful toxins into many of life’s essentials, like air, water, and food. These all put us at significant health risks.
Let’s look at a common example. Packaged foods often contain toxic additives such as artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, and sweeteners. In some cases, “healthy” packaged foods contain too much sugar for your body to handle safely even though they may not contain artificial ingredients. This can cause a build-up of unhealthy cholesterol in your arteries. Other additives we do not tolerate well are the antibiotics and hormones injected into mass-produced animals (factory farmed) which are raised on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) like corn, instead of grass.
How toxins leave your body
Good news! You have an entire system of organs, primarily your liver, lungs, kidneys, skin, and digestive tract that work together to fight toxins every minute of every day. The human body has a remarkable natural ability to cleanse and detoxify.
It makes sense to harness the power of these organs through detoxification. We need to also be aware of how food, air, and liquids you ingest can leave traces of toxic chemicals that, if left unchecked, can lead to poor health, chronic illness, or diseases. It’s important to have a healthy diet and good lifestyle habits, along with minimizing intake of harmful toxins for your journey to better health!
5 ways to detox your body of toxins
- Ingest fewer dietary toxins
When most people hear the word “toxin” they think of chemicals like pesticides, heavy metals, or other industrial pollutants, but it’s important to understand the role of dietary toxins in contributing to damage and disease. Make it easy on your body to remove toxins by putting less toxins in! Reduce the amount of animal protein, alcohol, sugar, wheat, corn, soy, and processed foods you eat each day, and, over time will keep your organs from being overloaded.
These four food toxins- refined cereal grains, industrial seed oils sugar, and processed soy comprise the bulk of the modern diet. Bread, pasties, muffins, crackers, cookies, soda, fruit juice, fast food are all loaded with these toxins. When the majority of what most people eat on a daily basis is toxins, it’s easy to understand why our health is failing.
- You are what you eat
Ditch the packaged, processed foods! This will help to take out excess sodium, artificial ingredients, and sugar from your diet. Why? Think of it as “fight or flight.” When allergens, microbes, or chemicals enter your body, they activate an inflammatory response which alerts the organs that something bad is happening! This is a good thing your body does to fight off infection and disease. But day after day it can lead to major health problems including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Foods that naturally fight inflammation include tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy vegetables, almonds, walnuts, salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines. Certain fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges also naturally fight inflammation. These foods often contain natural antioxidants which neutralize foreign chemicals and oxidative stress in the body.
And while you are at it, ditch the salt shaker and use only herbs and spices to flavor your food!
- Water, water everywhere
Water helps organs move toxins through their own cellular systems and pushes them out of your body. For this reason, drinking more clean water is possibly the most important part of detoxing the body! Filtered water at room temperature is best – stay away from tap water. Make sure to drink at least 64-80 oz. each day.
A fantastic way to start your day is with a glass of lemon water! The pectin from the lemon aids in digestion, helping to make lemon an excellent detoxifying food and as a bonus helps to curb your appetite and make you feel satisfied longer.
- 4. Break a sweat
Once you start drinking more water, you are ready to take advantage of the number one detoxifying system you have. Sweating toxins through your skin! There are so many ways to sweat, but the most common are exercise and saunas.
There are so many benefits to exercise. Moving more can improve your mood and sweat toxins out of your body. Other ideas include hot yoga, intense cardio, jogging, and playing tennis outside. Sauna sessions have become very popular in recent years for more than just sweating. They have been shown to reduce stress, rest, and heal, along with sweating out toxins naturally.
- Check your gut
Gut health is a key factor in your journey to better health. When it comes to detoxing your body, your digestive system works to break down foods we eat, take in nutrients, and send the waste out. What a hero! Keys to a healthy gut are probiotics and soluble fiber.
A healthy gut is essential for maximizing digestion, elimination, and absorption of nutrients. You have probably heard of the importance of gut microbiome, better known as your digestive system, if you follow health and fitness. Researchers have found that a balanced ratio of gut microbes (bacteria) in your digestive tract protects against germs, breaks down food to release energy, and produces vitamins.
Probiotics are essential in maintaining a healthy gut. These are tiny, valuable bacteria that work to eliminate unhealthy bacteria in favor of healthy bacteria and flora. There are a variety of probiotic supplements available over the counter or you can opt for fermented foods like small beans cooked over three days, sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles.
Fiber is another important part of gut health and is considered gut fuel. Soluble fiber has many benefits for metabolic health, while insoluble fiber functions as a bulking agent. Since we can’t digest fiber, it ends up in the large intestine unaltered. The large intestines fiber (mostly soluble) interacts with your gut bacteria and as they can digest (ferment), they become fuel for the digestive system. This increases the number and balance of friendly gut bacteria with powerful health benefits.
Now we are back to other important foods in the detox process. Foods that are high in fiber are best for fueling the natural detoxification process that happens through digestion.
Fiber, found in plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables, slows digestion, helps with nutrient absorption, and removes toxins via stool. Your digestive tract uses probiotics from fiber to nourish your intestines with beneficial bacteria, which helps maintain immune health.
In short, the more fiber you eat, the more effective your digestive system is at eliminating toxins.
There you have it! 5 powerful ways to detox your body and start on your journey to better health in 2022. Our team is committed to helping our patients lead a healthy lifestyle!