Feeling sluggish or out of sync? Struggling with skin problems, aches and pains, or digestive problems? Can’t seem to lose weight? It might be time for a body detox. Detoxification, or detox, is the process of removing toxic substances from the body. Practiced for centuries by cultures around the world — including ayurvedic and Chinese medicine systems — detoxification is about resting, cleaning and nourishing the body from the inside out. By removing and eliminating toxins, then feeding your body with healthy nutrients, detoxifying can help protect you from disease and renew your ability to maintain optimum health.
Where do all these toxins come from?
Toxins from Outside: 1. We inhale them. This includes household cleaning products, air fresheners, carpets, paints, glues, cigarette smoke, air pollution and many more. 2. We swallow them in our food and water. There are toxins in every food we consumed, choosing organic products can reduce drastically the quantity of intake of these toxins. I don’t need to talk about processed foods, caffeine, smoking, refined sugar, excessive salt. The greatest villains of any diet. 3. We absorb them through our skin. Consider the clothes you wear, the sheets you sleep on and the towels you rub your skin with. Be careful about products they all been cleaned. There are bio products that are harmless than traditional products. Toxins Generated From Within: For some of us, the toxins that our body creates are a bigger problem. 1. Your Metabolism & Toxins When we burn carbs or proteins or fats for energy, this process creates byproducts that the body must treat like toxins and eliminate. Burning proteins can be inefficient and toxic but even the cleanest burning carbs leave residues. 2. Incomplete Digestion You can eat the purest food in the world, but if you eat too much of it, or you don’t chew your food to begin the digestive process properly, you will create a lot of waste that must be taken care of. You can create poor digestion by combining food poorly. Some foods like proteins need a high acid level to begin digestion while carbohydrates start with a more alkaline environment. Eating poor combinations creates gas and toxins in the digestive tract. Some people just can’t properly digest gluten products and grains. If they continue to eat large quantities of these foods like everyone else in our culture, they continuously deal with toxins andinflamation, disrupting their blood sugar and insulin levels and leaving them overweight.
Today, with more toxins in the environment than ever, “it’s critical to detox,” says Linda Page, N.D., Ph.D., the author of Detoxification. Everyday we consume millions of toxins, chemicals, additives, and preservatives in the air and in our food. Our bodies were never meant to absorb these toxins. During the digestive process, your stomach cannot healthfully separate the clean from the bad portions of the food you’re eating. Once in our system, these toxins can hurt our digestive and immune systems and cause such symptoms as:
- Sluggish elimination. Bloating, constipation, and flatulence
- Irritated skin
- Poor skin, nails and hair health
- Puffy eye or bags under the eyes
- Unexplained fatigue and loss of energy
- Weight gain
- Insomnia or poor sleep
- Cravings for salt, sugar, and processed foods
- Mental confusion
- Recurring illness/sickness
- Low-grade infections
- Menstrual problems
How does detoxify works?
This is done by removing impurities from the blood in the liver, where toxins are processed for elimination. The body also eliminates toxins through the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymph and skin. However, when this system is compromised, impurities aren’t properly filtered and every cell in the body is adversely affected. A detox program can help the body’s natural cleansing process by:
- Resting the organs through fasting;
- Stimulating the liver to drive toxins from the body;
- Promoting elimination through the intestines, kidneys and skin;
- Improving circulation of the blood; and
- Refuelling the body with healthy nutrients.
When should I do a cleanse or detox?
As soon as you start to feel like crap! Happy detoxers typically conduct a 3 or 6 day cleanse every 1-3 months. Page suggests that everyone should detox at least once a year. However, she cautions against detoxing for nursing mothers, children, and patients with chronic degenerative diseases, cancer or tuberculosis. Consult your health care practitioner if you have questions about whether detoxing is right for you.
Which detox program is right for me?
There are many detoxification programs and detox recipes, depending on your individual needs.
How do I start a detox?
First, lighten up your toxin load. Eliminate alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, refined sugars and saturated fats, all of which act as toxins in the body and are obstacles to your healing process. Also, minimize use of chemical-based household cleaners and personal health care products (cleansers, shampoos, deodorants and toothpastes), and substitute natural alternatives.
Another deterrent to good health is stress, which triggers your body to release stress hormones into your system. While these hormones can provide the “adrenaline rush” to win a race or meet a deadline, in large amounts they create toxins and slow down detoxification enzymes in the liver. Yoga, meditation and regular massages are simple and effective ways to relieve stress by resetting your physical and mental reactions to the inevitable stress life will bring. Here are some tips to help your body detoxify: After a detoxification program, you can cleanse your body daily with diet, supplements and lifestyle practices:
- Eat plenty of fiber, including brown rice and organically-grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Beets, radishes, artichokes, cabbage, broccoli, spirulina, chlorella, and seaweed are excellent detoxifying foods.
- Cleanse and protect the liver by taking herbs such as dandelion root, burdock and milk thistle, and drinking green tea.
- Take vitamin C, which helps the body produce glutathione, a liver compound that drives away toxins.
- Drink at least two quarts of water a day.
- Breathe deeply to allow oxygen to circulate more completely through your system.
- Transform stress by emphasizing positive emotions. Regular massages and meditation can help you to combat stress.
- Practice hydrotherapy by taking a very hot shower for five minutes, allowing the water to run on your back. Follow with cold water for 30 seconds. Do this three times, and then get into bed for 30 minutes.
- Sweat in a sauna so your body can eliminate wastes through perspiration.
- Dry-brush your skin or try detox foot spas to remove toxins through your pores. Special brushes are available at natural products stores.
- What is the most important way to detoxify? “Exercise,” says Page. “Yoga or jump-roping are good. One hour every day.” Also try Qigong, a martial-arts based exercise system that includes exercises specifically for detoxifying or cleansing, as well as many other exercises with specific health benefits.
What are the benefits of detox?
Are you still thinking about trying to detox but are unsure exactly what the benefits may be? When done correctly — that is to say, in a healthy, safe and controlled environment —getting your body clean and healthy can result in a wide range of positive effects. Here are some benefits:
- Remove toxins from the body;
- Prevent chronic disease;
- Enhance immune system function;
- Lose weight;
- Slow premature aging;
- Improve quality of life;
- Increase energy;
- Improve skin quality;
- Mental and emotional clarity;
- Restore balance to our body’s systems.
Detoxing brings balance back and helps our systems function properly again. Consult your doctor before using any health treatment — including herbal supplements and natural remedies — and tell your doctor if you have a serious medical condition or are taking any medications. The information presented here is for educational purposes only and is in no way intented as substitute for medical counseling. With love, Sue xxx