Ah, the D word. It’s been thrown around all over social media, some people for it, others are against it. Unfortunately, due to some companies and detox products, the word “detox” now carries a negative association. I say it is unfortunate because natural detox tools can actually be a really useful and something that you can implement seamlessly in to your lifestyle to give your body a little extra boost.
In a perfect world, our bodies are perfectly capable of detoxing themselves however, due the large amounts of chemicals and toxins that we are exposed to daily, via food products, alcohol, pollution and so on, the body can get a little bogged down. Detoxing is just a way to give your body’s natural detox pathways a little helping hand.
The body expels toxins via the liver, kidneys, digestive system, skin, and lungs. However, only when these organs are thriving, can they efficiently eradicate unwanted toxins, bacteria, chemicals and substances. So, whilst we have now established that detoxes as such do not do anything that your body can’t naturally do on its own, you can optimize your body’s natural detoxification system.
If you’re feeling run down, have been over indulging in processed foods or alcohol, detoxes can be a fantastic way to just get your body feeling its best. I’m not talking magical potions or expensive elixirs; I’m going to show you some easy, natural ways to detox right at home, its much simpler than you may think.
1. Remove Alcohol.
Did you know that more than 90 percent of alcohol is metabolised by the liver? Excessive drinking can damage the liver by causing a build-up of fat, toxins and inflammation. When this happens, the liver can’t function properly which includes filtering all other waste and toxins from the body.
Sleep is one of the greatest ways to support the bodies detoxification system. When we are asleep the body is able to repair and rid the body of dead cells, as well as removing any toxic waste by-products that have been accumulated during the day.
3. Drink More, Good Quality Water.
Water is necessary for more than just hydration. In addition to its many roles within your body, water aids in digestion and nutrient absorption and also allows your body’s detoxification system to remove waste products from your blood. All of these three things work together in unison for perfect detox pathways.
4. Remove Inflammatory Foods.
For 3-7 days try to eliminate all processed and packaged foods from your diet. Packaged foods are often loaded with chemicals, dyes, binding ingredients and artificial flavorings. All of these cause harm to the organs required for detoxifying, such as your liver and kidneys. By eliminating them, you’re just helping your body thrive. A little trick to use, is to only shop only on the outside of your supermarket, and aim for single ingredient food; fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates can all be found in whole forms with no additives.
5. Add Antioxidants.
Eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help your body fight off oxidative stressed caused by free radicals. Oxidative stress leads to damaged cells, lowered immune function, illness and diseases which all impact our detox pathways.
Good examples of antioxidant rich foods are berries, cacao, brightly colored and green vegetables, turmeric, ginger and green tea.
6. Add Anti- Inflammatory Foods
A build-up of inflammation leads to a heavy toxic load in the body which stalls the detox pathways and process. This can lead to us getting sick, feeling fatigued and weak, bloated or even experiencing low moods. By supporting the body with specific foods, we are able to reduce systemic inflammation which supports not only the detox pathways, but your gut and immune system too. Inflammatory foods include wild salmon, chia and flax seeds, non-starchy vegetables, fish oil, turmeric, ginger, lemon, avocado and so many more.
7. Feed Your Microbiome
Gut health is the key to optimal wellness. Your intestinal cells have a detoxification and excretion system that protects your gut and body from harmful toxins. Ensuring this system is healthy means better detox pathways and a healthier you. Prebiotics are food for probiotics. Probiotics are the good bacteria that reside within out guts. When these gut bacteria become unbalanced due to antibiotics or alcohol for example our gut health can become comprised. This means a weakened immune and detoxification system. Good sources of prebiotics are banana, asparagus, garlic, onion, oats and tomatoes.
8. Move Your Body.
As you saw earlier, we are able to detox through our skin and lymphatic system. The best way to get these two systems cleared and excrete toxins is to move.
9. Intermittent fasting.
This is not something that needs to be done all the time, however, intermittent fasting induces a process called autophagy. This is how your body cleans out all damaged cells in order to regenerate new healthy cells. New healthy cells mean a healthier, better functioning body and clearing of dead cells means less toxic load on your detox pathways… what’s not to love.
10. Epsom Salt Baths.
Epsom salts contain magnesium, as well as other minerals and nutrients that are directly absorbed into your skin as you bath. Not only is this relaxing, but these can help can help with detoxification processes.
“Fad Detoxes” I’ll call them, although seductive, aren’t required as the body can do this job on its own. From time to time however, due to lifestyle choices, it can be kind to support the body and do what you can to help eliminate that excess toxic build up. Next time you’re feeling run down or just a little “blah” after a holiday, or a big weekend, try a few of these tips to enhance your body’s natural detoxification system.