Time for a detox has practically become a household phrase. What used to be attained through a simple healthy lifestyle, is now a massive market filled with magic pills and 48 hour fat flush promises, destined to be empty.
The real key to detoxification is through building up strength in the eliminatory organs through whole foods and natural herbs.
Not to dissuade you from properly cleansing your body of accumulated junk, but there’s a lot of hoaky products out there making false claims.
Which is why it’s important to talk about what a detox actually is and how our bodies remove toxins.
Some would say our eliminatory organs do this without any help, that our organs are designed to eliminate foreign and toxic materials.
Of course this is true to an extent but more likely was the case before we decided to rely on chemicals to grow our food and toxic industries to provide us with energy.
How can we help ourselves to remove these toxins from our bodies? There are many methods that we can incorporate into our daily lives to help lessen the toxic burden our organs have to bear.
I like to call this process, changing the filters, when your filters are clogged, they aren’t productive and they don’t really do their job well.
This same thing happens to our eliminatory organs when they are overburdened by excessive toxicity. Luckily, there are a number of ways we can help our bodies to release what is no longer serving us.
The Meaning of Detoxification
Detoxification is the primary focus of our eliminatory organs. The different systems in our bodies work together to expel, transmute or neutralize harmful and foreign substances which could potentially cause a threat.
This internal cleansing regimen happens regardless of our actions, but the efficacy of the organs to remove all the toxins we consume is questionable.
Our world has become bogged down with innumerable environmental toxins which we consume simply because we exist.
Disregarding the politics of these environmental choices, it’s unquestionable that we as humans aren’t designed to live in such heavily polluted environments.
To cleanse the body of unwanted toxins is an ongoing process because our bodies never stop accumulating what’s in our direct environment.
By giving our eliminatory organs the tools they need to strengthen and enable more efficiency, we are simply purchasing insurance on our lives. We all want to live long healthy lives and avoid any undue suffering.
The Answers to Relieve the Toxic Burden
Free radicals aren’t a hippy protest group, but a process which occurs when a bond splits and leaves a molecule with an unpaired electron. This initiates a chain reaction as the molecule with the lost electron must then steal an electron from it’s neighbor molecule, eventually disrupting a living cell. Unfortunately, we produce more free radicals as we age.
When free radicals occur in the body, and we are equipped with antioxidants from the healthy foods we consume, we can deal with them no problem. However, pollution, radiation and even unhealthy trans-fats can spawn free radicals and if we don’t have enough antioxidants to balance things out, our chance of cancer and other diseases escalates.
Therefore ensuring you consume plentiful amounts antioxidants from fresh fruits and vegetables is an important strategy in detoxification.
Top 6 Antioxidant Foods
2. Raw Chocolate
5. Green Tea
6. Lemon Water
Juicing is one of the best ways of incorporating nutritious, antioxidant rich foods into your life. There’s no digestive burden and they are absorbed and assimilated easily. Fresh juices supply a variety of enzymes which help give your digestive system a break. Consuming green juices is particularly good for strengthening the eliminatory channels. The alkalizing effect that green juices have helps to cleanse the blood of impurities and strengthen the liver and kidneys.
I recommend adding at least one fresh juice every day to help bring relief to your organs and digestive system. Make a mostly green juice, perhaps adding an apple to sweeten things up, you can see some of our juicing tips and recipes.
Liquid nutrition is particularly good for helping give our organs a break. These high density drinks offer easy to absorb nutrients and an optimal delivery system. Most people just wouldn’t be able to eat all the fruits and vegetables that you can add into a smoothie. Yet we need far more fruits and veggies than we’re presently getting, the addition of smoothies and fresh juices will provide the body with what it needs to heal and rejuvenate.
We’ve written previously about the benefits of smoothies if you’d like a more in depth guide. Green smoothies with added detoxifying super foods like dandelion and kale are proven to help with detoxification and super nutrient dense.
Herbs and Superfoods
There are many herbs that can help with strengthening the eliminatory organs.
Dandelion root and burdock root are two popular folk remedies for boosting liver function. Burdock root is great for adding to fresh juices or even eating in soups and stir fries. To us it is a weed but to many cultures it has always been an important food.
Elecampagne and mullein have always been used to cleanse and expel excess mucous from the lungs. Freshly juiced ginger is excellent for promoting circulation and clearing congestion.
Uva ursi is a kidney tonic herb which will prevent infection and help the kidneys to work more efficiently. You can also juice dandelion leaves which have a strong diuretic effect and work to draw excess water out of the body.
Colon health naturally improves when we incorporate plenty of whole foods, probiotics and enzymes. There are a few herbs which can help to get things moving including cascara sagrada, but shouldn’t be depended on. Daily smoothies with plenty of bulk are great for promoting regularity.
The purpose of why we sweat is becoming more and more clear to researchers. A meta-analysis in 2012 found considerable amounts of arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury in sweat, more so than was present in urine and fecal matter.
This and other findings like it point to our skins ability to release toxic heavy metals.
Breaking a sweat daily is essential for proper detoxification, it’s out with the old (toxins) and in with the new (juices,smoothies,nourishing herbs).
The more you can get your sweat on the better. My personal favourite way of encouraging this release of toxins is an infrared sauna.
Regular saunas are great too but infrared technology actually initiates a deeper cleansing reaction by stimulating circulation to even the smallest blood vessels and hard to reach places.
Do whatever you need to do to break a sweat and maintain it for at least 10 minutes daily. This important piece of the detox puzzle is often overlooked but highly important.
Open the Window
Indoor air is often far more polluted than outdoor. Open the windows! Even just a crack to get fresh air flowing through your home.
Stay Away from Junk
It goes without saying but I’m going to say it anyway. If you want to detoxify and strengthen your eliminatory organs you must only consume whole foods.
Organic food is important while cleansing particularly as you are working to rid the body of pesticide and herbicide build up.
Avoiding GMO foods and trans-fats will help to stabilize the hormones. Common reasons why our hormones get out of whack is because we’re eating conventional meat and dairy.
These animals are fed an unnatural diet consisting mainly of corn and soy (both of which are genetically modified).
Soy is a known estrogen mimicker and disrupts healthy hormones in both men and women. I beg the question why is there such a rise in infertility and cancer of the reproductive organs?
Consume only free-range or pasture raised chickens and grass fed beef or wild game. This one change drastically alleviates much of the toxic hormone disruptors we consume.
Dry Skin Brushing
The act of full body exfoliation, or dry skin brushing is useful for stimulating movement of the lymph and increasing circulation.
This helps improve the skins ability to expel toxins as well as the function of the lymph fluid. Dry skin brushing also helps clear away dead skin and can improve complexion and even reduce cellulite.
Side Effects of Detoxification
Some people will experience side effects when detoxing from a standard american diet and lifestyle. It’s not uncommon to be extra tired and experience headaches in the first stages of cleansing.
You are providing the tools and your body is working extra hard to utilize them and get rid of stored toxins. The digestive system will also readjust itself over time but won’t adjust to these changes overnight.
It’s best to get as much sleep as possible and start your detox when you have a few days off. Give your body time to adjust and don’t expect to much from yourself.
Cleansing is a Lifestyle
Environmental toxins aren’t going away anytime soon. Realizing this, take care to always implement detox strategies into your life, not just for 2 weeks a year.
I’m not saying you have to be perfect all the time, more simply, adding fresh juices, smoothies and exercise to your life for the long term will have endless benefits.
This article was originally published on rootandsprouts.com
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