We all know the effects of a poor diet, too much alcohol or too many late nights. In fact, the modern lifestyle can have a real toll on your health and wellbeing. One of the ways you can combat this is by detoxing. Let’s take a look at the benefits of detoxing and how you can safely eliminate toxins from your body without putting your health in danger.
What is Detoxing?
Detoxing is any activity that rids your body of toxins and unwanted substances that might impair your health or sense of wellness. These might include pollutants, processed foods, and unwanted chemicals. We have organs in our bodies such as the liver and kidneys whose job it is to remove toxins and waste products, so any detox we embark on should be simply designed to help these organs and make their tasks easier. Of course, detoxing has had something of a bad reputation at times. People have undertaken dramatic and often dangerous regimes in order to detox. It is always best to simply support what your body does naturally and aim for a healthy balance rather than drastic actions.
Benefits of Detoxing
There are lots of benefits of detoxing, when the detox is undertaken in a healthy, mindful way. Physical benefits can include increased sense of wellbeing and a noticeable improvement in how the body functions. For example, digestion should be more efficient, and any digestive problems may be eased. The metabolism should be boosted and working more efficiently which means your body is better able to extract energy from foods you eat. You may even see measurable differences in blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. In time, a good detox will be visible in improved skin, hair, and nails.
Ways to Detox
There are many different detox programs, from intense periods of fasting to specifically designed regimes that involve taking supplements or other substances. Many of these techniques are simply gimmicks, and some may even be harmful. It is much more important to provide healthy support to the organs and processes that are designed to naturally detox the body. Luckily, there are many easy ways that you can do this:
Cleanse your environment
The environment around us is full of pollution and toxins. If you live or work in a city, you will be exposed to more of these than if you live in a rural area. In the home there are exposure risks to toxins but switching to natural cleaning products can drastically reduce these. Using air filters, avoiding smoke, and improving ventilation can also help. For more information on the air quality in your home, see here. Choosing organic produce is another great way to reduce exposure to potentially harmful substances.
Cut out alcohol
Alcohol has a number of negative effects on the body, and one of the most effective ways to detox is to cut it out. The liver has to work hard to process alcohol, and excess alcohol can cause irreparable damage to this essential organ. Without good liver function, the body struggles to detox naturally. So, it makes sense that the first step in boosting the body’s ability to cleanse itself is to help your liver work effectively.
A well-rested system is better able to eliminate waste. Sleep is essential for good health, but few people realize the effect it has on detoxing the body. While you sleep, the body rests and heals, eliminating unwanted waste products from the body. If you don’t get enough sleep, the body has less time to do this, and this has a major impact on your health. When you are well-rested, you are less likely to make poor food choices, which can further toxify the body.
Dehydration is your enemy! Water moves waste products through the body. It also helps with digestion and elimination of waste. When you are dehydrated – not drinking enough or drinking the wrong kids of things – you cannot get rid of toxins effectively. One of the best ways that you can help support your body’s detoxification process is to drink more water. We often mistake thirst for hunger, so you may find that drinking sufficient water makes you less likely to snack, which is also good for the detoxing process.
Eliminate processed foods
Processed foods are full of artificial chemicals, salt, and fat. From flavor enhancers to preservatives, the many components of a processed meal can add to the waste products your body is processing. They also cause damage to the organs that we need for this process to happen. Too much processed food means too much salt, sugar, and trans fats and these can lead to diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Exercise is an excellent way to help the body detox. Exercise has many benefits, and one of the most important ones is that it reduces inflammation. This enables the body to detox more easily. Movement is healthy for the digestive process, it reduces hunger and it helps with your sense of wellness. All of these elements means that you are less likely to make unhealthy choices. Increasing the heart rate provides a boost to the body that improves the metabolism and helps the body eliminate waste.
Eat nutrient-dense foods
Ensuring that your body has the nutrition it needs is so important for detoxing. Some detox regimes advocate fasting, and while brief periods of fasting may be beneficial, it is also important that you fuel the body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to function well. Nutrient dense foods are an excellent way to supply important nutrition without adding many calories. Vegetables, especially leafy green varieties, fruits, especially small and dark varieties, and whole grains tend to be more nutrient dense.
Add Prebiotics and Probiotics
To help with digestion, prebiotics and probiotics are useful tools. They boost the function of the gut by providing good bacteria that aid in digestion and help with the elimination of waste. Good quality supplements will supply high doses of these beneficial bacteria, or they can be found in fermented foods such as kefir, yoghurt, and fermented vegetables.
However, you choose to reduce toxins and help your body process any waste products that you may be holding onto, the benefits of detoxing the body will soon become apparent. The benefits of detoxing safely may be attractive, but it is important to check with a medical professional whether or not a detox program is right for you. For more safety advice on detoxing, see here.