Every day we are exposed to hundreds of harmful substances, that we inhale, eat and apply on our skin. Our organs – lungs, liver and skin work constantly to eradicate these toxins from our organism, because they may affect many organs and cause different diseases.
There is an increased workload on our natural detoxification systems and they can become over-loaded. Environmental chemicals such as herbicides, insecticides, pesticides, fungicides, petrochemicals, cleaning products, medications, car and industry air pollutants, perfumes, BPA and phthalates. Add to this a diet that may include excess animal protein, sugar, additives, preservatives, excess refined carbohydrates, trans-fats, processed foods, etc., and the list goes on!
Signs your body may need a detox:
Fatigue ~ headaches ~ migraines ~ muscle aches ~ fluid retention ~ digestive symptoms ie; bloating, wind, constipation, diarrhea, reflux, heartburn, indigestion, nausea ~ irritability ~ mood swings ~ brain fog/poor concentration ~ hormonal imbalances ~ skin problems ~ cravings ~ weight gain/weight loss resistance ~ over-heating/excess sweating ~ chemical sensitivities, poor sleep/insomnia – especially waking between 1-3 am.
The obvious way to take the load off an overburdened digestive system is to focus the diet on whole fresh foods and ditch the sugar, excess grains, excess meat as well as preservatives and artificial flavours etc. Include plenty of fresh green vegetables for their wonderful alkalising benefits. Incorporate fresh juice daily making sure you add plenty of green stuff!
What is Detoxification?
Detoxification is about resting, cleansing, and nourishing the body from the inside out. By removing and eliminating toxins and then feeding your body with healthy nutrients, detoxifying can help protect you from disease and renew your ability to maintain optimum health.
Give your liver some love!
• Your liver is your number one detoxifying organ. It has over 500 functions!
• It produces bile (which helps us excrete toxins), regulates carbohydrate metabolism, assists in hormone breakdown, and detoxifies EVERYTHING!
Phase I Liver detoxification is the first line of defense against toxins. Phase I functions as a result of a group of enzymes known as the Cytochrome P450 family. These enzymes help neutralize substances such as caffeine and alcohol, and also help convert chemicals into forms that can be more easily removed from the body. If these toxic intermediates are allowed to build up, however, they can damage DNA and proteins.
Phase II Liver detoxification’s role is to help neutralize these intermediates and transform them to compounds that can be removed by the body through a process known as conjugation.
Steps to maintaining good liver health:
• Ensure proper digestion and elimination
• Avoid environmental toxins/stressors
• Increase water and fibre intake
• Avoid excessive alcohol, unhealthy saturated fats (fried food), and refined sugar
• Ensure a healthy, clean diet and appropriate supplementation
The detoxification process however, also includes:
Kidneys – filtering the blood, toxins are excreted in urine
Skin – toxins excreted via the pores
Lymphatic system – helps rid the body of excess fluids and waste
Digestive system – excrete toxins via the bowels
Lungs – expel carbon dioxide, take in oxygen
All cells are involved in the detoxification process including our brain which has detox pathways, our cells like our hormonal tissues need to be able to detoxify spent hormones and many others.
A detox is a chance to give your system a rest, to become more mindful about your food and environment and it is also a chance to enhance your own body’s natural cleansing process.
You can plan a 10-day detox or for really great benefits 4 -6 weeks or even 12 weeks, depending on your current diet, particular symptoms and health history.
Here are some of the possible positive benefits:
• Increased energy
• Reduction of cravings
• More stable moods
• Better bowel movements
• Improved digestion
• Rejuvenating sleep
• Strengthened immunity
• Clearer thinking
• Increased motivation to be active
Thankfully, we have some great supplements in store that can help support the detox process. Nutrients that target the digestive system including the liver, kidneys and lymphatic system can really make a difference. These usually come in a powdered form and contain all the nutrients required to help the detoxification process, just simply add to water or a fresh juice and you off to detox flying start!