When you hear the word “detox”, what do you think? Do you think of some sort of cleanse or purge like wheatgrass enemas? Does fasting cross your mind, or fluid-only diets? Or do you think of something more along the lines of alcohol and substance elimination?
Detoxes have been around forever and the basic idea around it has always been the same. Detoxing is the basic process of ridding the body of toxins. In history, detoxing was a purification process for spiritual cleansing and was used as a part of natural medicine. In today’s society, people commonly associate detox programs with quick weight loss and crash diets. In fact, much argument has been made regarding whether or not detoxing really works, and if it even matters.
Does Detoxing Really Work?
To understand if detoxing works, you need to know what purpose detoxing serves. Unlike the controversial weight-loss fads surrounding detox programs, the primary purpose of detoxing is not about losing weight. In fact, weight gain has a lot to do with the toxins and stress your body is dealing with.
There are those who do their best to eat right, drink a lot of water and practice other healthy habits only to find that they still struggle with health and weight issues that may seem unexplainable. That is because most people are unaware of the toxins they build up in their bodies and how it really affects them.
The human body has natural mechanisms that allow the body to rid itself of toxins. However, in this modern era with all the new processed foods and synthetic chemicals found in our water, air and interactive environment, we are encountering toxins that the human body cannot process quite as naturally. This leads to unhealthy weight gain and other health problems. That is why we do additional things to help the body detox.
A detox diet serves the purpose of allowing your body a rest from the usual toxins it encounters on a daily basis, giving it a chance to recover and purge it from the toxins that are already present in the body. Detoxing is about taking the necessary steps to deter the negative effects that toxins have on the human body and function.
Detoxing works when you are doing it for the purpose of cleansing your body from toxins, in order to improve your overall health. Your body is already trying to rid itself of toxins as you read this. Choosing to actively detox is about improving your body’s ability to do this.
How Does the Body Detox?
The amazing human body already has organs that are designed to get rid of toxins. These organs are your liver, kidneys, lungs and skin. The body also has “systems” that majorly assist the detox process. These are the lymphatic, digestive and circulatory systems.
These organs and systems allow our body to function and when we are healthy, we have few to no health issues.
When the toxins in our body have built up beyond our capability to naturally detox, this is where we begin to encounter health issues. These could be things such as:
- Muscle aches
- Joint pain
- Sinus congestion
- Postnasal drip
- Excessive sinus problems
- Smelly stools
- Sleep problem
- Inability to focus
- Unhealthy food cravings
- Weight gain/weight loss-difficulties
- Canker sores
- Other skin problems
- Puffy eyes, dark under-eye circles
- Severe PMS
- Menstrual disorders
- Perpetual bad breath
- And more
If you are struggling with one or more of these issues, it is a sign that your body is in need of a break from its regular toxin and stress intake. These are major signs that the body has reached the maximum level of stresses it can handle and it is time to make some lifestyle changes.
Detoxing for Life
Most of the controversy regarding detox diets has everything to do with temporary detoxes for the purpose of losing weight. However, a temporary detox may not help a person lose weight, although it will definitely help the body rid itself of some of the toxins that is causing it to gain weight or have trouble losing it. Again, the body is designed to naturally detox. Even when we are not trying to assist the detoxification process, the body will always be attempting to do it.
Detoxing as a temporary or short-term diet won’t work for long term results. The truth is that detoxing is a lifetime thing. Our bodies are committed to the job for life. Therefore, we should be committed to detoxing regularly for the purpose of allowing our bodies to function the way it is supposed to.
The reality is that we live in a world full of polluted air, chemically-treated water, modified foods and synthetic substances found in everything we interact with. Our organic bodies weren’t designed to process all of these toxins, much less processing so many of them all at the same time. We live in an era of overload.
As much as we would like to let the body do what it does and continue to live in reckless indulgence, it just won’t work. A conscious and active effort has to be made in order to undo the harm that we have done to our own bodies. This can’t be done in a single night, weekend, week, month or maybe even a year. It has to be done as a lifetime and a lifestyle. After all, we will encounter these toxins throughout our lives. The battle for our health is always raging.
How Can I Help My Body Detox?
You already know that no matter how we try, toxins are everywhere and they can hardly be avoided. But what are the few things that one can do to help the body detox more effectively and regularly?
- One of the first things a person can do to detox is to watch what you eat! It is no secret that processed and modified foods are full of chemicals, some of them we can’t even pronounce. Cutting these types of food out of your diet is an obvious first step. Replace these unhealthy foods in your diet with natural proteins from vegetables and lean meats, saturated fats from nuts and plants like avocado, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Natural foods, especially fruits and veggies, have natural detoxifying and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as antioxidants and crucial minerals & nutrients that the body needs to perform its natural functions.
- Drinking a lot of water helps the body to stay hydrated and purge itself. Be sure to drink as much water as your body needs and do it regularly.
- Sweat it out. Our bodies have the ability to excrete the toxins from our systems. We do that when we use the bathroom (elimination), secrete mucus and sweat. Exercising is a great way to sweat toxins out of the human body.
- Greatly reduce alcohol from your diet. Alcohol prevents the liver from functioning properly. The liver is a natural detoxing organ. It should be pretty obvious that allowing your liver the freedom to function properly will assist in the detoxification process. If you do drink; do so moderately.
- Avoid drugs. Drugs, both prescription and not, are chemicals that change or affect the way the body functions. That is why most drugs have side effects that are negative. Avoid as many drugs as possible will keep your body free of additional toxins.
- Say no to white sugar, white flour and any processed, refined foods that are bleached of their nutrients and natural chemicals.
- Breathe fresh air. The chemicals we breathe in the air come from cars, factories and other by-products as a result of human life. It’s no secret that fresh air is becoming harder to come by. Try to breathe in as much as you can, and even tend a few trees of your own to contribute to clearing your air from pollution.
- Be aware of toxic people. This may not be an obvious one at first, but toxic people have a negative effect on the human body as well. Toxic people are those who willingly bring stress into other’s lives, in the various ways that they do. The human body naturally produces stress-related chemicals that cause issues like weight-gain, skin problems and even cognitive issues. Being aware of these people who indirectly add additional stress to the body is just as important as breathing in fresh air.
- Treat your body like it’s the only one you’ve got. It really is. Your body will do the job it was designed to do, as long as you maintain it and take care of it. That means treat issues as soon as you encounter them and live a healthy lifestyle. Detoxing regularly is a part of giving your body the first-class treatment it deserves.
Do you need to Detox?
by Zina Docto
Zina is the founder of “i AM WOMAN”: Educating woman to discover their health and beauty from the inside out: overcome weight issues, sickness and disease.
Want to know more? Check out: