Spring is the perfect time to detox!
Do you experience nausea, headaches, fatigue, digestive problems, acne, joint pain, concentration issues and even premature ageing? If you find yourself experiencing all of or a combination of these signs and symptoms you may be in need of some detox support. You don’t need to be doing extreme juice fasts to support your bodies ability to detox but we all could do with a helping hand in this area.
There is no doubt about it, we live in a chemical world and our bodies are getting overloaded by the volume of toxins that need to be dealt with and excreted. Fortunately our bodies have been wonderfully designed to eliminate waste and toxins. Chemicals in food and the environment, caffeine, alcohol, medications, chemicals in cosmetics or cleaning products, heavy metals and even the hormones produced by our bodies, all need to be metabolised and excreted from the body. The liver, bowel, kidneys, lungs and skin all play important roles in detoxification.
If the body has some other things going on such as inflammation, immune activation, poor digestion and poor diet then detoxification is shelved. It’s not a process that is necessary for survival. We can get by without properly excreting toxins and heavy metals. The result is not pretty. In order to support detoxification it’s important to ensure that all elimination channels of the body are working optimally.
How detoxification works
Moving your bowels daily stops toxins being reabsorbed into the bloodstream. Hydrating helps keep the kidneys filtering toxins via the urine. Avoiding smoking and exercising helps the lungs stay clear, whilst sweating helps the skin eliminate toxins that build up.
The liver is the bodies main detoxification organ and it consists of three detoxification pathways to eliminate unwanted chemicals. The first phase is made up of liver enzymes that convert toxins into water-soluble molecules that require further metabolism. Phase one is usually fast because caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, high protein diets and high stress lifestyle all speed it up. A fast phase one means toxins move through very quickly to the next phase, i.e. the intermediate phase.
At intermediate phase molecules to be detoxed change into a reactive state that if left in this state create free radicals. Free radicals cause tissue damage and are to be avoided!
Once toxins move into the third and final phase of liver detoxification they then go through four pathways to be changed into a water soluble, harmless form that can be excreted out of the body in stool and urine.
What you can do to support detox
Here are the top six things you can do to enhance your ability to detox –
- Eat a rainbow! – This means focusing on eating lots of fruits and vegetables that are red, orange, yellow, green and blue. They provide antioxidants to support your detox pathways
- Eliminate sugar and gluten from your diet – These foods only hinder your detox capacity, drain your energy levels and cause digestive problems for some people
- Exercise often – ensure you do some form of exercise that helps you work up a sweat to help the skin and lungs eliminate toxins
- Avoid excessive alcohol and medication use – These just overburden your liver and slow down itâ€™s ability to detox
- Infrared sauna – sweat the toxins out to help give your bodyâ€™s detox pathways a helping hand
- Hydrate – drink plenty of water to help flush toxins out of your body via the kidneys
By Susan Hunter