What is a Detox?
Detoxification means cleansing the blood. This is done by removing impurities from the blood in the liver where toxins are processed for elimination through our skin bladder and gut. When we exercise or perform physical activities that make us sweat, it helps our bodies detox heavy metals, eliminate chemicals and promote bacterial cleansing. Our liver, which is located in the upper right abdomen, has many functions that keep our bodies running; from assisting the immune system to creating proteins for blood clotting and sending out the cholesterol we need to produce hormones.
As a key organ, one of its very essential functions is dealing with harmful substances – it takes nutrients from substances that we consume, food drinks, and medicines, and breaks them down so they can be packaged in a way that’s usable like cholesterol and protein or removed as waste in the bile or via the kidneys in the form of urine. For example, when we consume alcohol the liver breaks it down to acetate then to carbon dioxide and water which are components our bodies can handle. Excessive consumption of alcohol, smoking, abuse of medication, supplements, or other drugs, lack of a nutritional diet and regular exercise, lack of adequate sleep, dehydration, and other bad habits may lead to liver damage. Remember that everything that we consume will eventually be processed by our liver.
Therefore it is important to be aware of what we consume and how we take care of our bodies and the environment we live in.
A detox can also be defined as a period when you stop taking unhealthy or harmful foods, drinks, or substances into your body for some time, to improve your health. A quick caveat is to practice caution when using products that are promoted without proper regulation or approval as liver cleanses or detox supplements. That said, you can enhance your body’s natural detoxification system and improve your overall health by:
● Staying hydrated
● Avoiding excessive alcohol
● Getting adequate sleep and reducing stress
● Consuming less sugar and processed foods
● Being active and exercising
● Following an antioxidant-rich diet
● Fasting or intermittent fasting
● Use natural cleaning products
Natural foods and Supplements that Support your Body’s Detox
Fibre helps to reduce the risk of developing various conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease, and constipation. Consuming adequate amounts of soluble, fermentable fibre is very important for optimal health. This is because it optimizes the function of the friendly bacteria in your gut. Increasing the consumption of fibre helps your body get rid of toxins. Natural fibre is found in whole fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds readily accessible in fresh food markets. Ensure to include fibres that are soluble, viscous and fermentable which also contain pre and probiotics for overall digestive and gut health and as a natural support for your body’s detox.
Sulfur is an essential mineral meaning that we have to ingest it from our food sources. It is the third most abundant mineral in our body. It assists in building and repairing DNA, as well as protecting cells from damage, reducing inflammation and contributes to the health of your skin, tendons, and ligaments. Eating a wholesome balanced diet will help ensure you’re consuming enough sulfur. Some foods stand out however and an increase in these will improve your body’s ability to detox: allium vegetables (garlic, leeks, onions, scallions, and shallots), cruciferous vegetables (arugula, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, kale, and radishes), eggs, nut, seeds and legumes. Eating sulfur-rich foods helps to enhance the function of glutathione, a major antioxidant produced by your body that is heavily involved in detoxification.
Chlorella and Spirulina
Chlorella contains many nutrients, including vitamins C, B12, iron, antioxidants and omega-3 fats and small amounts of magnesium, zinc, copper, potassium, calcium, and folic acid. It is 60% protein meaning it’s a complete protein source that contains all nine essential amino acids. It helps the body detox by binding to heavy metals and other toxins. It has been found to weaken the heavy metal toxicity of the liver, brain and kidneys. In people with liver disease, it has been shown to improve markers of liver health. Spirulina is considered a superfood of the sea and may be one of the most nutrient-dense foods on earth. It is full of essential amino acids, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin B1, B2, B3, Iron and Copper. It is a rich source of antioxidants and naturally detoxes heavy metals that may be found in your blood by binding to them and cleansing them out.
This herb comes from the Coriandrum sativum plant and is related to parsley, carrots, and celery. Abundant in minerals like manganese, iron, magnesium and calcium and vitamins A, K and E. It may help lower your blood sugar, fight infections, and promote heart, brain, skin, and digestive health. It also enhances the excretion of certain toxins, such as heavy metals like lead, and chemicals, including phthalates and insecticides. Another major benefit of this herb is it improves kidney functioning. Coriander seeds may be effective for treating urinary tract infections as they improve the filtration rate of kidneys enabling quicker urine generation. This amazing herb leads to lower water retention in the body and allows it to flush out toxins and microbes.
Lemon Juice and Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
The acetic acid in organic raw ACV helps suppress fat storage by improving insulin sensitivity and resistance which is very helpful for your liver health. It also speeds up digestion by increasing the flow of digestive juices through your tract and liver. Freshly squeezed raw lemon juice is high in vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant beneficial to liver health. It helps in the production of glutathione which we have mentioned is an important compound that helps your body’s natural detox process.
Lemons also contain citric acid which decreases the formation of oxalates that may cause kidney stones. It reduces inflammation as well as boosts your immunity. Mixing these two components with some water before or after meals will help your body throughout the detox process by taking the stress off the liver and improving your digestion.