We, unfortunately, live in a world that is full of chemicals, pesticides, and toxins. Many of us suffer from the effects of poor dietary and lifestyle choices, which are contributing to chronic illness and premature aging among others. In addition, many people unknowingly have got food sensitivities and allergies that are preventing them from reaching optimal health and their ideal body weight.
Our external cleanliness is important to us. We brush our teeth daily; we bath and wash our hair on a regular base. It feels good to look good and smell fresh. Similarly, detoxification can be seen as an internal cleansing. The problem is that it is often hard to know when our internal cleansing mechanisms are not functioning well. Detoxification is really what our bodies constantly do naturally to neutralize, transform or get rid of “unwanted materials”. It is about resting, cleaning, and nourishing ourselves from the inside out, starting on a cellular level. Cleansing and detoxifying can help protect you from disease, renew your ability to maintain optimal health, and slow down the aging process. It is an effective way to free yourself of chronic aches and pains, feel healthier, and be more energetic (Bennett, 2011).
Spring and fall are good seasons to cleanse your body. In a seasonal detox we will choose foods that are available in the specific season and match them to your body’s needs. If you want to experience the amazing benefits of an easy, fun 28-day detox, sign up for our „The Ultimate Fall Vitality & Health Reset for Busy Women“ (dates and details will be available soon). What we really want at the end of the day is to make healthy eating and living a habit to support our bodies the best way possible every single day.
The major organs involved in the process of detoxification are the liver, the small intestines, the kidneys, and the lymphatic system. The large intestines, the lungs, the bladder, and the skin are the places where the toxins are excreted. Proper detoxification is a key component of the body’s functioning.
Apart from synthesizing and secreting bile, the liver acts as a filter for toxins and bacteria in the blood and chemically neutralizes toxins, converting them into substances that can be eliminated by the kidneys. Our liver is the filter and cleanser of the blood, and the major detoxifier of the body.
The chart above shows the two detoxification phases of the liver that are activated when toxins enter the body. Phase I is called oxidation. In this phase oxygen and enzymes are used to make toxins water-soluble. In phase II, called conjugation, the oxidized compounds are combined with sulfur, certain amino acids, and organic acids before they can be excreted in the bile. The liver is like a big recycling center that is super busy making sure that our bodies stay balanced, healthy and get rid of of all kinds of unwanted, toxic stuff. We want to support our super hero organ as much as we can with nutrients dense food and – if needed – appropriate supplements.
It is very important that both phases work smoothly and that sufficient nutrients are available, especially in phase II, for detoxification to happen efficiently. Very often phase I is overactive, while phase II is sluggish. Supporting both pathways at the same time, allows the liver to work well and avoid some of the side effects from cleansing.
Some examples of amazing foods and supplements to support liver detox pathways are:
- Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, kale, chard, and Brussels sprouts
- Antioxidants and folate from raw fruits and vegetables
- Citrus fruits, especially grapefruit juice
- Caraway & dills seed
- Garlic, onions, and scallions because of its sulfur and alums
- Citrus fruits and vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, peppers because of their bioflavonoids
- Turmeric,flaxseed away
- Cruciferous vegetables because of its sulfur
- Beets because of the betalain
- Milk thistle because of its silymarins
- Chlorella, Cilantro, Leafy Greens, Asparagus, & Avocados
Last but not least before you go, here’s a quick Q & A:
What is Detox?
Detox, short for detoxification, is the body’s natural, ongoing process of neutralizing or eliminating toxins from the body. Toxins are anything that can potentially harm body tissue, including waste products that result from normal cell activity, such as ammonia, lactic acid, and human-made toxins that we are exposed to in our environment, food, and water.
How does a Detox Program possibly look like?
The term detox is used to refer to diets, herbs, and other methods of removing environmental and dietary toxins from the body. There are many different detox varieties like e.g. a raw food diet, a juice cleanse or a specific plan depending on your goals. A detox program minimizes the amount of chemicals ingested (e.g. by eating organic food with specific, detoxifying effects on the body), emphasizes foods that provide the vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that the body needs for detoxification. High fiber foods and water, which draw out and eliminate toxins by increasing the frequency of bowel movements and urination, support the process of detoxifying and cleansing.
When might a detox be indicated?
There is evidence that many of the chemicals we ingest daily through food, water, and air pollution may be deposited in fat cells in our bodies. Toxins include pesticides, antibiotics and hormones in food, chemicals from food packaging, household cleaners, detergents, food additives, heavy metals, pollution, drugs, and cigarette smoke.
Acne, arthritis, asthma, premature aging, infertility, bloating, recurring infections, fatigue, mood swings, headaches, inflammation, muscle weakness, allergies, brain fog, and rashes are just a few examples of signs of possible toxicity. It is important to pay attention to them. Addressing the root causes of a problem may help you to get rid of them for good. Detox May Help Restore Balance! If you wanna thrive and live life to the fullest make a healthy lifestyle and a diet that supports your body the best way possible a habit.
Stay tuned for Part 2, 3, and 4 of our detox series. We will discuss the benefits of detoxification, talk about detox foods in detail, and also chat about the ideal lifestyle to make sure your new habits are a success on all levels.