Detoxing is like hitting a reset button for the body. By combining the right foods, drinks and exercise, we boost our energy, balance hormones, improve digestion and give our organs the boost they need to battle toxic buildup.
As society continues to ingest more and more toxins – whether it’s in the food we eat, the electronics we use or the pollutants we breathe in – it’s never been more important to dedicate time to detoxing.
Thankfully, cleansing the body of toxins doesn’t have to involve prolonged cleanses or extreme fasting – it can simply mean including more detoxing foods in our diet, gearing up our exercise regime and, most importantly, adopting a more mindful attitude towards our bodies.
When the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted the Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, they found some shocking results. They discovered 212 chemicals and toxins in participants’ urine, 75 of which had never been previously measured in the US population.
Although the body is naturally fitted with its own organs for detoxing (the kidneys and liver), it’s not designed to cope with the modern cocktail of environmental toxins, from preservatives and pesticides to heavy metals and industrial waste.
Add on to that the fact that the liver and kidneys are often overburdened by a poor diet, and it’s clear why detoxing can offer such important health benefits. Not only does eating certain foods give your body a helping hand in filtering toxins, but it will leave you feeling brighter, lighter and full of energy.
The liver plays a vital role in the body, helping to perform hundreds of bodily functions, including the filtering of toxins from the blood. This means that when it’s feeling sluggish, our whole body suffers, causing problems such as headaches, tiredness and digestive distress.
Detoxing gives the liver a helping hand – boosting its ability to cleanse the body, and giving us a better sense of wellbeing in the process.
Detoxing isn’t always advisable as a way of shedding the lbs, but many people find that this is a natural side effect of changing their diet, exercise and mindset. This isn’t just because detoxes reduce calorie intake, but because being mindful of what we eat helps eliminate cravings for sugar, caffeine and processed carbs.
There is a correlation between a lower immune system and a higher level of toxins in the body, meaning that detoxing has a direct impact on immunity. While all types of detoxes can play a role in boosting our immune systems, research has shown that fasting can have a particularly profound effect.
In a recent study, scientists at the University of Southern California discovered that fast detoxes can regenerate the entire immune system in as little as three days – great news for people suffering from compromised immunity.
Periods of cleansing give your liver the opportunity to detoxify and channel energy into revitalizing the body. Hydrating and oxygenating the body by upping up your water intake is one of the easiest ways to boost your energy levels during a cleanse.
Mental health is closely linked to what we eat, and de-stressing our body through a detox has a knock-on effect on our mind. According to naturopathic physician and nutrition expert Dr Brooke Kalanick:“Food is one of the biggest influences on your life. It drives your hormones, your brain chemicals, your metabolism, and effects your energy and your mood.”
Therefore, eating the right food, adopting a more mindful attitude and being kind to our body is the easiest way to achieve mental clarity.
There are some excellent supplements available to help you achieve the maximum results from the detox process; a favourite for many is chlorella.
A freshwater algae, native to south east asia, chlorella boasts an array of phytonutrients, but it is famed for its particularly high concentration of chlorophyll.
While research is ongoing, a lot of people use chlorella to help detoxify their body, particularly of elements like heavy metals. As humans aren’t able to access the health benefits of chlorella unless it’s tough cellular structure is broken into, however, make sure you purchase a form with ‘cracked cell walls’ and look out for organic low-temperature-extracted forms too to ensure maximum health benefits.
Be warned however that some people will suffer more than others with side effects from taking chlorella. In most cases, these side effects are from the detoxing process and indeed will be similar in nature to what you would experience from a detox even without the supplement as your body processes the toxins being released. But if you’re finding it too much to handle just reduce the dose a bit until you comfortable.
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