The best and safest ways to detox is to do it slowly over time using natural foods and specific supplements rather than to follow ‘quick fix’ over the counter products which do more harm than good. Our bodies are designed to naturally eliminate toxins; however, the body has a more difficult time coping with the volume of pollutants it is constantly exposed to, particulalry in major metropolitan areas. Periodical detox, such as in spring and autumn, will help the body to work better and feel more energised. My suggestion is to always consult a qualified practitioner to guide you through any detox process. Here are some common sense detox basics:
• Detox order is important - the main detoxing organs in the body are the gut, liver and gallbladder; the kidneys, the lungs and the skin )which actually is our largest detoxifying organ). Safe and effective detox needs to be done in a sequence mirroring how our bodies work:
- Step 1: Gut cleanse - it is vital to do a gut cleanse before proceeding with the rest of the detox. When the kidney and liver release toxins, they do it through the bile duct and out into the colon. If the colon (aka the drain pipe) is clogged, the waste backs up into the blood stream and can make you feel quite ill.
- Step 2: Liver and gallbladder cleanse
- Step 3: Kidney and blood cleanse
The aim of a comprehensive detox is to eliminate the toxins that have been in your body for a long period of time. Supervision is needed because the body organs can get overwhelmed by the released toxins and this could be dangerous and cause tissue damage.
• Support your body during detox
- at each step the gut, liver, kidneys, lungs and skin need to be supported by appropriate herbs, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other body cleansing methods. This way the detox will keep the colon hydrated, expel mucous from the lungs and stones from the kidneys, liver and gallbladder. Using steam baths and saunas promotes perspiration and release of toxins through the skin. Dry skin brushing also helps to increase release of toxins through the skin. Make sure you consistently exercise and get enough sleep.
• Use natural foods and supplements to facilitate the release of toxins
- many OTC detox supplements are purely laxatives, which increase bowel movements and the risk of dehydration, digestive problems and mineral imbalances. A much safer way is to consume natural, organic nutrient dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, good fats (especially omega 3, avocados and extra virgin olive oil) as well as probiotics.
• Increase fibre intake -
extra fibre is especially helpful during detox as it acts as a ‘sponge’ for the removal of toxins, binds them and facilitates the removal of toxins through the colon.
• Drink enough water
- staying well-hydrated will help you to cope with side effects of a detox diet such as hunger, headaches, low energy and mood. Water is also essential for every function involved in the detoxification process, including elimination of urine, sweat and bowel movements.
• Reduce exposure to toxins
- limit exposure to toxins by eating clean food, drinking clean water, breathing cleaner air and using natural cosmetics. Use a good water filter for better quality drinking water and eat organic foods. Keep plants indoors, they very effectively purify the air!
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