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(Average reading time: 3 minutes, 25 seconds)
In January we see headlines “New Year New Me” about detox, juice cleanse, weight loss, etc. Not many know it may not be the best time to focus on detox. There are also too many doubts around the detox length. Nor know many people the difference between cleanse and detox. Read all that below and find out how to maximize the detox.
What are toxins?
Everything you eat, put on your skin and all environmental toxins you are exposed to will be filtered by your liver and kidneys. Toxins are a natural by-product in our bodies, which are a result of detoxification, which occurs every minute and every day. That’s the body’s internal process to get rid of all that is unwanted before it causes damage.
Having an unhealthy lifestyle or consuming low-quality food filled with chemicals will make your body use extra nutrients and its reserves in order to process liquids and foods. The liver, however, can only detoxify substances by arming itself with nutrients, amino acids, and antioxidants that we intake.
An unhealthy lifestyle also includes overworking and not letting the body to get the deserved rest to recover, which again forces the body to consume more and therefore toxins could enter the body, which will make you feel unwell. Overtime such lifestyle will cause some of the nutrients unavailable for certain processes and roles in your body, like immunity, mood, and energy.
Fatigue, bloating, skin breakouts, constipation, headaches, weight gain, and irritability are just a few of the unpleasant side effects of toxin build-up, an unfortunate and common symptom of our fast living, modern lifestyles.
Importance of Liver and Kidneys
The liver is your largest internal organ in the body. The blood coming from your digestive system flows through the portal vein to the liver, carrying nutrients, medications and also toxins. The liver filters 1.4 liters of blood per minute. Once these substances are in the liver they need to be processed, stored and detoxified. Everything that is expelled by the liver is going to your digestive system and is expelled via stool. The kidneys filter extra water and toxins from the blood. Kidneys produce urine to carry the toxins away.
For healthy kidney and liver function avoid the following:
- Overuse medicine, such as painkillers
- Regularly eating processed foods
- Excessive use of salt
- High Sugar diet
- Lack of regular sleep
- Not drinking enough water
- Excessive use of alcohol
- Skin contact with chemicals
- Not exercising
How to reduce the load of toxins?
- Balance your gut flora. Over 500 different good and bad bacteria live in your gut. Bad bacteria domination in your gut can cause an upset stomach, weight changes, constant fatigue, autoimmune conditions, skin problems, and food intolerances are just a few serious problems. To avoid that, eat seasonally, get fiber-rich food, opt for fermented foods, avoid unnecessary medicines (consult with your doctor first).
When there are imbalances in gut microflora it can cause toxicity by reabsorbing toxins expelled by the liver to the digestive system back into the bloodstream. That can cause symptoms like headaches, fatigue, confusion. When toxic waste is failing to clear from the gut and are re-absorbed and deposited in other areas like fatty deposits, muscles, and tissues such as liver, kidneys, skin, and arteries.
- Limit stimulants. Coffee, tea, alcohol, and tobacco must be consumed in moderation. Overconsumption of stimulants will reduce the benefit of your detox and overall diet.
- Anxiety, Depression, and Stress. They will consume your precious nutrients and cause toxins to be released into your body. Go for a walk, enjoy bath (Magnesium flakes in a bath are a great addition), read a book and go out with your friends.
- Environment. Use filtered water, eat quality food, opt for more natural products to clean your house are just a few options out of many how to live with fewer toxins around you.
- Food. Eat a variety of food and avoid the same food every day. Try to opt for organic food and eat seasonally to get fresh food on your table. Eat wholefoods with balanced macronutrients, get plenty of vegetables and fruits.
- Drink more filtered water
- Avoid starvation detoxes
- Maintain consistent time going to bed and waking up, time. Quality sleep is important for good emotional well-being, mental sharpness, performance and energy levels in place.
What’s the difference between detox and cleanse?
Cleanse is mainly clearing out your digestive tract and removing waste from the colon. Cleanse often uses supplements. During cleanse, you also remove irritating or allergenic food from the diet and eat lighter to speed up the digestive process. Cleanse is particularly useful for people who suffer from constipation or are bloated.
A detox goes much deeper than cleanse, by boosting the body’s natural detoxification process with all the nutrients it needs through kidneys, liver, skin, and lungs. The whole point of a detox is to eliminate the release of toxins.
Both include limiting your food intake, eat a variety of whole foods, vegetables, and fruits. Detox and cleanse should be done under the guidance of a skilled professional or naturopathic physician.
When to detox?
Most people start with detox straight after New Year in January. Not many know it may not be the best time to focus on detox. Better time or season to do a detox is spring. In springtime weather gets warmer and days are brighter and longer.
When spring comes we naturally eat lighter, move and exercise more and spend more time in nature. In wintertime we tend to eat heavier food and face cold weather, which may make detox less efficient and full benefits would appear in a longer period.
That is why it is best to detoxify your body in spring, not in winter.
How long to detox?
It is recommended to detox once or twice a year, depending on the exposure to chemicals and other environmental factors.
Detox isn’t effective long-term, as the weight you lose comes from water loss, carbohydrate stores, and stool, which all return after you resume a regular diet.
Detox isn’t recommended for athletes who are training hard, as losing carbohydrates as main source of fuel could affect the training routine. This doesn’t apply for a recovery week.
Juices instead of a meal?
In many cases, juice cleanses are often used as a meal replacement for hoping to produce detox effects. However, juices are often very high in carbs and not bound by fiber. Having several juices a day cause insulin spikes will play with your mood, having trouble focusing and cause low energy. Juices may be harmful to people who have kidney problems or take certain medications. Extreme juice cleanses can cause diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue, and nausea. Yes, it will result in weight loss due to an empty bowel, but the weight loss won’t last.
Juices are good for small temporary changes, but it’s often hard to see long term beneficial effects on weight loss and health changes. Juice cleanses can also slow your metabolism.
Detoxification is a complex system that requires certain vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fiber to work efficiently. These nutrients don’t only support how well we detoxify but also play an important role in how well the by-products are removed from the body through the kidneys, gut, and skin. Therefore, just juice for detox may not be enough. By juicing you remove fiber, fat, and protein from your diet, which can actually be harmful.
Supplements to support your detox
Milk thistle is an herbal remedy derived from the milk thistle plant, also known as Silybum marianum. Milk Thistle is known for helping to relieve liver problems having been used as an herbal remedy for hundreds of years. It has also been found that Milk Thistle has the ability to encourage the liver to cleanse itself from accumulated toxins. It also supports the liver by preventing the depletion of glutathione and amino acid essential for the detox process.
Uniquely formulated complex of Food-Grown® vitamins and minerals, whole-food nutrients, amino acids, and herbs. This product is the first stage of Henrietta’s Total Cleanse Programme’ – a cleanse that works on the body’s biochemistry and cellular health, from the root up.
This complex is great support when detoxing or just to support your daily cleansing. It is full of nutrients and botanicals that support detoxification, such as dandelion and turmeric, in addition to many other nutrients, your liver will love – all targeted at getting your body’s machinery up and running.
Clean Greens is an organic daily blend of 11 super-rich green foods including Nettle, Kale Sprouts and Wheat Grass Juice. Green powders are rich in antioxidants, high in fiber and help to alkalize your body.
1 scoop Terranova Intense Greens powder contains 8 types of fresh freeze-dried greens, spirulina, chlorella, wheatgrass, barley grass, rice bran actives, 5 strains of probiotics and 7 digestive enzymes. It is a great support for overall health and detoxification.
FibreSMART is a flax seed-based fiber blend of roughly 50% soluble fiber and 50% insoluble fiber to bind toxins and increase elimination, without the constipating side effects created by other fibres. FibreSMART also contains herbal ingredients L-Glutamine and Triphala that work to soothe and support the intestinal tract. FibreSMART is available in both capsule and powder form.
You should always consult with skilled professional or naturopathic physician to find out if you need any supplements to detoxify. There’s a chance that you need a program to help you change your habits and not detox. Not only your body needs to be in good condition, but it’s important to get the best out from detox, hence do it under supervision. If your healthcare professional thinks that you need detoxification, they should be able to offer several options for you. Your body naturally detoxifies itself regularly if you feed it with whole, real foods. Cut out all the processed foods and nourish your body with nutritious vegetables and fiber-rich foods then you are already detoxifying your body.