10 Health Tips on How to Effectively Detoxify Your Body

(Last Updated On: September 17, 2019)

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It’s interesting how almost all of us in modern society become so conscious of matters to do with our health. But there’s a good reason for this. The levels of pollution in our era are alarming and the devastating effects can be witnessed in the rising cases of widespread epidemics worldwide. And whether we realize it or not, it’s affecting us all. For instance, the rising cases of chronic diseases such as cancer are alarming. If we are to, for instance, take the cancer statistics as published by the World Health Organization for the year 2019, it shows that 1 in every 6 deaths is a result of cancer. In 2018 alone, an estimated 9.6 million deaths were due to cancer. It’s also worth noting that most of the known chronic diseases are caused or triggered by an unhealthy diet, poor lifestyle habits, inactivity, and exposure to various kinds of nutritional, environmental, occupational, and inherent toxins.

But as they say, prevention is always better than cure. Nevertheless, we can only do so much to prevent and protect ourselves, but truth be told, we are every day surrounded and exposed to pollutants in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and the lifestyle habits we choose to indulge in. You may stick to the habit of taking only purified water, but depending on the environment you live in or work from, the air you breath is filled with all sorts of pollutants. You may choose to engage in sports or visit the gym every once in a while, but your profession also forces you to eat junk for lunch most of your workday. These are just some of the many reasons most people don’t follow through with the health goals they set at the beginning of the year, let alone achieve them. So what’s the way forward?

 

This is a good question and it’s the reason for this article. The solution towards attaining and maintaining healthier bodies lies in our daily practices. Detoxification is one of the best practices that can help relieve our bodies of all these toxins. While the human body may be equipped with all the necessary mechanisms needed to eliminate foreign substances, it becomes a huge challenge when the concentration of these toxins and metabolite byproducts gets too high due to overexposure. The immune system can get weakened, the organs of the excretory system such as the liver and the kidneys overworked. Some of these toxic compounds can get trapped in the body, possibly leading to a wide range of diseases, disorders, and abnormalities. To avoid such a scenario, it’s good to boost your body’s ability to eliminate toxins… and this is where detox comes into play.

 

What Is Detoxification?

They say that knowledge is power and the best way to gain it is to be informed. Not many people know what detoxification is or what it’s all about. On the other hand, there are so many misconceptions regarding detoxification. So, to clear the air, we’d like to begin with a basic definition of Detoxification.

 

We may have this conjured image of an inpatient setting where drugged out individuals are undergoing rehab for substance abuse. While this is also true, detoxification is a natural body process of eliminating toxins, harmful invaders such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites, as well as potentially harmful bio/chemicals. Surprisingly, this natural process of toxin elimination is never-ending, but it can weaken due to underlying factors such as a weakened immune system, perhaps as a result of overexposure to pollutants.

 

Now, there are two major organs involved in the detoxification process, they include the kidneys and the liver. The numerous pollutants and toxins that we’re constantly exposed to can have a toll on these organs. Apart from pesticides and hazardous waste, most of the toxins that build up in our bodies come from the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat, which is why a change in lifestyle habits and diet plays a big role in detoxification. Experts say that many people struggle with health problems that are a result of parasitic infections, certain dietary options, and the use of harmful BioActive chemical products. And it’s only through changing our lifestyles and investing in practices that help to support the daily battles with toxins and pollutants that we’ll see a dramatic transformation in our health.

 

Among other benefits, detoxifying your body regularly can help strengthen your immune system, boost your energy levels, elevate your mood, promote your digestive health, improve your weight management, and make your skin healthier. So how exactly can you make it happen? Here are 10 health tips that you can take to the bank on how to effectively detoxify your body.

 

1. Invest In the Right Diet

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Extensive studies have shown that wholesome foods are the key ingredients to helping your body detoxify. Our bodies produce antioxidant molecules that help to protect against cell damage, which is normally caused by free radicals. Due to overexposure to pollutants and harmful pathogens, the production of such defensive mechanisms may diminish. Eating foods that are rich in antioxidants will help your body to fight the excess free radicals that increase the risk of contracting diseases. Focusing on the food you take is a wise approach to this complex process of detoxification. Below are some foods that are great in detox.

 

  • Seeds and nuts – The detoxification process involves the elimination of waste products from the body. Seeds and nuts are great sources of fiber needed in digestion and the elimination of waste.
  • Legumes – These will also serve the purpose of eliminating waste products from the digestive tract. 
  • Leafy greens – Apart from being excellent sources of fiber, vegetables are also rich in phytochemicals needed for wound healing, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial activities.
  • Fruits – Along with veggies, and whole grains, fruits are the best sources of phytonutrients (essential nutrients that support life) as they are also rich in antioxidant properties. In addition to this, fruits also contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.
  • Proteins – As we may be aware, most of the detoxification process occurs in the liver, often carried out in phases. Proteins play a crucial role in all phases of detoxification pathways.

 

2. Support Your Digestive System

By incorporating foods that support gut balance in your diet, you’ll be removing the major obstacles that may hinder smooth detoxification. Different tissues in the digestive tract play different roles in detoxification. This, therefore, means that they all need to be at their optimal conditions for this to happen. This support also involves supporting the major players (organs) of your GIT that play a role in getting rid of waste products and toxins. These include the large intestines (colon) and the liver. 

When it comes to supporting your digestive system, what goes into your GIT determines what comes out as waste through your rectal opening, the kidneys, and even sweat. To support your digestive system and enhance detox, you’ll want to take lots of water, juices, smoothies, and a high fiber diet.  Probiotics are also known to be highly effective in cleansing the colon. Other awesome foods to incorporate into your diet include herbal tea and high-fiber foods such as prebiotics. While at it, be sure to limit your alcohol intake and stay hydrated, which brings us to the next important point.

 

3. Get Rid of Parasites and Get Enough Of A Good Night’s Sleep

Intestinal parasites (from contaminated food material, improperly cooked food, and untreated water) can also be a huge reason to consider seeking a detox remedy. Doctors actually recommend deworming at least once every three months to eliminate any parasites that might have infested your body through various sources. However, parasite elimination can be a challenging process, especially considering the fact that there’s a wide range of internal body parasites (especially those affecting the gut), some of which are so stubborn to get rid of. Additionally, some people experience certain side effects from the elimination process, ranging from mild to severe. Dr. Todd Watts from Microbe Formulas says that many people complain of fatigue as they go through the parasite elimination process. Make sure that you get a little extra sleep as you go through the diet. Getting enough sleep during detox will help boost your body’s energy levels and boost your immune system to make the process faster. Getting quality adequate sleep every day is also crucial in ensuring the proper functioning of your body’s biological and biochemical processes.

 

Throughout the day, your body accumulates toxins and other harmful products. In addition to this, various body processes such as the breakdown of nutrients and cell repair end up releasing waste products in the tissues. At some point, these will need to be excreted. As we all know, most of your body functions are controlled by the brain. Without enough sleep, may not achieve thorough detoxification because, in itself, insufficient sleep is a major cause of toxin build-up. It’s therefore important that the brain is given enough time to recharge and rejuvenate, and the best way to ensure this is to get adequate quality sleep every day.

 

4. Drink Plenty of Water/Fluids

Drinking plenty of water does your body a lot of good. Apart from the obvious urge to quench your thirst, you need water for all your body’s metabolic activities. The continual processes involved in nutrient breakdown and cell repair will release toxins and wastes that if left to accumulate in the blood, may harm your body. Water is needed to transport the waste products from the blood to where they’ll efficiently be removed. This is done through breathing, sweating, and urination. However, it won’t make any sense if the water you drink is unpurified. It’s important to ensure that your water is clean and free from contaminants.

 

5. Sweat It Out!

Now, regardless of your body weight, regular exercise has been associated with so many health benefits including a longer lifespan and a reduced risk of some chronic ailments such as high blood pressure and heart diseases. Exercising will help to kickstart a more natural approach of detoxifying. This is because of an increase in blood circulation as the heart pumps faster during exercise, thus helping the organs to effectively cleanse. As you pick momentum in your workout routine, you’ll realize that your heartbeats are also gaining speed. This means that it’s going to pump nutrient-rich blood into the tissues faster and it’s the same way that toxic waste will be eliminated from the cells.

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While on the same note, you’ll also realize that our bodies tend to sweat a lot when performing vigorous exercises. This is as a result of increased body temperature. Although sweating can also be viewed as the body’s cooling mechanism, it also helps to unclog the pores found on your skin. Besides this, extra acid in the tissues will be flushed out through sweating, meaning that your kidneys won’t need to work as much. It’s, therefore, important to ensure that you re-hydrated when working out or when engaging in a vigorous activity that causes you to sweat. A lot of the metabolic processes occur in the digestive tract. Exercising activates the digestive tract, thus enabling it to push all the waste out of the system by strengthening the core.

 

6. Switch to Safer Green Products

Prevention is better than cure and as we may be aware, most of the consumer products nowadays are chemically sourced. Some of the chemicals used in production lines, though labeled as safe for human consumption are actually killing us slowly. Food production has also become a major concern in recent years. We hear of genetically modified organisms and the many chemicals used in agriculture. To add salt to the wound, we are using chemical-based household cleaners, eating processed foods, and using plastics in many areas. Changing most of these practices will go a long way in not only helping us detoxify but will also help towards improving our overall health. For instance, you may opt to choose cleaning agents such as baking soda and vinegar instead of using commercial bleaches in your household cleaning chores. It may not be a direct detox solution, but it will surely go a long way in reducing the level of pollutants your body is exposed to or gets into contact with. 

 

7. Limit Your Substance Intake

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Now, most of the substances we take (drug-related) are metabolized by our body organs. For instance, research has shown that most of the 90% alcohol removed from the body by oxidation occurs in the liver. Our lungs, kidneys, and the brain also receive their fair share of the load. Actually, the most affected body organs when it comes to substance abuse are the organs associated with detoxification.

 

We all know the various effects of alcohol and smoking. For instance, too much alcohol severely damages the liver, rendering it less effective in performing the important functions it does in the body. Once the liver is damaged, the body tissues start to accumulate toxins and soon enough, other organs begin to fail. The same applies to some lifelong prescription drugs. But the best thing is that such prescriptions are accompanied by complimenting drugs that help to counter such effects. This is why you are also advised against overusing over-the-counter prescription medicine. It’s always important to check in with your physician before taking some drugs. So, cut back on substance abuse to improve your organs’ ability to perform the various functions such as detoxifying, in optimal conditions.

 

8. You Can Do Just Fine without the Salt Shaker

To some people, it has become a habit to add salt to their food even when unnecessary. Consuming too much salt is unhealthy and a habit that only does your body more harm than good. The recommended amount of salt to take in a day is between 1.5grams and 2.3grams, and that’s for your heart’s health. So if you’re taking more quantities, you better slow down. Excess intake of salt prompts your body to retain water and to produce an antidiuretic hormone that prevents you from tinkling. While the whole purpose of detoxifying is to eliminate all the waste products from the body, this won’t be the case with you. You, therefore, need to increase your water intake to suppress the production of the inhibiting antidiuretic hormone or alternatively, consume foods rich in Potassium. This is because potassium counterbalances the consequences of sodium on your body.

 

9. Detox with Tea

Nope, this is not your usual cup of tea! Detox teas are herbal teas that do exactly as the name suggests. Some are ideal for weight loss, among other beneficial uses. Detox teas contain antioxidants and phytonutrients that are essential for fighting against free radicals. Free radicals are compounds that increase your stress levels, also known as oxidative stress and on top of this, they’re also known to cause premature aging. This, therefore, means to expel and flush these compounds from your system will be beneficial to your overall health. There are so many types of detox teas, but let’s take a look at some of the most common ones, they include;

 

  • Milk thistle tea
  • Dandelion root tea
  • Oolong tea
  • Green tea

 

Since detox is a time-restricted process, these teas are taken within a given time period and then stopped. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of the detox tea lies in the ingredients. Although you’ll still reap the benefits of hydration and increased metabolism, the ingredients in some detox teas contain higher detox qualities. For instance, some detox teas contain more chlorophyll than others. Chlorophyll binds with mercury and heavy metal molecules, enabling the body to eliminate them. So if you’re looking for a detox tea, it pays to carefully consider the ingredients and what they do before picking one.

 

10. Consult with Your Doctor

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Detoxification involves making certain changes that may or may not work well with your body. For this reason, it’s imperative to consult with your physician. Certain dietary changes may negatively affect your health, especially if you have other underlying medical conditions. Detoxification admittedly comes with so many benefits that include improving the immune system, weight loss, slowing the signs of aging, boosting your energy levels and improving the health of the internal organs, just to mention a few. However, it all depends on how long you’re willing to detox. Your doctor will help explain some important things to consider before detoxing and the best approach to use.

 

 

In conclusion, the fact is that every once in a while, we should detoxify our bodies. Some symptoms that suggest it’s time for you to detox may include unexplained allergies, bloating, skin irritations, eye bags, and menstrual problems. However, pregnant and nursing mothers, children, and patients with chronic diseases such as cancer and Tuberculosis are particularly advised not to detox before consulting with their doctors. All the same, the above few health tips can be helpful if you’re looking for an effective way to detox your body and boost your overall health. 

 

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.