One new trend that is gradually taking over is detoxing.
In recent times, more and more people are venturing into this new, wonderful lifestyle choice to help cleanse their body. Oftentimes, many people do not know how or why they should even consider a detox. Other, more curious people will try a detox regimen without the proper knowledge.
A word of caution – a detox can be quite detrimental to your health if done incorrectly. Therefore, it is very important for you don’t follow the crowd into a trendy lifestyle without being informed; the more you know, the better a detox (or anything in life) will work for you.
Here’s what you need to know about detoxing.
What you put into your body and what is around your environment greatly determines your health and how well your body functions. Being aware of what types of food you eat and what amounts you consume and what environmental factors you should avoid will benefit your health. This is because eating too much unhealthy food, drinking large amounts of alcohol, and living in a polluted area can disrupt normal body function and deteriorate your health.
Many individuals are not ready to give up their guilty pleasures or are unaware how food and the environment affect their health. A detox is a great way to heal from unhealthy toxins we consume and the ones that surround us.
Presence of toxins in the body and their effects
The human body is an interconnected system of organs that require various enzymes to function properly. The actions of these enzymes can be impeded by the presence of toxins in the body.
Toxins are chemical or physical agents that are harmful to the body. For instance, toxins that accumulate in the brain can cause poor concentration, memory problems, and even mental decline. Residual toxins from excessive intake of alcohol have been closely linked to damaged brain cells, increased risk of dementia, liver failure, and nerve pain.
Generally, toxins deter the functionality of the body’s enzymes, causing them to become dysfunctional. In addition to the effect toxins have on the enzymes of the body, toxins also affect the body’s mineral composition, causing the bones to weaken. Toxins can also affect the DNA and speed up ageing and cell degeneration. Toxins are also known to cause hormonal disorders in the body since they inhibit hormones by blocking hormone receptors in the body.
Sources of these toxins
Ordinarily, the human body has its own way of eliminating basic toxic substances from the body through the process of excretion; e.g. carbon dioxide is considered toxic to the body when it combines with blood, therefore the lungs have the function of excreting carbon dioxide before this occurs. The human skin, the largest organ of the body, is also beneficial in eliminating toxins by means of perspiration. However, the body may not always be able to handle the release of these excessive amounts of toxins during a detox period after years of leading an unhealthy lifestyle.
There are general sources of toxins that are detrimental to the body:
- Toxins obtained from environmental factors, such as industrial waste and fumes
- Toxins obtained from unhealthy foods and substance abuse
- Toxins from the body’s own metabolic processes
Other toxic substances that can affect the body include:
- Heavy metal substances such as mercury and lead that can be caused by parasite infections or amalgam fillings
- Excessive intake of alcohol and drugs
- Artificial additives and preservatives in food
- BPA that is mostly found in plastic
- Artificial food ripening sprays and fertilizers
What is a detox?
Detoxing is not a new concept; it is virtually everywhere in the health and wellness world. The question that is on everyone’s minds is ‘what exactly is a detox and what does it entail?’
Detox is a term that simply means dislodging your body of harmful toxins to improve the overall wellness and health of a person. As stated before, the body itself contains a self-detoxifying system which clears toxic substances that are harmful to us. However, as a high influx of intrusive and harmful substances enter the body, it becomes very important that your body be given optimal conditions to support continuous detoxification.
Undergoing a detox could mean different things to different people. For some, this means that specific diet plans are followed. For others, doing a detox is as simple as consuming more vegetables, water, and exercising more while getting an optimal amount of rest. To summarize, a detox aim is to get rid of toxic build-up from the body in a healthy way. This means changing your diet by incorporating detoxifying foods, gradual lifestyle changes (do not use extreme detox fads as these are unhealthy and dangerous), and buying products from respected and trusted merchants.
Why do I need to detox my body?
Detoxification of the body has been shown to help the body improve a lot of its functionalities and as such, increase the optimum well-being of the body. There are a number of benefits to be gained from undergoing a body detoxification as an individual.
Some major benefits include:
- Assurance of an improved circulation
- Promoting a higher level of toxin removal through natural excretion processes such as sweating, urination and defecation
- Initiating a higher level of functionality of the liver
- Normalization of metabolic activities in the body
How do I know that my body needs a detox?
The human body was designed with a special alarm system that tells us when it has a special need. However, this may not always be the case. It is better just to stay on a healthy course than to try to change your lifestyle when it’s too late. Still, a body in need of a detox may tell you in multiple obvious ways that it needs attention. There are some signs one can observe when the body is in dire need of a detox.
A sudden and continuous desire for certain food types can be a sign that your body is trying to pass a message across to you. Majority of the time when the body is in excess of toxins, a person experiences cravings for food substances that are harmful to the body. The most common craving by the body is an insatiable want for sugar; a diet high is sugar will raise leptin hormone levels, thereby enhancing the cravings.
As such, a detox will help refocus body functionality and decrease cravings for unhealthy food. Thereby reinstating the body back to its optimal state and making it ready to process useful and essential nutrients to support proper functioning.
Constant tiredness or fatigue
High levels of toxins in the body can disrupt your energy levels. For individuals who do have high amounts of toxins, no amount of sleep is enough to fight off the constant feeling of tiredness and fatigue.
Toxins in the body can also stress out your adrenal glands. This increase in stress results from high levels of cortisol which is released into your body because of toxins. In the long-term, high cortisol levels can lead to adrenal fatigue, a condition which causes a constant feeling of tiredness and fatigue.
Committing to a lifestyle that encourages a gradual and gentle detox will help reduce your likelihood of developing adrenal fatigue, and leave your energy levels untarnished.
This sign is one of the most glaring signs your body is in need of a detox. Skin breakouts like acne, pimples, boils, rashes and eczema are a result of a toxic state.
These symptoms result from the body trying to remove toxins through our largest organ — the skin. The skin’s main function is to protect the body from toxins, bacteria, and viruses hence these skin reactions. The body tries to remove these toxins by releasing them through the skin and by turning up the skin’s inflammation response.
A gradual period of detoxification will reinvigorate the body and help restore the skin back to its normal state, giving you a youthful glow.
Increase in weight
The body contains various bacteria that are good bacteria and bad bacteria. However, a high influx of harmful bacteria can affect specific functions in your body that help regulate fat. Bad bacteria can reduce your metabolic rate and increase your inflammatory response. As a result of these two functions becoming affected, the body will slowly create more fat, causing weight gain.
A hyper toxic state of the body is oftentimes a major cause of this overload of harmful bacteria. Also, certain toxins are lipophilic in nature, meaning they are often stored in fat cells in the body, which is yet another cause of weight gain.
Reduced sleep time
Your cortisol levels are a good indicator of how healthy your sleep cycle is. A healthy toxin-free individual ought to have a higher cortisol level in the morning, and should lower levels in evening, allowing sleep to occur.
However, a body with a high level of toxins will have a near constant high level of cortisol in the body. This high level of cortisol leaves you awake and stressed at night when you should be sleeping.
Direct exposure to toxins can cause severe damage to the brain. Specific toxins known for their damaging effect on the brain include monosodium glutamate (MSG) and aspartame. These two toxins can be fatal to brain cells since they prevent oxidation in the brain.
Symptoms of brain toxicity include disoriented thinking and lack of concentration. These toxins can also cause frequent headaches in some individuals. Some people may find it challenging to remember intrinsic details of an event and may even have short-term or long-term memory loss.
A more serious occurrence of toxin build-up in the brain can cause a condition called leaky brain syndrome. This condition occurs when blood-brain barrier becomes damaged as a result of excess inflammation in the brain. A detox can help alleviate these symptoms and restore normal brain function.
Mood swings can be directly linked to a hormonal imbalance in the body. Certain toxins such as xenoestrogens are known to cause hormonal imbalances in women and men. Major sources of xenoestrogens come from industrial waste and plastic.
A sure sign of a hormonal imbalance caused by toxin buildup is usually erratic emotional behavior. To combat this imbalance, a detox can help restore the body’s hormonal system back to its normal state and thereby relieve you from erratic mood swings — but only if the mood swings are indeed caused by toxins.
The digestive system is one of the body’s systems that is majorly affected when it comes to the issue of toxins in the body. This is because most of these toxins are introduced into the body through the digestive system; they are mostly stored or can be removed through the digestive system.
Symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, and constipation are most often a sign that something is not right with the body. Many times, they are also indicators of the presence of foreign and harmful substances in the body.
As such, whenever these symptoms occur, it is a sign that the body is in dire need of a detox after which the body is restored back to its normal functional state.
Ways by which you can detox naturally
The amazing thing about a detox is that it is affordable for everyone. The most important thing is to ensure that your body is free from all sorts of sugary and artificial substances. The best way of ensuring this is by detoxing the body the natural way, and not by using short-term fixes that may be detrimental to your health.
Increase your intake of antioxidants
Antioxidants help protect the body from oxidative stress caused by free radicals that roam throughout the body. These free radicals are produced by an unhealthy lifestyle that includes alcohol and tobacco. If you do develop oxidative stress, you are more prone to develop heart disease, cancer, and other life-threatening disorders.
Food and herbs rich in antioxidants can help control the production of these free radicals, decreasing your risk of developing certain diseases. And there are various easy ways you can incorporate antioxidants into your diet.
Fulvic and humic acids, a nutrient obtained from naturally occurring herbs grown directly from the soil, are full of antioxidants. A natural source of these acids are shilajit. The cleansing and reinvigorating effects of shilajit help reduce oxidative stress and slow ageing and improve overall health.
Increase your level of physical activity
Besides obvious advantages on the physical level such as reduced risk of non-communicable diseases and longevity, a higher level of physical activity is also closely related to eliminating toxins from the body.
Regular exercise helps activate specific systems in the body like the digestive and other excretory systems. Being active can also enhance the body’s natural detoxification system.
Increase your water intake
Water is a substance that its use in the body can never be over-emphasized. The body as a whole is made up of about 60% water therefore water is very much needed to ensure that the body maintains a functional state.
Water performs many functions in the body; it re-hydrates the body, it helps with temperature regulation of the body temperature, it enhances digestion and aids with excretion. Thus, it helps detoxify the body.
As such, more water should be taken in daily to boost the body’s detoxification systems and clear the body of toxic waste daily.
Add more sleep to your lifestyle
Rest is a very important state for the body to function optimally. During rest, the various body systems can function at their optimum state without becoming over stressed. Therefore, detoxification when the body is at its resting state is more effective. There are a lot of natural tips on how to get more deep sleep.
A body detox is a process that has been proven to have more benefits than harm when done properly. With a well-researched detox plan, you can have more energy for your everyday lifestyle and be more productive at anything you do. It is important to note that the most safe and reliable detoxes are ones that are gradual and do not ask you to do extreme dietary changes. And in order to get the full-effect, these detoxes should be implemented to your everyday lifestyle and not as a short-term solution. Always talk to your doctor or medical professional before you start a detox, especially if you suffer from a preexisting health condition.
I am Polly Telegina, a holistic health expert from Siberia. Ayurveda, yoga, and shilajit are the main areas of my knowledge. Deeply intuitive I find that true healing surpasses the boundaries of the physical body and embraces the emotional, energetic and subtlest layers of our being. I help people to know how to be healthy and beautiful using only natural remedies. I believe that nature is the best source of human health. To read more check my last article on how to boost the immune system naturally.