WHAT IS DETOXIFICATION?
Detoxification is a process that our bodies do naturally. Our liver, kidneys, lungs, digestive tract and skin are constantly working to get rid of unwanted toxins that can be harmful to our health. In a perfect world, this would be enough. Unfortunately, we are repeatedly exposed to environmental toxins in the air, water, land and products we use due to the extensive use of pesticides, plastics, additives, preservatives and heavy metals. So when I talk about doing a detox, what I really mean is improving and optimizing the function of your body’s own detoxification processes to aid in the removal of toxins.
SHOULD I DO A DETOX?
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms you may benefit from doing a detox:
- Fatigue that is unrelieved by sleep
- Brain fog
- Irritability/mood swings
- Digestive problems – diarrhea, gas, bloating, constipation, etc.
- Acne, rosacea, or itchy skin
- Inability to lose weight
- Yeast/fungal infections
- Food cravings
- Chronic nasal or sinus congestion
- Sensitivity to fragrances
WHO SHOULD NOT DO A DETOX?
The following people should not undertake a detox without seeking advice from their medical practitioner:
- Pregnant women
- Breastfeeding women
- People suffering from mental illness including severe depression
- Persons in the advanced stages of any serious disease
- People suffering from eating disorders
HOW DO I DO A DETOX?
- Avoid adding to your toxic burden
Products that you use on a daily basis, such as perfumes, air fresheners, cleaning products, cosmetics, plastic containers, fabric softener and non-stick cookware all contribute to your toxic exposure. Avoiding these products or finding clean alternatives is integral to any detox plan to ensure lasting effects.
- Remove aggravating foods
The most common aggravating foods are sugar, processed foods, wheat, dairy and soy. The best way to determine which foods are problematic for you specifically is to do a full elimination diet. This involves removing all of the most common allergenic foods for a period of time and re-adding them slowly to determine which foods are causing you trouble. Food sensitivity testing can also determine which foods you should be avoiding to give your body and immune system a break.
- Add in detoxifying foods
Leafy greens (particularly those in the brassica family – kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower) contain phytochemicals that prevent oxidative stress and induce detoxification enzymes.
Berries get their deep, dark color from anthocyanins. These are antioxidants that help fight free radical damage, and are thought to be anti-inflammatory and vasoprotective. This is an important component of any detox program because free radicals are actually produced by phase 1 detoxification of the liver, and need to be neutralized in phase 2.
Lemon water in the morning can jump-start digestion by stimulating the release of enzymes, while the vitamin C helps convert toxins into a water-soluble form that can be easily eliminated from the body.
- Support your liver
Your liver is the major detoxification organ in your body. Taking herbs like dandelion or milk thistle and supplements like B vitamins help protect the liver from oxidative damage and optimize its function in removing toxins from your body.
- Ensure proper elimination
As your body tries to get rid of toxins from your cells, metobolites get released into the bloodstream. These metabolites can cause some of the negative side effects associated with a detox, such as headache or digestive complaints. Ensuring proper elimination will reduce these side effects and make certain that you are getting the most out of your detox. Drink plenty of water, eat adequate amounts of fiber to ensure daily bowel movements and sweat atleast 3 times per week.
DETOX SMOOTHIE RECIPE
1/2 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
1 cup chopped kale
1/4 ripe avocado
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp ginger, peeled and finely grated
1/8 tsp cinnamon
(optional) 1 scoop collagen powder or your preferred protein powder
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend on high speed until smooth.
To learn more about detoxification and how you can benefit from it, book a free 15 minute consultation with Vishaala Singh, ND.