If you follow trends, then you’ve most definitely heard the word, ‘detox’.
According to Healthline, detoxification typically implies following a specific diet or using special products that claim to rid your body of toxins, thereby improving health and promoting weight loss. Fortunately, your body is well-equipped to eliminate toxins and doesn’t require special diets or expensive supplements to do so.
That said, you can enhance your body’s natural detoxification system. But let’s first understand what detoxification is.
Detoxification starts in your liver. While it’s a complicated process, your liver essentially does this in two phases. First, it converts toxic substances to highly reactive metabolites and then excretes these toxins. Your kidneys, lungs, and even gut also play a role in detoxification. Toxins can impact these organs both acutely and cumulatively. They can also cause physical and mental health issues like chronicfatigue, headaches, insomnia and diseases. Many of these toxins come from things you use or consume everyday like food, water, beauty and personal care products and the environment. Reactions aren’t immediate, and so you might not see the connection between chronic low-grade toxicity and struggle with weight loss.
What’s the big deal in that, you ask? Well, toxic overload can stall weight loss!
Yep, that’s right! According to Mark Hyman, MD, in The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet, “When we are toxic, the mechanism for detoxification in the liver gets sluggish, and certain toxins can remain active longer than we want or than our systems can handle. This makes us sick and impedes normal metabolism. It also causes fluid retention, bloat, and puffiness.”
Here’s where a healthy detox plan comes into play.
Effective detoxification to lose weight and improve overall health demands reducing or eliminating what creates a toxic load, but it also requires giving your body everything it requires to optimally detoxify. Food becomes the foremost way to do that. After all, we detoxify constantly, and we eat several times daily. Incorporating helpful nutrients may help boost weight loss, improve body composition, and better overall health.
So, here’s what you can do to detox your body naturally.
Say “no” to that “just one drink”!
We all know too well that “just one drink” is never the case. Ever!
According to Healthline, more than 90% of alcohol is metabolized in your liver. Liver enzymes metabolize alcohol to acetaldehyde, a known cancer-causing chemical. Recognizing acetaldehyde as a toxin, your liver converts it to a harmless substance called acetate, which is later eliminated from your body.
Let’s just pause for a bit and understand what the function of your liver is.
Firstly, your liver is a remarkable organ with hundreds of essential functions. The main one being neutralizing various toxic substances you consume. And it’s because of this function that your liver is vulnerable to damage by heavy or frequent alcohol consumption.
Liver diseases caused by alcohol consumption are collectively known as alcoholic liver diseases and the first of these to appear is ‘fatty liver’, which is characterized by increased fat inside liver cells. We can confidently tell you that it ain’t a good thing to have in your body!
Fatty liver gradually develops in 90% of those who drink more than a 1/2 ounce (15 ml) of alcohol per day and is usually symptomless and fully reversible. While in heavy drinkers, binge drinking may cause your liver to become inflamed. In worst-case scenarios, liver cells die and get replaced with scar tissue, leading to a serious condition called cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is irreversible and associated with many serious health problems. In advanced cirrhosis, a liver transplant may be the only option.
And while we’re on the subject, excessive alcohol consumption can have numerous adverse effects on your brain.
So, back to talking about detoxification; excessive alcohol consumption will prevent your liver from functioning adequately and perform its necessary tasks — including filtering waste and other toxins from your body. What you can do to prevent that from happening is limiting or abstaining entirely fromalcohol is one of the best ways to keep your body’s detoxification system running strong.
The bottom line is that drinking too much alcohol reduces your liver’s ability to carry out its normal functions, such as detoxifying!
Get all the sleep that you can get!
Ensuring adequate and quality sleep each night is a must to support your body’s health and natural detoxification system.
Sleeping allows your brain to reorganize and recharge itself, as well as remove toxic waste byproducts that have accumulated throughout the day. One of those waste products is a protein called beta-amyloid, which contributes to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. With sleep deprivation, your body does not have time to perform those functions, so toxins can build up and affect several aspects of health.
Poor sleep has been linked to short- and long-term health consequences, such as stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. In order to avoid these unwanted and preventableconsequences, make sure you get seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
If you struggle with falling asleep easily at night, try yoga, meditation or deep breathing exercises for bed. Combine that with a cup of chamomile tea and you’ll be sleeping like a baby in no time!
Drink lots of water!
Flush the toxins out of your body, literally!
We really do take the power of water for granted. Water does so much more than quench your thirst. It regulates your body temperature, lubricates joints, aids digestion and nutrient absorption, and detoxifies your body by removing waste products.
Your body’s cells must continuously be repaired to function optimally and break down nutrients for your body to use as energy. However, these processes release wastes — in the form of urea and carbon dioxide — which cause harm if allowed to build up in your blood. Water transports these waste products, efficiently removing them through urination, breathing, or sweating. So, staying properly hydrated is important for detoxification.
If you’re a poor water drinker, try jazzing up a plain glass of water with fruits like lemons, berries or cucumber and mint.
Skip the junk food and sugar
It’s no news that sugar and processed foods are terrible for your body!
High consumption of sugary and highly processed foods has been linked to obesity and other chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. These diseases hinder your body’s ability to naturally detoxify itself, which results in your other important organs being harmed, such as your liver and kidneys (that function to eliminate toxins in your body).
High consumption of sugary beverages can cause fatty liver, a condition that negatively impacts liver function. By consuming less junk food, you can keep your body’s detoxification system healthy. You can limit junk food by leaving it on the store shelf. Not having it in your kitchen takes away the temptation altogether.
Replacing junk food with healthier choices like fruits and vegetables is also a healthy way to reduce consumption.
Eat foods rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants protect your cells against damage caused by molecules called free radicals. Oxidative stress is a condition caused by excessive production of free radicals. Your body naturally produces these molecules for cellular processes, such as digestion.
However, alcohol, tobacco smoke, a poor diet, and exposure to pollutants can produce excessive free radicals. By causing damage to your body’s cells, these molecules have been implicated in a number of conditions, such as dementia, heart disease, liver disease, asthma, and certain types of cancer. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help your body fight oxidative stress caused by excess free radicals and other toxins that increase your risk of disease.
Some of the foods that are rich in antioxidants are:
- Black beans
- Dark leafy greens
- Lean meat
- Pinto beans
- Red bell pepper
- Red kidney beans
- Russet potatoes
Take your Probiotics!
The main detoxification area of the body is the gut flora. Since it is constantly being used, it needs to be replenished with more probiotics quite often. As we already know by now, your liver is the main organ of the body for removing toxins. The liver depends on the gut flora to remove as many toxins as possible so that it doesn’t have to work as hard. Without a healthy gut flora, the liver will be doing double the work.
The consumption of probiotic supplements will keep the gut flora healthy and strong. This will allow it to filter a lot of the toxins found in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Lactobacillus is a type of probiotic which helps filter out heavy metals from being absorbed. So, you best start taking probiotics, if you haven't yet!
Reduce your daily intake of salt
Consuming too much salt can cause your body to retain excess fluid, especially if you have a condition that affects your kidneys or liver — or if you don’t drink enough water. This excess fluid buildup can cause bloating and make clothing uncomfortable.
If you find yourself consuming too much salt, you can detox yourself of the extra water weight. While it may sound counterintuitive, increasing your water intake is one of the best ways to eliminate excess water weight from consuming too much salt. That’s because when you consume too much salt and not enough water, your body releases an antidiuretic hormone that prevents you from urinating — and therefore detoxifying.
By increasing your water intake, your body reduces the secretion of the antidiuretic hormone (it’s responsible for telling your kidneys how much water to conserve) and increases urination, eliminating more water and waste products. Increasing your intake of potassium-rich foods, which counterbalances some of sodium’s effects.
Foods rich in potassium include:
- Acorn squash
- Beet greens
- Honeydew melon
- Kidney beans
- Sweet potatoes
- Whey protein powder
- White beans
- White button mushrooms
Regular exercise — regardless of body weight — is associated with a longer life and a reduced risk of many conditions and diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and certain cancers.
There are several mechanisms behind the health benefits of exercise and reduced inflammation is said to be a key point. While some inflammation is necessary for recovering from infection or healing wounds, too much of it weakens your body’s systems and promotes disease. By reducing inflammation, exercise can help your body’s systems, including its detoxification system, to function properly and protect against disease.
If gym isn’t your thing, then you can try other forms of exercise like yoga, pilates or other exercises that you can do at home.
Lastly, detox with NATUREAL!
Build your body’s natural defenses against infection and disease with a two-step system that detoxes your body and balances your digestive tract.
The collection cleanses your system, delivers stable energy and improves your body’s immune system. Made from a blend of potent herbs, powerful fruit extracts, and scientifically formulated probiotic strains, the NATUREAL Detox Collection helps your body recover quickly from illness and may even prevent them from striking in the first place.