DetoxificationPosted on March 10, 2015 by Web Developer.
Is detox good for you? The jury is still out. For now, here is some information that might help you decide whether colon cleansing is for you. There is a lot of information about detox, how to do it and whether it is necessary or effective. This article aims to provide information that might help you to decide whether detox, or cleansing, is for you. We believe that a little knowledge goes a long way in discerning truth and half truths, save money, as well as ultimately keeping your body looking and feeling its best.
Internal and External body ‘cleanliness’
Various forms of external ‘cleansing’ are a daily ritual for all of us; we bath, clean our teeth daily, wash our hair and perform a whole host of cleanliness routines/ regimes for it makes us look, smell and feel good.
How about internal cleansing? Doesn’t our internal body require periodic cleansing?
What is Body Detox?
Simply it means cleaning the body from the inside by removing and eliminating toxins and keeping it in an optimal condition. It is about cleaning and nourishing the body from the inside out.
Body cleansing or detoxification has been practiced for centuries by many cultures around the world such as the Indian’s ayurvedic and Chinese medicine systems.
Does our body have natural detox systems?
Yes, our body is equipped with its own detoxification system which is responsible for filtering and eliminating waste and contaminants (toxins) from our body. These organs are the lungs, liver, intestinal tract, lymphatic system, kidneys, skin and blood. Our liver is the main detoxification organ. It acts as a filter for toxins and bacteria in the blood and chemically neutralizes toxins, converting them into substances that can be eliminated by the kidneys, colon, skin, lungs, and mucus linings such as those in our nose and ears. Expulsion of toxins are done each time we urinate, defecate, breath, cough, etc.
Unless our health is severely compromised, our body is well equipped to eliminate the toxins from our body.
The question is, is our body compromised? Well, that depends on various factors like our diet, the environment we live in, our lifestyles, and our food.
A body cleanse is not necessarily for those people who are "unhealthy". It is also for people who lead relatively healthy life-styles as they are exposed to a multitude of chemicals and toxin on a daily basis.
Realistically, there is an increase in toxicity in the environment we live in today which is coupled with unhealthy diets, highly stressful lives and sedentary lifestyles, all which affect the functioning of the colon, liver and kidneys resulting in overall a poor or less than optimal cleansing mechanism.
What happens when the toxins are not flushed out sufficiently?
When our exposure to toxins rises, our body’s detox system works on overdrive to remove these toxins that are generated from both outside our bodies as well as those generated as a result of our cells’ activities. However, when our natural detoxification mechanisms cannot keep up the detoxification demands, the leftover toxins are stored in the fat tissues. Toxin build-up occurs which leads to the development of symptoms, such as hormonal problems, depression, fatigue, headaches, digestive problems, loss of libido and there is also overwhelming evidence that internal toxins can lead to cancer and other serious terminal and ‘modern lifestyle diseases’.
Detoxification, as it is referred to here is an activity that supports, improves and optimizes the function of our body’s own detoxification systems to get rid of the toxins that have accumulated in our body.
Where do we begin?
Let’s look at our goal - the goal of our detoxification program is to DECREASE the amount of toxins coming INTO our body while IMPROVING the body’s own detoxification and elimination systems with nutrients and habits it needs to function optimally.
Simple ways to help our body detoxify are:
1. Reduce our exposure to toxins
Reducing exposure to toxins means taking away a huge burden on our liver and other organs of detoxification.
While it is unrealistic to live in a toxin free environment we should strive to minimize exposure to external toxins (refer to sources of the external toxins). This can be done by making better choices in:
- the product we use - Minimize use of chemical based household cleaners and personal health care products and personal health care products (cleansers, shampoos, deodorizers etc). Substitute these with natural alternatives. Read ingredient labels on your personal care products. Anything you put on your skin is absorbed into your body.
- The food we eat and drink - Eliminate alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, refined sugars and saturated fats, all of which act as toxins in the body.
- The environment we live in - Unhealthy and toxin laden air environment is not only outside (smog, ozone, or haze) but also inside homes, offices, and other buildings – in fact these can be more polluted than the air outside. The air inside your home may be polluted by lead (in house dust), paint on the wall, fire-retardants, radon, and chemicals from fragrances used in household cleaners and air fresheners.
(Some people choose to live in rural locations for the cleaner air and land. However, falling short of moving you can avoid a lot of the toxins inside and around your home through careful consideration of the above issues)
2. Adopt a healthy lifestyle
| *Exercise - Get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. It does not have to be rigorous exercise. This can be as easy as taking a walk around the block or the park. Exercise release unwanted toxins from the body. It speeds up our circulatory and respiratory systems and promotes natural sweating. The most beneficial level of exercise is that which causes us to perspire - the point at which toxins are released naturally through the skin.
Alternatively, we can also sweat in a sauna to eliminate waste through perspiration
Breathe deeply, this allows oxygen to circulate more completely through our system
3. Develop ‘Organic or Green’ Shopping habits – The amount of toxins we potentially bring into the house, begins with what we put in our shopping trolley. Hence, it is important to start developing ‘organic or green’ shopping habits. Read the labels - always look for products that are organic (green or eco friendly) and free of additives and preservatives. Gradually replace those unhealthy foods in cupboard with healthy, nutritious and organic foods and replace those chemical based household cleaners and personal healthcare products (cosmetics, soap etc) with natural alternatives that non-toxic and gentler to us and the environment.
| Change our diet
A healthy body detoxification program includes healthy eating. Eat healthy, wholesome and organic food - Food is a frontline defense against ingestion of toxins — the more organic and less processed, the better it is. Eliminate over-processed foods (they contain chemicals, additives and preservatives), unhealthy fats, sugary and caffeinated liquids; these are laden with hidden toxins.
Increase intake of foods containing fibre, vitamins and nutrients.
Know the different properties of fruits and vegetables - It is important to know the type of fruits and vegetables that help to rid the body of toxins naturally. Some examples of these are:- Brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrot, papaya, green leafy vegetables and celery - they help to eliminate toxic substances through our stool and urine. Fruits and fruit juices from lemons, oranges, grapes, plums, apples and tomatoes help to dissolve the toxic waste before eliminating it through the excretory system.
4. Drink plenty of water
Water helps us to properly flush our kidneys or liver and promotes bowel movement, allowing the elimination of unhealthy toxins we take in.
Our body is composed of mostly water (around 70 – 90%), and it requires water for nearly all of its functions. The water we drink is critical to hydrating the body, and at the cellular level it is the miracle elixir that can sustain us.
· Water helps the body eliminate waste and toxins and our body detox itself much easier if we are fully hydrated.
It is also important to ensure that the water we drink is free of toxins. Toxins are found in the tap water, and many bottled waters are just as bad as toxins leach from the plastic bottles themselves. Most water contains arsenic, fluoride, chlorine and a host of other unhealthy toxins.
Hence, strive to ensure that your water source is free of toxins.
Drinking sodas, energy drink, coffee, alcohol and these all cause dehydration in the body.
5. Emotional and mental preparedness - A body cleanse starts in the mind. The more mentally prepared you are for your detox, the greater your chance of success. There will definitely be trying time but make a definite mental decision to stick it out.
6 Believe stress - stress in large amounts create toxins and slow down detoxification enzymes in the liver. It's a good idea to detox stressful life situations along with detoxifying your body. Yoga, Qigong, meditation or prayers are simple and effective ways to relieve stress. Transform stress by emphasizing positive thoughts and emotions.
There are many detoxification programs and detox recipe, depending on your individual needs. Spas and retreats offer luxury 'detox services' such colonic irrigation, body wraps, detox diet, long-term fasts and prescribed exercise regimens for a price.
Key Things to Remember when Starting a Body Detox Program
- There are many detox programs/ diet formulation out there some are not only ineffective, many are actually dangerous. Explore your options.
- A full body toxin cleanse should be an enhancing and gentle process. Do not start strict detox diets that cut out food altogether (your body require the necessary sustenance) or try living on a diet of one type of fruit or vegetable for a prolong period of time! These diets are unhealthy as you are merely robbing your body essential nutrients.
- Purifying your body to achieve an optimal state of health won’t happen overnight, but if you begin today you’ll definitely be a little healthier by the time you get into bed.
"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease." Thomas Edison
The information presented here is for educational purposes only and is in no way intended as substitute for medical counseling.
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