DETOX DETOX DETOX!!!
Updated: Jul 15
In the last post, we discussed myriad toxins that are all around us every day. Today we will discuss ways in which we can remove toxins from the body, helping our cells function at their peak performance. Your body has 5 major organs for detoxification: Your liver, colon, kidneys, lungs and your skin. It would be remiss not to also give props to the lymphatic system here. Toxins are removed from the body by means of bowel movements, urine, or sweat. Symptoms of blocked detox pathways include: fatigue, headache, brain fog, acne, eczema, nausea, bloating, and mood swings to name a few.
Everything that gets put into your body has to go through your liver first. It's the first filter of toxins in the body. What happens when you don't clean/change the air filter in your car? The air doesn't get to the engine to mix with fuel to combust, the gas won't ignite as well or burn strongly, leading to a drop in engine power. Similar scenario with the liver. If it's overworked, it gets congested leading to the body's inabiltiy to absorb nutrients that power your bodily vehicle. There are multiple ways to help "clean" or support the liver to cleanse itself including: cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and brussel sprouts, citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges, garlic, and leafy greens. Dandelion root and leaves can be particularly helpful in getting rid of toxins and also provide cardovascular benefits. Dandelion can be bitter, so most people prefer dandelion tea as an alternative.
Your colon makes up the largest portion of your digestive system (gut). Hippocrates notes "All disease begins in the gut". He also notes, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food". The foods we consume are processed in the body which is designed to keep the good nutrients and rid the bad waste through the process of bowel movements. An overwhelming amount of toxins within the gut can lead to a disruption in the colon lining called "leaky gut" which sets the body up for toxins leaking outside of the gut which promotes inflammation in the rest of the body. There are unlimited colon cleanses available on the market. Some people prefer coffee enemas (yay them), but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So, reducing consumption of processed foods that are packed full of toxic ingredients and increasing organic whole foods would be the best first step in making your colon happy and helping it heal.
Kidneys are another filter the body uses to remove toxins from the body. The best thing you can do to support the kidneys is to drink lots of water. Preferably filtered or reverse osmosis water that removes fluoride and other toxins.
Have you ever thought of your lungs as a filter? Like the liver, they are a self-cleaning organs and can begin to heal themselves once exposure to pollutants has stopped. Disease cannot exist in an oxygen rich environment. We naturally cough to clear our lungs, but regular excercise, deep breathing exercises, chest percussion, steam therapy and anti-inflammatory foods can be very effective.
Our largest detoxifing organ is our skin. It absorbs everything it touches. Toxins affecting the skin can come from air pollution, water pollution, and anything topically applied to the skin for hygeine purposes (see toxins blog). Toxins are removed through the process of sweating. Sweating can be induced through exercise (remember the lungs? 2 birds w/ one stone here), sauna, or choosing the Blazin' sauce for your Buffalo Wild Wings order.
Although your lymphatic system is more of a network of tissues, vessels, and other organs than those mentioned above, it plays a major role in transporting and removing waste from the body. Some simple ways of clearing congested lymphatic pathways include deep breathing, drinking lots of water (filtered, of course), lymphatic massages, and exercise...particularly rebounding exercises like jumping on a trampoline, which repeatedly opens and closes the ducts within the system promoting flow of lymphatic fluid.
Since we are all exposed to toxins continuously everywhere we turn, making detoxification a daily routine can help keep you feeling energetic, healthy, and focused. In the next blog, we'll discuss more foods as well as supplements that aid in the detoxification process. Until then...