Modern living exposes us to an ever increasing line-up of toxic substances. It’s hard to avoid them. They are in our everyday products such as foods and food packaging, clothing, building materials, water, cleaning and personal care products.
Which is why the detox industry is booming. But there is no need to go out and buy expensive detox powders and concoctions. A healthy detox based on sensible strategies such as avoiding processed foods, alcohol and caffeine, temporarily eliminating foods like wheat, dairy and sugar combined with increasing your intake of fruit and vegetables can be extremely effective.
Toxins are harmful substances that interrupt or completely block the normal functions of the body. These toxins can be divided into two categories: exogenous (those absorbed from outside the body) and endogenous (those produced within the body).
Endogenous toxins are produced inside the body and are a byproduct of the body’s response to stress, pollution, exercise and health problems. Carbon dioxide, lactic acid, adrenaline and histamine are examples. Usually we are well equipped to handle these toxins.
However another source of endogenous toxins comes from an unhealthy gut. A diet high in refined foods combined with high stress levels can strain your system and result in an imbalance of micro-organisms in the gastrointestinal tract which leads to the production of yeasts, fungi, bacteria and sometimes parasites. This is called intestinal dysbiosis.
Some of these toxins are eliminated as gas. Those that aren’t eliminated can make their way into the bloodstream through the intestinal walls and from there into your cells.
The exogenous toxins are chemicals made outside of the body and lurk in our environment. They can be found in everything from our water, food and even everyday items such as shampoo and deodorant and include:
These toxins can be ingested, inhaled or absorbed into the bloodstream through some other method.
Are Toxins Harmful?
If you are exposed to microscopic amounts of toxins over a lifetime, then eventually this has an effect on your health and wellbeing to the extent that there is the potential for disease and other health conditions.
Before you think that your body is one big toxic pit, it is actually very good at flushing out these toxins. The liver and kidneys are the two main organs responsible for flushing your body clean, helped along by the gall bladder, lungs, bowels and skin. But given the increased toxic load of modern life, we sometimes need a helping hand.
A healthy detox is simply a way of eliminating these unwanted materials from the body.
Of course the easiest way to detox is by avoiding these toxins in the first place. While this is not always possible or practicable, there are ways of reducing exposure:
An easy and inexpensive way to detox is to simply load up on fresh fruits and vegetables. It doesn’t matter how you do this. Colorful salads or vegetable-based soups work well, as do vegie juices or smoothies.
A healthy detox is really about supporting your body by providing it with the necessary nutrients so that it can function properly.
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