Healthy Detox - Lighten the Toxic Load and Improve your Health

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.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to drink detox smoothies.  Make it a habit to include one as part of your daily routine and it will never seem like a chore, more like a delicious treat.  

healthy lemon and mint detox

First of All What are Toxins

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). 

Toxins in 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.

Toxins in the Environment

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:

  • Heavy metals such as lead and mercury
  • Aluminium found in antiperspirant, deodorant and antacids
  • Mold often found in damp and poorly ventilated areas such as bathrooms
  •  Solvents such as benzene
  • Bisphenol A and Phthalates found in plastics
  • Pesticides
  • Air pollution such as cigarette smoke, smog
  • Household cleaners
  • Trans fats
  • Alcohol
  • Refined sugar
  • Food additives

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.

What is a Healthy Detox

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. 

How to Detox 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:

healthy vs unhealthy food
  • Avoid alcohol, coffee and cigarettes
  • Avoid refined sugars such as white bread, cakes, biscuits
  • Avoid saturated fats such as fried foods
  • Minimise the use of chemical-based household cleaners
  • Purchase soaps, shampoos and deodorants that are paraben and phthalate free
  • Choose plastic bottles that are BPA free
  • Buy organic food free of pesticides

Healthy Fruit and Vegetable Detox

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. 

Here’s your detox plan:

  • Hot lemon drink each morning to cleanse the system – Squeeze the juice of half a lemon in a cup of hot water.

  • Add more raw foods into your diet.  Cooking destroys many nutrients.  Incorporate a smoothie into your morning routine, bypass the cookie jar and snack on raw veggie sticks and hummus instead, or add a side salad to your evening meal.  Simple measures such as these can really make a big difference.

  • Buy organic fruit and vegetables to avoid pesticides, particularly if you eat the peel or the outside of the fruit or vegetables.

  • Keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of water.  Water is needed for digestion, keeps our internal body temperature constant, helps deliver nutrients to the body’s cells and transports waste to the kidneys for flushing.
detox green tea
  • Replace that morning cappuccino with a green or herbal tea.
  • Make sure you exercise regularly – a great stress reliever, it also enhances digestion and strengthens your body.  Exercising not only sheds the fat and excess weight, but helps to expel the toxins by sweating. 

  • If you don’t enjoy getting sweaty, try some calming meditation or yoga to relieve stress.

  • Incorporate more superfoods into your diet.  Superfoods are loaded with antioxidants and nutrients.  A true superfood will be high in one or more nutrients, at least 25 percent or more of the daily recommended intake.

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