When was the last time you took stock of how you’ve been treating your body? Sometimes you start living on autopilot, not paying attention to the food you’re eating, your environment, or even your thoughts. And before you know it, your body can start showing signs that it’s been accumulating unwanted toxins.
A detox is designed to help to eliminate those toxins and give yourself some self-love. It’s an opportunity to restart, to focus on your mindset and your body, and to dive into healthier habits. In order to start a detoxing process, you don’t need to turn your life upside down. You just need to understand how your body absorbs toxins and how to best get rid of them.
What is a Detox?
Detoxing is the process of cleansing your body (specifically, your organs and tissues) and mind of harmful toxins.
While “toxin” might be a broad term, it’s usually associated with any harmful substance that’s produced by living beings. And this means toxins can be naturally occurring substances, such as chemicals or hormones created from stress. You can’t avoid toxins entirely, but there are ways of reducing their impact.
Fortunately, the human body naturally eliminates toxins through its normal processes. However, you can enhance your body’s natural detoxifying process by choosing to do a detox yourself. Doing so can help you with issues like fatigue, skin irritation, bloating, and even mental confusion.
Detoxing usually involves changing your diet to include certain foods and drinks that are intended to flush away toxins. But if you’re looking for a whole-body detox, you may need to go one step further – you’ll also want to include detoxifying exercises for your mind.
Here’s how you can perform a whole-body detox that helps you eliminate your woes from head to toe, inside and out.
Sweat Away the Toxins
While the liver and kidneys are the main organs responsible for the body’s own detoxing process, studies have shown that sweating can eliminate heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, and mercury. Sweating can also get rid of phthalates, which can affect the reproductive system, and Bisphenol A (BPA), which is linked to obesity and even miscarriages.
So, if you’re looking to enhance your body’s detoxification, you’ll want to get sweating. And you can easily do this by exercising.
Instead of choosing exercises that focus on muscle gain or flexibility, opt for aerobic ones that get your heart rate up and make you sweat. Activities such as spinning, running, cardio machines, and even hot yoga are all great choices. You don’t need to go to the gym if you don’t want to – you can sweat by dancing, hiking, or running in your own neighborhood.
Clear Your Mind of Negativity
Did you know that stress can cause diseases such as depression, obesity, diabetes, asthma, and high blood pressure? Most of the time, we work or live in stressful environments, and it becomes difficult to deal with all of that stress at times.
To lower your stress level, it’s important to develop tools that can help you alleviate stress any time. Try adding meditation to your daily practices. Meditation is associated with a better immune system, improved digestion, and enhanced focus. It also helps you clear your mind, which can be especially beneficial in the moment when you’re feeling anxious, angry, or overwhelmed.
Breathe in Clean Air
Even if you take all the precautions to avoid harmful pollutants, you might inadvertently be exposed to them. Passive smoking, for instance, is linked to many types of cancer, health problems, and congenital malformations in children. Other common airborne toxins are mold, pet dander, and volatile organic compounds, which are chemicals present in paints and varnishes.
You can improve the air you breathe by investing in an air purifier. Air purifiers are small devices that you can place in any room of your home – or in your workspace at the office – that can filter out pollutants and improve air quality. An air purifier can alleviate some of the dust, pet dander, and other common pollutants that you’re always breathing in.
Consume Detoxing Foods and Drinks
In addition to focusing on your overall wellness, it’s important to consider what you’re putting into your body during a detox. And that starts with what you’re eating and drinking.
Avoid These Foods
Before you start thinking about all the food and drinks you’ll add to your diet, it’s equally important to know the ones to avoid. It goes without saying that fast food and processed foods are a big no-no. These foods include lower-quality ingredients and harmful food additives.
You’ll also want to avoid GMO products or foods that come from crops sprayed with pesticides. They can lead to the creation of superbugs and superweeds and the elimination of necessary organisms from ecosystems. GMO products are also linked to several human conditions like infertility, allergies, and immune system problems.
Eat These Good-for-You Foods
Here are a few foods that are naturally detoxifying for the body. They offer nutrition and can help enhance the body’s own detoxification process, helping you to be as healthy as can be.
Garlic is the top suggestion for detox foods as it’s known for stimulating the liver into producing enzymes that break and eliminate toxins from your body. Additionally, garlic contains approximately 39 anti-fungal and viral agents, all of which help kill unfriendly organisms in your gut.
Beets can also activate liver enzymes, which flush away toxins. But their secret power is betalain, the pigment that gives them that deep purple color. Betalain has fungicidal and anti-inflammatory properties, and it can regenerate liver cells.
Avocados are a source of Omega-3 oils. These oils help lubricate the intestinal walls, which absorb and eliminate toxins. Avocados also contain monounsaturated fatty acids, which are good for the heart, and glutathione, which blocks the absorption of harmful fats and helps cleanse the liver.
Broccoli contains a substance called sulforaphane, which can help prevent some types of cancer. But this leafy green vegetable also features the indole-3-carbinol compound, which aids the liver in getting rid of excessive levels of hormones.
Fermented foods like pickles, yogurts, and sauerkraut are probiotics associated with improved gut health. These foods introduce friendly bacteria to the intestines, which can enhance the immune system, increase nutrient absorption, and eliminate harmful bacteria.
Drink These Healthy Beverages
Here are a few drinks that can aid your body’s detoxification and help you boost your overall nutrition. They include good-for-you ingredients and even some health benefits.
Green tea features antioxidant properties that have been known for years. Antioxidants prevent free radicals from destroying your cells, and therefore can fight muscle degeneration, heart diseases, and diabetes.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) offers a plethora of health benefits including alleviating heartburn, clearing skin conditions, and helping with bowel movements. Because it’s unpasteurized, ACV is also a powerful probiotic, which can improve the health of your gut and also normalize blood sugar levels.
Green juices are essentially drinkable fruits and vegetables, and the more creative you are, the better for you it is. They usually have plenty of vitamins and fiber, which are easily digestible in liquid form and also help with bowel movements.
As boring as it may sound, pure water might be one of the best detox drinks available. Water helps the body naturally flush out toxins, hydrates the body, regulates temperature, and also aids the digestive system.