The truth about detox diets is that actually your body’s got it covered!
I’m not sure about you, but I’m regularly being bombarded with ads for the latest detox diets, drinks and detox pills. They promise to rid your body of toxins and once that’s done, you’ll magically shed those extra stubborn pounds.
The truth is, detox diets are usually a waste of time and money. Unless, of course, they simply consist of healthy unprocessed whole foods.
And those detox pills? Some of them can be downright dangerous.
So, if you’ve been eying off the latest expensive detox kit read this first before you buy any of them.
Because in reality, your body’s natural detox system is far more capable than any fancy powders or pills.
And way safer.
Behind the Scenes:
You may not realize it, but your body is already pretty good at detoxing itself. Each day your organs and your lymphatic system are busily working at removing harmful substances. Our body doesn’t require expensive supplements or crazy eating plans to do that. Instead, it thrives on a healthy, unprocessed diet which supports all the detox activities.
Your Body’s Natural Detox Superheroes
While we go about our daily lives, our body’s detox ‘superheroes’ are working diligently behind the scenes to keep us healthy and vibrant.
Here’s a quick look at the remarkable systems that form our body’s natural clean-up team.
- Our Liver:
Our liver is one of the most important organs that filter unwanted substances from the blood. Plus, because it produces bile, it can help with the digestion and removal of fat-soluble compounds that may have entered our bodies.
To keep your liver happy and functioning optimally, you’ll have to provide it with the right fuel. For instance cruciferous vegetables (hello, broccoli and cauliflower), garlic, turmeric, avocado, nuts, beetroot and, would you believe, even coffee!
- The Digestive System:
Our digestive system plays a vital role in detoxification. It’s involved in breaking down food, absorbing nutrients, and eliminating unwanted waste.
The gastrointestinal tract, with its army of beneficial bacteria, helps to chew up unwanted compounds. This prevents them from being reabsorbed into the body. Eating lots of fibre from whole grains, fruits, and veggies helps keep our digestion on track. All these foods also prevent constipation by escorting toxins out of the body regularly. 😊
- The forgotten organ: Skin:
It’s actually the largest organ in your body. Our skin not only shields us from external dangers, but it also plays a part in removing unhealthy substances from our bodies.
For instance, through sweating, our skin can help to remove excess minerals and metabolic waste. So, when you perspire during exercise or spend time in a sauna, it gives your skin a chance to do its job as a detox powerhouse.
- The Lymphatic System:
The lymphatic system is a complicated network of vessels and various lymph nodes. It also has an important job when it comes to the removal of unwanted compounds. It can remove waste, toxins, and even pathogens by filtering them out before they re-enter our bloodstream.
You can encourage all this by staying active, practising gentle stretching or yoga, and incorporating massage or dry brushing into your self-care routine. All these simple acts of self-care support the lymphatic circulation and your body’s detox efforts.
Supporting the Natural Detox Process
We’ve seen how our body has impressive systems that naturally get rid of waste and harmful chemicals. And it can do this without the help of special diets, drinks or pills. But it does require some support from us. And here are some suggestions.
1) A balanced natural eating plan.
The good news is that there’s no need to follow a ‘specific detox diet’
Instead, a well-balanced eating plan with plenty of vegetables, fruit, salads, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains and good fats will do the trick. Nothing strange or difficult to come by.
Those foods can provide the main necessary nutrients to keep your body’s system running smoothly.
To support the liver, many plant foods can assist with detox activity.
For instance, berries, which are rich in antioxidants, can protect the liver from dangerous substances. And citrus fruit like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits. They are high in vitamin C and they can boost the liver’s ability to produce special enzymes that break down toxins.
And fruit that contains pectin is especially helpful. Pectin is a well-known detoxifier. It is a soluble fibre that’s found in the cell walls of fruits and vegetables. Besides several health benefits, it binds to toxins and helps remove them from the body.
Staying hydrated is very important for supporting this process. Drinking water throughout the day can help to flush out harmful substances, aid digestion, and keep your body functioning properly.
If you are buying water in plastic bottles please check the label that your bottle is BPA-free. Look for PET, PETG, HDPE or PP. These are safe because they don’t leech any chemicals into the water.
3) Creams and Lotions and Cleaning Products
While detox diets focus on what goes into our bodies, we also need to think about what we apply to our bodies. Minimizing our exposure to harmful substances involves purchasing natural skin care products., makeup, shampoos and conditioners. And even household products.
So, look around for natural products that are free of any harsh chemicals.
Here are some of the unhealthiest chemicals in household cleaning products:
Formaldehyde, Ammonia, Trichloroethylene (TCE) which is a solvent known to cause liver damage, Phthalates (they can disrupt our endocrine system) and many more. If you can, buy chemical-free cleaning products.
And how about in cosmetics?
If you see Propylene glycol, Triethanolamine (TEA), DMDM hydantoin, Methylisothiazolinone (MI) or Butylphenyl methylpropional (Lilial) it’s best to choose a different product.
Cosmetics and beauty care contain so many more horrible chemicals. But instead of listing all of them, which might need several pages, it would be best to stick to natural products without harmful additives.
4) Rest and Reset:
We all know the importance of a good night’s sleep. But did you know it’s also a crucial time for detoxification? Our bodies refresh and reset during sleep, allowing for efficient removal of waste and impurities.
For instance, during sleep, our liver can more effectively clear out harmful waste than during the day. Plus the brain’s glymphatic system [not lymphatic] helps to flush out possible toxins from the brain which reduces the chance of Alzheimer’s.
Therefore work on establishing a consistent sleep schedule. This can give your body the rest it deserves and enough time for its cleansing activity.
5) Breathe in Freshness
Fresh air feels like a detoxifier in itself. Other than in mid-winter, I love to take breaks from the stale indoors and go outside to breathe in some fresh air. Even if it’s raining lightly.
It really feels so refreshing and cleansing… We’re so lucky. We live in a lovely green area with loads of big trees and fresh grass. And therefore it’s a joy to go for a quick walk simply to breathe in fresh air. If you live and work in the city, see if you can take some time out on the weekends and do the same.
So instead of falling for the false promise of quick-fix detox pills and diets, know that your body can detoxify itself if you support it.
And for some more reading, here’s a short post on how to do an at-home daily cleansing detox…no pills or diets.