Detox means a number of different things to different people but most of them require fasts of some sort. Give the fasts a break with this detox.
For many who hear the word detox, their minds automatically tend to think of intense detox diets such as juice or water fasts, apple cleanses, eating only watermelon, or other such extreme methods to try to cleanse the body of toxins. These are all great foods in combination with other healthy foods, but detoxing in such a manner as these fasts can actually cause problems and put the body under more stress, particularly for individuals who have a heavy toxic overload. The good news is that you can detox and cleanse the body in a more gentle, more efficient way than doing an extreme regimen that’s likely to make you feel miserable anyway!
An Unclean World
First, let’s discuss for a moment why detoxing and cleansing is important. We live in a world that is overburdened with toxins in many forms. We ingest and take in these toxins on a daily basis, from the air we breathe to the food we eat and the water we drink. There is no escaping exposure to toxins in our modern world.
A number of these toxins are chemicals, many of them man-made, and are classified by experts to be obesogens, meaning they lead to weight gain and obesity problems. When these obesogen chemicals enter the body, they essentially cause it to go into fat storage mode, the result of which is clear. When we cleanse the body of these toxins stored in our fat tissue, not only is our body able to function better, but the stored fat will also be shed!
Additionally, these toxic chemicals stored in our bodies can cause a number of issues to our health, including fatigue, hormone imbalance, sleep issues, mood swings, mental issues such as depression or irritability, and headaches, to name a few. When the body is clean and clear and isn’t overburdened with toxins, it’s able to function efficiently and well, and the difference in how your body feels will be astounding!
But to detox the body doesn’t mean you have to be miserable and consume only liquids for days on end! In fact, this isn’t the most efficient, desirable way to cleanse the body anyways, as it adds more stress to the body and only causes stored toxins to be re-circulated through the blood without truly being excreted and eliminated. In fact, the majority of the unpleasant effects of detoxing we tend to think of, such as acne or headaches, tend to be from these toxins re-circulating through the blood and having a difficult time being excreted. When the detox is over, the body once again stores whatever toxins weren’t excreted.
So if a juice cleanse isn’t really the best method, how do you do it? The best thing to do is prepare your body by keeping the bad junk out and decreasing the toxic load that comes into the body. Clean up the diet and make sure to only consume clean, fresh, and whole foods as well as only clean and pure water.
Greatly decrease the toxic load coming into your body by cleansing the air you breathe. This is something many of us don’t often consider. But especially for those living in cities, the amount of environmental pollutants can be fairly high, and having a good air filtration system is a great and simple way to reduce toxic burden. Also, if you live in an area that tends to spray the house for insects, bugs, or other creatures, make sure to avoid spraying inside the home. If you feel you have the need to spray the inside of the home, use a less toxic option like boric acid to help prevent pests.
Along with the air, our water supply is also commonly contaminated with a number of toxins. Having a quality water filter helps the body avoid having to ingest these toxins found in the water.
A simple yet vital part to cleansing the body of toxic waste is to drink an abundance of purified water. This helps to dilute and then flush out the stored toxins. An ideal amount is three to four liters of water per day, and more if it’s humid or if you are engaging in exercise.
Consuming a diet high in natural fiber (both soluble and insoluble) will help keep the body regular. This helps cleanse and detox the body since waste that sits too long in the colon allows many of the toxins to be reabsorbed into the bloodstream. Fiber keep us regular to prevent toxins from sitting too long and being reabsorbed into the blood. Additionally, consuming high amounts of dark leafy greens provides naturally occurring nutrients that cleanse the blood and support the detox systems of the body.
Simply put, an effective detox method is preventing as many toxins as possible from going into the body. Once you have done this, drink plenty of water and consume only whole, fresh, and pure nutrient dense foods that support the body in cleansing and running efficiently. A simple way to think of doing this is to only eat foods that have five ingredients or less, with those five ingredients being clean, unprocessed food ingredients. This means consuming 100% whole grain foods, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, vegetables, and certain fruits. It also means avoiding added sugars, “sugar free” sweeteners, flavoring agents, preservatives, coloring agents, and other such chemical additives.
This may sound simple, and similar to what many try to do on a daily basis. But when you realize that the body naturally wants to cleanse itself when given the chance to do so, it makes it easier to understand that extreme methods are not necessary to force the body to cleanse itself. Instead, being consistent and strict about avoiding exposure to toxins will allow the body to rest and rid itself of stored toxins.