Updated: Jul 18
Detoxification is a natural and ongoing process performed by your elimination organs: your liver, colon, kidneys, lungs, lymphatic system and skin.
And all day, everyday, your body is working hard to eliminate toxins from both internal and external sources. For example, your liver is constantly filtering harmful or unwanted substances and converting them into less harmful forms ready for excretion. Some of these substances are made by your body – but no longer needed – such as cholesterol or excess estrogen and other hormones. Detoxification in your liver also takes place in two stages, known as Phase 1 and Phase 2.
Some experts will say that these automatic detoxification processes are all we need. And, if you are feeling energetic, your skin is radiant and your digestion is working well then perhaps they are enough. But, if you feel sluggish or fatigued, have trouble concentrating or sleeping, catch colds easily, suffer from allergies, have pimples or skin rashes, bloating or constipation or just feel like things are not humming along as well as they could be, then perhaps your elimination organs could do with a little extra support. For many, the cosmetic signs of an overloaded liver are often the first to manifest and can include skin rashes or breakouts, eczema, rosacea and cellulite.
Detoxing is by no means a silver bullet that will fix all ailments and if a health or skin condition is troubling you then you should definitely consult with your healthcare practitioner. But gently cleaning up your diet is often a good place to begin improving your health. You could compare it to cleaning your house. You need to pick everything up off the floor before you can begin to vacuum – and you need to remove clutter before you can dust the shelves.
Avoiding processed or fried foods, added salt, refined sugars, trans fats, food additives, pesticides, synthetic skincare products, caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol are all good ways to begin cleaning your internal ‘house’. By avoiding these additional toxins, it can make it easier for your hardworking elimination organs- especially your liver- to work more efficiently and detox a little more deeply.
Nourishing yourself with vitamins and minerals from wholefood sources is another way to support your detoxification pathways. The collection of B vitamins (found in whole grains, lean meat, eggs, dairy, legumes, nuts and seeds) are essential for Phase 1 detoxification.
While Phase 2 detoxification pathways require amino acids (from protein-containing wholefoods) and sulfuric (from onions, garlic, eggs and Brassica vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts.
MORE SIMPLE WAYS TO SUPPORT DETOXIFICATION
1. Detox supplements
2. Dry body brushing.
Your skin is your largest organ and often referred to as your third kidney. It is estimated that every 24 hours, your skin sheds more than a million dead cells so daily skin brushing helps stimulate the turnover of new cells. It also encourages the flow of lymph fluid (another detoxification pathway). Plus, boosting circulation brings more nutrients and oxygen to your skin making it a great way to support internal cleansing program.
3. Mindful movement.
The more you move, the better your blood and your lymph fluid will flow- remember, you must move it to lose it. In fact, your lymphatic system only moves when you do. High and Low-intensity exercise such as weight training, fitness, walking, swimming or cycling can all get your lungs breathing more deeply, your lymphatic system flowing and your heart pumping. Plus working out a sweat helps toxins leave the body via your skin.
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