Detoxing, detox for short, is a topic that many people wonder about. Detox programs are marketed during every part of the year. I actually recommend doing some sort of detox program 2-4 times per year. Many integrative practitioners suggest a detox at the change of each season. Skeptics claim there is no science behind the idea of detox to support its worth, while others who have tried detox programs often rave about it. In order to appreciate a detox program, you have to know what it is.
What exactly is the definition of detoxification or detox? Detoxification is not a specific diet, pill, or certain foods but rather a natural process that occurs all day, every day. A detox program does involve a certain diet, supplements, and lifestyle in order to speed up the detoxification process. A detox program is usually a 7-21 day period of time in which you abstain from unhealthy foods to rid your body of toxic substances.
The main organ that performs detoxification is your liver. The kidneys, as well as the bowels and urinary tract, are also involved. The liver is the master organ of detoxification. Toxins and metabolites must follow the pathways of detoxification in order to leave your body. If your liver doesn’t perform its job, your body will become toxic with too many dangerous compounds. While your body detoxifies naturally, that doesn’t mean that all the toxins are eliminated.
The term toxin has been mentioned a lot but what really is a toxin? A toxin is a substance that is harmful to the body after one or multiple exposures. A toxin can be a chemical from food, air, water, make-up, clothing, shampoo, or aftershave. Your body must process and detoxify these substances before they can leave your body. Toxins can be temporarily stored in your liver, or go to the long term storage in your fat or tissues.
Your liver performs many important functions including bile production, metabolism, vitamin and mineral storage, and detoxification. During detoxification, the liver removes various compounds and toxins from your body. Some of these toxins are actually produced by your body as you digest and metabolize foods. Your liver also takes care of the metabolites from viruses, bacteria, excess hormones, and alcohol or drugs.
We all live in a highly toxic world. Just 30 years ago, the world was far less toxic. There were fewer chemicals in the air, food, and water supplies. But currently, we are exposed to thousands of toxic chemicals each day. Everything from the towel you use to dry your body after a shower, to the plastic fork you use for fast food, is loaded with toxic chemicals that your liver must detoxify. The detoxification pathways or your liver can easily become overburdened and blocked by excess toxins. Common signs of a toxic liver are fatigue, headaches, acne breakouts, anger or food intolerances.
Whether you choose to perform a 7-21 day detox on a quarterly basis, or you want to support detoxification every day, there are simple solutions for you. The internet is loaded with products to take for liver support. The most unique detox products are pads for the bottom of your feet. They look like giant bandaids and contain various herbs. Several foot pads have been tested and yielded no measurable results.
On the other hand, apple cider vinegar is a very useful and proven remedy. My two favorite detox drinks are apple cider vinegar and beet kvass. Apple cider vinegar helps to alkalize your bloodstream and tissues. Alkalinity encourages better circulation and lymphatic drainage, which in turn allows toxins to metabolize through your liver.
Beet kvass is another great detoxifying drink. Beet kvass is fermented beet juice and is known as a blood tonic and liver cleanser. Beet juice improves bile flow, which allows toxins to leave your liver.
Most of the food we enjoy is processed or has a number of artificial colors, sweeteners, or flavors in it. We drink toxins, eat them, and even breathe them in from the air.
Although your body detoxifies every day, it is wise to consider detox programs on a quarterly basis. Although you may do a detox that targets your liver, you will be detoxifying your whole body at the same time. All of your organs and systems are connected, so when you detoxify one system, it takes the strain off of the others.
Contact me, Carly Neubert, BA, NC, to customize a detox program that is tailored just for you.
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