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There’re a lot of misconceptions regarding the concept of detoxing the body. First of all, the body already possesses organs that can eliminate toxins within. Organs capable of detoxing the body include the liver, kidneys, digestive system, lungs, and skin. Thus, claiming that detox practices could directly eliminate toxins from the body is erroneous. Instead, a detox practice that aligns with accepted scientific literature aims to support the organs that eliminate toxins. This way the aforementioned organs could detoxify the body efficiently.
In this post, we shall delve deeper as to what detox, what are its benefits, some side effects, and some tips on how to detoxing your body.
Our body has organs that are capable of eliminating toxins from our body. Organs with this function include the liver, kidneys, digestive system, lungs, and skin. Our goal is to follow certain practices so that the aforementioned organs can detoxify our bodies properly. These practices may include getting sufficient sleep, staying sufficiently hydrated, and even managing stress properly.
As much as possible, get sufficient and quality sleep. Your body performs its maintenance when you go to sleep. So when you are well-rested, your organs can perform efficiently. This means your liver and kidneys, and all the other organs that are capable of eliminating toxins from the body can carry out the detoxification process properly.
Several studies have shown the relationship between sleep and kidney and liver function. In a research journal published in the European Respiratory Journal, results showed that excessive daytime sleepiness, restless leg syndrome, and apnoea-hypopnoea index, are risk factors for kidney glomerular function decline. In a separate study concerning liver function and adequate sleep, sleep disruption has been identified as a contributing factor to the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. These two studies indirectly demonstrated that sleep is important for the proper functioning of both the kidneys and liver; two organs whose major function is to remove toxins from our body.
The liver and the kidneys are the major detox organs. In other words, their main function is to process toxins within our body into less harmful forms for later excretion. Detoxing the liver and kidneys should be your top priority if your main goal is to optimize your natural detoxification process.
Detoxing from alcohol is a good start. When the liver is not busy processing alcohol, it could focus on detoxifying your body. Alcohol’s negative effect on our liver is common knowledge. However, one review which was published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology showed the magnitude of alcohol’s effect on the liver. According to this research paper, alcohol is a major risk factor for liver cirrhosis with risk increasing exponentially.
The average person requires 8 glasses of water per day. However, a more accurate computation of how much water you would need to drink in a day is as follows; your weight in kilograms multiplied by 65 millilitres per kilogram
(The maximum amount of water you can drink in a day = your weight in kilograms x 65 mL/kg).
This is for the upper limit and the lower limit is half of the upper limit
(The minimum amount of water you need to drink in a day = The maximum amount of water you can drink in a day / 2).
So if you weigh 90 kg the maximum amount of water you can drink in a single day is 5850 millilitres or 5.9 litres. The typical glass of water could hold up to 240 millilitres of water. This means your maximum is 24 glasses of water in a day. That’s 16 glasses more than the average. Your minimum water consumption would be half that which is 2925 millilitres or 2.9 litres which is about 12 glasses of water in a day. That’s 4 glasses more than the average.
A lot of people consider water to be capable of eliminating toxins. People who believe in water’s ability to remove toxins drink water a lot. Even though their rationale behind doing so is incorrect, the act of drinking enough water helps the body to carry out its natural detox processes. Detoxing skin is done by drinking sufficient water. As a bonus, the skin would become more elastic and firm as a result of proper hydration.
Detoxing for weight loss is possible when you drink enough water. According to a 2016 review, drinking enough water can aid in fat burning and fat loss.
Junk foods are those types of foods that are either high in calorie or sugar or both but have little nutritional value. These types of foods have been linked to fatty liver disease which can weaken the liver’s capacity to carry out its detox functions. Some types of foods may not be considered junk foods because they are fortified with nutrients but they are still highly capable of introducing toxins to the body which may overburden our detox organs.
Observing a healthy diet that excludes junk and highly processed foods is highly beneficial for the chief detox organs, kidneys and liver. According to a literature review published in 2020, a healthy diet can reduce your risk of chronic kidney disease significantly. A separate study, concerning the liver this time, had similar findings. The liver would benefit greatly from a healthy diet. Results of the study implied that a diet that features a lot of vegetables and fruits and fewer red meats leads to a decreased risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Eliminating junk foods and highly processed foods from your diet is not easy, especially if you’ve had the habit of eating these types of foods for a long time. The best way to minimize your consumption of junk foods and highly processed foods would be to gradually replace them with healthier alternatives. For example, you can replace your potato chips with kale chips, your french fries with baked carrot fries, your carbonated sugary beverage with sparkling water.
Another benefit of reducing junk foods and highly processed foods is weight loss. Since these foods contain a lot of sugar and calories, eating them would lead to weight gain. Doing the opposite, reducing your consumption of junk foods, would lead to weight loss. In essence, detoxing for weight loss could also be done by reducing the consumption of junk foods.
Antioxidants protect your cells from oxidative damage. Organs, including those that are responsible for eliminating toxins from your body, are made up of cells. Which means when the cells of the organs are protected from damage, the organ as a whole can carry out their function properly. With that said, if you want your detoxifying organs to be efficient, you must obtain sufficient antioxidants from your diet.
There are a lot of antioxidants out there, vitamins A, C, and E, selenium, and lycopene are just a few examples of many. These antioxidants are mostly present in fruits and vegetables.
Detoxing the colon is an added benefit to eating lots of fruits and vegetables. In a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology in 2017, researchers indicated that a high total intake of vegetables and fruits can significantly decrease the risk of colorectal cancer in both men and women.
Our gastrointestinal tract has a minor role in detoxifying our body. Even so, it is still a good idea to keep them healthy. With that said, the best way to keep the gut healthy would be to eat a balanced diet and to consume enough probiotics and prebiotics.
Probiotic foods are those type of foods that contain good bacteria. When you eat these types of food, you increase the number of bacteria in your gut that could aid digestion. To improve your gut health even further, you should consume more prebiotic foods. Prebiotic foods are high fibre foods that act as the good bacteria’s food source. Detoxing the colon could mean eating right and consuming sufficient probiotic and prebiotic foods.
There is a strong connection between the mind and the body. If the mind is in a chaotic state, it affects the efficiency of the body. This means an unhealthy state of mind could hamper your body’s natural detox processes. To detox the mind, you must get rid of sources of stress as much as possible. This means cutting relationships that you deem to be unhealthy for your state of mind. Another source of unnecessary stress is social media. Although it has its perks, reducing your social media usage could reduce your stress levels. Another thing that you could do with your social media account would be to unfollow people or pages that bring about negativity and toxicity. The mind to a certain extent reflects your surroundings. Organise and declutter your space to facilitate a healthy and balanced mind.
Detoxing doesn’t necessarily detoxify the body, it helps keep the natural detoxification process within our body efficient. Besides that, those who follow a detox diet may experience fat loss and improved gut health.
There are several reasons why detox strategies can lead to weight loss. One detox strategy requires getting sufficient sleep. It is a known fact that getting sufficient sleep can make weight loss easier. Detox diets focus on low-calorie and nutritious foods. This makes weight loss easier as well. Moreover, detox strategies feature sufficient hydration. By drinking enough water for your weight, you make yourself feel full faster when you eat.
The improvement of gut health comes from eating whole, nutritious, and healthy foods that have lots of dietary fibres. Aside from that, Detox strategies promote the consumption of prebiotic and probiotic foods. Drinking enough water would also promote gut health.
Detoxing is generally safe if done properly. However, please be advised by the following safety reminders and side effects.
Be aware that detox diets may lead to severe calorie restriction. Most detox diets feature the consumption of low-calorie juices for an extended period of time. If you were to follow this diet, you may experience the side effects of sudden calorie deficit which may include:
Those who have eating disorders, have blood sugar issues, and pregnant or lactating women should avoid detoxing due to its caloric restrictive nature.
Another risk that comes with detox diets is the possible overuse of supplements, laxatives, diuretics, and even water. Be mindful of whatever supplement, laxative, and diuretic you are about to use or are currently using. Follow their recommended dosage.
Sufficient hydration varies from person to person. Although we established earlier that a person’s maximum water intake is 65 millilitres of water per their weight in kilograms; other factors may come into play. This level of hydration may be too much for some, which is why it is important to be aware of the following symptoms of overhydration:
Knowing the actual principles of detox we can make our own detox diet plan. Remember that your body possesses organs that carry out natural detox processes. What we are trying to achieve is to help these organs, primarily the liver and kidney, do their job efficiently. For this detox diet here’s what you’re going to do:
On top of that you should also:
As a guide to what you can eat when you’re doing your week-long detoxing diet, here are some recipes that you should try:
Stir twice. Place covered in the refrigerator and give a good mix after 5 and 10 minutes. Mixing just once or twice will do. Mixing is important since the seeds will fall to the bottom of the container if not shaken or stirred every now and then it won’t thicken and set properly.
To make this superfood recipe, put the raspberries, banana, raspberry and vanilla yoghurt and pomegranate juice together in a blender. Turn on the blender and blend all the ingredients until you get a smooth consistency. Pour into two glasses and serve.
People may have misconceptions regarding detox strategies. The widely held belief that detox strategies are responsible for removing toxins from our body is incorrect. In actuality, detox strategies merely improve the pre-existing natural detox processes within our body. Nonetheless, detox strategies’ positive effects are undeniable that is why it is beneficial for our body to undergo detox from time to time.
To undergo detox you need to get sufficient sleep, refrain from alcohol, avoid unhealthy processed foods, consume a lot of antioxidants, consume probiotics and prebiotics, and stay sufficiently hydrated. Stress management is another important aspect of detox. Our mental state has a significant effect on how our organs function. So on top of removing toxins from your body, you must remove toxicity from your relationship with people as well.
When you undergo detox, you will experience an overall improvement in health. Most notably, you will lose weight and would have a healthy gastrointestinal system. Despite offering several benefits, detox strategies may have side effects as well since you are more likely to experience a severe calorie deficit. Aside from that, you run the risk of overdose from laxatives, supplements, and even water. Through careful planning, a healthy detox can be carried out which will lead to positive effects for your body with minimal or even no side effects.