Detoxification

"Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live in.” Jim Rohn

What is detoxification

Detoxification is how our bodies eliminate waste products that are either harmful to us or not required by us. Our bodies are subjected to countless toxins from food, the environment and also those produced internally inside us. Unhealthy lifestyles add to our toxic load.

To stay healthy, the body tries to break down these toxins to eliminate them. When it is unable to do so fully, that is when health problems may arise. These can range from minor symptoms such as:-

  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • skin conditions
  • body aches
  • digestive symptoms
  • poor concentration

It can also result in many diseases. Some of the conditions that may be associated with toxic overload include depression, chronic fatigue, autoimmune conditions, cancer, arthritis and menstrual disorders. Toxic buildup can impair our immune function, affect our hormones, and cause emotional disturbances. 

Toxins can come from many sources. This includes:

  • Environmental- smoking, pesticides, fertilisers, moulds, mercury, lead and pollution.
  • Dietary- food allergies, processed food, food additives and preservatives, nonorganic meat, fruit, and vegetables. 
  • Emotional- negative feelings.
  • Drugs- alcohol and being overmedicated
  • Internal toxins- produced by the body through normal metabolic reactions, bacteria, fungus and yeast. 

How the body detoxifies

The body eliminates toxins through the liver, gut, kidneys, skin, lungs and the lymphatic system. 

The liver is the major organ that removes toxins from the body. It does this by breaking down the harmful substances into harmless chemicals. The process it uses is called conjugation; this is where it adds on a molecule to the toxin, preparing it for elimination.  The body can then remove these chemicals more readily. 

Some substances will affect the proper functioning of the liver. These include alcohol, caffeine, medication, smoking, pollution and diets too high in protein. When the liver becomes overloaded, it functioning slows down, resulting in toxin build up in the body. A good diet along with detoxification lifestyle changes can help restore the functioning of the liver.

The gut absorbs the nutrients from the food you eat and expels the waste matter. It also contains bacteria which helps with the digestion. The kidneys filter and remove toxins from the blood, and excretes it in the urine. The lungs eliminate the waste product carbon dioxide from the blood. The skin excretes certain toxins via sweating. The lymphatics help to remove toxins from the tissues as well as its vital role in the immune system. 

Inefficient bowel movements

When our gut is inefficient and full of old slow moving waste, the food is not digested adequately, and nutrients are not entirely absorbed from our food. Without these essential nutrients, our body processes do not function as efficiently as they should. These particles of undigested food become a breeding ground for yeasts, mould, and unwanted bacteria. Detoxification helps to remove the waste clogging the lining of the gut, allowing you to absorb the nutrients more fully again. 

If you suffer from fatigue, skin conditions, nasal congestion, headaches, aches and pains, weight gain, heartburn, bloating or constipation then see your doctor first. If a medical cause is not found, then consider a detox boost. Lifestyle changes focusing on aiding the detoxification process may help with improving symptoms associated with sluggish bowel movements.

Give your system a detox boost

Detoxification is a continual process that occurs naturally in the body. We can help improve this process by altering our eating and drinking habits to incorporate more water and raw food, and reducing processed food. There is no quick fix to detoxify the body, it should be viewed as an ongoing function, but you can give the system a boost every now and again. 

Boosting the detoxification of your body can be challenging but is a very beneficial process. It helps to cleanse your blood, tissues and digestive system of the build up of harmful substances which have accumulated over the years. It is best done gradually and consistently. It is not something that will produce results straight away; it takes time so see and feel the benefits. However, with the right lifestyle changes, the benefits can be considerable.

The benefits of a detox eating plan

A detox eating plan gives your body a break from foods that require a high level of breakdown, allowing the body to repair and restore itself. It also helps to clear the mind because the body begins to function better. 

It may help with reducing the signs of ageing, achieving your optimal weight, increase your energy levels, improve your mental performance and moods, and boost your general health. It may help reduce digestive symptoms such as heartburn and constipation, and improve the digestive process. You will start to feel more energised.

Article written by Dr Aleesha Dhillon
Dr Aleesha Dhillon
Disclaimer: This article is solely for information purposes. It is not to replace a consultation with a qualified health professional. It should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. The article is based on the opinions of the author who retains copyright. You are advised to make your own health decisions based on your research and alongside a qualified health professional. Please consult a doctor if you have any health concerns.

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