Let’s make a quick rundown of how you might be feeling right now, or might have felt in recent times. Do you feel like it’s some consistent unending fatigue which weighs you down from doing what you want? Or maybe you feel like you are in slow motion when the world around you is functioning at maximum speed and you tend to miss things, or fail to understand them clearly? Then chances are that you are experiencing a brain fog which occurs as a result of excess sugar, a sluggish lymphatic system, or a leaky gut. Maybe you are experiencing digestive issues or a skyrocketed sugar craving, and it could be that stiff joint or the flu that has overstayed its welcome, frequent headaches, skin breakouts, or skin rashes. If you feel one of the above listed (or a combination of a couple of them) persistently then chances are that you are long overdue for a detox.
Detoxification is a series of reactions which converts water-insoluble substances into water-soluble substances, therefore making the excretion of these substances easy. In more general terms: Detoxification is a cleansing process. Imagine your smartphone packed with too many apps and files. Its functionality reduces as it tends to respond slower to command prompts; restoring factory settings clears out all these apps and files, therefore making it work at optimal level. The same can be likened to detoxification. This process is aimed at removing accumulated toxins in the brain, joints, blood, tissues, liver, and muscles with the result of an optimally working and healthy body.
The kidneys, liver, skin, colon, and several organs are responsible for the body’s natural detoxification process, but with a lot of things we take in either through our breathing or when we eat or drink, there is a considerable chance that the toxic substances (these poisonous substances are typically synthetic chemicals, pollutants, processed foods, and heavy metals which harm our health) become overwhelming for these detoxification organs, thus a disproportionate ratio of toxic removal to toxic accumulation. Therefore, there is a need to assist these organs in doing their job of detoxifying your system.
Here are seven healthy ways you can detoxify to enjoy your body’s system!
1. Be watchful about what you eat and how you eat it
A lot of dieticians will advise that we stay away from certain kinds of food and stick to a particular type of “healthy” food. Although this is very helpful, why then do we have these foods if we cannot have them even when we crave them? The better answer is to eat the right food in appropriate proportions. Know which foods you should consume sparingly and which foods you can consume in vast proportions. Food like sugary beverages, candy, chips, deep-fried foods, and highly processed meats should be taken in very little portions while fruits, vegetables, cocoa, coffee, green tea, meals that are rich in prebiotics (such as tomatoes, artichokes, bananas, asparagus, onions, garlic, oats, and fiber-rich foods such as brown rice) should be taken in larger quantities as these food types keep the detoxification system healthy.
Finally, although many people don’t deem this necessary, how you eat what you also eat matters. Huge meals could lead to bloating which pushes the digestive system to work overtime, so choose to eat smaller portions of food frequently instead of taking in the whole bowl in a blow.
● Action point
Make a list of all the foods you love to consume and categorize them into categories of foods to take sparingly and those that should be taken in larger quantities. This way you can have a bit of the kind of stuff you like and still keep your body in a good detox shape.
2. Watch what you drink
The liver is saddled with the bulk of the metabolism of alcohol. What the liver does is it releases enzymes that metabolize the alcohol to a cancer-causing compound called acetaldehyde. This toxic substance is further converted by the liver into a harmless substance called acetate, which is later eliminated from the body. Taking in more alcohol than the liver can conveniently deal with could severely damage the liver’s functionality by causing inflammation, scarring, or even fat build-up—and these will lead to an underperforming liver in carrying out necessary tasks such as filtering waste and toxins from the body. Water, on the other hand, helps to lubricate the lymphatic system and flush out toxins by transporting waste products and efficiently removes them via urination or sweating. Thus, staying hydrated is essential in the detoxification process so drink water right before you sleep, after you wake up, and all throughout the day. Men should endeavor to consume about 3.7 liters of water every day, and women 2.7 liters every day.
● Action point
Stay away from alcohol and stick to water and organic coffee to keep your liver healthy and your detox process unhindered.
3. Have a good rest
One of the best ways to do a factory reset on your body’s system is to rest, therefore ensuring that you have a quality sleep each night is non-negotiable if you must support the body’s health and detoxification process. Sleeping is said to help in the removal of a protein-based waste product called beta-amyloid, which is a contributing factor to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. When the body is deprived of adequate sleep it does not have the time to carry out this function, and this can lead to toxin build-up that affects several aspects of your health.
Just in case you have trouble falling asleep, you should make necessary lifestyle adjustments. Make a sleep schedule with at least a one-hour post-bedtime curfew; all gadgets and devices switched off. Your phone, the laptop, TV, and even the lights as it has been proven that darkness or very dim light helps the hormones that aid with sleeping.
● Action point
Make necessary lifestyle adjustments to give room for a minimum of nine hours of rest every day.
4. Exercise and stretch regularly
Exercising affords us numerous health benefits. It not only helps in weight reduction, physical fitness, alertness, the strengthening of the heart and vascular system, longer life, and less exposure to many diseases and conditions—it also helps the lymphatic fluid move along and the toxins it carries. Another key benefit is that it reduces inflammation in that it helps the body’s detoxification system function properly.
The most important aspect of exercising is that it promotes sweating and sweating helps in the detoxification process by boosting circulation all through the body. All these—coupled with the fact that exercising also helps you feel less stressed, happier, and more energized—makes it one of the best detoxifying medicines.
Well, maybe you don’t feel you are cut out for the gym and long jogs (even though they won’t hurt when you get accustomed to them) so you could opt for taking a daily long walk. Taking a five-minute break once every one or two hours is one of the most pleasant ways to detoxify the body. You would want to consider simple gentle stretching practices like yoga or Qigong.
● Action point
Get registered at a gym and strictly follow an exercise schedule
Take long walks either in the evening or early morning
Take a five-minute break every two hours to stretch, or start taking yoga classes
5. Get a massage
Contrary to beliefs, dieting isn’t the only way to detoxify your system. You might be surprised to know that many relaxing activities also aid the detoxification process. Getting a massage can help you get rid of excess toxins in the body’s system. It’s all about the lymph. The lymphatic system works with the cardiovascular circulatory system to remove toxins from the body. The lymph doesn’t have a central pump to keep things moving, so it relies on gravity, exercise, and massages. So just in case you are feeling too lazy to hit the gym, indulge yourself in a massage session.
Take time out to relax and get a detoxifying massage while you are at it.
6. Give your skin a good treat
Giving your skin an excellent pre-bath dry brushing with a soft brush aids gentle exfoliation which in turn boosts circulation. In addition, add Epsom salts into your bath because they help the detoxification process as the skin absorbs minerals (like magnesium) which could help in getting things moving in the colon.
● Action point
Pay very close attention to your skin and the skin-care products you use.
7. Take natural detoxifying herbs/supplements
There is a wide range of natural detox herbs/supplements to pick from. Just go for herbs with antioxidant properties, which sticks to toxins and helps to usher them out of the system. Some bitter herbs are also known to promote healthy liver function.
● Action point
Use herbs with antioxidant properties and ensure whatever supplement you are using is 100% natural.