The word detox is so overused now, and comes with so many ludicrous promises attached, it barely has any meaning anymore. And that’s a shame.
There are a lot of people who could benefit from supporting their body’s detox capacity, but broken promises from so-called “quick weight-loss” programs and “miracle” juice fasts have left way too many confused or in disbelief, and rightly so.
The first important thing to understand about detox is not everyone needs to do it.
If you eat well and clean, enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables, an occasional piece of organic meat if you’re so inclined, plenty of fresh air, exercise and water, you most likely won’t have to read any further. But that’s probably easier said than done.
What is energy, and how do we burn it up and burn it out? Is there a simple definition?
Depends on who you are.
Who Needs It Anyway?
You do! (If any of these sound like you):
- Difficulty concentrating from time to time.
- Occasional constipation or unexpected, infrequent loose stools.
- Random bouts of sleeplessness or oversleeping.
- Occasional, unintentional overeating.
- Tiredness or listlessness. Even after a good night’s rest.
- Still feeling full even hours after a meal.
- Needing too much coffee or too many energy drinks to get you through the day.
Supporting detox won’t necessarily make all those things go away, but if you see a little of yourself in the list above, it’s a good sign you may need to listen more closely to your body, and find new ways to support it, including detox.
If making the world well one person at a time is an essential part of our goal, making your body cleaner one step a time should be an essential part of yours.
24/7 Cradle to Grave
Detoxification (also called biotransformation) is a highly complex biochemical process that largely occurs in the liver, kidneys and lungs, although every cell in your body has at least some capacity for detoxification.
Our body having so many ways to detox is a good example of how many toxins we face in a day. The more ways we can get rid of them the better!
In a nutshell, the detox process is a constantly revolving goal of removing a toxin from the body by either adding a chemical to it or subtracting one. Regardless of the equation, the task requires work from the detox organs and the chemical materials to perform the job we get from our diet.
This may sound simple but it’s really a complex chain of events and interactions that happens 24 hours a day, from the moment we’re born to the time we check out.
So, the next time somebody tells you detox comes in “magic” kit, or a “miracle” juice fast, they’re talking trash. Detox is something our body does day in and day out, all by itself, a whole lifetime long. The best we can do is support it.
Foodies Know Best
You already know the best way to support your detox is with your diet. So clean it up. Diet can be the largest contributor to your body’s toxic load. So, changing your eating habits helps reduce the burden.
- Shop organic when possible.
- Reduce meat consumption. Start a Meatless Monday tradition.
- Eat more dark-colored fruits and veggies. They increase your antioxidants.
- Drink water instead of soda. Limit alcohol to 2-3 drinks a week.
What else, beyond foods and drinks?
Clean up your cleaning supplies. The stuff we use in the kitchen and bathroom exposes us to unnecessary toxins all the time. Trade them out for something green.
And as gross as it sounds, sweat more. Sweat is an important detox route, so book a monthly steam bath and treat your body to a regular treadmill date.
Organize Your Organs
When you’re picking out foods and supplements, focus on things that support the specific organs most responsible for detox.
It’s the powerhouse of the human body. There’s no living without it. It has 500 biochemical jobs to do, not just detox, so it’s easy to imagine it getting behind in some of its tasks, particularly if you keep it out late at night drinking, or if you went a little crazy at dinner.
Feed it things it loves instead. Yarrow. Arjuna. Capers. Chicory.
You’ve got a pair of these beautiful beany-boppers. They filter the water and waste out of your blood and turn it into urine, and return the clean blood back to your body. The also balance the ions in your blood called electrolytes. They also keep extracellular fluid volume in check.
They’d be more than pleased to munch on some Tribulus, Prickly Chaff Flower, Indian Madder or Cyperus.
Be a greater respirator. This pair of handsome gas exchangers pulls oxygen from the atmosphere and gives it to our bloodstream. Unfortunately, they also grab exhaust fumes from traffic, pollen from springtime, and Aunt Mabel’s overdose of perfume. All toxins you can do without.
Sniff out some info on Wax Tree, Ginger and Malabar Nut Tree, all healthy lung lovers.
How do you carry nutrients to your cells? How about oxygen? Your blood is your body’s ultimate Uber. Big Red drops off the good stuff where you need it, and picks up the undesirable stuff and shuttles it away. It carts away each cell’s metabolic waste and drives it back over to the liver and kidneys for filtering. Your blood’s a virtual river of recycling.
Keep it happy with Triphala, Turmeric and Indian Tinospora, just to name a few.
What’s on the inside shows up on the outside. Ayurveda always said any problem with detox or digestion will show up on your skin first, so let’s keep a close eye on our body’s biggest organ. You’ve got seven layers of skin to protect you from the bad stuff getting in and to help you excrete the bad stuff coming out. Plus, you’d look funny without it.
Support healthy skin with things like Neem, Triphala and Turmeric too.
Give Hype the Boot
In an age where detox is overhyped and overpromised, remember that miracles don’t happen in a box, a kit or a 7-day juice fast. Detox isn’t something you do for a week and you’re good for the year.
Smart, sensible detox happens all day long, every day of your life.
So, eat clean, water-up, and sweat like crazy.
Support detox the way your body does. Steadily, wisely, and a lifetime long..