Spring is around the corner and usually makes us think of cleaning. It’s a time to throw things we don’t need out, a time for some gardening and a time for rejuvenation.
The message and practices of detoxing your body is not new. You’ve probably already seen a good amount of product advertisement, articles, courses for a 7-day detox in magazines. For thousands of years, humans have been following a practice of detoxing their bodies of so-called toxins. Bloodletting, enemas and fasting were regarded as legitimate medical therapies until the early 20th century.
Today, we live in a world of emerging pathogens (things that makes us sick), metals and pollutants in food and our drinking water, pharmaceuticals in water supply, synthetic chemicals with unknown properties. It does put our bodies under more strain than before, so knowingly hindering your body from it’s natural detoxifying process by eating unhealthy food, is just a stupid move.
What is detox?
The word detox is inherited from a medical procedure that rids the body of dangerous, often life-threatening levels of alcohol, drugs or poisons. Patients that are undergoing medical detoxification are nearly always treated in a medical facility.
Our bodies have a magnificent ability to detoxify itself using nutrients from a good quality diet. Pay attention. I said nutrients. So, it’s basic that if you do not digest the necessary nutrients your body needs, that you are putting your body under a lot of stress.
Detoxification is a process of the body where it transforms toxins so that it can be removed from the body naturally through the liver and the kidneys. There are two types of toxins in your body – toxins that are made due to naturally metabolic processes in your body and toxins that you digest either by eating or drinking, or absorption through your skin.
Each persons’ ability to detoxify is different and can be influenced by a variety of things, like the environment, stress, diet, lifestyle, chronic disease just to name a few. However, if your body struggles to get rid of the toxins in your body, it will build up and be stored in your fat cells.
Types of detox diets
There are several different detox ‘diets’ available and they fall in 3 main categories:
- Restricting what you eat – never restrict your food intake if you do not know why you’re doing it. Even with the purpose of ‘detox’, I always ask, what happens after the detox period? What are you going to do then?
- Interventional cleanses that includes medicine like laxatives and diuretics. These can be extremely dangerous and can even cause death.
- Clean eating with the focus on whole food. This is the most natural and safe way to assist your body with its natural detoxifying process.
Detoxifying your body should not be a quick fix for stupidity. If you understand the purpose of supporting your body with its own detoxing process, then it’s easy to understand why you want to eat what you eat.
What can you do today?
Detoxing your body doesn’t need to consist of a rigorous plan either. Here are a few ways to support your body’s natural detox process:
- Replace sugary/diet drinks with water. Research now confirms that sugar is a toxin for you body, just as some other toxins that we find in our food. You do not want to substitute your longevity and staying disease free, for a moment of pleasure.
- Eat 6-8 cups of vegetables per day. This is where most people struggle, but this is probably the most important aspect of nutrition. And veggies don’t have to be boring. With spring around the corner, it’s a great way to up your green leafy intake. It’s really a matter of changing your mindset from “I don’t like veggies” with “If I eat this, I can possibly prevent chronic disease that most of my friends already have”.
- Do not juice your veggies. You need the natural fibre each day that is part of the vegetables.
- Eat good quality protein. You will thank your body for it the day when most of or friends sit in the old-age home and you are still joining the park run every Saturday.
The bottom line
Detox should not be something you run to the rescue when you feel sluggish. There’s a reason why you feel sluggish. Find the reason and eliminate it. Our bodies have not been made to operate in cycles of feel good, feel bad and constant fixes. Our bodies have been designed to feel good all the time. Have the energy all the time to get through the day. It’s what we put in our bodies, that have a direct impact on our longevity and energy levels every single day.
The human body can assist itself against most attacks from the environment if you give it what it needs to do its job. “Feeling like you need to detox” is just another way for your body to tell you that it needs some good quality nutrients.
And if you’re confused on where to start, just eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seed, some fruit, little starch and no sugar.
That is a simple, but great start.
Happy healthy eating!