But if you read my articles regularly or are a client, you probably already knew that!
Of course, we can reduce our intake of toxins in the first place by eating whole, organically grown foods, spending lots of time in unpolluted natural spaces, reducing our use of chemical-containing body care and cleaning products, and optimising our work and family environments to produce as few stress chemicals as possible (which have an inflammatory and acidic effect on our bodies). But in our modern world it's pretty hard to avoid all toxins in the environment, and our lives and relationships can get really stressful, a lot of the time.
This is where the best detox kit on the market comes in. YOUR BODY.
Your body is equipped with all it needs to detoxify many of the heavy metals, chemicals and impurities that it faces each and every day.
Detoxification occurs in your body, mainly in your liver. Your kidneys, your skin, your bowel, and your psychological landscape (attitudes, beliefs, stress, emotions and relationships) also play a HUGE role in your ability to detoxify.
Detoxification needs to be ongoing; a lifestyle change NOT just a 10-day juice fast / bentonite clay protocol / enema program.
There are ways you can support the natural detoxification process of your body which will improve health, just as there are ways to slow down your body's ability to detoxify effectively. Undertaking a misguided water or juice fast can actually hamper your body's ability to metabolise food and release awakened toxins. It's something I see in clients all the time and it makes all that pain of fasting, cleansing, etc. SO not worth it in the long run!
If it's painful, it's not sustainable. A healthy balanced diet that facilitates the natural detoxification of your body's systems includes plenty of delicious wholefoods, fruit and vegetables, protein, enough energy, easy-to-digest foods, and water. Detoxification should be pleasurable and something your body does for you without much effort, not painful!
The following are my top 5 suggestions to help support detoxification pathways and help you feel fantastic.
1. Support your liver.
Your liver is the main engine of your body's internal detoxification system. You can support it by being in bed by 10.30pm at the latest, as your liver's detoxification pathways are mosty active overnight.
You can also use food and herbs to provide the essential ingredients needed to create molecules that protect and repair your body. Herbs like milk thistle, dandelion, burdock root, artichoke, and turmeric are great for liver function, as are foods like garlic, grapefruit, avocado, walnuts, and green vegetables.
2. Drink plenty of fresh water, and eat lots of water-containing foods.
This will support your kidneys and bowels, the other important organs of detoxification. Your kidneys process about 20 percent of our blood to filter out waste and extra water, and when we undertake a more intensive detox they will be placed under more pressure to push accumulated toxins out of your body. Drink plenty of water and eat lots of water containing foods (ideally organic fruit and vegetables) to make life easier for your kidneys!
Drinking plenty of water will help your bowels stay regular. Winter is the time when most of us forget to drink as it's not as hot. So drink up to avoid the dreaded concrete bowel movements! If you have IBS, or other digestive issues that prevent you from having regular bowel movements, I suggest you chat to me about ways to make your meals more digestible, to improve the balance of bugs in your gut, and to reduce stress levels to make digestion as seamless and complete as possible.
3. Open up your pores.
Your largest detoxification organ (by area) is your skin. If you're breaking out with pimples, experiencing flakiness, redness, or bumpiness, its possible that toxins are being forced out through your skin due to overloads in your liver and kidneys.
This is why when many people go on a harsh detox protocol that awakens a lot of sleeping toxins, their skin breaks out because their kidneys and liver are still not functioning optimally. That stuff needs to get out and it will use any escape route it can!
Opening your pores creates another gateway for toxins to leave your body. Ways to do this include dry brushing, exercise, infrared saunas, and sunbathing in the sun-safe hours of the day to promote blood circulation to the skin. You could also try my Wild Skin Beautifying Smoothie to help deliver nutritious antioxidants and lubricate your skin.
4. Enjoy some regular exercise.
Not only does exercise heat you up and make you sweat, opening your pores and helping you release toxins through your skin and breath. Exercise also enhances every metabolic pathway in the body. Make it regular, make it enjoyable, and feel the benefits.
It doesn't have to be hard core boot camp if you're not into that kind of thing - try dancing around your house, outdoor yoga, walking in nature, swimming in the ocean or surfing. Where you exercise makes a difference too. Breathing in stale air in an air-conditioned gym will dry you out and may leave you feeling drained of chi, whilst being outside in fresh air will charge you up with the negative ions of the ocean or forest.
5. Cut down on alcohol and coffee.
I know many people don't want to hear this one, but it's got to be said. These two put extra strain on your liver, and increase acidity and inflammation in the body. Cut down or even better, eliminate them for two weeks and feel the difference in a more energised, cleaner-celled you!