Thinking of Detoxing? Make Sure You Address 5 Things First!
Most people look for a quick fix detox program to flush toxins out of the body. Most detox programs are typically useless, and unless the foundations are addressed first, the process of detoxification can be rather risky and cause more problems then there were to begin with. Before starting a detoxification protocol, make sure you address these 5 things first!
Let’s Talk Detox
Detox is defined as a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances. This definition is not totally correct in my opinion. You see, detoxification is what our bodies do on an everyday basis, naturally, without any particular diet or plan.
Our body works and interacts with other organs to neutralise, transform and remove harmful toxins, ranging from alcohol, poor food choices, conventional makeup, cleaning products, laundry detergent, to unavoidable toxins from pollution, pesticides, water pollutants, stress, etc. The body is always working to remove foreign substances from our system.
Simple changes to our food and lifestyle can greatly reduce the toxic burden placed on the body by allowing it to function and detox unavoidable toxins better. This is one of the reasons I chose to get rid of all my old toxic filled conventional skincare products and switch to clean ones as described here.
Before starting any detoxification program, make sure to address the following 5 things first!
Addressing poor digestion is a must for ensuring toxins are regularly removed from the body. The following is viewed as toxins by the body:
Processed, artificial or genetically modified food
Too much food
Ingestion of the wrong amounts of Macronutrients and Micronutrients
The key to fixing digestion is by consuming a properly prepared, whole foods, nutrient dense diet. This provides the body with the nutrients and dietary fiber necessary for motility, heathy digestion and elimination.
Too improve digestion, eat organic whenever possible. This will reduce the toxic load coming from pesticides and herbicides. The Environmental Working Group created a Dirty Dozen list to help you pick and choose which foods to buy organic and which ones you can get away with buying conventional.
2. Blood Sugar
Chronically high blood sugar also creates a build up of free radicals and a general catabolic state, impairing the bodies ability to detoxify properly. Blood sugar imbalances, paired with elevated cortisol also places an enormous stress on the liver. Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels will help the liver properly detoxify.
Blood Sugar imbalances also deplete the body of crucial B Vitamins. Vitamin B6 is needed for all liver enzyme functions and B2 is needed for phase I detox enzymes.
Carbohydrates are the main contributing effect to blood sugar. Aim to keep simple carbohydrates around workout times; otherwise, choose low glycemic carbohydrates such as vegetables, high fiber and low sugar fruits, such as berries. Depending on activity level, you may be able to add in more complex carbs from things like sweet potatoes and basmati rice. Eating in a macronutrient balance will also mitigate some of the carbohydrates blood sugar effect.
3. Essential Fatty Acids
The liver is also responsible for metabolizing fats into their usable forms. Ingestion of the wrong types of fats and/or poor fat digestion causes liver stress, whereas ingestion of the right types of fats and proper fat digestion lowers the burden placed on the liver. Why? Because the liver is responsible for producing bile, a substance that is stored in the gallbladder and secreted when fats enter the small intestine. Bile is built on ingestion of healthy fats and works to carry and remove the toxins from the liver out of the body. Without enough healthy fats, bile becomes thick, stagnant and vicious and toxins recirculate in the blood stream.
To keep bile flowing freely, consume a proper balance of dietary fats:
Omega 3 fats: wild caught fish (salmon, sardines, herring)
Omega 9 fats: olive oil, avocado
Saturated fats: coconut and fats from pasture raised animals
4. Mineral Balance
When we exercise, lactic acid builds up. Similarly, when we detox, the blood becomes acidic. To buffer this reaction, we need minerals, which is why you might have been told to consume an electrolyte drink following an intense workout.
Toxins deplete crucial minerals, such as magnesium, molybdenum and manganese, which then leads to deficiencies of enzymes that are required for phase I liver detoxification.
The body is roughly made up of about 80 percent water. Without an adequate supply of clean water, the flow of blood, lymph, urine and digestive contents slows down, all of which are crucial for removing toxins from out elimination channels - the kidneys, intestines and sweat glands in skin. Without proper hydration, we can not sweat, nor will the intestines or kidneys eliminate properly.
By keeping the bodies elimination channels open, you are more likely to find success in a detoxification protocol without experiencing a healing crisis.
If you have addressed everything above, you can begin a detoxification protocol. However, make sure to steer clear from the gimmicky ones sold on the internet and work with a practitioner while doing so.
Stay tuned for my top detox protocol recommendations!