Although our top detoxing organs like the liver, kidneys, and intestines help remove toxins, they sometimes need a little help. With the increase in toxic agents polluting the earth (be it in our food, air, water, household products or personal products), our organs become overwhelmed and eventually fail to function at their most optimal level. Living without toxic buildup is pretty much impossible, and this is why our bodies have been so brilliantly blessed with these amazing detox organs!
When our detox organs are compromised, we may start to feel overly tired, get sick more often or develop diseases and illnesses that can’t be explained otherwise. Free radicals from toxins build up in the body over time and can physically affect both the structure and function of cells, leading to a myriad of health problems. Fibromyalgia, autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, premature aging, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, skin conditions, arthritis, cancer, food allergies/intolerances are all signs that your body is suffering from toxic buildup.
Here are some simple, easy ways to help your body with the detox process and prevent toxic buildup.
1. Drink 1 litre of lemon water upon waking
Lemon water in the morning is an incredibly efficient way to flush out toxins. Sleep is the time the body can undergo repair and detoxification. Upon waking, making sure you drink at least 1 litre of water (especially with added lemon) takes the buildup of these toxins and flushes them out. Why add lemon? The lemon acts as a natural diuretic, which means that is helps flush out unwanted materials by increasing the rate of urination in the body. It will also help boost your immune system, balance your pH, help with weight loss, aid in digestion and hydrate your lymphatic system.
2. Can’t read it? Don’t eat it!
Eating heavily processed foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce is a sure way to increase toxic build-up in the body. If you can’t read the ingredients on labels, then put it back on the shelf and don’t think about buying it! Staying away from anything packaged (bottled, canned, boxed) is an easy way to avoid this issue altogether.
3. Become a friend to mono-meals
Mono-meals (eating one food item at a time – for example, just eating watermelon in the morning, or just eating oranges for a meal) are a wonderful way to speed up digestion and prevent unnecessary processing of different food groups in our intestine. When we overload our digestive tract with a variety of different foods, we become slowed down and tired – this also puts more stress and work involved in our organs which could otherwise use a break every once in awhile by eating more simply.
4. Boost your health with herbs
Dandelion, black walnut, cilantro, worm wood, milk thistle – the list goes on! These helpful herbs have been used for centuries to cleanse the various detox organs and systems of the body. They are known across many cultures to help with various ailments and health issues. Dandelion, for example supports bile production. Bile helps transport toxins out of the body, and prevents toxic buildup.
5. Eliminate animal products
If you want to truly get deep down into the detox process, you should eliminate all animal-based food products from your diet (this includes meat (fish, red meat & white meat), eggs, and dairy). Animal products produce an acidic state in the body which leaves acid residues in the blood and tissues. Animal products also produce highly putrefactive protein waste in the bowels. Cancer cells thrive on animal products (due to their highly acidic state in the body), and can rapidly multiply in this pH level.
In addition, animal products require an incredible amount of energy and enzyme power to digest and assimilate (much more than fruit and vegetables). When the body is focused on processing and digesting food, it cannot spare extra energy to go toward cleansing and repairing itself. Dumping animal products altogether will give your body more energy to focus on detoxing and repairing instead of digesting all the time.
6. Get your blood pumping
It is very beneficial to get sufficient exercise every day to help your body sweat out toxins and to keep your lymphatic system flowing. Exercising also helps burn fat (especially when you hit the higher intensity forms of exercise like high intensity interval training), and fat tends to hold onto toxins the firmest – allowing your body to shed fat is also helping it expel and clean out toxic waste.
7. Get in tune with nature
Spending time in nature is crucial! Even if you get to make it out to the park with trees and grass (or snow) a couple times a week will help ground yourself so you feel more alive! I personally try to go into a nearby forest a couple times a week and since I have been doing this I have felt an overall sense of calmness and serenity. I feel incredibly at home when I am surrounded by nature. What does going into nature have to do with detox? When we are stressed, free radicals are formed, and free radicals can be viewed as a form of toxin. Nature is simply a way to de-stress, connect with mother earth, and feel at one with the beauty of the natural world.
8. Drink more water
Why is water important to detox? If we are not properly hydrated, then our cells will draw water from the bloodstream and thus can put major pressure on the heart and vasculature in the body. Even mild dehydration prevents the kidneys from properly purifying the blood. When the kidneys aren’t functioning, then the workload on other detox organs like the liver and gallbladder become stronger, and can caused them to become severely stressed. Then health problems begin to develop (constipation, skin conditions, nosebleeds, UTIs, sinus problems, headaches) and symptoms may be wrongly attributed to something non-related.
Drinking at least 3-4L of water daily will dramatically improve your health and overall state of mind. You will digest your food better, your joints will ache less, you will lose weight and have better immunity. Water stimulates the kidneys, liver and digestive system and will in turn accelerate toxin and fat elimination.
9. Focus on raw fruit and vegetables
This point is a given – eating more raw fruit and vegetables will make you shine! The fibre in plant matter helps push out built-up waste matter in the colon (which is filled with toxins, and constantly gets re-absorbed back into the blood stream if not eliminated). Not only that, but the antioxidants in fruit and vegetables help combat free radicals in the body and helps the elimination organs with their job. Consuming fruit and vegetables in their raw state also makes the enzymes and nutrients more bio-available in your body, helping you become vitamin or mineral deficient-free. Vegetables and fruit are very easily digestible too, meaning that your body can put more energy toward expelling toxins, and repairing our cells and tissues.
10. Practice slowing down & breathing
Slowing down and appreciating the small things in life are crucial to attain a calm state of mind and reduce stress levels. Deep diaphragmatic breathing is especially important when cleansing/detoxing. It is also simple to attain this every day – take 10-15 minutes a day to sit with yourself and breathe. Focus on your breaths, and clear the mind. Free radicals are formed when we are stressed, so slowing down, breathing, practicing to be present and meditating are great practices to help calm and nourish your body.