You may be wondering if a detox diet actually works, or what’s the big deal about toxins?
Here’s the real dirt on toxins:
Detox diets are growing in popularity, but we should first examine what detoxing really is. Before we can understand the “de” in detox, let’s take a closer look at the “tox” (a.k.a. the toxins we’re aiming to get rid of).
Toxins are made up of small compounds from various sources, and if they build up in our bodies, these small substances can drastically affect our health.
Internal buildup of toxins can cause a range of symptoms:
- Indigestion, feeling bloated with gas
- Feeling tired all day, especially after eating
- Lack of mental clarity
- Suffering from general aches and pains in your body
- Not feeling present in the moment
- Having a hard time falling asleep, staying asleep and/or getting out of bed in the mornings
- Sweat, urine and/or stools smells bad
- Urine is not clear
Toxins causing these symptoms are broken into two main categories:
Environmental Toxins: These are made outside of your body and are carried in things like food, air, and water. Some examples are over-the-counter or prescription medication, carbon monoxide, and pesticides.
Metabolic Toxins: These are the opposite of environmental and are made inside of the body. They can include the “waste” produced by our cells, for example when highly processed food is released during digestion.
Our livers, lungs and kidneys bear the large part of the burden in processing these toxins.
Let’s examine the ‘de’ in ‘detox’
Now that we know exactly what these toxins are and ways to identify them, you’re probably wondering how do we get rid of these toxins?
The best way to detox is to avoid toxins in the first place, but this is no easy task especially when we consider the many different toxins we are exposed to everyday.
We’ve outlined the best ways to detox:
Eat Healthy: Eating organically and healthy is the true “detox diet.” There’s nothing fancy about it. Once you’ve created a healthy habit, it’s easier to maintain your health rather than having to get it back. It’s all about prevention, and your body would rather consume pure nutrients and avoid dealing with a bunch of processed foods and their toxins all together. When possible always go organic, that way you can avoid ingesting the nasty chemicals, antibiotics and pesticides often found on or in non-organic foods.
Be Aware of What’s on Your Skin: Anything you put on your skin will get absorbed by your body, as the skin is our largest organism. Many lotions, shampoos, conditioners, body washes, makeup products, nail polishes and other beauty products contain hazardous chemicals and toxins. Learn more about the ugly truth about makeup to avoid unknowingly exposing yourself to potential toxins.
Keep the Air Fresh: Try switching to greener cleaning products that will emit fewer chemicals that are harmful to breathe in, and do your best to avoid things like cigarette smoke as much as you can. Indoor air quality is often worse than it is outdoors, so making an effort to go outside more often can make a big difference.
Exercise: Nothing else besides exercising regularly will keep your blood pumping and circulating through your body, which helps keep your system clear of bad build up. It just boosts your organ health overall, and often times you can work up a good sweat. While you don’t sweat out all toxins, you certainly feel good and healthy after you work out effectively and sweat a little.
You and your body are a team. The best way to keep your system toxic free is to take it day-by-day rather than an intense period detoxing, because that won’t help much once you stop. The same detox diet won’t work for everyone because true success comes when you know what to avoid and how to make realistic changes you can stick with to make a progressive change for a healthier lifestyle!