If you aren’t aware, today’s world is filled with many chemicals and substances we consume and put on our body that need to be detoxed and eliminated to remain healthy.
“Food” we eat (processed foods) are a huge source of chemicals we consume today that need detoxing, but even overconsumption of certain types of other foods can be a problem. On top of that the use of pesticides and chemicals in the treatment of whole foods is also a concern today. Our bodies can become bogged down and congested from this process leaving us susceptible to improper detox, or not detoxing at all. We then develop disease, symptoms, and problems from the inability of our body to eliminate and breakdown these substances from our bodies.
What does it mean to detox our bodies?
Your body’s job is to clean up all things around you, in you and on you. That means the food we eat, to the environment around us, to the products we put ON our body as well. This is a very large job. Our liver is the master detox organ. We also use the lungs, digestive system, lymphatic system, skin, and urinary system for removal. We need antioxidants to help eliminate the things that we break down (oxidized particles).
Today, the average American consumes about 10 pounds of chemical food additives annually.
Detox is an ongoing event in the body. It’s not just something you do a few times a year. A more focused effort with a specific routine a few times a year isn’t a bad thing, but what we want to do is create daily ways of eating and living that keep all our detox pathways open at all times so we are always detoxing naturally on a daily basis!
This means we will eat foods that keep those pathways open, we will use or create our own body products that eliminate the need to detox, and we will be mindful of medications that might cause the need for further detox or congested pathways!
Signs You May Not be Detoxing Properly
Signs like allergies, skin issues, digestive problems, headaches, fatigue, joint pain, as well as PMS and menopause symptoms, blood sugar irregularity, liver disease, chemical sensitivities and more.
These are only a few signs your body is struggling to detox itself and the environmental things around it.
Why do we need to detox anyway, and how does congestion happen?
Detoxing is when we open up our main organs for elimination for things inside and outside our body. It allows our body to release the chemicals and harmful substances from our system.
If we are unable to do this because there are problems or congestion there, we will hang on to these chemicals and toxins, and they eventually cause symptoms or make us sick.
We need to work to keep the detox pathways open to avoid that.
A cleanse on the other hand is what more people think of when they think of detoxing. But in reality it is a lightening of the burden of the chemicals or food aggravations for a limited time to give the body a chance to heal or eliminate during that period. It is not focused on daily living that promotes proper toxin elimination.
Congestion can happen due to poor diet, chemical exposure, and more. Some common things we have to detox are our body products, perfumes, detergents, soaps, food, chemical additives, pesticides, chemical air exposures, candles, air, cars, traffic, clothing and more. With exposure to these things the pathways get bogged down and don’t function properly for removal.
We want to decrease or eliminate as many toxic exposures as possible to keep things open and moving and not allow a back up to occur.
6 Ways to Detox Your Body Naturally (and Daily)
Cut down and eliminate sugars, refined carbohydrates and processed foods.
Some substances, and foods are harder for our bodies to process and eliminate. It’s best to remove this load from our body and avoid them all together. Those include:
- Refined sugar
- Artificial sweeteners
- Food additives
- Unfermented soy
- Genetically modified organisms (GMO)
The liver, which is the main organ for detox is also in control of blood sugar handling. With refined and processed carbs, and sugar, in our diets, it is a huge stressor on our liver to maintain proper balance and function. By keeping our intake of these foods low, we eliminate or lower that stress from this route. This leaves the liver in better functioning to do it’s job for the other chemicals and exposures we have that we may not have as much of a control over.
Work on daily stress management
This tip might be the hardest thing for many people. We live in a fast paced very “busy” world. That type of constant pressure to be on the go and performing for work all the time causes stress reactions in the body. This response in the body is also the same one used to help control blood sugar levels. As mentioned above, this is taxing on the liver. It also creates strain on other important flight or fight responses and organs involved. This makes it harder for the body to keep up.
Using things like a daily meditation of 10 minutes a day is one way to work on detoxing from stress. You can also add in movement, and getting better sleep (more on movement to come).
Finding an activity that brings you true joy to focus on daily for 10-20 minutes will help with stress. Whether it’s physical or emotional, all stress can hinder the detox process in the body.
Regularly Move Throughout the Day
This doesn’t necessarily mean exercise, but exercise can be part of a daily movement routine. In today’s world we are very sedentary that in the past. We live very differently than our ancestors. They may have walked to work, worked in heavy labor in construction, or even earlier on a farm, and even earlier the days were spent looking for food, cooking, and creating a safe environment to stay alive. This all required constant movement.
Today some ways to consider moving are evening walks, or lunch time walks, using a stand up desk, using alternative seating in your office from time to time, taking some trips around your building to think or work on the go, being mindful of eating times, and allowing time to eat calmly, parking farther away and walking, taking the stairs over the elevator, doing outdoor activities before or after work, even stretching during the day in the office is an example!
Exercise has loads of benefits, BUT it’s not the only thing that helps you with detox and movement. In fact, in respects to detox and the body in general, it’s more important to be active throughout the day than only 30 minutes in the morning for a workout.
Eat Healthy Fats with Every Meal
Healthy fats are things like omega 3, and similar essential fats and oils. These usually come in the way of animal fat, which also comes with vitamins and minerals, like Vitamin A. Vitamin A is an essential vitamin for detox. It protects against environmental exposures, and it also protects against free radicals.
The best sources for Vitamin A include liver (beef, lamb, duck, chicken), cod liver oil, butter, egg yolks, raw cream and cultured raw sour cream.
Healthy oils and fats are included in those sources above, as well as olive oil, nuts, avocados, coconut oil. Working in an oil and whole food source of fat, which if you are also including animal protein you will get both, and that is essential to proper detox!
Omega 3, or fish oil, is a great antioxidant for the body. It also needs to be consumed in order to be maintained in the body and used. Your body cannot make it on it’s own naturally.
Add in more healthy foods that assist in opening detox pathways
Focusing on eating more vegetables, fruits and healthy fats with proteins daily, and avoiding processed foods, and looking at your products, you will reduce the load on your detox pathways in your body.
Some of these foods include:
- Dark berries
- Cruciferous vegetables like arugula, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, rutabaga and turnips (be sure to cook these items!)
- Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha
- Hemp seeds
- Herbs like parsley, basil, cilantro, mint
- Legumes (be sure to ask about these as you may have a need to avoid them)
- Lemons & Limes
- Matcha green tea (sourcing is key with this one)
- Sea vegetables
- Sunflower seeds
Choose Your Products (or make them) Wisely
It’s time to have a serious chat about the ENORMOUS amount of body products, detergents, soaps and more on the market. Every single product you use, if not properly sourced needs detox by your body. Your skin is a major (quick) access point to your bloodstream. So think about all the creams, lotions, products and more that come into contact with your skin daily.
What’s in those products?
BPA is a top chemical used in plastics today (still). This is highly toxic to the body. There are also things like oxybenzone, which is a hormone disruptor, commonly found in cosmetics, sunscreens, lip balm and moisturizers. Check your water supply, and you will often find sodium fluoride. Isn’t that supposed to be OK for you? No fluoride is toxic for your body, and isn’t necessary for your teeth at all. You can have healthy teeth without it. Parabens are also a concern, as these are synthetic stabilizers in products. These are also hormone disruptors and can cause cancer in animals. The list truly goes on an on.
You can look up what is in your products on the ingredients list, and then go online and take a look at what those chemicals are shown to do either in animals or people. Check out the Environmental Working Group and their site to learn more about water chemicals, products and more.
What can you do instead? There are LOADS of recipes for your own soaps and body products that you can make right at home in just a matter of minutes. It takes less time to make the soaps, and lotions than to go to the store and back! We make all of our own products at home. We make our own hand soap (foam pump), as well as body soap, lotion, toothpaste, deodorant and more! Go to Pinterest and check it out! I also love Wellness Mama, and Live Simply! They have great products you can make at home.
Is there more to this?
These are great ways to decrease the toxic load in your body, and with changed nutrition and diet you can open the pathways and keep them open. Some people may need the help of supplements and other detox procedures based on their nutrition and exposure. This would be something I could help you with one on one – this is a personal basis for your particular situation.
Need some help? Not sure what is going on with your body, and how to get it back to functional? Let me help you! Learn more about my FREE consult here, or fill in the form below and I will email you to set up a time! Need to know more about what functional nutrition is? Check this out.