Detox is a buzzword you will hear everywhere but why do we need to detox and how can you reduce the toxic load that leads to the need for detoxing in the first place?

A toxin is a word to describe may substances that cause harm to our cells. In today’s world, it is impossible to avoid all forms of toxins. They can be found in polluted air, herbicides and pesticides sprayed on our food, colourings and preservatives, antibiotics, chemical cleaning products, medications, beauty products, smoking, drinking, and the list goes on.

 

Most people are surprised to know that the majority of toxins come from our food, such as too much sugar and refined carbohydrates, preservatives, colourings, hormones in animal produce etc and bad digestion. Bad digestion can lead to nutrient deficiencies, leading to a loss of beneficial gut bacteria and increase in harmful pathogenic bacteria. This is turn can cause a condition known as leaky gut where toxins being excreted from the body can be reabsorbed back into the bloodstream. These reabsorbed toxins can weaken the immune system causing inflammation which can be a trigger for diseases.

 

If you are experiencing the following symptoms, you may be in need of a detox: Nausea, headaches, fatigue, allergies, acne, muscle aches and pains, PMT, constipation or diarrhoea. In the long terms this can lead to more serious conditions such as asthma, eczema, recurring infections, autoimmune diseases, depression, heart disease and infertility.

 

Sounds very ominous doesn’t it? As beneficial as a detoxing is, it is a complicated process within the body and can cause unpleasant side effects if not done correctly under supervision. For this reason I would not recommend anyone to do an aggressive detox without guidance from a healthcare practitioner. However the good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to help prevent toxic exposure and to gently help your liver eliminate these harmful substances from your system.

 

  • Reduce your sugar and refined carbohydrate intake
  • Stop smoking
  • Try to have a two to three weeks alcohol free to reduce the burden on your liver
  • Chose organic meats and dairy products as much as possible
  • Increase your water intake to 1.5 litres a day
  • Increase exercise
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables that contain nutrients such as zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E and the B vitamins that are needed for the detoxification process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A diet rich in anti-oxidants will help to eliminate the harmful effects of toxins. Some of the richest sources of anti-oxidants can be found in

  • Blueberries
  • Garlic
  • Cruciferous veg eg broccoli, cabbage, radish etc
  • Onion
  • Beetroot
  • Lemons
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Grapes

 

Many herbs and spices stimulate the detoxification process so homemade curries with a selection of spices can be great at stimulation detoxing such as cloves, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and chilli.

 

Why not start the week ahead by reducing the toxic load and start feeling the benefits.