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Detoxification – is it important?

Do you store toxins in your body?
Chances are you do – we all do … and at what cost?

A widely held concept in alternative medicine is that illnesses and feeling under par can be caused by the accumulation and storage of toxins in the body. And that removing them is a necessary step in the healing process and avoiding them assists further in the healing process plus assists maintenance of good health.

It seems is can be as simple or as complex as you see fit, dependant on toxins accumulated, illness or condition …

For example, a general feeling of unwellness, fatigue and lethargy may be improved by drinking adequate amounts of water and avoiding fast foods. Now that’s not too difficult.

On the other hand, ingestion of toxic materials due to occupation or environment may need a thorough investigation and professional assistance to gently remove the toxins safely.

What conditions might benefit from a detox?

The list is long and includes many of the familiar foes of the 21st century such as anxiety, depression, headaches, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, allergies, lack of energy and the serious ailments of heart disease and cancers.

And it is interesting to note that qualified opinions from a diverse range of health practitioners agree that keeping toxins out of our lives and bodies can only be a good thing.

Detoxing is a very “now” trend but its origins go back thousands of years with fasting being a recommendation of Hippocrates for improving health. Ayurvedic medicine is a recognised traditional healing system that uses various detoxification techniques to treat chronic conditions and also to prevent illnesses.

Studies show what most of us already know: our environment is far from healthy and many of us are exposed to toxins despite our good intentions. Pollution, petrochemicals, insecticides and herbicides abound. Fresh fruits, vegetables, fish may sound like healthy fare but not if they too have been exposed to toxic substances – they absorb therm, then we eat them!

What are we to do?

Of course it is impractical for us to live in a bubble, grow all our own foods free from the use of chemicals during our busy schedules but we are not in a hopeless situation.

Our body does the best it can, detoxifying itself. We have organs that do this well: our liver, kidneys, bowels and lungs. Our skin is actually the largest eliminating organ we have. We can help these organs by firstly keeping our toxin intake to a minimum:

  • fresh food, grown locally and free from sprays,
  • adequate clean, pure water,
  • not smoking,
  • no excessive drinking and not taking drugs.
  • Avoidance of fast foods that are laden with trans fats and sugars.
  • Reducing or eliminating wheat ie gluten.
  • Check labels to see what is actually in a food – you may be astonished and horrified!
  • Good sleeping habits,
  • sensible exercising and
  • keeping stress under control.

Something I read the other day: “eat one-ingredient foods”. What is that? Eg: an apple is an apple and only an apple = one ingredient in the apple – apple. Eg: a tomato is a tomato and only a tomato = one ingredient in the tomato – tomato. The same for vegetables, meat, eggs. But take a processed meat for example – look at what is in this example!

  • meat (59%)
  • water
  • Starch (tapioca, potato)
  • soy protein
  • salt
  • emulsifiers (450, 451, 452)
  • dextrose (tapioca, maize)
  • antioxidant (316)
  • yeast extract
  • spices
  • spice extract
  • mustard flour
  • preservative (250)
  • herb and herb extracts
  • flavour
  • canola oil
  • natural colour (160c)

… not all bad but 31% of this “meat” is not meat …. then take a look at the codes … (I have an app on my phone: E Additives – handy and free!)

Tip to a healthier lifestyle

The above list to minimise toxin intake is all do-able but all steps together may be a radical change of lifestyle. Set yourself up to succeed: Implement one or two of these reforms every couple of weeks, then add another, then another etc. A big part of succeeding here is to have the right attitude: “I am what I eat” and “consciously making these choices helps keep me healthy, vigorous and wholeheartedly embracing life. I choose to look after my body, I want to look after my body …. it has to take me a long way and I wish to travel my journey in a limo, not a jalopy!”

Are there foods that naturally detoxify the body?

Yes there are and asparagus ranks highly. Avocados are a good detoxifier, as is broccoli, cabbage, kale, garlic, ginger, lemons, grapefruit, green tea and of course, pure water. Mr Google will direct you to others … do some research.

Can I buy ready-made detoxing products?

There are many general detoxifying products and they can be purchased from health food stores and chemists. Check the labels and do some research as some may be better than others for you. If you suffer from or suspect severe toxic overload, you could seek some testing first – blood, hair analysis, urine, stool and allergy tests and then be guided by a health care professional.

Another Tip  …. this is a bit “tongue in cheek” but ….

…. sensibly, it is no use going to great lengths to detoxify if you insist on loading oneself up continually with more toxins! Change those habits and the process is underway instantly. And by the way, if you feel a little unwell while detoxing, that might just be a sign that you are succeeding …. some people report a nicotine-taste surge when they may actually have given up smoking years ago; the body has tried to protect itself by storing the toxins safely in body fat. Let them be released slowly and gently …. its taken years to wrap them up in storage, releasing them in a short period might be an uncomfortable experience.

We are not healthcare or medical professionals and the information contained here is not to be taken as medical advice. It is recommended that you consult you healthcare professional prior to taking any supplements and always read the label, use only as directed, and if symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional.