We've all heard that doing a detox can be helpful for our health, but why do it? What are some of the benefits? Our body is uniquely designed to remove toxins and cleanse itself with the lymphatic system, which consist of the kidney, liver, lungs, colon, and skin. These vital organs work constantly to expel toxins and can become fatigue.
Signs your body needs to detox
1) You are tired and fatigue all the time.
2) Experiencing skin problems, rashes, blemishes.
3) Getting sick often with colds and flu, taking a lot of medication.
4) Problems with digestion, irregularities.
5) Feeling emotionally unstable, depressed, moody, stressed.
In today’s society, we see an increase in many diseases and aliments. Many of these problems can be attributed to the way we eat. The “Western Diet” as discuss by author Michael Pollan and others, leaves Americans “overfed and undernourished”. With the rise of obesity, Diabetes and heart disease many are looking for alternative ways to become healthier. Many want to know what is the best way to do this , where do we start? A good way to start is by removing the built of toxins. Our system is overloaded from eating refined processed food and environmental exposures to harsh chemicals. The body has mechanisms in place that naturally remove toxins starting at a cellular level, however with the overload of toxins and chemicals the body needs a little help. The best way to remove toxins is to first stop unhealthy behaviors, by reducing the intake of processed food, alcohol, sugary drinks and caffeine. The next thing to do is come up with a plan to detox that is simple and easy. Making changes in one’s diet is essential, eating more raw food, fruits and vegetables.
Here are some benefits of detoxification
1) Clean out waste build up from environmental pollutants. Long term exposure to chemicals, pesticides, and other pollutant can affect your immune system, mood and metabolism.
2) Improve your Immune system- By removing toxins at a cellular level you can help support vital organs and improve functions by relieving the pressure of overworking. This allows your liver and kidneys to function optimally.
3) Boost energy and get rid of brain fog- By removing build up your body functions at feels more energetic and lighter.
4) Reset your system - get rid of cravings, get more nutrients from eating whole foods.
5) Improve skin and hair health- Skin problems are often caused by the clog of toxins, which will lead to acnes, wrinkles and dryness. Detox diets often have many fruits and vegetables, which are rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants . Detox will help open pores and stimulate hair follicles.
6) Lose weight- By switching to a whole food diet, your body will get more of the micronutrients it needs and shed excess water weight and pounds.
Other easy way to detox is through the skin. The skin is the largest organ of the body. Many don’t realize that our skin plays an important role in elimination. Some refer to it as the “third kidney” (Goldenberg 2011) . The skin gives us clues as to whether we are imbalance. As the skin tries to eliminate toxins, we see rashes, blemishes, discoloration, or odors. A simple and easy way to help our body detox is by dry skin brushing. This technique only requires a natural, non- synthetic bristle brush. The steps are simple, right before showering, get naked, stand in an open area in the bathroom, in the tub, is ideal. Start brushing in long sweeping motions moving towards the heart. After brushing take a shower and then moisturize with a natural oil such as coconut oil. This process has many benefits such as exfoliating the skin, stimulating the lymphatic system, unclogging pore, reducing congestion and may also help with reducing cellulite. This method is easy to do and very cost-effective.
Other ways that we can detox through our skin is by taking a detox bath, with Epson salt, baking soda and lavender oil. Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate. Magnesium helps replenish the body and aid in reducing hypertension. It is also good for joints . Baking soda, sodium bicarbonate is good for cleansing and has anti-fungal properties. A few drops of lavender are very soothing to the sense and relaxing as well. All of these ingredients are fairly inexpensive and have great health benefits. Optimizing our health is an ongoing process but does not have to be confusing or expensive, by making small changes towards eating healthier and proper skin care we can detox our bodies efficiently and start feeling more energize and regain our vitality.
Haas, E (2012) The Detox Diet. 3rd edition New York: Ten Speed Press
Jenkins, O. (2014, Feb 19) A Step-By-Step Guide To Dry Skin Brushing. Retrieved from http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12675/a-step-by-step-guide-to-dry-skin-brushing.html
Goldberg, J. (2011, Aug 11) The cheapest, fastes, easiest way to detoxify the whole body, looks younger and be healthier. Retrieved from http://www.naturalnews.com/033194_skin_brushing_detoxification.html
Pollan, M. (2008). In Defense of Food: An eater's manifesto. New York: Penguin Press.
Hyman, M. (2012) The Blood Sugar Solution New York, NY Hachette.