Do I need to detox?
It’s always a good and healthy urge to want to “cleanse” or “detox.” But, that doesn’t mean you need to spend a week running to the bathroom or drinking cayenne-lemon water. By definition, your body is ALWAYS detoxing through your liver, kidneys, lungs, GI tract and your skin. Since our body is already trying to do the detoxing for us, our job is to help optimize these processes so the organs can efficiently do their jobs of eliminating toxins.
What to do first?
Lessen your toxic load. As humans living in an increasingly toxic world it is important to understand where toxins come from and how to lessen our exposure. That’s the first way to support your body—expose it to less so that it doesn’t need to work as hard. So where do toxins come from?
- unfiltered water
- non-stick cooking pans
- toxic personal care products
- processed food products
- building materials
- toxic cleaning/household products
Try not to let this list overwhelm you. Focus on swapping out one thing at a time instead of everything at once.
The Digestive System
The number one priority for opening detox pathways is to open up your digestive system. Gut health is the final path of elimination and if you’re not regular or if your gut lining is compromised then toxins dumped into your GI tract can be reabsorbed instead of eliminated out. So, make sure you’re having at least one BM per day. Focus on fiber, which acts like a sponge that binds to and brushes out toxins from your gut. Drink plenty of clean, filtered water per day. And, nurture your microbiome by eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.
When people think “detox” they often think of their liver since this is where your body breaks down drugs and alcohol, centralizes most biochemical detoxification processes and filters your blood with the help of your kidneys. To support this master detoxifying organ eat beets, which are great for liver, gallbladder and cardiovascular health. Try adding liver into your diet either by cooking it into your favorite hamburger or meatloaf; or taking it in capsule form. When you eat liver, it supports your own liver! And, add more bitter greens into your diet like dandelion greens, chard, kale and arugula. All of these greens taste wonderful wilted into scrambled eggs or added as a bitter edge to smoothies.
Your skin is your largest organ! And, it’s the barrier where many toxins enter your body. The skin also reflects a person’s inner health. This is because if the body can’t eliminate toxins through the liver and digestive system then it will come out of the skin in the form of acne, eczema and other types of rashes and skin issues. Check the products you use in your home and on your skin to see if you’re adding more toxins to your body than it can process. Try dry brushing to move your lymph and decrease toxin buildup. And try to sweat several days per week either through exercise or a sauna since toxins are easily eliminated this way.
Try not to be overwhelmed! Our bodies are always working for us and never against us. It’s up to us to optimize what our bodies can do by eliminating it’s toxic burden and supporting it with diet and lifestyle habits.