Many people hear the word 'detox' being banded around, especially at this time of year when our bodies are suffering after all the indulgences of the Christmas season, but what does 'detox' actually mean?
The body works hard to eliminate waste produced from natural metabolic processes. What our bodies don't use – the waste – is referred to as toxins. The organs associated with eliminating toxins are the liver, kidneys, lungs, lymph, colon, and skin.
Our bodies naturally detox metabolic waste, but we often overload our bodies with xenotoxins - toxins from our environment and things we consume. These can come in many forms: alcohol, smoking, air pollution, chemicals, pesticides or medications from non-organic foods, eating too much, or not exercising or moving enough.
To bring our bodies back into a healthy balance, we need to support the organs that contribute to detoxification through diet and exercise.
Ways to aid your body in detoxifying:
- Eating foods that support the liver, lungs, kidneys, lymphatic system, our digestive system and the skin.
- Doing hot yoga – clearing toxins through sweat.
- Doing exercise – pumping blood around our bodies, charging up the heart, lymph nodes, kidneys, liver, colon, breathing deeply through with our lungs, and skin through sweating.
- Doing inversions in yoga, (turning upside down, or bringing the head below the heart) - can stimulate our nervous system, bring more oxygen and blood flow to the brain, boost our metabolic rate and energy levels, work the core, rouse the lymphatic system, and help with circulation.
- Doing yoga – breathing and exhaling deeply filters air through our lungs.
- De-stressing – slowing down, meditation, walks in nature, doing something you love; a hobby, reading.
Foods that support the liver:
- Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, Kale, cabbage
- Beetroots and their greens
- Green apples
- Bitter herbs: dandelion and yellow dock.
Foods that support the kidneys:
- Water – drink 2 litres a day
- Green tea
- Juniper berry
Foods to support your lungs:
Foods to support your lymphatic system:
- Lemon, lime, and grapefruit
Foods to support your colon and the microbiome:
- Chia seeds
- Fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir, apple cider vinegar)
- Onion and garlics
- Aloe vera
Foods to support the skin:
- Purple cabbage
- Sunflower seeds
Detox is a lifestyle choice, not just a short-term fix. Doing these things in daily life, on a regular basis will help relieve your body of toxins we encounter in everyday life.
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