How To Detox And Cleanse Your Body

by freelance

Eating junk food? Want to know how to cleanse some of the toxins from your organs? Here are a few ways to help detoxify your temple.

Healthy Inside N Out
Healthy Inside N Out

What Are Toxins?

I chose the picture above because I think if you love your insides, you`re insides will love you. If you get rid of all those nasty toxins that are sitting in your colon, in your fat cells, and in some of your organs, you will feel and look much better. Your body will function better. You`ll have brighter skin, more energy, and just feel better all around. In case you didn`t know, I thought I`d share what toxins are and what they do to your body.

When toxins are present in abundance in our body, it shows in a number of ways. We can feel sluggish, have frequent skin breakouts such as acne, excema, and psoriasis. We can exhibit digestive problems or have alot of seemingly unexplained aches and pains. We may hold on to extra weight no matter how much we exercise. These signs, and more, can all point to a heavy load of toxins in our body. Even if we eat pretty 'clean', simply breathing in todays filthy air can bring many unavoidable toxins into our body. Toxins are simply chemicals that have an adverse effect on our body. There are pretty much four ways that we 'ingest', for lack of a better word at the moment, toxins.

Air-Our world is very populated and in many areas there are many vehicles that emit nasty chemicals like carbon monoxide and methane. These are toxins we breathe in consistently and can`t get away from. If we are fortunate enough to live in the country, we get less, more if we are in a very densely populated city. Other forms of pollution in the air we breathe comes from factories, cigarettes, and second hand smoke.

Food-Chlorine, bleach, ammonia, prescription medication residues......all, and more, are found in our water. If you drink bottled water, toxins from the plastics they`ve been sitting in on the shelf can leach into your water.

Chemicals-Pesticides on the foods we eat contribute to chemical toxins. Washing them doesn`t always help, most pesticides can withstand water, plus skin is porous so I`m sure some has soaked into the food. Mercury poisoning has become an issue with heavy fish and sushi eaters.

As you can see, there are many ways that we take toxins into our bodies, some avoidable, some unavoidable. There are things you can do to try and reduce your toxin load, and also methods to purge the toxins from your body.

Air we breathe
Air we breathe
Water we drink
Water we drink
Food we eat
Food we eat
Chemicals
Chemicals

Ways To Detox

There are a few ways to rid yourself of toxins. Let`s talk about what I think is the easiest and most natural first.

Eat real food- Our body evolved on whole, real food, not the processed and chemically laden stuff that sits on grocery store shelves for who knows how long and is filled with stuff to preserve it. Our bodies don`t recognize the ingredients in those 'foods' as food and it doesn`t really know what to do with them. It`s up for debate on how much is actually absorped when it comes to synthetic vitamins and fortified this n that. Food is meant to work in synergy. A blueberry is a combination of different vitamins, all working together to make one powerful antioxidant; not just one singled out vitamin. Try and buy organic if you can. If you can`t, wash your produce with a vegee wash. It`s relatively cheap, or you can make your own. Just rinsing it under water doesn`t do the trick so don`t waste your time.  I`m also not convinced that the pesticides don`t satiate the cells of the plants/fruits so I try to buy organic if possible. Buy local, in season, and/or join a CSA or Co-Op to cut costs. I belong to a CSA that delivers organic produce to my door once a week. I can pick and choose what I want and I pay $25.00 a week. I put a chart of what`s known as 'The Dirty Dozen and The Clean 15' below. It shows, in order, the foods that are the most heavily sprayed with pesticides as well as the least sprayed. If you can`t afford to go all organic, at least choose organic "dirties".  As for meats, poultry, and fish do the best you can. Again, try to stay organic because the animals aren`t bombarded with growth hormones and antibiotics, and they aren`t fed  food filled with GMO`s. Fish I opt for wild caught, and beef I buy grass fed because the nutrient content is higher and the omega 3 fatty acid content is higher. I also think it tastes better, but that may just be my food snob voice talking. More expensive, yes. I`ll sacrifice a latte or a pedicure for it though. Drastically reduce sugar and alcohol intake and try and limit, if not stop, tobacco usage. You`ll reduce your toxin load and your body will thank you for it.

Limit your use of chemicals for cleaning-Try to find more natural alternatives.

Your skin-Alot of us don`t think of our skin as an organ because it`s external and not internal. In all actuality though, your skin is the largest organ on your body. And it`s porous so it`ll soak up lots of stuff that you put on it. Think about it the next time you`re drenching your body in smells and chemicals.

Meditate-Stress is a huge contributor to toxins released in your body. A once and awhile 'flight or fight' response doesn`t hurt you, but being under constant stress floods your body with toxins and slows down the detoxification enzymes in your liver. Do yourself a favor and take up meditation, yoga, tai chi, or some other relaxing activity.

Fasting-Many people use this as a cleansing tool. You can fast weekly, monthly, daily...it`s all up to you. Some fasters juice fast, meaning they do noting but drink fresh squeezed juice for a certain length of time. Some water fast, meaning they do nothing but drink purified water for a certain amount of time. The length of the fast is again, up to you. I do week long juice fasts, although I have to admit it`s been awhile. There are 'rules' to follow after coming off of a fast which I`ll post below. When I did it the weirdest and hardest part was not chewing. That surprised me because I thought it would be hunger. If you`re planning a fast for any length of time, do it when you don`t need to expend alot of energy and you can rest alot. This gives your body a chance to clean house instead of trying to put alot of energy into movement.

Colon cleansing through hydrotherapy-Basically, an enema. I`ve done this a few times to remove sludge from my colon. In my experience, I went into a facility that specialized in this procedure, sat in a special semi- reclined, chair slash bathtub contraption, and a tech put a tube up my derriere. Warm water flooded my colon and washed out all the impurities, like a 'Rota Rooter'. It was not uncomfortable, and the staff was very professional. Afterwards, they gave me a probiotic to replace good bacteria. There is controversy over whether the method is beneficial or not.

Herbs-There are many products on the market that claim to be detoxifiers and cleansers, mostly made up of herbs. The product is taken daily, usually in the morning and at night, for a couple weeks or so. When I tried one, I got abdominal cramps so I stopped. Maybe I wasn`t drinking enough water or something.

9 Purifying Foods

To go along with the eat real food section here`s a list of foods that have purifying properties.

  1. Seaweed-Contains a plethora of minerals and nutrients from the sea. Some experts think that it actually removes toxins by binding them and then removing them. Brown algae is found to be a great purifier.
  2. Garlic-Purifies the blood and also has powerful detox properties. Not only that, but it helps to lower cholesterol.
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar-Enzyme rich, potassium rich, immune system support, promotes digestion and ph balance, helps remove toxins, and a whole bunch more. One method is to mix a tablespoon of ACV into some water and drink it in the morning. Braggs Organic is a good brand because it has the 'mother' in it. The 'mother' is a bunch of strand like enzymes and protein molecules all connected together. 
  4. Spirulina-Another algae, blue-green and not brown this time. It has a rich vitamin and mineral content and is great for nutrition when detoxing.
  5. High fiber fruits and vegees-Raw fruits and vegees such as spinach, apples, oranges, citrus, carrots, kale, papaya, bananas, pineapple, romaine, berries....and the list goes on. Fiber will help scrub the digestive system as you rid yourself of toxins.
  6. Apples-These get a spotlight of their own because of the high content of pectin and fiber. Pectin has very strong binding properties and coupled with the fiber, apples are great for gathering up those toxins and getting them out!
  7. Cayenne and Ginger-Spicy foods rev up your metabolism and get things moving and out of the way.
  8. Lemon juice-Much the same as the ACV (apple cider vinegar) in regards to purification. The acidity help purify and cleanse the colon, and the acid helps to break down any food, nutrients, or toxins that may be hanging out in your digestive system. Squirt some in your water or have a cup of hot water and lemon first thing  in the morning instead of coffee. 
  9. Probiotics-While you`re sweeping and cleaning your digestive system out, make sure you take in some healthy gut bacteria. Greek yogurt is a great choice, as is sauerkraut or other fermented foods. Steer clear of the sugar laden, flavored yogurts which try and claim to be healthy. They`re really not when compared to plain, full fat yogurt.

Clean 15

Dirty Dozen
Dirty & Clean
Dirty & Clean

Homemade Vegetable Wash

There are different recipes on the internet for homemade vegetable washes and soaks. Here`s an example.

         Spray

  • 1 Tblsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tblsp baking soda
  • 1 cup water

Mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle , shake gently, spray fruits or vegetables and let sit for 2-5 minutes, then rinse under cool water. The baking soda will foam up as you mix it with the lemon juice so be prepared. 

       Soak

  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 Tblsp salt

Fill the sink or a large bowl with water and add the above ingredients. Mix it around and then put your produce in and let it sit for 25 to 30 minutes. Rinse under fresh water and dry. It doesn`t remove all of the wax on apples and such, but it removes alot of it.

Post Cleansing

Yes, there are rules to follow post cleansing; especially after fasting, when your digestive is in a gentle state and hasn`t had to work real hard. Break it slowly. Don`t bombard your body with a bunch of heavy, hard to digest foods. Soups and broths are good, as well as steamed vegetables. Eat small portions. Hopefully, your 'detox diet' has become your 'what I normally eat nowadays diet' and you`ve reaccessed what your body really needs to be and stay healthy.

Other Reading

Did you know that insulin controls fat storage?You can tell your body to burn fat and not store it; just eat the right foods and avoid the insulin spikes.
Fermented foods are extremely healthy for us. I`ll show you how to make homemade sauerkraut.
Fasting is a tool that people use for religious purposes, dieting reasons, a detox tool, and I`m sure for many other reasons. Here`s Mark Sisson`s view on it.
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Nature's Secret 5-Day Fast and Cleanse Kit

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Updated: 01/16/2012, freelance
 
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freelance on 01/10/2012

I`m right there with ya Jimmie! "Let food be thy medicind and thy medicine be thy food." One of my favorite nutrition quotes.

Jimmie on 01/10/2012

I appreciate your natural approach here. I am a firm believer in eating real foods. Why swallow a pill when nature provides gorgeous, flavorful fruits and vegetables (and meats, of course) full of natural nutrients? It seems so odd to me that we want to take medicines rather than eat the food God provided for us.

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