Detoxing: Does It Live Up To The Hype?

Well y’all, here’s the thing about “detoxing”: 

At its most basic, detoxing is a totally natural process that happens in your body without you having to do anything at all.

Detoxification is your body’s way of safely neutralizing and removing chemicals or other substances that it doesn’t have any use for (or that are actually harmful to you). 

That being said, there are definitely ways you can support your body’s natural routes of detoxification, and doing so often helps people to feel healthier, more energized, and can even decrease pain levels. 

Here are some sources of everyday toxin exposure:

  • Heavy metals in our food and water supply
  • Environmental pollution
  • Chemical food additives
  • Smoking
  • Overuse of alcohol or drugs
  • Use or overuse of prescription meds
  • Chronic high stress
  • Poor quality diet and lifestyle habits
  • Frequent colds or chronic illness

Your body’s natural detox team includes your liver, kidneys, lungs, intestines, lymphatic system, and skin.  

If you want to up your detox game, start with the basics.

That means supporting your organs of detoxification via lifestyle changes:

  • Support your kidneys by drinking enough water (make sure it’s filtered)
  • Support your lungs by breathing deeply and exercising regularly
  • Support your gut by getting lots of fiber (re: vegetables and whole grains) in your diet to, ahem, move things along
  • Support your skin and lymphatic system by moving, sweating, and dry skin brushing
  • Give your body a chance to heal by resting and getting great sleep

Of course, these practices just lay the foundation for great detoxification.

There’s so much left to be said on this subject, and there are several herbs and nutrients that can help support you on your detoxification journey – but those are best left to individualized recommendations from a licensed naturopathic doctor.

 

If you’d like to have a customized detox plan created just for you, or if you could use some extra support around the basics we talked about here, get in touch! 

 

Resources

The following as cited in Pizzorno, Joseph E. (2013). Textbook of Natural Medicine. St. Louis, MO Elsevier.

Jones, D.S., Quinn, S, et al. “Functional Medicine” (chapter 2), 10, 14-15

Lyon, M. “Functional Toxicology” (chapter 53), 483-484.

Bland J.S., Barrager E., Reedy R.G., et al.”A medical food-supplemented detoxification program in the management of chronic health problems.” Altern Ther Health Med. (1995) 1:62-71.

Cline, J.C., “Nutritional Aspects of Detoxification in Clinical Practice.” Altern Ther Health & Med. (2015) May-Jun, 21(3), p 54-62. PMID: 26026145. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26026145

Wheelter, L. “Detox for Life: The Three Crucial Steps of the Detox Program.” Natural News.com Accessed on January 11, 2016. http://www.naturalnews.com/025899_detox_body_toxins.html

Jade, K. “Liver Detox Tea as Part of Your DIY New Year’s Detox Cleanse.” Natural Health Advisory Institute Online. Updated 1/1/2015. Accessed on January 11, 2016.

http://www.naturalhealthadvisory.com/daily/natural-health-101/liver-detox-tea-as-part-of-your-diy-new-years-detox-cleanse/

Lucille, Holly. “Do You Have a Toxic Workplace?” American Association of Naturopathic Physicians website. Accessed on January 11, 2016.

http://www.naturopathic.org/article_content.asp?article=777

Riordan Clinic. “Detox Cleansing to Remove Body Toxins.” Accessed on January 10, 2016.

https://riordanclinic.org/2011/12/detox-natural-cleansing-to-remove-body-toxins/

Jockers, D. “Dry Brushing to Detoxify Your Body.” Natural News.com. Accessed on January 11, 2016. http://www.naturalnews.com/040615_dry_brushing_lymphatic_system_detox.html#

Dempster, John. “Top Five Daily Detox Tips that Work” Huffington Post. Accessed on January 6, 2016. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/dr-john-dempster/detox-tips_b_6089736.html

Zeratsky, K. “Do Detox Diets Offer Any Health Benefits?” Mayo Clinic Online. Last updated March 2015. Accessed on January 11, 2016. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/detox-diets/faq-20058040

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