The ABC’s of Detoxification
I’m on a digital detox.
I need a relationship detox.
I’m going on a social media detox!
What’s a 5-letter word and everywhere on social media? You guessed it, detox it is! Almost every yoga guru, dietician, wellness influencer out there are churning out content on this buzzing lifestyle trend. But is detoxification as great as Gwyneth Paltrow swears it is? Let’s dig deep and find out for ourselves!
Our body is truly a wonderful workhorse that continues to leave researchers stunned at its capabilities to adapt, repair, and restore balance within itself. As we chase behind the modern world’s schedules, we routinely ignore the basic necessities of what our body needs to thrive. From overdosing on venti iced coffees to pulling all-nighters over a presentation, we push our health so far away from an ideal state that coming back to the center seems like a herculean task. Fortunately,functional medicine offers several strategies that can bring us back on track to nourishing our bodies using holistic methods that have proven efficacy. Detoxification is one such strategy.
What is detoxification?
Detoxification is the transformative process with which we remove all obstacles between our bodies and a balanced state of being. The principle has been around in many cultures since times immemorial. Ayurveda, for example, preaches detoxification of the mind and body through yoga, herbs, purges, and more. In functional medicine, detoxification involves supporting the body’s process of removing toxins by making dietary as well as lifestyle changes.
The world we live and breathe in is overburdening our health with toxins. We are exposed to air pollution as we take the subway. The chemicals in our shampoos, home cleaning products, or even the highly-processed food we indulge in, all play their part in adding to our toxin load. This toxin load over time manifests as fatigue,autoimmune disorders,reproductive health issues, added weight,hormonal disorders, sleep problems and so much more. Detoxification is a tool to restore wellness in our bodies and prevent irreparable damage. Think of it as spring cleaning for yourself!
How do I know that I need to detox?
Most of us are already probably showing several tell-tale signs of needing a detox program. Some of the most common signs that our bodies send us are:
- Consistent tiredness and fatigue. You feel stressed over small things and easily get overwhelmed.
- Mind fog and lack of mental clarity. You lack the motivation to get things done and feel confused.
- Your skin is breaking out on the regular. Your complexion feels lackluster and dull.
- Can’t seem to fight off the infections! You keep having to pop medicines to deal with flu, cough, etc.
- Your poop schedule is all over the place and you don’t seem to digest anything easily.
- You find yourself reaching out for sugary, highly-processed foods like milkshakes, burgers, fries, or cookies.
- You drink way too much coffee to shake off the mental fog and tiredness.
- You regularly choose to smoke or drink to unwind and destress.
- Your body weight is on the rise, unchecked.
- You have trouble processing your emotions, feel unmotivated, and lack energy.
How to get started?
Diet: Food can be a great way to begin your detoxification process. Several foods aid our bodies’ natural detox mechanisms and help reduce your overall toxin load.
- Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, bokchoy, arugula, and more are rich in phytochemicals that help the liver’s metabolic processes. These veggies also support hormone balance in the body and are known for aiding both phases of the body’s natural detoxification processes.
- Spices like turmeric contain powerful antioxidants and phytochemicals that fight inflammation, free radicals, and lower cholesterol. The curcumin in turmeric boosts the liver’s detoxifying powers.
- Berries like blackberries, blueberries, or strawberries are packed with antioxidants that prove to tackle inflammation and neutralize carcinogens.
- Flax seeds are another superfood that is rich in lignans, compounds that detoxify estrogen. They’re also known to lower cholesterol, boost good moods and ward off cancerous cells. The high content of omega-3 fatty acids supports healthy digestion and liver mechanisms.
- Teas are a great way to make sure your body flushes out toxins on a regular basis. Drinking tea made of medicinal herbs such as milk thistle, dandelion root, nettles or green tea can keep you hydrated while gently aiding liver health.
Lifestyle: Making some long-term lifestyle changes can go a long way in ensuring you minimize the effects of environmental toxins on your health:
- Sweat it out! Sweat is another way that toxins are flushed out of our system, so make sure you get your heart rate up and stay active every day. Replenish lost body fluids with plenty of water and stay hydrated.
- Get that beauty sleep. Sleep is nature’s best regulator of moods and mechanisms. Our body heals and repairs while we sleep. Create a relaxing bedtime routine and ensure you get 8-10 hours of quality sleep every night.
- Minimise the use of plastic in your daily life. Plastic is a known hormone disrupter and can make its way into our bodies with ease. Switch to stainless steel, glass, ceramic, or cast-iron utensils instead.
- Check your personal items such as cosmetics, bath products, and home cleaning products for the presence of heavy metals and endocrine disruptors.
- Eat organic as far as possible. Most of our food is grown under exposure to heavy pesticides and insecticides, which remain in the food even after cooking. Opt for organic, non-GMO foods and pasture-raised chickens to counteract your toxin load.
Contrary to the myth, detoxification isn’t just a one-time thing. It’s a holistic and ongoing process that we need to be mindful of every day. Experts at My Pure MD, Houston can effectively guide you through the process of detoxification and onto leading a healthy, disease-free life. Book a discovery call with us today!