What Is Detoxing & Why You Need One
I write a lot of posts on detox drinks, foods, salads, and remedies but I have never actually explained how detoxing really works. In this post, we will be going over what is detoxing and how to tell if your body needs one. After reading this post, you will understand everything you need to know about detoxing.
Now according to the Oxford dictionary, detoxing simply means, ridding the body of toxic and unhealthy substances but how does the body actually acquire these toxic substances in the first place? Or better yet, isn’t the body already equipped to detoxify itself? Let’s get some answers to your questions.
What Is Detoxing & How To Tell If You Need One
My quest for detoxing all started when I was diagnosed with prediabetes and high blood pressure after having my son a few years back. Trust me it came as a shock because you know these health conditions exist but it actually hits home when it happens to you.
I mean I was just 32 years old, in my mind, I was still very young! Little did I know that genetics and my unhealthy lifestyle had everything to do with my health problems. So long story short, I went to see a dietician who ran a full blood panel and put me on a low-calorie diet plan plus a detox drink.
After losing almost 50 pounds in a little under 4 months, my sugar and blood pressure went back to normal and my tests were all perfect. Even my cholesterol levels went below normal. That’s when I became fascinated with detoxing and created this blog.
How Does The Body Become Toxic?
The body acquires toxins and becomes toxic when it is exposed to free radicals through environmental sources like chemicals, air pollution, cigarette smoke, cleaning products, and water. That said, free radicals can also occur when the body breaks down and processes chemicals, foods, and drinks.
So apart from free radicals and environmental toxins, the body also makes its own toxins without any outside help. You see, the body produces a certain type of alcohol called ethyl which changes when broken down into an even more toxic compound called acetaldehyde.
Other toxins like carbon dioxide are produced when the body converts food to energy. So you see, toxins are all around you, continue reading to learn more about all the different types of toxins that enter the body daily.
Types Of Food Toxins
So according to this research, we are exposed to over 700.000 toxic chemicals daily, however, there are 5 main types of toxins that we generally get from the foods we eat. They are Bisphenol A, Free radicals, Mercury, Aflatoxin, and Diacetyl. Here is a breakdown of each.
1. Free Radicals
For example, grilled meat or any meat that is cooked directly over high heat produces two types of chemicals known as Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which can be very toxic and produce free radicals which may lead to certain types of cancers.
2. Bisphenol A
Canned foods that are not properly preserved also contain types of toxins called Clostridium botulinum and Bisphenol A. Both toxins can cause high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart problems when they are not removed from the body.
Next, we have Aflatoxins which is a fungus that is found in foods like corn, peanuts, tree nuts, and cottonseed. When Aflatoxins enter the body and are not eliminated, it causes side effects like vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain and can sometimes lead to other serious health problems.
Another dangerous type of toxin we acquire from foods like swordfish, shark, tilefish, mackerel, bigeye tuna, and marlin is Mercury. Long-term exposure to mercury can lead to damage to the immune system, liver, kidneys, and nervous system.
Finally, there is Diacetyl which is a toxin found in artificial flavorings of processed foods. Every time you eat a bag of potato chips or pretzels, remember that you are exposing your body to diacetyl. Long-term exposure can lead to respiratory illnesses.
Toxins From Smoking & Drinking
Drinking and smoking can fill your body with harmful toxins that can lead to dangerous health problems. Continue reading…
Now that we’ve talked about the different toxins we get from foods, let’s cover a little bit about smoking. Did you know that cigarette smoke contains over 7000 chemicals and around 250 of those are extremely toxic? Other studies show that 69 of those toxins can lead to cancer.
Some of the most harmful toxins found in cigarettes and cigarette smoke are nicotine, formaldehyde, Hydrogen cyanide, lead, arsenic, ammonia, benzene, and polonium-210. All of these toxins can lead to very serious health conditions both for you and those around you.
According to this study, drinking alcohol long-term can lead to pancreatic cell loss and pancreatitis which is an inflammation of the pancreas. This is because alcohol causes the pancreas to secret more enzymes than usual making it work overtime, leading to slower digestion, etc.
Toxins found in alcohol include isopropanol, methanol, and ethylene glycol, all of which can lead to other health problems such as respiratory illnesses, heart problems, and high blood pressure.
Doesn’t The Body Detoxify Itself?
Yes, the body comes with a natural detoxification system in place to collect and remove toxins naturally. There are 5 main organs in the body that are responsible for removing toxins and they are the lungs, liver, digestive system, kidneys, and skin. These organs find, break down and remove toxins through the urine, stool, and sweat.
Among these organs, the liver and the kidneys do the most work by identifying toxins caused by the environment, medications, alcohol, and nicotine then drawing them out, breaking them down, and destroying them through bile juices and the kidneys.
So here is how the detoxification process work:
The lungs are responsible for removing unhealthy gasses like carbon dioxide from the body while the skin prevents environmental toxins like dirt, chemicals, mold, asbestos, and pesticides from entering the body.
The digestive system removes toxins either through vomiting or diarrhea while the liver breaks down the chemical nature of toxins. Lastly, the kidneys filter out these toxins from the blood and pass them out through the urine. So if the body already detoxes itself, why do a detox cleanse? Let’s find out.
Why Do A Detox Cleanse?
Okay so let’s use a generator as an example, for a generator to run properly, you will need to fill it with clean oil and fuel, if both or either one of these ingredients contain dirt or water, as soon as it reaches the engine, it could clog the tubes and the generator will either hibernate or turn off.
It is the same with the human body, the detoxification system can only filter out natural toxins, when you start adding more through medications, chemicals, smoking, alcohol, and too many processed foods, it starts to lag. This overload reduces its natural function and toxins start to build up in the body.
When this happens, you start to feel sick and experience a ton of different symptoms. Read on to learn more about what happens to your body when it is filled with toxins.
Signs Your Body Needs A Detox
Now a lot of the signs below can be caused by other health conditions which is why it is always recommended to check with a doctor before taking in information online. Here are the common signs your body needs a detox asap!
Some of the common signs of toxic overload include bad breath, weight gain, inflammation, brittle nails, hair loss, fatigue, nausea, brain fog, sneezing or coughing, excessive urination, heartburn vomiting, diarrhea, skin problems, allergies, nasal congestion, and sore throat.
Having many of these symptoms at once should tell you that your body is screaming for help so it’s time for you to take action! Learn how to detox naturally below.
How To Detox Your Body Naturally
The best way to detox your body naturally is to stop whatever it is that you are doing and start new. What this means is if you smoke, drink, or consume unhealthy foods, you need to quit. It’s like pressing the reset button on an alarm clock.
Why? Because even if you follow the detoxing tips below and continue your unhealthy habits, they won’t do you any good so here is how to detox the right way.
- Get Enough Sleep– Getting at least 8 hours of well-rested sleep helps your body get rid of harmful toxins accumulated during the day.
- Drink Enough Water– Drinking at least 8 glasses of water during the day helps your body detoxify naturally by getting rid of waste through your urine and sweat.
- Stop Eating Sugar & Processed Foods– Eating processed and sugary foods cause inflammation and other health problems that prevent your detoxification system to function properly.
- Stock Up On Antioxidants– Eating fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants like vitamins A, E, & C, plus lycopene is a great way to help your body detoxify properly.
- Improve Your Gut Health– Eating foods that are rich in pre & probiotics balances bacteria in the gut, this helps improve digestive health and makes detoxifying easier.
- Exercise Regularly– Exercising at least 4 times per week helps the body get rid of toxins through your sweat glands, and it also keeps your skin healthy. Remember, the skin is a part of the body’s natural detoxification system.
- Try A 3-Day Detox Diet– One of the best ways to detox your body quickly is to do a 3-day detox diet that consists of juices, salads, detox teas, and probiotic-rich foods. A sugar detox diet also helps reset your body.
- Reduce Chemical Exposure– Try getting rid of harsh cleaning products around your home and replace them with organic choices instead.
Signs Your Body Is Detoxing
Once you start a detox diet, you will begin to feel some very unpleasant symptoms but I urge you to continue because it will definitely be worth the pain. Common signs your body is getting rid of toxins include low energy levels, sleepiness, mood swings, anxiety, sweating, cravings, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
There could be other serious signs like shivering, cramps, and tremors but they are less common when you are detoxing from food.
Now you have a clear idea of what detoxing is and how to detox your body naturally. If you found this post helpful, please don’t forget to share it because it really helps. You can also save it for later so until next time, please stay awesome and healthy.