What is a detox?
Juice cleanses, skinny tea, liver detoxification, magic weight loss; we’re all being sold a lie. Like with most diet trends, they are just that, a trend. Built on the fallacy that we need to buy something to get rid of all the bad stuff floating around our bodies. That bad stuff is often referred to as “toxins”.
Lucky for you, your amazing body comes with its very own all-inclusive detoxification system. Not sold separately, no contracts or subscriptions. If that wasn’t already exciting enough you’ve got not one, not two, but three systems that help to filter, alter, detoxify and eliminate toxins from your body.
So really a detox is the process your body goes through naturally to filter out the nasties and keep the good stuff, and it’s pretty good at it.
What are toxins?
Toxins are a term that groups together many things, essentially it refers to anything your body doesn’t need or may be harmful. This can be molecules and organisms that you ingest, through food, the air you breathe, and in some cases absorb through your skin. This can include alcohol, medications and harmful chemicals. Additionally, waste products your body naturally produces during your metabolic processes like CO2.
How does the body detox?
The body has a series of complex systems and complementary organs that work together to help you detoxify. To keep it simple, we’ll look at the liver, kidneys and lymphatic system. These are the primary detox systems.
The liver has many functions for the body. Its role in detoxification is to alter or process toxins into safe molecules that won’t hurt you so they can be eliminated safely from the body. An example is turning ammonia into urea. Some waste will be sent straight to the bowel for elimination, most travels through your bloodstream to the kidneys. It is a myth that your liver stores toxins, and so in itself does not need to be detoxed like many fad-products promote.
The Kidney is basically a giant filtration system, your kidneys identify useful molecules like water, vitamins and minerals like salt and reabsorbs them back into the blood. The altered chemicals that have already passed through the liver like Urea, uric acid and medications are eliminated from the body as Urine.
The lymphatic system includes various different organs and has many functions. Your lymph fluid contains high levels of white blood cells which are like your body’s immunity soldiers. When you contract a virus or bacterial infection your lymph nodes may become swollen because your body is filtering out, collecting and trapping those nasties in the nodes. The body sends an army of protective soldiers to contain and kill off the intruders.
How can I help my body detox?
So that “super liver detox gummy bear” you bought on Instagram isn’t going to work but that doesn’t mean you should give up on helping your body detox. Here are a few tips to maximise your body’s natural detoxification ability.
- This one may seem obvious, reduce the amount of toxins you put into your body in the first place! Don’t drink alcohol in excess. This helps to prevent alcoholic liver disease which among other effects will reduce your bodies ability to process toxins.
- Avoid weight gain: specifically through consistent clean eating and exercise. Weight gain is associated with a higher risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which again inhibits your livers functioning.
- Avoid risky behaviours such as illicit drug use that can expose you to hepatitis infections.
- Excercise! Not only does this help in maintaining liver function, your lymph fluid can only move and excrete unwanted toxins from the body if you move: so don’t forget to log in with your Shape PT for your online workout session today.
- Lymphatic drainage massage: is often recommended for people after surgery to reduce inflammation and increase healing time because it helps your body to process unwanted materials more quickly. Especially helpful if you’re in a position where exercise is not recommended or you’re sedentary for long periods of time throughout the day.
- Drink plenty of water: water is such an important part of your kidneys’ ability to eliminate waste, A great way to gauge if you’re getting enough water is that your eliminated fluid should be clear after the morning. Drinking plenty of water also helps to keep your bowel movements regular, that’s the stuff we don’t need so work to get it out as efficiently as possible.
- Eat enough fibre, again this aids in the regulation of bowel movements and removing waste quickly from the body.
For more information on the benefits of fibre see our blog
- “Why you should be eating more fibre”
- Be happy: Detox your mind, when you’re stressed your body stops its digestion processes, in other words, the garbage man doesn’t come. Waste build-up can cause damage to your body. Your mind needs to be relaxed so your body can function properly. Take time for mindfulness each day or anything that makes you feel good your body will do the rest.
The best detox revealed
Scared the damage is already done? Your body is really good at regenerating and repairing itself if you treat it right. So here’s the secret no one wants you to know. The best detox is loving your body through what you eat, how you move and how often, the environment you put it in and your thoughts.
You don’t have to do it alone, The team at Shape PT are all about coaching you to become your most optimal self inside and out. Reaching your potential is about being kind to your body, accepting that things aren’t always perfect and instead just being conscious of what we do to our bodies physically and mentally. Rather than buying into a fast detox craze after beating yourself up over a big night out, let our team guide you to find a new balance in life. Where you can enjoy, indulge and feel the best you ever have, naturally. It’s all already inside you!
Written by Patricia Hurley