Whenever we hear the word detoxing, our minds typically picture following a specific diet or using special products that claim to rid our body of toxins, thereby improving health and promoting weight loss.
Fortunately, our body is well-equipped to eliminate toxins and doesn’t require special diets or expensive supplements to do so. That said, you can enhance your body’s natural detoxification system by making small changes in your lifestyle.
What is Detoxification?
Detoxification starts in your liver. While it’s a complicated process, your liver essentially does this in two phases. First, it converts toxic substances to highly reactive metabolites and then excretes these toxins. Your kidneys, lungs, and even gut also play a role in detoxification.
Toxins can impact these organs both acutely and cumulatively. More dangerous are the persistent, low-grade toxins such as residue you consume regularly in conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. Reactions aren’t immediate, and you might not see the connection between chronic low-grade toxicity and struggling with weight loss.
How Can Toxic Overload Can Stall Weight Loss?
Whereas a healthy body can optimally detoxify, so many things we confront daily — the food we eat, the air we breathe, and prescription drugs — can make those toxins accumulate, overwhelming your body’s defenses.
“When we are toxic… the mechanism for detoxification in the liver gets sluggish, and certain toxins can remain active longer than we want or than our systems can handle,” says Mark Hyman, MD, in The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet. “This makes us sick and impedes normal metabolism. It also causes fluid retention, bloat, and puffiness.”
Hamdard’s Safi is one the most trusted syrup used by females to reduce acne, blemishes and cleanses blood in Pakistan and other countries.
That’s where a detoxification plan can possibly help. Among its benefits, research shows the right one can impact weight loss directly as well as reduce factors that contribute to weight loss including chronic inflammation. Following are a few ways one can adapt to a detoxifying lifestyle:
Focus on Sleep
Ensuring adequate and quality sleep each night is a must to support your body’s health and natural detoxification system. Sleeping allows your brain to reorganize and recharge itself, as well as remove toxic waste byproducts that have accumulated throughout the day.
One of those waste products is a protein called beta-amyloid, which contributes to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. With sleep deprivation, your body does not have time to perform those functions, so toxins can build up and affect several aspects of health.
Poor sleep has been linked to short- and long-term health consequences, such as stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. You should sleep seven to nine hours per night on a regular basis to promote good health.
If you have difficulties staying or falling asleep at night, lifestyle changes like sticking to a sleep schedule and limiting blue light — emitted from mobile devices and computer screens — prior to bed are useful for improving sleep.
Drink More Water
Water does so much more than quench your thirst. It regulates your body temperature, lubricates joints, aids digestion and nutrient absorption, and detoxifies your body by removing waste products.
Your body’s cells must continuously be repaired to function optimally and break down nutrients for your body to use as energy. However, these processes release wastes — in the form of urea and carbon dioxide — which cause harm if allowed to build up in your blood.
Water transports these waste products, efficiently removing them through urination, breathing, or sweating. So, staying properly hydrated is important for detoxification. The adequate daily intake for water is 125 ounces (3.7 liters) for men and 91 ounces (2.7 liters) for women. You may need more or less depending on your diet, where you live, and your activity level.
Eat Antioxidant-Rich Foods
Antioxidants protect your cells against damage caused by molecules called free radicals. Oxidative stress is a condition caused by excessive production of free radicals.
Your body naturally produces these molecules for cellular processes, such as digestion. However, alcohol, tobacco smoke, a poor diet, and exposure to pollutants can produce excessive free radicals. By causing damage to your body’s cells, these molecules have been implicated in a number of conditions, such as dementia, heart disease, liver disease, asthma, and certain types of cancer.
Eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help your body fight oxidative stress caused by excess free radicals and other toxins that increase your risk of disease. Focus on getting antioxidants from food and not supplements, which may, in fact, increase your risk of certain diseases when taken in large amounts.
Examples of antioxidants include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Berries, fruits, nuts, cocoa, vegetables, spices, and beverages like coffee and green tea have some of the highest amounts of antioxidants.
Read more: Nature’s marvel: Tea tree oil!
Eat Foods High in Prebiotics
Gut health is important for keeping your detoxification system healthy. Your intestinal cells have a detoxification and excretion system that protects your gut and body from harmful toxins, such as chemicals.
Good gut health starts with prebiotics, a type of fiber that feeds the good bacteria in your gut called probiotics. With prebiotics, your good bacteria are able to produce nutrients called short-chain fatty acids that are beneficial for health.
The good bacteria in your gut can become unbalanced with bad bacteria from use of antibiotics, poor dental hygiene, and diet quality. Consequently, this unhealthy shift in bacteria can weaken your immune and detoxification systems and increase your risk of disease and inflammation.
Eating foods rich in prebiotics can keep your immune and detoxification systems healthy. Good food sources of prebiotics include tomatoes, artichokes, bananas, asparagus, onions, garlic, and oats.
Decrease Your Salt Intake
For some people, detoxing is a means of eliminating excess water.
Consuming too much salt can cause your body to retain excess fluid, especially if you have a condition that affects your kidneys or liver — or if you don’t drink enough water. This excess fluid buildup can cause bloating and make clothing uncomfortable. If you find yourself consuming too much salt, you can detox yourself of the extra water weight.
While it may sound counterintuitive, increasing your water intake is one of the best ways to eliminate excess water weight from consuming too much salt. That’s because when you consume too much salt and not enough water, your body releases an antidiuretic hormone that prevents you from urinating — and therefore detoxifying.
By increasing your water intake, your body reduces the secretion of the antidiuretic hormone and increases urination, eliminating more water and waste products. Increasing your intake of potassium-rich foods — which counterbalances some of sodium’s effects — also helps. Foods rich in potassium include potatoes, squash, kidney beans, bananas, and spinach.
The south east Asian world makes and promotes many herbal concoctions that claim to detoxify blood. Hamdard’s Safi is one the most trusted syrup used by females to reduce acne, blemishes and cleanses blood in Pakistan and other countries. Hamdard industries have been working on Unani medicines since years and have now perfected their craft.
Here is an encouraging commercial by the company that delivers the message of women empowerment and how Safi helps them bring out their shine by detoxification of their blood. Safi encourages women to shine bright in the practical world without considering looks as a hindrance.
Take a lot of Stretch Breaks
“Take a break once an hour, even if only for five minutes, to stretch and move around!” Asay encourages. “This will decrease fatigue, get your blood flowing through the muscles, and get your heart rate up, burning calories.” (Plus, a quick stretch break is probably one of the most enjoyable ways to detox your body, no?)
Read more: Warning signs that your body desperately needs more water
Reach for Bloat-busting Beverages
At the top of the list of nutritionist-approved drinks are herbal teas, mineral broths, and (you guessed it) good old lemon water. They might not essentially ‘cleanse’ your blood but are full of antioxidants that help rejuvenate your skin and help reduce water weight. (You can find more ideas here.)