So you say you want or rather need a detox? Well, we’ve got some news for you that just might challenge everything you thought you knew about this movement.
What is a detox, really? There always seems to be a thousand different products and programs touting their detox benefits. They claim to undo the mess that you (or the environment) has created in your body. While the true definition of a detox is to remove toxins, that often isn’t what these programs and products actually do. The reason is that your body and all bodies are designed with a detoxification system. So the reality is that you should be - and likely are - “detoxing” every darn day from birth to passing. That’s right, your body detoxes without any program or product required.
So before you throw back activated charcoal or condemn yourself to a week’s worth of green juices, consider these tips to get the most out of your detoxification goals.
1. Reduce the toxins you take in.
From taking your shoes off at your door, washing fruits and vegetables, and choosing organic food and skincare. You can get and stay cleaner by creating less mess, therefore less work for your body’s detoxification system to do.
2. Eat plants.
Phyto(plant) nutrients such as antioxidants found in fruits, vegetables, spices, whole grains, nuts and seeds are the foundation of your body’s clean up team, so a plant-based diet will be most effective at promoting ongoing detoxification.
Note: Variety is essential. Think about it this way - a mop won’t do what a vacuum does – just like different kinds of nutrients have different roles. So eat a rainbow of colors, choose different spices, and try a variety of grains, seeds and nuts. Avoid mono-eating only one kind of vegetable or nut.
3. Maintain a healthy digestive system.
Toxins are routinely eliminated through our elimination efforts within the digestive tract. Thus adequate fiber, foods that nourish good bacteria, foods that support a more alkaline lower digestive tract, as well as those that contain nutrients like magnesium to support healthy motility of the digestive tract and bitter herbs all help stimulate the digestive tract.
4. Learn the deal with ‘detox’.
Phase 1: Convert harmful toxins to less harmful and to mark them for elimination
- Foods that provide the nutrients for Phase 1 detoxification include: whole grains, peanuts, sunflower seeds, avocado, sweet potato, banana, yogurt, spinach, all beans, broccoli, all greens, berries, oranges, papaya, kiwi, pineapple, tofu, sesame seeds, turmeric.
Phase 2: Conjugation where body adds nutrients to harmful toxins to help them be eliminated.
- Foods that provide the nutrients for Phase 2 detoxification include: broccoli, amino acids (hemp), calcium, eggs, shallots, garlic, leeks, and water(!)