What is it to ‘detox’ and why should we?

Why is it important to detox?

With the many fad diets today claiming to ”cleanse” and “detox”, how do we choose and what does it actually mean for our health? The body has its own means of ridding itself of toxins. The natural process of detoxification happens in 2 phases.  The first phase prepares insoluble toxins and modifies them slightly to make them water soluble so the body can excrete them.  The second phase is the process of carrying these toxins and cleansing them from the body.

Detoxification requires adequate antioxidant reserves, ample hydration, a properly functioning Gastrointestinal tract, and a healthy liver.  If these elements are not properly working together detoxification can cause undue stress as the toxins actually become harmful by spreading free radical damage throughout the body. Lucky for us the body makes natural enzymes that counter these harmful compounds, but the best defense is to reduce our exposure to these toxins in the first place.

Glutathione – The Master Antioxidant

Glutathione is formed by the body and is its most powerful antioxidant but requires elements from the diet for proper formation.  Supplementary forms of glutathione are poorly absorbed and generally not recommended. Cysteine is the limiting amino acid in the production of glutathione and is found in high quantities in your cruciferous vegetables – things like kale, brussel sprouts and cauliflower.  Mom was on to something when she told you to eat our veggies!

When the body is undergoing phase I detoxification it is important to have antioxidant stores to battle these toxins that will actually turn into harmful free radicals. When undergoing phase II detoxification, it is important to drink plenty of purified water to flush them safely out the system.  The general rule is to drink half your body weight in ounces every day.

Is fasting the same as detoxing?

Programs that require you to fast more than 1-2 days can be harmful because they fail to provide the body with the necessary raw materials and antioxidants required to safely expel these harmful compounds.

The human body is fighting a constant battle with chemicals from pesticides, preservatives and additives in our food, smells in perfumes and colognes, chemicals in hygienic products like deodorants and shampoos, to the plastics in many commonly used containers and household products. Air pollution from industrial production, gasoline additives, and other sources are just taken for granted. It’s amazing that the human body is able to mount a defense against such enemies, but sooner or later something will give as the body focuses on clearing these chemicals foremost instead of working to prevent chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease and other effects of longstanding low-level inflammation.

Small Steps You Can Take Today

Choose your food wisely. Make sure your fish is wild caught and your beef and chicken is organic and grass/pasture fed. Buy local and in season. Focus on nutrient-dense foods full of detox-supporting nutrients.

Eat plenty of fiber from organic vegetables and fruits to help push excretion of harmful byproducts out of your system.

Purify drinking water through reverse osmosis and at the very least a carbon-based filter system.

Have numerous plants in your home to help purify the air

Leave your shoes at the door to keep from tracking in harmful chemicals from outside into your carpets and floors. Watch for harmful chemicals in carpeting such as formaldehyde.

Because of all of these potential sources of contamination from one’s diet and environment, many experts suggest detoxing 1-2 times a year as a minimum.

Awareness and prevention are the best defenses, but even small steps can go a long way in purifying your environment and lifestyle.

Click on our detox tab to learn more about the Ionic Cleansing Foot Bath.

Yours in Wellness,

Lynn

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