What is the best way to Detox?
Reader Request: I've been thinking about doing a detox for sometime now but the more I read on different juice fasts, bone broth fasts, solely vegetables detox the more confused I become on what is the best option for me. Do you have a favourite or is there one you know that gets good results that you could recommend?
As each individual is unique and carrys a different toxic load I am going to look at just what detoxing is and some habits that should be incorporated daily rather than looking at quick 'detox fixes'
Now this is a very common question and so I get it, it can be enticing seeing a quick fix 5-day detox to “feel better quick” if you’re eager for health changes, but in reality no short juice or bone broth fast is going to compensate focusing on nourishing whole foods, regular exercise and mindful, peaceful living.
Here’s a quick reminder:
Are you surprised to hear that no matter what you are eating or doing that your body is detoxing right now and you don’t get miraculously “cleaned out” in a week no matter how much juice or bone broth you drink.
A detox is more about supporting our bodies to do what it already does so well every single day, through our digestive system, liver, kidneys, lungs, blood, and pretty much every cell in our body.
In short, you can support your body’s natural detoxification channels by:
1. Eating whole foods
2. Adequate hydration with mineral or at least filtered water
3. Managing stress,
4. Quality sleep
5. Moving/exercising most days of the week
6. Daily bowel movements, urination
7. Diaphragmatic breathing
8. Using natural/organic products on your skin and hair
9. Dry brushing your skin
10. Sweating through exercise or a infra red sauna
11. Using mindful living practices
12. Eliminate known liver loaders and toxins like alcohol, coffee, refined sugar, gluten and smoking
It’s your DAILY habits in your lifestyle that contribute the most to health overall rather than a very now and then juice cleanse etc
HERE’S HOW YOUR BODY DETOXES:
Our digestive systems are amazing and plays a vital role not just in digesting food, but also in our immune system and delivering nutrients to our bloodstream. Our gut microbe (our inner ecosystem of bacteria) is known to impact our immune system, affect our moods and behaviours (from ADHD to depression), food intolerance's, and contribute to overall inflammation in our body which can lead to certain chronic diseases.
Having enough fibre from whole foods helps our body eliminate substances like heavy metals, excess hormones and metabolites from metabolic processes. Fibre helps our body maintain a healthy inner ecosystems that keeps bowl motions regular and reduces bad bacteria and yeast (which are naturally present).
There's no doubt about it - Juice fasts can work wonders for some people. These juices, however, must be leafy green and vegetable based. If you’re only juicing with fruit with the odd carrot or beet you will be missing out on this crucial component – fibre as well as upsetting your blood sugar levels. (Sitting down and eating 8 apples would be very hard to do, but if you juice that amount you'll probably just get a cup which is very easy to drink!)
Our skin provides a barriers from bacteria, viruses, and chemical toxins that shouldn’t enter our bodies. To aid our skin in detoxification we should first lessen the load by using natural skincare and hair products to reduce exposure to a host of chemicals.
Dry body brushing is a great daily addition to stimulate the lymphatic system to help move toxins out of the body. Your skin will be softer and smoother as well - Bonus
Our immune system is an incredibly complex system all with the goal to get rid of any foreign substances and pathogens that can cause harm and eliminate it from our body.
Our blood, lymphatic system, and all cells are involved in our immune system, which makes it essential for us to provide the nutrients in our diet that support our immune system's role.
Key nutrients include Zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Antioxidants (think colourful vegetables and fruit).
Our kidneys are so important and extremely efficient at filtering out waste and toxins in our system and out of our body. They also keep our body in electrolytes in balance.
Dehydration is a serious but crazily common issue. Aiming to get you body's requirement of pure water in each day until it is a habit is hugely helpful in aiding detoxification.
The liver acts as a filter, it helps the body use and store nutrients, eliminates harmful chemicals, heavy metals, excess hormones, alcohol, and drugs. The liver also helps to break down fats and filter blood. Our liver plays a essential role in carbohydrate metabolism ( helps keep our blood sugars stable), fat metabolism, and converts metabolites (these may come from medications, artificial flavours and colours etc) into “safe” by-products that can then be filtered out through our kidneys.
Colourful whole foods loaded with antioxidants and nutrients help support our liver, add beetroot into smoothies, juices, salad or pasta sauce! Lemon water or apple cider vinegar in water in the morning also supports liver function and detoxification.
The hairs in our nose and the mucus in our respiratory system protects our lungs by capturing those particles and preventing them from getting in our lungs.
Diaphragmatic breathing is incredibly relaxing, and stress reducing. It can help us “reset” emotionally and mentally since our body needs adequate oxygen to function at its best.
Try deep breathing meditation exercises with your favourite aromatherapy essential oils for deep relaxation
Lymph is fluid that circulates all over our entire body. The tonsils, spleen, thymus, and adenoids are key organs in this system. The lymphatic system plays a vital role in our detoxification, defense, and immune response as it transports the white blood cells in this fluid.
Dry brushing, regular massage, rebounding (jumping up and down), yoga practice, and regular exercise is ideal for moving lymph and aiding the detoxification process.
Heart and mind
We all know how love, joy, positivity, mindfulness, laughter and good vibes make us feel better and improve the quality of our life and those around us! This aspect of life is just as important as the physical! So detoxing negative thoughts, unresolved emotional grief or anger is so important for the health of the physical being.
At the end of the day juice fasts, bone broth fasts etc certainly do have there place and can be extremely beneficial. Which one is going to work best for you is dependent on your body type, current medical conditions, financial situation (buying a quality juicer and A LOT of organic vegetables and fruit for the week can be pricey) and available time. Just don't let it compensate for daily health promoting activities that support the ongoing detoxification process.