Grab your duster - it’s spring cleanup time. While you’re cleaning up those winter dust-balls in the corners of your house, don’t forget about all of the dirt that’s been building up in your body. Despite your body’s best efforts to keep clean, it too can have figurative dust-balls in the corner; also known as toxins. A little internal cleanup, which trendy people like to call a “detox”, can help revitalize your body and help you live younger.
Detox is short for detoxification, which is a period of time that you take to focus on helping your body remove its build-up of toxins. It’s not that your body never cleans itself up – it has many systems that work hard every day to get ride of toxins. However, keeping your body clean can be overwhelming - we live in a world with smog, pesticides and cleaning chemicals, among other intruders. Luckily, there are many simple things you can do daily that can help your body clean.
With all of the different detox diets and theories it can be hard to find some clarity in all that mess. Let’s clean up the clutter- here are 5 simple tips on how you can detox and revitalize this spring.
Support the Cleaning Staff
Inside your body are organs that work hard every day to detoxify: skin, lymph, liver and kidneys. Everyday these organs work hard to trap and eliminate toxins. Offering these organs supportive nutrients so they are functioning at their best can improve their ability to work – helping reduce your toxic load. One of the easiest ways to help your body detox daily is to drink more water – water is needed to flush out toxins through the kidneys (urine) and skin (sweat).
Trap the Dirt
The liver filters your blood, removing toxins, making them harmless, and sending them out of the body. But, the only way the liver can get toxins out of the body is to excrete them with bile into the digestive track. This can be a problem since the digestive track is where you absorb things. Fibre is a great way to trap toxins within the digestive tract and keep them from being absorbed.
Take Out the Trash
Eating fibre is also helpful as it keeps the colon moving efficiently, helping your body remove waste instead of holding onto it. When waste sits around in the colon, toxin-producing microbes are allowed to grow and fester. The toxins the bad microbes produce can damage the colon cells and get absorbed into your bloodstream. Eating a combination of both soluble (found in beans, peas and some vegetables) and insoluble fibre (found in the skins of vegetables and fruit and the bran portion of whole grains) is healthy, with Health Canada suggesting adults get 20-38g per day.
Feed Your Body
Food has nutrients that protect us from toxins. For example, zinc found in nuts is an enemy of cadmium, a toxin that can accumulate in vegetables. And, vitamin C found in goji berries and other fruits can prevent nitrites in preserved meats from being converted into harmful nitroamines in our mouth and stomach. Let’s not forget about the popular antioxidants, found in highly colourful berries, fruits and vegetables that protect the body from damaging free radicals. Vegetables like kale, broccoli and brussel sprouts have long been known to prevent cancer by supporting the breakdown of toxins by the liver. A diet rich in berries, fruit and vegetables are great health protectors.
Replenish While You Detox
Bad microbes live in your colon, spewing out toxins that can damage your intestines and, in the worse case scenario, get absorbed into your bloodstream. Luckily, like every good versus bad scenario, there are good microbes (probiotics) that can defeat the bad microbes in your colon. Probiotics restrict the number of bad microbes that live in the colon, thus helping to reduce the amount of toxins that are produced there. It is beneficial to supplement with probiotics during and after a detox, but don’t forget to keep eating insoluble fibre – it feeds probiotics, helping them to multiply, which in turn means bad microbes decrease in number.
Water, berries, fruit, vegetables, fibre and probiotics are all tools that can help you with your internal cleanup. Ah, clean! It is so refreshing when all those dust-balls are gone from your house – you can just imagine how revitalized your body will feel after it’s been cleaned up too!
A Closer Look At Your Detox Organs
Skin - The skin has the ability to sweat in order to cool the body and rid the body of excess water-soluble molecules. Many cultures have used saunas as a natural way to detoxify their skin.
Lymph - The lymph is an amazing network of cells, vessels and organs that collect excess fluid around the body and filter it in the lymph nodes before sending it back into the bloodstream.
Liver - The liver is well known as the major detoxing organ in your body, responsible for toxin removal by filtering blood as well as the nutrients absorbed from food through the digestive tract.
Kidneys - The kidneys process about 200 quarts of blood a day to sift out about 2 quarts of waste products, toxins and extra water.
Suggested Progressive products to support your Clean-Up: