We humans are very sophisticated when it comes to getting rid of the things our bodies don’t need anymore. We are well oiled machines, and capable of cleaning our insides out literally every day.
Our hardworking liver tirelessly works to identify, filter and excrete toxins, excess hormones, drugs, and other foreign substances. Our lungs and respiratory system help remove carbon dioxide and other unwanted inhaled gasses.
Then there is our digestive system – which arguably plays the largest role in detoxification. The most obvious, and final job of this system is defecation, performed by the large intestine, which has several important jobs. It absorbs remaining water from the food we’ve eaten, and houses the beneficial bacteria that help ferment the starches and break the food down further. Its shape forms waste into a stool to be passed from the body.
Often forgotten in detoxification blogs, the kidneys constantly filter the blood and help remove metabolic waste from the body through urination.
Your skin is also part of your detoxification systems, the skin flushes toxins out through the sweat glands. The purpose of sweat is to regulate body temperature, but it’s a multifunctional system. When sweat passes through your sweat glands, it takes toxins with it Our skin is one of the places to reflect a sluggish system – with pimples and breakouts cropping up when things are a little “backed up”. You might notice this, for example, if you’ve had a few more drinks than usual, or food hasn’t been the healthiest lately.
Then there is the lymphatic system – a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. The lymphatic system transports lymph, a fluid containing white blood cells, throughout the body. The tonsils, adenoids, spleen and thymus are all part of the lymphatic system.
Our amazing body relies on these organs to live a healthy life. Your body is detoxifying itself all the time, around the clock, 24/7. Even your brain flushes out toxins while you sleep. It’s essential to take care of these organs and allow them to keep your insides clean so you can feel amazing.
Whilst our bodies have this ability to clean themselves from the inside out- we must be mindful of providing the right environment to allow Mother Nature to do her housework.
We all know a wholefood, unprocessed, predominantly plant based diet is recommended. Dramatically increasing the amount of raw and fresh fruit and veggies in your daily diet is by far the easiest way to improve the health of your body and in-built detoxification systems. Eating like this most of the time, provides your body with phytonutrients, enzymes, vitamins and plenty of good quality gut bacteria. Particularly look for a daily dose of bitter green vegetables like Kale, brussels sprouts, rocket, cabbage or spinach and find creative ways to get extra serves in. Try reducing processed white carbohydrates and replace them with vegetables. Our Western habits are particularly bad for breakfast and lunches where we rely on cereals, toast and sandwiches with limited fresh produce. Organic is best of course, without the extra baggage of chemical sprays- but don’t stress if this is out of your budget. Any veggies and fruit are better than none and try to eat some of them in the raw form when you can.
Lots of it- every day, Winter and Summer. Drink it in herbal teas or plain, simple water. Aim for 30ml per kilogram of body weight per day. Ideally filtered water is best (without added chlorine and fluoride) but any water is better than liquids from other sources. Reducing your intake of caffeine, sugar and dairy laden drinks and alcohol is important for adequate hydration.
Get the lymphatic and sweat glands naturally pumping. Ladies, exercise without makeup is best, as pores won’t be clogged with foundation, so the skin can excrete easily. Aim to work up a good sweat several times a week. Raising your heartrate also gets the blood and respiratory system working harder which also enables the body to detoxify. Even a gentle walk is better than nothing and has well documented effects on mental well- being too.
Our bodies do their best work when we are lying horizontal, tucked up in bed. That’s when the real magic is happening internally. If you are a middle-of-the-night-waker-for-no-particular-reason, this can be a symptom that your liver is working quite hard. Try cutting back on the liver loaders (alcohol, processed grains, sugar, recreational drugs) for a few weeks to see what difference that can make. A regular sleep routine is vital to allow your body to repair and recover.
If our diet is a bit deficient in certain nutrients, vitamins or minerals it can manifest itself in a sluggish detox system – which can bring on bad skin, fuzzy heads, stiff joints, tiredness and other symptoms. Magnesium, Glutathione and Vitamin C are common supplements helpful for supporting detoxification pathways, but there are also some wonderful natural native NZ herbs that support the liver and colon to do its job like Kawakawa, Harakeke, and Horopito.
If this is not happening for you, go back to all of the above and pay some serious attention (and/or seek some help if it has been ongoing for a while). We humans are not designed to store poo….
Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.
TAPS Code: PP1146