When we hear the word detox comes in our mind some rigorous diet with juices, water, lemon and fresh air! In fact, the detoxification of the body does not have to be so extreme! We should neither hunger nor exhaust our bodies in order to get rid of harmful toxins!
What are toxins?
Toxins are those substances that are found in our body at a concentration greater than normal. They may be either by-products of our own metabolism or coming from external sources For example there are toxic substances such as mercury and lead in fish, air pollution that we breathe, chemicals in plastic objects or synthetic clothes, pesticide residues in food, antibiotics in animal products and the list goes on!
What are we doing;
Before we get panic, the most important thing is to realize that our body has the ability to remove toxins by itself through the kidneys, liver, digestive system, lungs and skin. That is why we must ensure that these organs are kept in a good shape. How will we achieve this?
- Αdequate sleep. A good sleep helps our brain reorganize and successfully remove the toxic derivatives that accumulate during the day (1).
- Stay hydrated. Water is the most well-known solvent. It helps to remove toxins through diuresis, breathing and sweating.
- Regular exercise. Frequent, almost daily exercise will help you reduce inflammation in the body and thus facilitate detoxification.
Detox and Diet
Reduce drastically sugar and ready meals. We all know that sweets and junk food are the begin of evil for many diseases such as diabetes and obesity, which are associated with kidney and liver dysfunction. If we reduce them in our diet, we increase the functionality of these organs and their ability to detoxify.
Bring antioxidants in your life. A diet rich in antioxidants helps our body cope with the oxidative stress that comes from free radicals and toxins. This is because antioxidants help many enzymes metabolize toxins (2). Among the most important antioxidants that we can easily put into our daily lives are Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, Lycopene and others. You can find them in foods like citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, grapefruit seed extract and others.
Glutathione is a key point. It is a powerful antioxidant that plays a key role in detoxification. Conjugation of glutathione with toxins contributes to the detoxification and removal of heavy metals and fat-soluble toxins from the body.
Reduce salt. Excessive salt consumption can lead to retention, especially if you do not consume enough water. This is because when you consume too much salt and do not have enough water, your body releases an antidiuretic hormone (vasopressin) that prevents urination – and therefore detoxification (3).
Reduce alcohol. Alcohol is basically metabolized in the liver. Thus, increased consumption can reduce the ability of the liver to fulfill its obligations, including detoxification!
Detoxification and herbs
Nature can be of great help in our effort to detox. The most effective herbs for detoxification are:
Milk thistle for liver detox. Milk thistle is considered the king for liver detoxification! Silymarin, its most active substance, causes changes in the hepatic cell membrane, thus preventing toxins from penetrating into them. In addition, it contributes to the regeneration of damaged cells in the liver and helps in the bile diseases.
Artichoke. Thanks to the substances cynarin and silymarin it contains, artichoke helps a lot in the liver, in better flow of bile, resulting in better metabolism of the fats, as well as in the purification of the blood.
Nettle. Its diuretic properties make nettle ideal for detoxification, as well as for reducing retention and swelling. Nettle helps detoxify the liver and bile, thus helping to cleanse the blood.
Dandelion. Perhaps the most powerful natural diuretic, dandelion significantly helps in removing toxins, and helps clean the kidneys, liver and bile. It contains a high potassium concentration (about 5%), thus balancing the electrolytes that may be lost by urination.
These herbs can be found either in their original form – usually dried, in tincture or as a dietary supplement. Often, you will also find in trade the combination of these as a detoxification formula.
So, there you have total body detox! Help your body reorganize and eliminate toxins and see your health and mood changing day by day!
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