You body is constantly filtering your food and your blood to remove toxins and waste.
This automated self-cleaning process helps keep your body healthy and free of illness.
However, an unhealthy lifestyle plagued by junk food, lack of sleep, stress and long hours sitting at a desk can make it hard for your body to detox itself.
Left alone, toxins can slowly buildup in the body and damage your organs by either disrupting their normal functions or by aging them faster.
Here’s what you can do to help your body remove toxic substances and improve your overall health.
1. Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods contain more bad salt, sugar and fat than natural foods. They are also often loaded with flavoring agents, preservatives and food coloring. These substances all make their way into your digestive tract -and eventually- to your liver and kidneys.
While these organs have no problems processing most of these substances every once in a while, when you start eating too much, these substances begin to build up in your organs and tissues.
Over time, processed sugar can lead to non-alcoholic fatty disease and excess salt can contribute to kidney stones. (1)
That’s why it’s best to eat fresh, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains (oats, teff, quino).
You can still eat processed foods from time to time, like jarred tomato sauce or fresh pasta, just be sure to read all the ingredients as well as the nutritional facts on the label.
2. Drink Green Tea
Green tea, especially matcha, is full of powerful antioxidants. These protect all the organs of your body from free radical damage. It also a great way to stay hydrated.
Moreover the hot drink lowers total cholesterol and raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol, which puts less stress on the liver (2).
In fact, catechins -an antioxidant found in tea- has been shown in studies to eliminate liver fat accumulation and promote proper liver function (3).
3. Get Your Sweat On
Your skin is covered in sweat glands that secrete fluid onto the surface of your skin to keep you cool (4).
Like urine and other bodily waste, sweat contains trace amounts of toxins that the body tries to expel (5). This fluid is also composed of water, salt and electrolytes.
Intense exercise and sauna therapy help you sweat more and speeds the detoxification process.
It’s also important to drink plenty of water throughout the day to replenish the liquids you lose through this process. You can also replenish your electrolytes naturally by drinking coconut water.
4. Eat Plenty Of Fiber
The liver produces bile to help breakdown fats and remove toxins filtered out from the blood. This bile then goes through the gallbladder and into the small intestine (6).
Eating lots of insoluble fiber soaks up this bile and prevent the toxins from being reabsorbed into the bloodstream. The fiber also brushes through the digestive tract to dislodge any caked-on food and waste.
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes are full of fiber and are great to detox your digestive tract, just make sure to drink a lot of water to prevent constipation.
5. Avoid Cigarettes And Alcohol
It’s no secret that cigarettes are incredibly toxic. The addictive substance contains 600 ingredients, which release 7,000 different chemicals when burned. 69 of these are known carcinogens and many more are poisonous (7).
Every time you smoke, these chemicals are soaked up by your lungs and eventually make their way into your blood. Most of these chemicals are then stored in your fat, where they can contribute to chronic inflammation and disease.
The best way to avoid these toxins is to stop smoking, keep away from second hand smoke and try this smoker-specific detox.
Alcohol, on the other hand, can put a lot of stress of the liver. This organ works hard to metabolize the alcohol and lower blood alcohol levels.
Chronic alcohol abuse is known to cause alcoholic fatty liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis, and alcoholic cirrhosis (liver scarring). Over time, this can lead to life-threatening liver disease (8).
To keep your liver healthy, keep the alcohol for special events, other than the occasional glass of wine.
13 Naturally Detoxifying Foods
Add these foods to your everyday meals to clean your body and get a fresh start!
- Turnip greens
- Sunflower seeds
- Red pepper
- Mung beans