Do you really need to help your body detoxify?
Detoxification is a polarizing topic. The alternative medicine crowd often slaps this term on everything and anything from green juice to weight loss supplements, while western medicine practitioners wonder what the hell are those people talking about, and why in the world do you need all of those supplements in the first place?
So what is detoxification? Detoxification is a plethora of different processes that occur in the body all the time. It’s cells getting rid of their own waste, endogenous and exogenous toxins being accompanied out of the body, excess hormones and neurotransmitters being broken down - just to name but a few.
All the processes in the body require fuel, or the right building blocks. You can’t just put some maple syrup in your gas tank and expect your car to take you places. Same thing with your body! All, I repeat - all processes in the body need the appropriate fuel (nutrients) to do their thing.
So when it comes it detoxification we need a lot of raw materials for those processes to function correctly.
Also, some people have certain genetic mutations which means that they might require more of those building blocks to detoxify normally. Some people might have a higher toxic load, i.e. more exposure to environmental toxins, or more inflammation in the body that creates more work for all the detoxification organs. So supporting your detoxification processes and pathways (i.e. liver, gallbladder, colon, kidneys, skin) makes perfect sense, especially considering that the world that we live in is only becoming more toxic.
So how do we help our bodies deal with all of this stuff?
● By eating right. And, please, forget about plant-based diets for detoxification - it’s a total fad. Detoxification requires a number of different amino acids, that are almost impossible to acquire in adequate amounts from plant-based sources, and a whole bunch of B vitamins that are also very abundant in animal protein sources;
● Be avoiding chemicals and environmental toxins. So ditch your synthetic perfumes, your highly toxic cleaning supplies, check the labels on your skincare and hair products to avoid putting more chemicals on and in your body
● Choosing to eat organic when you can. Unfortunately, eating organic is not as accessible as it should be, and buying a genetically modified burger is cheaper than buying organic kale, which basically grows like a weed. So if you can’t afford to eat organic all the time, at least check out EWG's “Dirty Dozen” list of most pesticide contaminated products and try to avoid those or buy them in the organic section. Nutrition and eating well shouldn’t be an elitist thing, and there are many ways to find access to local farmers that may not have the organic certification but nonetheless utilize organic farming practices to grow their produce
● Exercise is an excellent way to boost antioxidant levels in the body
● Epsom salt baths are not only lovely and extremely relaxing, but also a great source of magnesium sulfate - a compound that assists in many detoxification processes
● Eating a lot of sulfur-rich vegetables like onions, garlic, cabbage, kale, broccoli. Those bad boys are chock-full of sulfur - an extremely important mineral for detoxification, liver function, and fighting oxidative stress
● Drink nutrient dense water (i.e. water with electrolytes aka salt)