180 Nutrition: Detoxing is one of the many bones of contention in the health and wellness industry. Some say that the role of the kidneys, lungs and liver is to flush out unwanted toxins and we should just let our bodies do what they’re designed to do.
The opposing corner argues that exposure to pollutants and environmental poisons over an extended period of time stores toxins in our cells which build up over the years. A regular detox is therefore necessary to reduce the risk of damage to the immune system which leads to health issues including chronic disease.
We sit somewhere in the middle.
A detox is a period in which you cleanse your body of toxins by removing them from your diet. Alcohol, sugar, carbs, anything which boosts the bad bacteria in your gut and increases inflammation throughout your body is a good place to start.
If you have a reliance on a particularly harmful substance such as alcohol; a detox is a great way to curb that dependence and remind your body how to live without it. We only recommend this kind of detox under the guidance and supervision of a trained medical professional, however.
If you’re regularly following a nutritionally balanced diet combined with a medium-to-high intensity workout program, an occasional detox program can still be advised to give your organs a boost and to kick-start you on your way to a particular goal. A detox will also halt the signs of ageing, increase energy, provide daily clarity and contribute to your weight loss goals.
While the word detox tends to conjure up images of living on nothing but water and lettuce leaves for an extended period, there are much more fun and interesting ways to purify your system as anyone who took part in the recent 180 Nutrition 14-day spring cleanse will tell you.
If you’re living a clean lifestyle and not a fan of the full-on detox, there are some simple things that you can introduce into your daily routine to help your body eliminate potentially dangerous toxins before they have a chance to build up.
Here are six daily detox habits to get into which won’t break the bank, and will have an ongoing impact on reducing the harmful toxins that set up home where they’re not wanted, in your organs.
1) Start the day with a glass of warm lemon water
The citric acid present in lemons helps stimulate digestive juices and gives the digestion process a kick-start when consumed on an empty stomach. Squeeze a quarter of a lemon into a glass of warm water every morning, and not only will this help with supporting a healthy digestive tract, the negative ions present in the anionic food will also help to reduce bloating and excess gas.
Lemon also helps the liver to produce more bile which speeds up the digestion of fatty acids in the gut.
If you’re concerned about the acidity of the lemon having an adverse effect on your teeth enamel, drink it through a straw and wait half an hour or so before brushing your teeth.
2) Dry brushing
Did you know that your body’s biggest organ is your skin? Daily dry brushing helps to eliminate dead skin cells and therefore the toxins that are stored within them.
The lymphatic system contains organs and lymph vessels which form the body’s natural defence against bacteria and toxins. Dry brushing stimulates the lymphatic system which activates the detox process and promotes healthy blood circulation too.
Start with a loofah or dry brush, gently at first, and in circular motions cover every area of your body. After a short time of daily dry brushing, you’ll also start to notice a reduction in cellulite as an additional bonus.
Daily yoga brings a whole host of health benefits, but some poses are directly designed to promote detox by stimulating the lymphatic system and aiding digestion and blood circulation. Check out Lynda’s favourite go-to position for detoxing your body here.
4) Purify your air
Indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air so it makes sense that rather than breathing in those bad-for-you toxins, you eliminate them all together. Investing in a good air purifier will do this for you, but for an alternative option, one of the most natural ways to purify your air is to bring some greenery into your home.
Plants absorb toxins taking them out of harm’s way. Aloe Vera, peace lilies and mother-in-law’s tongue are all great plants for removing environmental toxins.
5) Greens powder
Plant-based whole foods remove toxins from the body by promoting digestion and providing an abundance of antioxidant-rich ingredients in one hit. Add a scoop of 180 Nutrition greens powder to your smoothie each day to get a daily dose of the following detoxing ingredients: – barleygrass, wheatgrass, alfalfa, broccoli, spinach, blueberry, acai berry, goji berry, spirulina, chlorella, and kelp.
One of the most basic detox methods that some people are still missing out on is consuming their recommended intake of water. It doesn’t get any cheaper or any easier than this!
Drinking water shifts toxins from the body through the kidneys which are then eliminated through your urine. Water also keeps the colon lubricated to help with digestion. Our internal waste flushing systems are entirely dependent on water consumption, and sadly, a lot of people just aren’t drinking enough.
Two to three litres a day is recommended, with more depending on your level of exercise which induces perspiration. You’ll notice that the more you drink, the clearer your urine, and clear urine is what you’re aiming for each day.
Cordial, coffee and soft drink DO NOT count as water intake because while they’re essentially hydrating you, they’re also adding more toxins to your body making the whole process counter-productive.
While there’s little we can do to remove the toxins that we’re exposed to completely, these few tips will make sure they don’t have a chance to get comfortable in your body leading to serious illness and more.