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 regular exposure to chemicals and environmental pollutants over an extended period of time can store toxins in our cells which build up over the years. A regular detox is therefore necessary to support the immune system to help avoid future health issues. We sit somewhere in the middle…
A detox is a period in which you help to reduce the toxins stored in your body by removing them from your diet. Alcohol, sugar, processed and refined carbs, anything which can increase the so-called ‘bad bacteria’ in your gut and could increase inflammation throughout your body is a good place to start.
If you have a reliance on substances 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.
If you’re regularly following a nutritionally balanced diet combined with a regular exercise 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 can also provide increased energy, boost 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. 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 harmful 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. Simply 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 can help to reduce bloating and excess gas. Lemon also assists 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 may also start to notice a reduction in cellulite as an additional bonus.
Daily yoga movements 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 Naturopath 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 powders
Plant-based whole foods can assist in removing toxins from the body by promoting digestion and providing an abundance of antioxidant-rich ingredients in one hit. Add a scoop of 180 Nutrition Organic Greens Plus powder to your smoothie each day to get a daily dose of the following detoxing ingredients:
- acai berry
- goji berry
Organic Greens Plus is gluten and dairy free and is also vegan-friendly. Read more on why Naturopath Lynda Griparic uses a greens powder to support her detox program here.
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. You can also take steps to make your tap water even more beneficial by installing a home water filter, we wrote about this in more detail here.
Note: Cordial, coffee and soft drinks 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.