You’ve probably heard a lot about detox before. But what is it exactly? Traditionally a detox refers to the ‘cleaning’ of your body, helping it to get rid of ‘toxins’ that accumulate due to bad eating habits, insufficient sleep, or too much drinking. But despite the many so-called detox diets you read about, there are a few actual ways to detox your body.
Think you need to go on a two-week diet of celery soup to detox? Think again. Here are science-backed detox tips that will work for everyone!
Antioxidants are essential to protect your cells against damage caused by oxidative stress. Free radicals are produced by your own body when you’re exposed to these stresses such as tobacco smoke, alcohol, pollution, or a bad diet. If you eat foods that are rich in antioxidants, you help your body to fight these free radicals.
Probiotics are bacteria that are beneficial for your gut. Prebiotics, on the other hand, are a type of fiber, that serves as food for these beneficial bacteria. If you don’t eat enough of these prebiotics, you won’t be able to supply your body with enough nutrients, leading to an imbalance in your gut.
Adequate sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your body. It gives your brain the opportunity to recharge and to get rid of all the byproducts it has accumulated through your day. In fact, one such waste product is called beta-amyloid, a chemical which has been known to contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.
Regular exercise is associated with better heart health, a longer life, and reduced risk for many lifestyle diseases. One of the reasons for this, is because exercise actually reduces inflammation in your body. This helps your body to naturally detoxify and protect it against disease. Make sure to get about 30 minutes of exercise each day.
Americans eat almost three times as much sugar as what is recommended by the health regulatory bodies. And most experts think that sugar is one of the biggest culprits in today’s health crisis. It’s been linked to obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Too much sugar can cause fatty liver disease, which will impact your liver’s ability to detoxify your body.
It’s a well-known fact that we are eating way more salt than we ought to. When you consume too much salt, your body retains excess fluids. This fluid not only causes bloating, but it also prevents your body from naturally detoxing. Drinking more water, will increase urination and help you to eliminate waste product.
Your liver metabolizes more than 90% of alcohol, and the byproduct of this metabolization is acetaldehyde – a chemical known to cause cancer. Luckily, your liver is smart enough to know this substance is bad for you, so it converts the acetaldehyde to acetate. Excessive drinking is extremely damaging for your liver (it can cause fat buildup, inflammation, and scarring), so make sure you stick to low or moderate drinking.
We all know we should drink more water – it has so many benefits: it regulates our body temperature, lubricates our joints, and also helps with digestive issues and nutrient absorption. But more than that, it helps your body to detoxify by breaking down and removing waste products.
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts are all part of a healthy, balanced diet. Instead of doing an extreme juice cleanse (which does not have much science to back it anyway), rather go for whole foods that are high in vitamins and minerals, but low in calories.
This might not be what you expected to be on a list for detoxification, but if you’re constantly weary or exhausted and have tried several detox methods without success, it’s better to go to a doctor and have a checkup. You could be running low on iron, or certain B vitamins, or it could even be an underlying health condition.