Over the past few months, I’ve had an number of questions about detoxing. From “Should I do one?” to “What the heck does detox even mean?” to “I don’t have to drink juice all day, do I?” With all those questions coming at me, I thought it was time to answer them. Over the next few days, I’ll be breaking down these questions, as well as a few new ways to think about detoxing, here on the blog in a fun series I’m calling Detoxing 101.
Over the course of this blog series, I’ll be sharing a ton of information about detoxing and it will be broken down by topic. Here’s the rundown of topic plus links to all the posts in the series:
What Does It Mean To Detox? (This post)
Without further ado, let’s get to our first topic in our Detoxing 101 series – What Does It Mean To Detox?
What Does It Mean To Detox or Cleanse?
Our bodies are naturally built to detoxify and cleanse as part of our normal body processes. The organs in your body that naturally detoxify are the colon, kidneys, lungs, lymph system, and your skin.
These days, it’s easy for our detoxification systems to become overloaded with the high exposure of environmental pollutants in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Pushing this further is the availability of chemical-laden “foods” that we’re all overly exposed to and the amount of animal protein, saturated and trans fats, caffeine, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and alcohol that stop our bodies from properly detoxifying as we need it to.
Detoxing (also known as cleansing) is a simple and effective way to to give your body a break and repair its natural self-cleaning system. By changing the way you eat, live, (and sometimes even) interact with the world can help you to actually rid your body of the toxicity in your body that has built up over time.
People detox for many different reasons. For most of the folks that I have connected with, they have experienced some very common symptoms of toxicity in their body and know that’s it’s time to give their bodies a break and flush their system. Here are the most common symptoms of toxicity in body:
- Feeling tired, sluggish, lethargic
- Trouble concentrating and staying focused
- Joint pain
- Catch colds easy
- Trouble sleeping
- Bad breath
- Unpleasant body odor
- Frequent gas, bloating or indigestion
- Allergies and/or food sensitivities
- Skin problems like acne, psoriasis, eczema
- Constipation and other gastrointestinal irregularities
- Recurrent respiratory problems
- Back pain
- Mood changes
- Sinus congestion
If you are experiencing one or several of these symptoms, it could be time to try a short-term detox to see if it helps you feel better.
That all sounds great – but what does a detox actually do for the body?
This is a question I get regularly. One that makes me chuckle, because for the longest time I felt that detoxing was truly just a marketing gimmick to make me do something I didn’t want to do. After doing a few myself (of all kinds), I can tell you for certain that taking the time to detox regularly has become an important part of my life, because I always feel refreshed, lighter, and far more clear in my head after completing one.
In short, here are the benefits within the body that result from detoxing:
- Dissolves and eliminates toxins and congestion that have formed within your body
- Cleanses the kidneys and digestive system
- Purifies the glands and cells throughout the body
- Eliminates unusable waste and hardened material in the joints and muscles
- Relieves pressure and irritation in the nerves, arteries, and blood vessels
- Helps to kick unhealthy cravings
- Builds a healthy blood stream
- Symptoms of toxic overload are eliminated
- Helps to prevent chronic degenerative diseases
- Improves immunity
- Increases mental clarity and energy
Of course, with all this information, detoxing is something that is unique for everyone. Not everyone has a great experience with this kind of short-term plan. However, not everyone has a poor one either. In my honest opinion (and I’m certainly not giving advice here), I think that most people can benefit from a short-term detox at least once or twice a year, if not once per season.
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