Detox – clean out your body
Even though you try to live a healthy life; it is really difficult to get away from ‘pollution’. A glass of wine here, a few snacks, the occasional cigarette … the temptation is everywhere! The harmful substances that you ingest, however, may be detrimental to your health and your beauty. Detoxing is a good way to clean up the things again. Think of it as a spring cleaning, but for your body.
Get rid of all those waste products! But what is the best way to detoxify, what are the advantages and are there disadvantages? You can read all about it in this detox special.
Which substances are harmful?
Foods are not always healthy. For example, a glass of wine contains alcohol, which is actually a toxin. Then there are the necessary fragrances, colours, and flavours that have been added to our food. Although these e-numbers have been approved by the Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, many nutrition specialists claim that they can actually have a negative effect.
However, you are also exposed to toxic substances outside of nutrition. What about exhaust fumes or chemicals in cosmetics or cleaning products? Toxins are all around us.
Why would you want to detoxify?
Your body is not a rubbish dump. Your body understands this, and that is why it tries to get rid of all the waste materials. That happens through your internal cleaning system or your organs. All fat-soluble toxins, for example, are broken down via the liver and bile.
Harmful substances that are soluble in water are filtered out of the blood via the kidneys. Your skin and your lungs also do their best to get rid of waste as quickly as possible.
If your body cleans itself, then why do we need to detox?
To keep the internal cleaning system running properly, your body needs sufficient vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. If you do not get enough of it, for example, because you eat an unbalanced diet, your body may have difficulty removing the waste products.
Toxins that are not removed are stored in the adipose tissue. There is absolutely no harm in helping your body with this process. By detoxing, you support your health optimally. The fact that you lose a few pounds of moisture and fat during detoxing, is an extra bonus!
When is the best time to detox?
If you have lived a comparatively unhealthy lifestyle for a while, it is good to plan an internal cleaning. That is why many people start with a detox in January. After the month of December in which you tend to eat a lot more and move less, your body is ready to detoxify.
But even after a summer holiday filled with booze or a stressful period in which you have eaten unhealthily, detoxing is always a good idea. You often feel not quite yourself when you are ready for an internal cleaning session. If your body stores too many toxins, you can suffer from ailments, such as:
Bloating and/or constipation;
Dejection/ feeling listless.
Other vague symptoms may also indicate a surplus of stored toxins. If this situation takes too long, inflammatory reactions can even occur in the body.
Detoxification: how do you do it?
You can find different methods to detoxify online. Some swear by a juice cure, other people swallow certain dietary supplements or just eat ‘superfoods’ for a few days. You may also read more extreme things, for example, intestinal irrigation or take clay.
Keep in mind that not all methods are equally healthy. Some methods have no proven effect and can do more harm than good. Moreover, a strict diet is not suitable for everyone. For example, people who have a certain condition or use medication can become ill if they suddenly start eating differently or a lot less.
The most responsible way to detox is by eating healthy and moderately for a few days. Fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, and some steamed fish or chicken can go a long way. Drink plenty of water and herbal tea to stop the waste more quickly. Also, try to move a lot, this stimulates the cleaning process. Of course, snacking, smoking and drinking alcohol during these days is a no-go!
If you want to work more intensively, prepare your detox treatment well. Do not just fast for ten days, this will make you feel terrible! First, cut out food for a few days, then add solids slowly and then slowly build up the food again. Beware of extreme cures where you have to take supplements that can damage your health. If you want to follow a rigorous detoxification treatment, please do so preferably under supervision and consultation with your doctor first.
Advantages and disadvantages of detoxification
Detoxing is pretty hard but it is well worth persevering with! The benefits of detoxification at a glance:
You will lose weight;
Your skin will become clearer – more radiant and less faded;
You will feel full of energy and lighter;
Minor ailments will probably improve;
Your immune system will become stronger.
Of course, there are some downsides. The disadvantages of detoxification include:
Side effects. Your body has to detox from your old eating and/or lifestyle habits, especially in the beginning. In addition, waste products are released by detoxing. You might suffer from a headache, fatigue, and nausea. These ailments usually clear up by themselves after a few days.
A lack of energy, especially if you follow a strict diet, such as a juice cure, you may experience a lacklustre feeling, dizziness or lack of concentration.
Detoxification of alcohol and tobacco
You also detox when you stop smoking or drinking. Cut out alcohol or tobacco and your body will immediately start to detoxify. This can cause quite severe withdrawal symptoms! When stopping smoking, nicotine patches or chewing gum can help to reduce the worst withdrawal symptoms. A doctor can also prescribe medication that helps to reduce the desire for a cigarette or liquor.
Take care of yourself
Do you also want to detox? Make sure you do it in a safe way. Eat healthily, drink plenty of water and do not start extreme cures that can be dangerous to your health. Also, make sure you get enough sleep; detoxification is a tiring activity! If you get severe or persistent symptoms during detoxing, talk to a doctor.