What are toxins?
Toxins are harmful to our body but we cannot avoid them. They can be found in the following:
- The air that we breathe (through pollution).
- The foods we eat (through the type of food, ie. if it has additives, flavourings, trans fats or even from chemicals used on food such as pesticides).
- In what we drink (alcohol main be your first guess but water has also been found to contain toxins).
- Through products we use i.e shampoo, deodorant, moisturisers, cleaning products, hair dye etc - all these products contain chemicals (unless you only use natural products).
- Our body also produces toxins through normal cell activity and are known as waste products such as ammonia and lactic acid.
If our body detoxifies naturally why should I do anything?
Our body may remove these toxins naturally daily but with the increase in pollution, processed foods, chemicals that are going in to our body and with our lifestyle added on top e.g. stress, illnesses, lack of exercise or unhealthy eating habits etc these interfere with our body’s ability to cleanse itself and it doesn’t work as efficiently in eliminating all of the toxins so it is a good idea to lend a helping hand.
If you are feeling run down, lacking in energy, a little under the weather, maybe your skin is lacking lustre or you are suffering from breakouts, maybe you want to lose some weight (your body needs to be working properly in order to be able to burn fat, a poor digestive system due to a build up of toxins can be slowing down your metabolism and preventing you from losing weight) or maybe you just want to help cleanse your body and keep it working at its best. If you answer yes to any of these then it may be a good idea for you to do something to help rid your body of those toxins.
Here are a 9 easy ways you can help your body eliminate toxins:
By exercising you accelerate the detoxification process by increasing your blood and lymph circulation which in turn increases the removal of waste products in your cells. Toxins are also stored in fat deposits so the greater amount fat deposits in your body the more areas for toxins to accumulate, by exercising you will be reducing your body fat and the toxins will be released into your body and be able to be removed. Other benefits of exercise include sweating which is another way for the body to remove toxins.
2. Drink Green Tea
Green tea is a potent antioxidant and has become well known for its cleansing ability over recent years. Drink 2 -3 cups per day.
3. Drink lemon in hot water
Add a lemon wedge to a cup of hot water and drink, this will help cleanse your liver. Lemon also contains vitamin C which is an antioxidant and helps rid the body of toxins.
4. Reduce or eliminate processed foods
Processed foods are generally high in sugar, salt, additives and saturated fats (including trans fats). These foods increase the amount of toxins in your body and provide no natural antioxidants, vitamins or minerals. Your liver’s performance can be affected by these types of food and if it is not working properly it will not be able to detoxify as fast as it should be.
5. Dry skin brushing
By dry brushing your skin you will be increasing lymphatic circulation which helps eliminate toxins through the skin. Use a dry brush and brush in the direction towards your heart.
6. Eat foods known for their antioxidants
Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals and nutrients that protect and repair cells from free radicals. So eat more foods that contain one of these vitamins:
- vitamin C and
- vitamin E
Foods such as asparagus, broccoli, carrots, grapefruit, oranges, cauliflower, spinach, peppers, pumpkin, papaya, mangoes – some of these foods contain all 3 of the above vitamins.
7. Drink water
Water is needed to keep your body functioning properly. By drinking 8 glasses per day you will be keeping your kidneys working to their best ability and helping flush out toxins and waste products from your body.
We can eliminate toxins through sweating and nothing gets you more hot and sweaty than a sauna. Alternatively you could do a hot yoga session.
9. Reduce Stress
Stress reduces the body’s ability to fight toxins. Take some time off if necessary, maybe try meditation, yoga, read a good book, have a massage. Do anything that helps you relax.
You could also follow a detox programme once a year. This is where you follow a strict programme for a set period of time, usually 3-7 days although this can vary and will depend on what type you decide to follow. Some programmes involve eliminating particular things, such as saturated fats, caffeine, alcohol, sugar where others may involve fasting and just drinking water, fruit and vegetable juices. Full detox programmes are not suitable for everyone, especially children, pregnant women or if you are hypoglycaemic, always do some research and if you are in any doubt speak to your doctor or nutritionist.