What about the toxins? Is detox about shedding Christmas pounds and feeling better? Or do we need to think about getting rid of harmful substances, too? My view is, yes, toxins are a concern and that a sustained period of clean eating – while also easing us back into our waistbands – helps our battered bodies to recover from substances that can harm.
Our modern lives are surrounded by questionable chemicals – in our air, our water and our food. While these may not cause an instant or violent reaction in our bodies, our natural defences still have the job of processing this stuff. Putting air and water aside, if you can look at the ingredients and not know what each item looks like, there’s a good chance those ingredients have some toxic quality for your body to contend with. We weren’t made to digest the manufactured or chemical ingredients in much modern food and unfortunately, food manufacturers are naturally more concerned with selling a product than what is in our best interests. In addition, highly processed foods, ones with sugar and white flour, create a degree of hormonal imbalances that a toxic environment is created in the body. These foods also take on an addictive quality as our bodies aim to find a hormonal balance, compensating for the highs/lows processed food puts us through. Click on the following link for a summary of what Dr. Robert Lustig, of the University of California San Francisco, has to say about toxic results of our processed food diets. http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2006/08/processed_food.html#ixzz0SPiTz0Ph
Our bodies have organs equipped to deal with toxins: kidneys, lungs, liver, skin. Our digestive system also plays a major role in ridding the body of toxins. Weighed up against the modern diet containing food additives, preservatives, food colourings, artificial sweeteners/flavours these systems can’t keep up. If you have problems in any of these areas – skin, digestion, respiratory (nose, throat, lungs) or energy levels – toxins could be the reason.
So if you haven’t already, start making whole, natural foods top of your agenda. Aim to eat foods that are as close as possible to their natural state. For example, an orange rather than orange juice. Or chicken that has been cooked by you, rather than bought pre-cooked and preserved. A good rule is, if it comes in a package, it’s probably not good for detox.
Help your body out further by drinking plenty of water (at least 2L/day) and exercising. To some extent, you can sweat it out! Taking certain herbal supplements are thought to help (i.e. milk thistle can help liver function) but before you go forking out for all that, get to the grocery store and stock up on stacks of real, honest food.