These days, detox has become a popular word with different meanings. But in general, it suggests following a particular diet or utilizing a specific product that claims to help the body remove toxins and consequently promoting physical and mental wellness, as well as inducing weight loss.
The more natural definition of detox, on the other hand, is eradicating toxins without using any kind of diet or product. The body has the natural capacity to detoxify its system. Here are some of the natural ways to detoxify and revitalize the mind and the body.
- Always Hydrate. There are more benefits to water than we know of. Aside from satisfying our thirst, water maintains the body’s temperature, eliminates internal waste, helps in digestion, and lubricates joints. However, waste is removed from the body through urination or sweating. Thus, proper hydration is vital. Dr. Ernesto J. Fernandez, LMHC, says, “Water is the most essential nutrient in the body. The body is made primarily of water. Poor memory, depression, anxiety, excessive worry, insomnia, diffuse muscle pain, and constipation are often due to cellular dehydration of specific tissues of the body, most commonly the brain.”
- Avoid Excessive Alcohol Drinking. The first important reason for this is that nearly 90% of the alcohol that you consume goes directly to your liver. Here, the alcohol is metabolized by the liver enzymes to form acetaldehyde, a chemical that is known to cause cancer. Once it identifies acetaldehyde as a bad chemical, the liver then converts it into acetate, a harmless chemical, which is removed from your body.
- A decrease in Sugar Intake. Sugar, along with processed foods, is known to be the primary cause of today’s health problem. It has been associated with obesity, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. If you are suffering from these illnesses, your body will have difficulty detoxifying itself, as they harm two of the most important organs in the body – the liver and the kidneys.
- Get Sufficient Sleep. Sleep enables one’s brain to recharge as well as eliminate toxins and other byproducts that have stayed in the body the whole day. Getting enough sleep, about 8 to 10 hours, is crucial to maintain physical and mental health. Sleep deprivation causes the toxins to remain in the brain. One of these toxins, amyloid, is a contributor to Alzheimer’s disease.
Christine Lawler, LMFT, says, “Sleep loss has a MASSIVE impact on your emotional and mental health and well-being, not just your physical health. Adequate sleep is essential to mental and emotional regulation. During sleep, the brain creates new pathways, processes information, and regenerates the brain and body.”
- Exercise. One must try to follow a regular exercise routine, no matter how big or small he is. Being physically active has been proven to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as hypertension, cancer, and heart disease. It has also been associated with longevity of life. Doing at least 200 to 300 minutes of physical activity a week (jogging, brisk walking, swimming) is the usual recommendation.
- Consume Foods Loaded With Antioxidants. Greens like lettuce and broccoli and fruits such as apples and grapes contain antioxidants that protect against cell destruction. Once the cells are damaged, the result is oxidative stress, a condition that is triggered by too much production of free radicals. It is much better to get your dose of antioxidants from natural food instead of taking supplements, which may often increase the risk of developing other equally life-threatening diseases.
According to Lisa Dorfman, LMHC, “For someone with a generally healthy diet, adding an ounce of trail mix with seeds and almonds and a peanut butter sandwich every day can provide the boost they need. For others, adding a leafy salad with a mix of vegetables and some green tea as a between-meal snack will do the trick. Fruits are another convenient choice–apples, oranges, cherries, berries, and cantaloupe are all packed with antioxidants.”
- Reduce Salt Intake. Some people have too much water, and they need a detox to remove the excess water in the body. Taking too much salt can ultimately lead to water retention, which leads to edema, congestive failure, and other diseases. And it may sound unreasonable, but the way to eliminate excess water in the body is by hydrating, as it continually removes the salt that you have consumed and retained. There should be a balance of salt and water intake to prevent this from happening.
- Other Detox Methods include consuming foods high in sulfur (onions, broccoli), using natural or organic cleaning products, incorporating herbs and spices in your meals, and choosing naturally made self-care products like deodorants, shampoos, and lotions, among others.