Nutritional Detoxification

Detoxification is a process that is constantly occurring in our bodies. Pathways for detoxification include the lungs, skin, digestive. urinary, lymph, and cardiovascular systems. Many of us associate the word “detoxification” to a weight loss-type liquid-only cleanse, which we can thank the media for. While there is some truth behind that, detoxification should be thought of as an internal cleansing process that allows the body to heal and repair itself. Knowing that toxins are stored in body fat, once we mobilize and rid the body of toxins, we are more likely to see a reduction in body fat stores as they are no longer needed to house those toxins. 

Before diving into methods of detoxification. It’s important to understand that we must properly prepare our bodies for the extra work they will be doing to detoxify more than our daily amount. Organs like our liver, kidneys, digestive tract and skin must be working efficiently in order to handle an excess toxin load. If we begin to overload these organs and systems while they are already congested and backed up, we will cause more harm, re-toxifying the body to an even greater extent. Therefore focusing on improving digestion by eating in a parasympathetic state, supporting optimal stomach acid production, and eating balanced meals that support blood sugar balance are crucial to address before considering a nutritional detox. 

There are many ways of helping our body detoxify but let’s not forget that this is a naturally occurring process, and drinking nothing but green juice for a week isn’t necessarily the best or only way to do it. We can begin the process by simply eliminating exposure to toxins like alcohol, chemicals, pesticides, and processed foods. This alone will lessen the daily toxin burden on the body and allow it to tap into stored fat and start detoxifying internally. We can then implement helpful detox methods like fasting, which allows the body time to “clean up” our body because it isn’t constantly spending energy on digesting our food. Spending time in a sauna will help flush toxins through our skin. Dry brushing and bouncing exercises (like jumping rope!) encourage lymphatic flow, increasing movement of internal particles and moving them through our bodies faster. Other, slightly more invasie detoxification strategies, include things like enemas and colonics to cleanse the colon, and are extremely beneficial for those that struggle with daily elimination. 

Whichever method we choose to help detoxify our bodies, let’s be aware that this process requires a lot of nutritional support. Making sure our bodies detox systems are working optimally throughout the duration of this process will ensure the best results. It’s important to maintain a nutrient dense diet full of healthy carbohydrates, protein, and fat, as well as ample amounts of mineral rich water and colorful fruits and vegetables to provide all the necessary vitamins. Recall that vitamins and minerals serve as important cofactors to absorbing and utilizing macronutrients, and our detox organs need these nutrients in order to work effectively. This is a great process to consider doing once or twice a year in order to clear our any toxic roadblocks we may have that are keeping us from being the healthiest version of ourselves. 

Source: Nutritional Therapy Association: