In today’s modern world we are exposed to many toxins from external and internal sources. The most common external sources of toxins include smoking, pollutions and chemicals in our air, found on our food, in our water and in the wide range of products we use every day from cleaning products to makeup. The most common internal sources are malnutrition, toxic thoughts and the fermentation of undigested foods in our body.
With the popularity of holistic health rising we are starting to hear more and more about the importance of detoxing and eliminating a number of toxins we use and find more natural products. How do these toxins really affect our body, though?
The body already has a detoxification system built within our liver, digestion, kidneys and the lymphatic system but if any of these systems are blocked or aren’t working efficiently, then our body needs to find another way to remove these toxins. The toxins then begin to be removed via our skin, creating many of our skin problems including acne and oily skin, or stored in our fatty tissues in the body.
Our digestive system is one of the main detox systems in place which excrete the toxins through our faeces (is that a nicer way to say poo?). A congested colon causes strain on the muscular walls of our intestines, weakening the walls and causing little pockets to form which trap the faecal matter or unwanted bacteria that cause infection and inflammation. The inflammation causes the muscular wall to weaken even further and ‘leak’ toxins and bacteria into our bloodstream which is then carried around the body to infect other areas. (This is also known most commonly as a leaky gut). An insufficient digestive system can also cause our nutrients to be unabsorbed in the body as well as unwanted bacteria starting to ferment and cause Candida and other problems. The main signs and symptoms or a congested colon are foul-smelling flatulence, bloating and irregular bowel movements.
The liver is another organ that plays a huge part in detoxing. It has a 2 phase detox system involved where the liver breaks down the toxins in the blood and excretes the toxins from our body. The liver is easily congested by high consumption of sugar, caffeine, alcohol, ‘bad’ fats, hormones, chemicals and heavy metals. The liver is able to work through which one’s needs to be excreted and ‘dealt’ with first and other toxins are put back into the bloodstream to recirculate.
The kidneys and lymphatic system also play a role in detoxification. The kidneys remove toxins and waste our body has produced from other process and removes them through the urine. The lymphatic system carries away toxins from all of our body cells eventually leading the toxins into the bloodstream to be removed via the large intestine.
As you can see, these detoxification pathways can be easily congested as they try to maintain general health in our body and remove as many toxins as they can before getting burnt out. This makes detoxing our bodies a great addition to our diet as well as minimising a number of toxins that we expose our body too.
There are many ways we can choose to detox our body through a 2-4 week’s gentle balancing diet as well as 2-3 day fasting; juice, water, bone broth, tea and raw food. The type of cleanse and detox you decide on is an individual choice depending on your body, medical conditions, and the needs and demands of your lifestyle.
I have decided to go through with a 4-week gut healing detox with a 3-day bone broth fast to kick start of it. I will talk more over the next four weeks about why I chose this detox and how it has worked (or maybe not worked).
If you are thinking about doing a detox, please do heaps of research on which detox would suit you the most and seek help from a natural practitioner that can show you through a detox and make sure you are choosing the correct one and getting all the nutrients you need.