Each of us has probably gone through a period when he wanted to step in the right direction for a better self. We typically start a lifestyle change at the beginning of the year, in the spring or before the summer, when the swimsuit season is approaching. At the same time, various offers for juice or herbal detoxification treatments are appearing, which seem to give the impression of a unique recipe for weight loss, good health and perhaps immortality. Such an offer is then difficult to resist. Ultimately, however, after cleansing the body, an empty wallet and a real hunger await us.
Fortunately, none of us need these diets, procedures and detoxification treatments. Our body is able to take care of the elimination of harmful substances on its own, with the help of organs that ensure the body’s natural detoxification. The great news is that with a few simple lifestyle adjustments, we can effectively support the body’s natural self-cleansing ability. If we manage to apply them in everyday life, we will do much more for our health than fasting or detoxifying cocktails from vegetables and herbs collected during the full moon.
What exactly is detoxification?
First of all, it is necessary to distinguish what is and is not detox. This is not a special diet, juice cleansing or a weekly challenge, in which we are only allowed to eat fruits and vegetables. It is a way in which our body gets rid of waste or potentially dangerous substances 24 hours a day. Some of them arise directly in the body during metabolic processes, others enter our body from the external environment through food, drink or breath. After our body evaluates them as foreign or toxic, the word gets the body’s detoxification system, which will do its utmost to eliminate them from the body.
What organs are involved in the body’s natural detoxification?
Several organs are involved in the detoxification process:
liverkidneysdigestive tractlymphatic systemrespiratory systemleather
Functions of individual organs in detoxification of the organism
The detoxification system of our body is complex and the organs involved in these processes then work closely together.
The liver is the most important organ in terms of detoxification. It can recognize toxic substances and decompose them with the help of enzymes so that they become soluble in water and can then be excreted in the urinary tract. The liver can also take care of the binding of these pollutants to the amino acids, with which they subsequently get out of the body in the manner already mentioned. With the help of the liver, our body gets rid of, for example, heavy metals, bacteria, viruses and other pathogens. We simply cannot do without the liver and it is the most important cleanser of the organism.
This organ is also important for the breakdown of alcohol (ethanol).
Our kidneys can filter the blood and get rid of by-products that arise, for example, during the metabolism of drugs and other undesirable substances. These are then excreted out of the body via the urinary tract.
3. Digestive (gastrointestinal) tract
A large part of waste products, which are formed as a by-product of metabolism, is removed from the body through the digestive tract. Furthermore, toxins that can enter our body from the environment through fluids or food.
4. Lymphatic system
Lymphatic vessels with lymph pass through the whole body and take care of the removal of waste products of metabolism, bacteria and other harmful substances. These then reach the lymph nodes, where they are filtered into the blood. They are then caught by the relevant organs, such as the kidneys or the liver, and these are easily excreted out of the body.
5. Respiratory system
The respiratory system acts as a filter for hazardous substances that we can inhale. The nasal cavities and lungs have a mucoid layer on the surface that serves as a protective barrier. Its purpose is to prevent the passage of dust and other foreign substances into the lungs and blood circulation. When exhaled, unwanted carbon dioxide is removed from the body.
The skin forms a barrier that protects us from the entry of viruses, bacteria and chemicals into the body. When sweating, harmful substances that are soluble in fats can get out of the body. Water-soluble toxins do not get through the skin.
How to support natural detoxification?
Therefore, we certainly cannot expect miracles from the spring cleansing of the body or various forms of fasting. It is much better to develop healthier habits. Thanks to them, you will support all the mentioned bodies that are involved in the removal of harmful substances. What are the specific steps? Nevertheless, a change in eating or exercise habits and other lifestyle changes verified over the years. The goal is not to have a sample menu or an ornate training plan from day to day. It will be enough if we gradually start working to improve and create new habits. Thanks to this, we will gradually adopt a healthy lifestyle, which will maximally support the body’s ability to get rid of harmful substances, ie detoxify.
1. Eat less processed foods
When buying food, its composition must be checked. Although they are supervised by the relevant authorities in terms of health safety, if they contain so many ingredients that reading them would be enough to put the child to sleep, it will probably not be an ideal choice for our body. These are most often highly industrially processed foods. These typically contain high levels of refined carbohydrates, simple sugars, saturated fatty acids (fats), salts, preservatives, dyes, flavorings and other substances that lend them even irresistible taste properties. With all this, our body has to deal with it, which is a greater burden on the natural detoxification system.
Highly industrial foods include most sweets, semi-finished products, instant meals, cold cuts or fried foods, as well as fast food or white bread. We may please the taste buds with such food, but the liver will not be so happy with them. Therefore, it is important to limit these foods in the diet as much as possible.
How to limit highly processed foods?
The diet should be dominated by staple foods such as cereals, potatoes, fresh meat, unsweetened dairy products, eggs, legumes, nuts and seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods should make up at least 80% of the diet.
When buying food, it is necessary to look for the content of simple sugars, saturated fats, salt and added substances in the composition. It is better to find a variant that contains as few as possible.
Replace processed fatty products such as sausages, salami, canned meat and other cold cuts with fresh meat.
Exchange purchased tithes and sweets for fresh fruit, nuts or unsweetened dairy products.Plan in advance what we will eat and prepare food mostly at home.
We can also prepare the popular fast food menu at home from basic foods. This will give us more control over the final composition of the food. Such a home-made meat or vegetable burger with sweet potato chips will probably taste better than its commercial version.
BIO foods from organic farming are also worth trying. These typically contain less potentially harmful substances (residues of agrochemicals, etc.) compared to foods without this designation.
2. Limit your intake of simple sugars
Sugar in today’s world is naturally found in sweets, pastries, salad dressings, dairy products and other highly industrially processed foods. The problem is that in excessive amounts it can have a negative effect on the function of the main detoxifying organs – liver and kidneys.
In the body, it is converted into glucose, which is a source of energy for movement and other functions of the body. Unused glucose then forms storage fat, which is stored in various parts of the body, including the liver. This can eventually lead to steatosis (fattening) of the liver, which negatively affects its function. High sugar intake is also associated with a negative effect on kidney function, which helps with the elimination of waste products from the body.
How to limit sugar intake?
Replace sweets with more suitable alternatives that have a lower sugar content, such as fresh or lyophilized fruits, protein bars, hot chocolate or nuts.
When baking, at least partially replace conventional sugar with erythritol or other low-calorie sweeteners.Sweetened drinks are ideally replaced with clean water, which we can taste with fresh mint, lemon juice, a soluble drink without sugar, or with the help of flavored BCAAs.
3. Drink plenty of fluids
Water makes up about 60% of our body, making it a natural component of blood and lymph. It is involved in the transport of waste products and other harmful substances, which helps to eliminate them out of the body. If we do not drink enough, we are at risk of dehydration, which can manifest itself, among other things, in impaired renal filtration or digestive problems (constipation). Ultimately, this can cause the accumulation of harmful substances in the body. Therefore, it is important to think about adequate fluid intake during each day.
How to get a sufficient drinking regimen?
Drink at least 30-45 ml of water / kg body weight daily. The optimal amount is affected not only by body weight, but also by physical activity, ambient temperature or sweating.
Clean water is the best drink. However, we can diversify our drinking regime with teas, RTD drinks or flavored BCAAs.
It is nice to always have a bottle or a cup with a drink in your eyes, it will make us drink more.
We can also try to guard the color of the urine. Its light shade is considered a signal of sufficient hydration.
Dark yellow already indicates a signal of dehydration.
4. Eat plenty of fiber
Adequate fiber intake is important for healthy digestion in many ways. The digestive system has an irreplaceable role in the excretion of waste products from the body, which is done through peristaltic bowel movements. And these are supported by insoluble fiber, which additionally binds by-products of metabolism and other undesirable substances from food when passing through the digestive tract. As a result, it is often compared to a brush that cleanses the intestines. Soluble fiber, in turn, slows down the passage of digestion through the intestine, and thus contributes to a more thorough absorption of undesirable substances. The recommended daily intake of fiber from food is in the range of 25-30 g.
How to increase fiber intake?
Add foods that are naturally high in fiber to your diet. These include whole grains and cereal products (pastries, pasta), pulses, fresh and dried fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
We can also increase the intake of soluble fiber by adding psyllium or inulin to yogurts, smoothie drinks or muesli.
A comprehensive Daily Fiber supplement, which contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, can also help to achieve a sufficient intake of this substance.
5. Eat more probiotic and prebiotic foods
We also please the digestive system with a diet rich in probiotic bacteria and prebiotics. And why is it important? These bacteria serve as food for friendly microorganisms living in our digestive tract. If we feed these little friends well, they will repay us with a healthy environment in the intestines (microbiome). This is important for digestion and absorption of nutrients. The microbiome is also involved in creating a barrier restricting the entry of foreign substances into the bloodstream. As a result, it has a protective function and is an integral part of the body’s natural detoxification system.
How to increase the intake of prebiotics and probiotics?
Prebiotics are a type of fiber that serves as food for healthy bacteria (intestinal microbiome). You will find them mainly in foods high in soluble fiber, such as legumes (lentils, beans, chickpeas), sweet potatoes, fruits (bananas, apples, berries), vegetables (garlic, onions) and whole grains (oatmeal, quinoa).
Probiotics are live and healthy bacteria, such as the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which are found in fermented products, such as yogurt, kefir milk, sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, kombucha, miso or natto.
You can also support your daily intake of probiotics with quality dietary supplements that contain 10 probiotic strains with 10 billion CFU (colony forming units).
6. Limit alcohol and say goodbye ideally
Do you drink alcoholic beverages only occasionally, or is beer or wine a common part of your drinking regime? In any case, it is a good idea to reduce alcohol or omit it altogether. Apart from a happier mood, it probably won’t do us any good. It is a toxic substance that the body must get rid of through demanding processes. This is the responsibility of the liver, which converts ethanol to inactive acetic acid.
If we go from party to party or end up with an alcoholic drink every day and don’t let the liver breathe, it may return to its deteriorating function over time. Not to mention the monkey and poorer sports or mental performance.
7. Stop smoking
Even the healthiest diet in the world will not save us if we inhale harmful substances from cigarette smoke every day. It contains more than 70 toxins that can cause a lot of damage in the body. Not only do we overload the body’s detoxification system in this way, but we can also cause serious lung disease or cancer of this or another organ. The best way to prevent this is to stop smoking forever.
8. Be active
Regular sports and exercise is another great way to support the body’s natural detoxification. At the same time, lung function is strengthened and the overall efficiency of this organ is increased. This makes it easier for the body to get rid of carbon dioxide and other harmful substances.
In addition, exercise improves blood flow to the body and increases lymph circulation, which is involved in the filtration of waste products and toxins. Last but not least, according to scientific work, enough exercise is also essential for maintaining a healthy liver and healthy kidneys. However, all this applies if we move sensibly and give our body enough space to regenerate.
How to move more?
It is ideal to look for as much natural movement as possible during the day. Let’s try to take more steps by moving to work, city or coffee. It’s also a great idea to replace the elevator with stairs.
Find a sport that will entertain us and do it several times a week.
We can try running, hiking, cycling, swimming, weight training, even in the gym or HIIT.
The perfect idea is to find a friend with whom we will motivate each other in sports.
9. Focus on quality sleep
Sufficiently long and quality sleep is key to maintaining overall health. In addition to replenishing energy, it also naturally detoxifies the brain. This effect occurs mainly during deep sleep (non-REM), when waste proteins that have accumulated in the brain during the day are removed. These substances can compromise the function of brain cells and therefore pose a risk of developing neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. For this reason, it is important that waste disposal takes place at regular intervals, ideally every night. So we have another motivation to make our sleep a priority and give it at least 7 hours every day.
How better to sleep?
If our daily activities allow it, let’s sleep at about the same time.
Create an evening routine that will help us create a relaxing atmosphere.
Avoid caffeine in the afternoon.
Before going to bed, it is ideal to avoid working on a computer or scrolling on social networks, not to drink alcohol and not eat heavy meals.
10. Don’t forget the lymphatic system
Unlike that, the lymphatic system does not have a cardiovascular pump to power it. Therefore, lymphatic vessels are dependent on our physical activity. Therefore, we can support their activity and function with movement or, for example, massages.
How to support the proper functioning of the lymphatic system?
Daily exercise and regular sports contribute to more efficient lymph flow throughout the body. As a result, waste products are better removed from the body.
Other ways to stimulate the lymphatic system include a visit to the sauna or alternating hot and cold water, a massage gun with a massage gun or professional lymphatic drainage.
Lymph is more than 90% water, so we should not forget about sufficient fluid intake. This helps to prevent the accumulation of lymph and the formation of swelling, which most often occurs on the lower limbs.
11. Try supplements to support proper liver function
Dietary supplements are another way to maximally support the detoxification function of the liver. They can’t do wonders on their own, but if we work on the above-mentioned lifestyle changes, we can provide extra care for the liver. These are therefore biologically active substances that have scientifically proven positive effects.
What supplements can support the liver?
Marian variegated contains silymarin, which is a biologically active substance popular for its beneficial effects on liver regeneration.
Choline bitartrate is a source of choline, which is a bioactive substance that is able to reduce the accumulation of fat in the liver. As a result, it helps maintain its normal function.
Thus, in addition to the 2 substances mentioned above, the complex supplement to support the liver contains vitamins B1, B6, C as well as herbal extracts, which have antioxidant effects. As a result, it helps protect liver cells from the harmful effects of oxidative stress.
N-acetyl L-cysteine is a key amino acid for the formation of the important antioxidant glutathione. It helps neutralize harmful free radicals and is also involved in the body’s natural detoxification. For example, it can capture mercury in the body and help eliminate it from the body.
Chlorella, spirulina, green barley and other green superfoods are also used to support the body’s natural detoxification, which contain a number of beneficial substances, especially the powerful antioxidant chlorophyll. Animal studies show that chlorella in particular is effective in removing heavy metals and other harmful compounds from the body.
What do you get out of it?
After reading today’s article, we already know that we do not have to fast for several days or a cleansing diet to support detoxification. It is enough to make a few simple lifestyle changes. As part of the diet, it is appropriate to limit highly industrially processed foods and other foods with a high sugar content. It is also good to eat enough fiber and foods with probiotics and prebiotics.
Good sleep or regular physical activity is key to the body’s natural detoxification, and other ways to support the function of the lymphatic system are also crucial. Reducing alcohol and other toxic substances is also an important step. We can therefore generally support our efforts with appropriate dietary supplements to support the liver.
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