Diet and everyday lifestyle is usually the main source of unwanted toxicity, and these toxins can be hard to avoid – this is why it’s important we adapt certain routines to help our body flush out these unwanted toxins – which is greatly beneficial to our overall health and well-being…
A build-up of toxins or over toxicity is linked to health conditions such as; Auto Immune Diseases, Fatigue and Muscle Fatigue, Anxiety, Depression, Colds and Flus, Joint Pain, Skin Conditions and Digestive Disturbances. Contrary to popular belief detoxing isn’t just something to consider if you want to lose weight prior to summer, it’s beneficial for our overall health and helps the body combat disease.
At least once a year it’s great to have a tailored detox routine, this way you will achieve optimum results. I recommend working with your health practitioner to form a detailed program that suits you. Below, I have listed some general detox/health tips that can be easily incorporated into your everyday lifestyle to either kick off your detox, or keep you on track to a “healthier you” after a detox.
Please note; full detoxification shouldn’t be attempted while pregnant as this process releases toxins, which may then be passed onto your baby. However, detoxing can be ideal if you are trying to conceive.
Whatever our feelings may be towards exercise it is essential for our overall health and well-being. Our bodies are designed for physical activity – we have a circulatory system that pumps blood and oxygen through the body and a lymphatic system which carries toxins and wastes from the body. Unfortunately this doesn’t have an independent pump, so it relies on muscle movement to pump these toxins out of the body. This is a reason we need to get up and move!
In regards to how often you should exercise, there are many different views. Generally speaking we should aim for roughly 40 minutes of exercise 3-4 times a week, but also remain active in some way each and every day.
Tip: There are hundreds of ways a person can exercise, if the typical running, lifting weights or pilates doesn’t interest you, opt for something that will – try a dance class, yoga, swimming, kicking a footy in the backyard or going on a bike ride with friends and family. If we enjoy the physical activity we are doing we are less likely to view exercise as an exhausting chore, and rather as a bit of fun and even a stress reliever that also benefits our health – bonus!
Drink plenty of pure water:
Yes you’ve heard this one before, but I’m going to tell you again because it is vitally important! Drinking plenty of filtered water flushes out unwanted toxins within the body, and it ensures we stay hydrated, which in-turn ensures our systems and organs function correctly. Dehydration can lead to things such as fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headaches, heart palpitations and fainting spells – we need water to survive and thrive! I recommend drinking at least 2 litres of filtered water per day. A good way to judge if you are getting enough water is the colour of your urine, it should be as close to clear as possible. If it’s bright or dark yellow this can be an indication you need more fluids. If, like many people you find water ‘boring’ and therefore don’t drink it, I suggest adding some lemon, mint or ginger. This will add a nice taste and infusing water comes with its very own health benefits. See my post on Lemon Water if you’d like to read more: “A Great Way to Start Your Day!”
Stress is a natural human emotion that occurs when things become overwhelming – a common feeling for people juggling work with family and everything else in between! Large amounts of long-term stress can be extremely detrimental to our health. Particularly effecting our immune and digestive system. If these systems aren’t functioning at their best, toxins from food and everyday lifestyle may also linger and build up in your body which can lead to health issues. If you would like to learn more about how stress effects your health, and ways you can reduce stress please see my previous posts on this topic: “Looking at Stress Head On.”
Dry Skin Brushing:
Your skin plays a major role in the elimination and detoxification process. Dead skin cells often accumulate which prevents the skin from being able to remove toxins effectively, so we need to wash away dead skin cells daily. A great way to do this is by dry skin brushing. Before showering, spend 5-10 minutes with a firm-bristled brush or loofah and gently scrub your arms, legs, stomach, buttocks and back. This lifts and removes dead skin cells, and when you shower it will wash them away completely. Finish this routine by moisturising once dry. This is also a great thing to do to avoid stretch marks.
Avoid Recreational Drugs:
Alcohol, Caffeine and Nicotine are the three most prevalent recreational drugs in our society. These drugs interfere with the detoxification process and can contribute to the amount of toxins within the body. If you are trying to detox but also smoke and drink 10 cups of coffee a day this completely contradicts itself. If you’re struggling to stop consumption of the three drugs above seek help from your health practitioner.
1. Avoid packaged, processed foods. Also foods that contain artificial colours, flavours, additives, stabilisers and hydrogenated fats or foods that are high in gluten, sugar, saturated and trans-fats.
2. Shop organic! Choosing organic produce is preferable when possible. Take time to read labels so you know what you are putting into your body, labels can be deceiving so look carefully!
3. Always look for seasonal, fresh fruits and vegetables and shop at your local farmers market.
4. Plan meals in advance so you can avoid ‘impulse purchases’ – when are hungry and on-the-go we are more likely to grab something quick and easy, which is usually junk food! Always shop on a full stomach, it is easier to make healthier choices when you are not hungry.
5. Eat foods that are high in nutrients, antioxidants and minerals. This will support your overall health and help protect your body against free-radical damage.
Sleep and rest well:
It’s vital for your health that you get enough sleep each night. It allows your body to rejuvenate and re-boot for the next day. When we lack sleep, it can lead to things such a fatigue which effects every aspect of your life. When you’re over-tired your body starts to pull energy from wherever it can to keep going, which means your systems and organs won’t be functioning effectively. If you are trying to detox this is the last thing you want as if your body is exhausted and run-down it won’t eliminate and flush out all the unwanted toxins. If you are working hard on your well-being throughout the day be sure to give yourself the rest you need at night.
Detoxify your environment:
Your home and work can be major sources of toxins. Choose natural cleaning products, and limit your use of high-chemical conventional products as they can contain things such as pesticides, herbicides and petrochemicals. Safer alternatives include vinegar, bi-carb soda and brands that offer certified organic cleaning products – they do the job without the potentially harmful chemical residue.
Massage is great for your circulatory system, and good circulation is essential to ensure healthy blood flow and nutritional supply to tissues. It is also utilised to enhance the venous (veins) return which is vital for the release and removal of toxins within the body. It also leaves you feeling nice and relaxed, which may reduce stress levels.
I bang on about how the body all works as one and how the nervous system is the master controller of all functions in the body – because it is. We can’t expect to do a full detox if our liver, kidneys or digestive track are not functioning effectively. To be truly vital and healthy- just like eating a clean diet and focusing on exercising, chiropractic adjustments help your body cope with our modern lifestyle. Find a wellness chiropractor and experience health confidence.
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Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani
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- Metagenics Detox Handbook – “Living the Detox Lifestyle.” – April 2012
- Hall G., BDS, FIAOMT and Winkvist L., BDS; Hall V-Tox, a treatment for the removal of metal and environmental toxins. Positive Health April/May 1996