Sometimes your body needs a rest.
Many people think that detoxing is a celebrity fad that has no basis in actual science, and there are people on the other end of the spectrum who’ll tell you that detoxing cures cancer. But they can’t all be right, so where does the truth lie?
Detox – or detoxification – does exist. That’s why we drink lots of water when we’re feeling ill and why medical professionals remove or nullify the venom in a snake bite. But at the same time, there are plenty of unscrupulous people who’ll tell you that the best way to detox is to consume their proprietary blend of herbs and spices.
The truth is that detoxification is a natural process. Our liver and kidneys help to remove toxins from inside our bodies while red blood cells fight off outside infection. Our bodies are like a machine that needs greasing if it’s to continue to run at its best, and detoxing can help us to do that.
Let’s take a look at a few of the ways in which you can help your body to run like the efficient machine that it is.
If you warm up your body in a sauna or a hot bath, you increase the natural production of heat shock proteins (HSPs). These HSPs can trigger antioxidants in your body and even regenerate the liver after it’s been damaged. Meanwhile, heat makes you sweat, and sweat contains plenty of compounds that we’re better off without – including arsenic and lead in people who’ve been exposed to them.
Too much caffeine can give you the shakes and heart palpitations, but drinking coffee in moderation can help to heal alcohol-related liver damage and protect you from liver cancer by reducing damage to the organ. As with most things, the key is moderation.
Support Your Vital Organs
They’re not called ‘vital’ organs for a reason – if you don’t take care of them, you’ll die. That’s why it’s so important to take care of them. When it comes to detoxing, there are two organs, in particular, to focus on:
Liver: Eat egg yolks and liver and avoid refined sugar and omega-6 polyunsaturated oils. Drink alcohol in moderation and pair it with some saturated fat to reduce its impact.
Kidneys: Most people recommend avoiding protein, but the main thing to focus on is reducing your sugar intake. When you have the choice, remember that glucose is better for your liver than fructose – although it’s better to skip both if you can.
Ethylenediamine tetra-acetic acid (EDTA) gets proven results if you’re dealing with heavy metal toxicity. It binds itself to metals and dissolves them so that they can work their way out of your system.
Boost Your Glutathione
Glutathione is the holy grail of antioxidants, and it helps to fight the majority of the toxins that enter your body, including alcohol and air pollution. You can boost your glutathione levels by eating polyphenols or raw egg whites, by drinking raw milk or by taking whey protein or NAC.
Eat Crucifers and Collagen
Crucifers are leafy vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, sprouts and cauliflower, and they’ll help to boost both glutathione and quinone reductase, protecting cells from carcinogenic and toxic substances.
Collagen, meanwhile, is packed full of glycine, and it can combat levels of an amino acid called methionine which is found in meat and eggs. If you eat a lot of meat, it’s a good idea to offset it by taking collagen supplements.
When it comes to detoxing, there’ s no magic bullet. You can’t just take a tablet that will purge the toxins from your system. It’s not a case of brute force – instead, it’s all about giving your body the tools that it needs to do the job for you.
Detoxing, then, is like eating a healthy diet. It’s not something that you should do for a couple of weeks – it’s an ongoing process that should become a habit. Try it. You’re sure to notice the difference after a week or two.
Julie Petersen, the blogger and the founder of askpetersen.com
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