The concept of detoxification has been around for thousands of years throughout the world and across different cultures. As far back as the 6th century, the Ancient Greek and Roman believed in a system of medicine called humorism which was centered around cleansing and healing through a holistic approach that dealt with distinct bodily fluids. (1)
These bodily fluids or humors are yellow bile, black bile, blood, and phlegm. According to theory, the human body is filled with basic substances or humors that are in balance when a person is healthy. Diseases occur when these humors are imbalanced or corrupted. This theory was adopted by Islamic and Indian physicians up until the advent of modern medicine in the 19th century. This concept has not been in use as a practical form of treatment for disease since then. (2)
The concept of balance in wellness and health was a key feature in humorism, and is still prevalent today through cleansing and detox. These days, it is more popular for aesthetic and weight loss purposes, as detox teas, detox diets, and detox waters have the remarkable ability to reduce bloating and aid weight loss without having to exercise or go on a diet.
However, loss of bloat and temporary weight loss are not the only markers of a successful detox as there are plenty of ways to reduce water retention and promote weight loss that are not necessarily healthy. If you’re truly concerned about learning how to detox your body the proper way, keep reading.
6 Legit Ways To Detox Your Body
1. Follow A Diet That is Rich in Micronutrients
The world as we know it is more fast-paced than ever, and it can be challenging to get a decent home-cooked meal in, especially when there are other more convenient choices around. Home-cooked meals are always better because you know exactly what is in it, and you have the freedom to add as much or as little ingredients as you like. No hidden fillers, food additives, excess sodium, or monosodium glutamate.
The occasional fast food run is unavoidable at times, but keep it to a minimum if you’re concerned about your health and really want to detox your body. A diet that consists mainly of high calorie, high sodium, high fat, low fiber foods will have a profound effect on your body. (3) Symptoms will manifest themselves and before long, you will fall ill once your body no longer has the strength (and immunity) to fight back.
Don’t let it get to this point! Aim to consume the majority of your calories from organic fruits and vegetables, along with some lean proteins such as egg whites, white fish, chicken, and turkey. Avoid anything that contains artificial dyes, pesticides, and GMOs. (4)
2. Eliminate Obvious Toxins Such As Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco
Every year, Americans guzzle down 6.3 billion gallons of beer, with millions of glasses of hard alcohol and wine being consumed as well. While there is a definite social aspect of alcohol consumption and recent studies have shown the possibility that small amounts of beer and wine may benefit certain systems within the body, there are a number of different health problems associated with excessive drinking. Alcohol-related deaths are the fourth leading preventable cause of death for American adults, and drugs are another story altogether. (5)
To truly detox your body,
particularly your liver, it is important to cease consumption of alcohol, drugs, and even certain over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol and Excedrin. This is the only way you can assist in eliminating waste materials that could impair cellular function. Smoking damages the lungs, which are vital in removing toxins from the air we breathe. (6)
3. Exercise to Release Toxins from Fat Cells
When detoxing, it helps to accompany sound nutrition practices with a good exercise regimen. Toxins are stored in different areas of the body, particularly in fat cells. Exercise helps mobilize fat, which can then be burned as energy. Exercise also promotes blood circulation, which is important for all bodily functions, along with delivering lymph to tissues, which cleanses and drains away toxic build-up. (7)
4. Utilize A Detox Tea Regimen
There are countless types of detox teas that are meant to serve different purposes. These include milk thistle, lemon grass, ginger, senna, milk thistle, dandelion root, green tea, oolong tea, lavender tea, and many more. Before you decide on a detox tea, make sure you have a clear picture of the conditions and symptoms you want to address. That way, you can better decide which combination of ingredients would work best for you.
5. Stay Hydrated at All Times
On average, adults are composed of 65 percent water. This is reason enough to stay hydrated at all times, regardless if you are going through a detox or not. You can however, increase your water intake to encourage urine production, which can help flush out toxic waste. Water also helps to detox your body by removing bacteria from the urinary tract to prevent infections. In addition, water aids digestion by promoting regularity, which can have an indirect impact on weight loss.
Drinking 8 glasses of water a day may not be sufficient for some people. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that your pee is clear at least 3-4 times per day. This means that the body is sufficiently hydrated, as the color of your pee is a good indication of your hydration level.
Detox waters have also been popular in recent years. Various combinations aim to promote different health and wellness benefits, including lemon for a boost in metabolism, ginger to soothe the stomach and digestive system, and various berries for their antioxidant properties.
6. Evaluate Your Immediate Environment
While it’s no secret that diet and exercise are the main components of any detox, it’s also crucial that you evaluate your immediate environment. This includes your home, school, and/or workplace. Toxins can be found everywhere, from the food you eat, to the air you breathe.
Take careful measures to source your food from organic producers to avoid ingestion of pesticides and GMOs. Invest in an air purifier for your home to filter out air pollutants that may not be visible to the naked eye.
House plants are likewise helpful in purifying the air you breathe, as they are natural filters, and can be placed in homes situated in urban settings. Some of the best air purification plants include chrysanthemums, spider plants, peace lilies, and bamboo palms.
Detox diets are very popular, but sometimes the most basic lifestyle changes are the best and most effective ways to give your body a system reboot. Focus on the food you eat and how much physical activity you do and incorporate sustainable habits into your daily life. It’s normal to have some amount of toxins of the body as they are present everywhere, but you can certainly lessen the effects of this using the detox methods listed here.
Don’t wait until your body is laden with illnesses before you do a full body cleanse, as it is harder to treat symptoms than prevent them. Learning to listen to your body and finding what works and what doesn’t and taking steps to improve on those elements, are the first steps to a naturally effective cleanse.
Some of these you may already be doing, some you may not. You will however, see how detoxing can help you get to your best and healthiest state yet.