What is Detoxification?
The body has a natural detoxification scheme that works to flush out harmful toxins from the internal system. The three key organs that are involved in this detox process are the liver, the colon, and the kidneys.
The liver is the body’s first line of defense against toxins and harmful substances. It serves as a kind of filter that blocks out these substances from the blood stream, keeping it clean and safe from pollutants.
The colon is responsible for producing bacteria, which can be either good or bad. It is crucial for this organ to be kept healthy so that it can regularly maintain its functions and flush out toxic chemicals from the body before they can do any serious damage and compromise health.
Finally, the kidneys regularly maintain the blood by filtering out dangerous toxins from the blood and then flushing them out in the form of urine.
Detoxification diets are designed to nourish the body with the essential nutrients that aid in the upkeep of the three aforementioned organs so that they constantly run smoothly and keep the body clean.
Why Do Detox?
Although detoxification methods and techniques are quite popular nowadays, they have not actually been proven to be 100% effective because the organs and immune system regularly flush out toxins, regardless of whether these detox methods are employed or not.
However, there is not much harm in trying out these different detoxifying practices, as long as they focus on clean, healthy eating and lots of exercise, which can benefit the body in more ways than just detoxifying.
Natural Ways to Detox
One of the most popular methods of detoxifying the body is with a special diet. It is important to remember that detox diets are designed to be used for a short period of time only, and not as something to be followed in the long run.
The following is a sample diet designed to detoxify the body over two days:
- Breakfast: Quinoa with prunes. Quinoa contains lots of protein, phosphorus, and fiber. Prunes, on the other hand, have fiber, as well as sorbitol, which functions like a laxative does.
- Snacks: Detox drinks. A mixture of kale, pineapple, and ginger juice can cleanse the kidneys, aid digestion, and facilitate the flow of bile to the bladder. Some pineapple, lemon, and pomegranate can also help clean the body’s internal system. A veggie snack with an assortment of radishes, cucumber, and celery dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper is also a great way to detox the body and can even be taken on-the-go.
- Lunch: Fruit smoothie. A smoothie of blueberries, bananas, and ground flaxseed is another way to cleanse the body’s internal system. Blueberries contain quercetin, which is not only good for the liver, but strengthens the immune system, as well. Bananas are rich in vitamin B6, which also does wonders for the liver. Finally, flaxseed has fiber and omega-3s, which are good for the brain.
- Dinner: Vegetable broth soup. Taking a purifying broth with the following ingredients can help in the detox process: fennel, which can aid in the gall bladder’s bile flow; garlic, which is great for the upkeep of the liver and gall bladder; cabbage, which helps detoxify the kidneys and liver; and shiitake mushrooms, which bolster the production of enzymes in the liver. This broth can also be served with sauerkraut and sliced apples, which contain probiotics and boost liver and kidney function, respectively.
Lots of other food items can also help detox the body and cleanse away harmful toxins. These include:
- Green tea, which contains catechins that are great for boosting liver function.
- Fruits, which have high liquid content, antioxidants, fiber, nutrients, and vitamins.
- Omega-3 oils, which line the intestinal walls with lubricant and absorb toxins through the oil.
- Mung beans, which are very easily digested and is powerful enough to absorb toxins from the walls of the intestines.
- Garlic, which stimulates the detox enzyme-producing function of the liver and filters toxins from the digestive system.
- Green vegetables, such as broccoli sprouts, barley, wheatgrass, spinach, alfalfa, arugula, chard, blue green algae, kale, and spirulina, which all contain chlorophyll that aids the liver while detoxifying.
- Lemons, limes, and oranges, which aid the digestive tract’s enzymatic processes and the liver’s cleansing functions, and also contain vitamin C, which transforms toxins into harmless digestible material.
- Seeds and nuts, such as flax seeds, almonds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, Siberian cedar nuts, and pumpkin seeds, which are all easily digestible and help in the detox process.
- Raw vegetables, such as carrots, asparagus, cabbage, brussels sprouts, beet, oregano, turmeric, cauliflower, kale, broccoli, and artichokes, which are high in detoxifying sulphur and glutathione and help the liver in purging toxins.
There are also several natural detox methods targeted specifically at one organ. These methods still rely primarily on special diets, and include the following:
- Liver cleanse: Take juices made of dandelion greens and wheat grass; spices; vegetables like celery, carrots, limes, and beets; apple juice; and purified water.
- Oxygen colon cleanse: Take apple cider vinegar; distilled water; and aloe vera juice.
- Candida cleanse:Take oregano oil and avoid sugar; wheat products; yeast; natural sweeteners like honey; alcohol; mushrooms; pickled vegetables; dried fruits; cheese; and soy sauce.
- Organism cleanse: Take American wormseed; wormwood; clove; and black walnut hull.
- Liquid cleanse:Take pureed soups; juices made from fruits and vegetables that are fresh and organic; miso soup; organic oils; and water.
- Raw food cleanse:Take raw fruits and vegetables and mix them with some seeds, nuts, and sprouts.
- Juice fasts:Take only freshly juiced organic fruits and vegetables for one to three days. Avoid citrus fruits.
- Kitcheree cleanse:Take cooked vegetables; mung beans; spices; and basmati rice.
- Cleansing spices: Take oregano; cinnamon; cumin; turmeric; ginger; cilantro; fennel; fenugreek; black and cayenne peppers; parsley; rosemary, and clove.
- Master cleanse:Take only fresh lemon juice; cayenne peppers; organic maple syrup; and spring water.
This information should not take the place of medical advice. We encourage you to talk to your health care providers (doctor, registered dietitian, pharmacist, etc.) about your interest in, questions about, or use of dietary supplements and what may be best for your overall health..
WebMD. The Truth About Detox Diets. http://www.webmd.com/diet/detox-diets
The Dr. Oz Show. Dr. Oz’s 48-Hour Weekend Cleanse. http://www.doctoroz.com/article/48-hour-weekend-cleanse
Global Healing Center. 10 Foods That Detox The Body. http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/foods-that-detox-the-body
Global Healing Center. 11 Natural Methods for Detoxing Your Body. http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/11-natural-methods-for-detoxing-your-body/