Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had access to fresh, clean drinking water, air, and food?
Sadly it is undeniable that we live in a toxic world where pollution and radiation are things we live with every day. There are chemicals in our personal care products as well as in household cleaning agents we use daily. We also live busy lives with high-stress levels which can mean that we are more likely to consume convenient packaged or fast foods. Because of all these things we often end up feeling unwell and take medications. Some of us cope with everyday stress by consuming alcohol in excess, smoking or taking addictive substances.
But if you’re trying to live healthily, or consciously making a lifestyle change to improve your well-being, it is recommended that you do at least a one-week detox at the beginning of every season. Detoxifying is meant to start the season off with a clean slate and to reset your health.
Choosing a cleanse AKA detox can help with: weight loss, hormonal balance, increased energy, management of autoimmune disease, digestive upsets and improve our immune function. Whatever your health concern is I promise that you cannot go wrong by starting with a cleansing detox.
Will cleansing work for you?
Some people associate the word ‘detox’ with starving themselves or taking weird herbal concoctions and strange-smelling wheatgrass shots (although this is beneficial, too). Others may have already participated in a cleansing programme before but experienced unbearable or unpleasant initial symptoms. Or you may be someone who has personally experienced the benefits of cleansing, but haven’t done it in a while. Whatever the case may be, it’s always better to fully understand what a full body cleanse is and why it can be beneficial to your health when it is done periodically.
The human body is well equipped to get rid of toxins and other unnecessary, unwanted matter (waste) from the various systems that make it up. However with the passage of time, due to unhealthy diets, intake of toxic substances (drugs, alcohol, caffeine, certain medications), chronic stress and exposure to environmental toxins, these detoxification pathways can become sluggish and the body can feel inflamed as if it is not firing on all cylinders.
Compromised detoxification pathways can lead to a lack of energy, infections and disease as our vital organs are subjected to daily stress and start to function less efficiently. Therefore, giving the body some much-needed respite through a full body cleanse can not only reset the system but also help nurture our vital organs. As a result, they get to ‘reset’ so to speak. This means we can help to reset and restore systemic efficiency in our bodies by taking a break from unhealthy habits (preferably getting rid of them altogether). I do notice that because people feel SO fabulous post-detox that most people choose to continue to include some of the healthy lifestyle and dietary changes that the detox has introduced to them. The great thing about doing a cleansing detox is the many varied benefits you will experience.
Mental clarity, improved digestion, reduced pain/inflammation, reduced hormonal imbalances, more energy and clearer skin are all manifestations of the advantages cleansing brings to the body.
Signs you need a cleansing detox
As mentioned earlier we may be get exposed to toxins or harmful substances daily through the food we eat, the water we drink, household and personal products we use, as well as from the environment we are exposed to. These toxins enter and accumulate inside the body in a variety of ways.
- Ingestion: We take in food preservatives, additives and other unhealthy substances mainly through the food we eat and beverages we drink. This includes processed or packaged foods, fast food, fruit juices and soda.
- Inhalation: Pollutants in the air enter the body as we breathe. These are not just the obvious ones such as factory and car fumes but also chemical cleaners.
- Absorption: The body can experience toxic overload through the skin and eyes as well. Everything our skin comes into contact with that has chemical ingredients or have been chemically-treated add to the body’s total toxin exposure. This includes personal care products, cosmetics, household cleaners, and certain artificial/sprayed textiles or cloth.
- Autointoxication:The body also produces toxins and waste matter which are supposed to be eliminated naturally. However poor health arising from an unhealthy diet or lifestyle, stomach upset or indigestion and irregular elimination can lead to autointoxication.
Do you need a detox?
Is your body in dire need of a cleansing detox? Watch out for these tell-tale signs:
- You seem to suffer from an endless cycle of skin breakouts, rashes, eczema, acne and other skin blemishes. You may also have a dull, tired, and lack-lustre complexion.
- You suffer from digestive problems like constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, irregular bowel movement and stomach upset.
- You experience general aches and pains and suffer from fatigue or low energy. You also feel anxious, chronically stressed and overwhelmed.
- You usually feel depressed, unmotivated, emotionally unstable. You also seem to lack energy and enthusiasm for life.
- You suffer from frequent unexplained headaches, fuzzy thinking, brain fog or lack of mental clarity.
- You have frequent bouts of cold sores, colds and flu and seem to pick up viruses quite easily, resulting in you being constantly medicated.
- You suffer from several food and scent sensitivities or intolerances and allergies.
- You don’t feel rested after sleep or suffer from irregular sleep patterns.
- You are overweight and seem unable to lose it.
- You experience unhealthy cravings for sweets or make unhealthy food choices. Fried foods, processed foods, refined sugar or fast food are part of your daily fare.
- You consume coffee, alcohol, drugs (prescription or otherwise) or cigarettes regularly.
- You are constantly exposed to common environmental toxins such as cigarette smoke, artificial fragrances, household chemicals, herbicides, and pesticides.
- You suffer from body odor and halitosis (bad breath) while observing daily hygiene and good oral habits.
The body has its own mechanism for neutralising and eliminating toxins through the excretory system. The organs primarily responsible for these include the liver, kidneys, intestines, lymph, skin and lungs. However, whatever toxins the body is unable to eliminate are normally stored in the fat tissues and bone.
Thus, many detoxification programmes target the elimination of this accumulated waste and result in the general improvement of health and well-being. This includes weight loss and alleviating medical conditions, such as obesity, digestive disorders, arthritis, eczema and depression.
Benefits of complete internal body cleansing
If the above information now compels you to show some self-love and get started on a cleanse, then I am happy you found this blog. When you finish your cleansing programme, you can reasonably expect to expect the following benefits:
1. Increased energy levels
Sluggishness, lack of energy or fatigue are symptoms of the body’s inability to process, absorb and utilise nutrients from food. When toxins have accumulated in the body, it can lead to a reduction in cellular energy. A good detoxification programme which includes adequate nutrition in the diet can help jump-start efficient digestion aside from boosting energy production at the cellular level. This period of cleansing helps restore vitality and energy so you should feel lighter and more alive.
2. Improves mental clarity
The brain-gut connection means that any time there is something amiss in the gut, the brain is affected. A high toxin load impairs the brain’s ability to quickly process information thereby leading to brain fog. The energy boost emanating from a period of detoxification rewards the brain with improved focus and mental clarity. Different toxins are fat-soluble, so their adverse effects on the brain can be immediately felt – primarily because the brain has one of the largest aggregations of fat in the body. This is why a well-planned full body cleanse should clear the way for neurological benefits.
3. Supports liver function
The liver is one of the primary detoxification organs that tirelessly works to eliminate harmful substances from the body. However the liver can also benefit from a detox/ cleanse as it essentially gets to take a ‘break’ from working overtime. A detox helps to restore liver health so that this vital organ can efficiently perform vital metabolic and detoxification processes.
4. Strengthens the immune system
Toxin accumulation affects all bodily processes, including those of the immune and lymphatic system. Lower immunity means a higher susceptibility to infections and disease. Poor immune health is a sign that a full body cleanse is necessary. After a detox period, the immune system functions better and white blood cells are able to work more efficiently to combat microorganisms and foreign bodies.
5. Promotes healthy, clear skin
The skin is not only the largest organ of the human body, it is also one of the primary detoxification organs. Any toxic accumulation or imbalance in the body is quickly manifested in the skin. This comes in the form of dull, pale problem skin which is prone to breakouts and rashes. After undergoing a cleansing detox, you can expect to experience better skin health.
6. Helps with weight management and digestion
A detox helps to restore the functional efficiency of both the gut and liver. Once proper metabolic function is established and the body’s ability to absorb and utilise nutrients is restored, long-term weight management is easier.
7. Reduces inflammation
Diet plays a major role in our health and well-being. Detoxification requires the consumption of a healthy balance of nutrient-packed whole, natural foods. This way you can benefit further from the reduction of inflammation once toxins are eliminated and bodily systems are reset for optimum functionality.
8. Balances emotions and helps improve mood
Since a high toxic load affects the brain, it inevitably affects how we experience events and the feelings or emotions associated with these. After a period of cleansing, once accumulated toxins are expelled, you can experience an improvement in your mental and emotional state. This does not only mean you’ll be generally feeling better about yourself but you will also start experiencing better sleep.
Simple cleansing methods you can do at home
To support your body’s natural detoxification processes, you can try doing the following at home:
- Hydrate with water: Strive to keep your water consumption between one and three litres per day to support elimination and hydrate your cells.
- Engage in regular exercise: Strengthen your immune system and lung capacity by engaging in regular physical activity. If you can’t go for power walks, get to a yoga or group fitness class or visit the gym, choose to walk and take the stairs whenever you can.
- Eat whole foods: Opt to eat whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as prebiotic or high-fibre and antioxidant-rich foods. Reduce your processed food, salt and sugar intake.
- Get a full night’s sleep: Observe good sleep hygiene and aim for seven to eight hours of sleep every night to assist cellular rejuvenation.
- Minimise alcohol intake: Our bodies are not designed to break down alcohol on a daily basis and doing really slows up your bodies ability to detoxify.
- Go out, get some sun and have some fun: Get your daily vitamin D dose to lift your mood and breathe in fresh air to clear your lungs.
- Limit your exposure to environmental toxins by switching to natural products: For household cleaning needs, you may want to try using baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice as natural alternatives to shop-bought products. The same goes for your personal care products and cosmetics. Make it a point to read product labels and choose ones that are made from natural, non-toxic ingredients.
You can do all of these things on your own to support your body’s own detoxification functions and for overall health.
However, if you plan on embarking on a cleansing program reach out and get support. Follow a balanced, healthy program and support your body with the right dietary choices and supplementation. You deserve the best detox plan that will address your health requirements.