Toxins are harmful substances that come from food, water, and chemicals that we are exposed to every day.
When toxins accumulate in large quantities in the human body, they run the risk of becoming poisonous, damaging vital organs and systems, and causing chronic illnesses. A toxic overload can also be a contributing factor in weight gain.
The human body is host to dozens of toxins. These are the ways toxins enter your body:
- Inhalation: The atmosphere is contaminated with toxins. Factory and industrial employees are especially vulnerable to toxic inhalation.
- Ingestion: Processed foods, foods containing preservatives and additives, and canned foods contain plenty of toxins. Eating in a contaminated area also promotes toxic ingestion.
- Absorption: The skin and eyes rapidly absorb airborne toxins every day.
Here are 10 reasons you absolutely need to detox for better health.
1. You Feel Better
It is a general rule of life: ridding yourself of negativity instantly lifts you up and makes you feel better about yourself.
A detoxified body feels rejuvenated and free from unwanted substances slowing down its various functions. This promotes health, reduces stress and enhances your mood.
2. You Lose Weight
Toxins obstruct weight loss by blocking or slowing down the weight-regulating and fat-burning hormones in your body.
3. You Stay Healthy
Over time, a toxic buildup in the body may cause serious and chronic health issues, such as cancer, heart disease and neurological disorders.
4. You Feel Energized
A toxic overload slows down the body and forces the organs to work extra hard to perform basic functions. This induces fatigue.
5. Your Skin Health Improves
One of the ways the body attempts to deal with a toxic overload is secreting the toxins through the skin, which results in rashes and pimples. The skin also absorbs toxins via the atmosphere and toxin-laden cosmetics.
6. Your Breath Improves
Bad breath is a sign of toxic overload in the digestive tract.
7. You Feel Lighter
A toxic buildup in the body slows down the digestive system and, consequently, the elimination of feces. This causes constipation.
8. You Sleep Better
Accumulation of toxins in the brain induces sleep loss, which affects the overall functioning and health of the body.
9. You Stay Young
Environmental toxins, as well as toxins from ultraviolet (UV) rays and cigarette smoke are known to accelerate aging.
10. Your Libido Improves
Toxins stress you out physically and mentally, which dampens the libido. An overload of toxins also has a negative effect on your reproductive health.
Ways to detox to promote weight loss
Toxin-Induced Weight Gain
Weight gain is one of the main symptoms of a toxic overload. Toxins contribute to weight gain in a variety of ways, but two primary factors are the effect of toxins on the production of thyroid hormones and insulin.
The thyroid gland secretes fat-burning hormones. Toxins slow down your metabolism by hampering the production of these hormones.
The pancreas produces insulin, which is responsible for transferring excess blood sugar from the bloodstream to the cells.
When toxins inhibit insulin production and there is a spike in your blood sugar, the excess sugar converts to fat. This may cause obesity in the long term.
Here are 10 ways to detox for weight loss.
If your health status allows it then fasting can be a great way to detoxify your body. It clears out all the toxins from your body and helps you feel lighter and rejuvenated.
Detox fasting involves abstaining from all foods and beverages and subsisting only on water and fresh fruit and vegetable juices (you can have the juices every 1½ to 2 hours) for 1 or 2 days.
It is best to include juices of spinach, cabbage, carrots, parsley, orange, watermelon, pineapple, celery, lemons, apples and beets during your fast.
A modified juice fast also allows a light dinner of soup with steamed vegetables. You can practice the detox fast once a week or every few weeks.
To ease into the detoxification process, you can eat more raw or lightly steamed vegetables, sprouts, fruits for a few days prior to the fast.
Note: Fasting is not recommended for people with high blood pressure and diabetes. Also, it may not be suitable for people on certain medications.
2. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling, or oil swishing, is an ancient Ayurvedic technique that involves swishing oil around in your mouth to draw the toxins into the oil before spitting it out.
Regular oil pulling not only benefits oral health, but the entire body. Its incredible detoxifying properties rev up the body’s metabolism-regulating hormones and induce weight loss.
- Put 1 tablespoon of organic, cold-pressed oil like sesame, sunflower or coconut oil in your mouth. Sesame oil is considered the most popular choice.
- Swish the oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes. Do not gargle with it and do not swallow.
- Spit it out, then brush your teeth.
- Repeat each morning on an empty stomach.
3. Drink Lemon Water
A toxic buildup overstresses the digestive tract, causing reduced levels of the primary digestive acid called hydrochloric acid.
Citric acid found in lemons aids the production of hydrochloric acid that stimulates the digestive tract and cures constipation by facilitating bowel movements. Lemon water is also an excellent diuretic to help flush out unwanted toxins by way of urine.
Furthermore, lemon is rich in pectin, a substance that reduces hunger pangs by keeping you feeling full longer.
Squeeze the juice from ½ of a fresh lemon into a glass of lukewarm water. Drink it daily, 20 to 30 minutes before breakfast.
4. Drink Green Tea
Green tea contains a class of micronutrients called polyphenols. Polyphenols promote detoxification by aiding production of glutathione, a carrier-antioxidant that eliminates toxins from the body.
A 2005 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition supports the fact that polyphenols promote the production of glutathione.
This sheds light on the promising properties of green tea to detoxify the body and promote the production of fat-burning hormones that are inhibited by toxins.
Green tea is also known as a natural metabolism booster – an added bonus to further aid weight loss.
5. Eat Fibrous Foods
Fibrous foods have incredible detoxifying properties.
The fiber in cruciferous vegetables and fruits, grains, nuts, seeds and legumes attaches itself to free-flowing toxins that escaped digestion, flushing them out of the body in your stools.
Furthermore, fiber induces a feeling of satiety and prevents overeating.
Some high-fiber vegetables include:
- Artichokes, green peas, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, sweet corn and carrots
Some high-fiber fruits include:
- Raspberries, strawberries, apples, bananas, oranges, figs and raisins
Some high-fiber nuts include:
- Almonds and pistachios
You can also enjoy this high-fiber smoothie:
- Put 1 cup each of broccoli (chopped), cherries and pomegranate juice, 1 avocado, 1 medium banana and 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed in a blender.
- Blend it on high for 5 minutes.
- Optionally, add ¼ cup of almonds or ½ cup of chia seeds.
- Drink it every morning for breakfast.
6. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Adequate hydration is an important step toward setting the detoxifying process in motion.
Drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water stimulates the digestive tract and moves the food along, in turn, moving the toxins along with it. Water also stimulates the movement of stool, lubricates the stool itself and prevents constipation.
Because it keeps the digestive system on the go and prevents blockages and toxic buildup, it aids the body’s natural production of weight-regulating hormones and promotes weight loss.
In addition to drinking purified water, you can try some detox water recipes to enhance the taste of water and also aid further detoxification.
You can add sliced cucumbers, mint leaves, lemon, rosemary, watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit, orange, ginger, blueberries, pineapple, apple, cinnamon, and a variety of other fruits and herbs to a pitcher of water and allow it sit for a couple of hours to let the flavors combine.
7. Cut Down on Processed Foods
Processed foods are the biggest sources of toxins entering the body through ingestion. Cutting down on foods laden with toxins will induce weight loss.
Laced with countless preservatives and additives, artificial sweeteners, trans fats and high fructose corn syrup, these foods induce an influx of toxins into the body that interferes with weight-controlling hormones and trigger weight gain.
A 2012 study published in Environmental Health notes that family members and preschool children in the study were susceptible to food-borne arsenic, dieldrin, DDE (a DDT metabolite), dioxins and acrylamide toxins.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is another potentially deadly toxin found in canned foods and microwavable popcorn.
Avoid harmful processed foods, such as margarine, instant noodles, processed meats, carbonated drinks, canned foods, genetically engineered foods, microwavable popcorn and frozen foods.
8. Get a Massage
When there is a toxic buildup in your body, you become sluggish and less inclined to exercise. A detox massage is a perfect way to eliminate your body of these toxins, relax and rejuvenate for a workout.
The pressure applied during a massage stimulates the different organs and muscles, and improves circulation. Often, toxins get trapped between muscles, inhibiting the flow of blood and causing pain. A detox massage squeezes these toxins out and draws them into the circulatory system for elimination.
Getting a detox massage 2 or 3 times a week will keep you active and working out, aiding weight loss.
Studies have confirmed that the body excretes toxic heavy metals through sweat.
A 2011 study published in the Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology notes that blood, urine and sweat collected from 20 individuals showed different degrees of toxins in each. Results further showed that the highest amount of toxins was secreted through sweat.
Whether you are going to the gym, taking a spin class or practicing aerobics, regular exercise will remove toxins that inhibit fat-burning hormone production and promote weight loss.
10. Sleep Well
The brain performs the vital function of eliminating toxins while we sleep. This is the reason sleeping 7 to 8 hours each night is crucial when trying to lose weight.
Our central nervous system has the ability to absorb lipophilic toxins, which quickly dissolve in the blood. When these are absorbed by the nervous system, they travel to the brain and cause sleeplessness.
When you don’t sleep enough, you inhibit your body’s natural detoxification process.