Detoxification sounds like a complicated thing. Many people question why we need to do anything to detoxify our bodies, because aren’t our bodies always detoxifying?! This post has my favourite simple tips in it, perfect for adding into your daily routine to help you feel your absolute best!
Aren’t our bodies always detoxing?!
First things first, our bodies are super duper smart and are constantly eliminating toxins and also protecting us from absorbing toxins. But, we also need to give our bodies a bit of a helping hand when it comes to detoxification. Unfortunately toxins are all around us, from the air we breathe and the car fumes and pollution that we are surrounded by to the products we use on our bodies and in our homes to the things we have no control over like the environments we work in and the fragrances and toxins we’re exposed to from other people. Our bodies are taking in more toxins than we can eliminate, so to help our bodies, we can stimulate our detoxification organs and pathways of elimination to help fuel our bodies and optimize our health!
Detox organs and elimination pathways
Okay, so now that we have an idea about why we should be helping our bodies to detoxify, let’s break down who does the work. We have seven organs of detoxification and five of which also act as elimination pathways.
Our detox organs are responsible for neutralizing toxins so they can properly be eliminated by the body. Our detox organs are:
- The liver
- The lymphatic system
- The colon
- The kidneys
- The lungs
- The skin
- The mind
Meanwhile our colon, kidneys, lungs, skin and mind are our elimination pathways. So that once a toxin is neutralized, it can be eliminated.
- The kidneys eliminate water soluble toxins through urine
- The lungs eliminate water soluble toxins through breathing
- The colon eliminates fat soluble toxins with each bowel movement
- The skin eliminates fat soluble toxins through sweat
- The mind eliminates toxins through meditation and thought patterns and processes
Simple ways to support and stimulate our detox channels
- Eating foods like asparagus, dandelion, and parsley stimulate the kidneys because they are diuretic foods, which means they stimulate the kidneys to increase urine
- Using plant based supplements like chlorella and spirulina are great for detoxifying heavy metals from the body by binding to toxins, especially heavy metals, and stimulating the kidneys to eliminate these toxins from the body
- Cruciferous veggies like cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli and kale are all really great for helping the liver to detoxify because these foods are high in sulphur and sulphur is required by the liver to neutralize toxins. Broccoli is also loaded with tons of antioxidants, making it a great food for neutralizing toxins, as well broccoli contains high amounts of zinc and selenium, which are also important antioxidants that the liver requires for proper detoxification
- Herbs like milk thistle, burdock, and dandelion are wonderful liver stimulants, just like taking lemon water before a meal to help stimulate digestion, these herbs also stimulate digestion because of their bitterness!
- The colon loves fibre and water! Fibre comes from foods like fruits and veggies as well as nuts, seeds, and grains. Foods like chia and flax seeds are really wonderful when it comes to detox because toxins actually bind to these seeds, and other sources of fibre, and these seeds then help to carry toxins out of the body!
- One of my favourite ways to drink water is by adding in a few chunks of fresh ginger, half a lemon’s worth of fresh juice, and about 2 teaspoons of chia seeds, stir it all up and sip away!
The colon requires lots of water to properly eliminate as well, what fibre does is bind to toxins and then water gets absorbed the the colon and helps the body to eliminate fat soluble toxins, digestive waste, and bacterial toxins
- The lymphatic system is composed of lymph nodes, glands and vessels and filters harmful organisms and waste products and moves them through the lymph fluid
- The lymphatic system is not an elimination pathway, but it does drain fluid, including toxins into other elimination organs, so it’s super important the the lymphatic fluid keeps moving and doesn’t become stagnant.
- To stimulate the lymphatic system, exercise and movement is extremely important, because unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system doesn’t have a heart to pump the fluid around. Rebounding or jumping on a trampoline, skin brushing, and general movement and exercise are great ways to stimulate the lymphatic system
- The lungs eliminate water soluble toxins with every deep breath we take, but we also absorb toxins with every breath we take
- The respiratory system, including our lungs contains immune defense capabilities and can destroy bad bacteria and viruses
- To stimulate the lungs, taking deep belly breaths is really great. My favourite tip to help stimulate the lungs to detoxify is to laugh, laugh lots and lots!
- The average North American woman is exposed to over 200 toxins before leaving their home in the morning! Isn’t that so crazy! These toxins come from our shampoos, make up, laundry detergent, dishwashing soaps, lotions, potions, hairspray, pesticides on food, and many other places. I’m going to be doing an entire facebook live in a couple of weeks all about skin, including my favourite clean products, that actually work!
- Our skin eliminates fat soluble toxins through sweating, so to stimulate the skin to detoxify, it’s important to exfoliate, dry skin brushing is a great simple way to exfoliate and then it’s super important to get your sweat on! Whether you love hot yoga, bootcamps, weight lifting, cycling, running, dancing, you name it, just get your body moving and break a sweat to help eliminate some of those fat soluble toxins
- Bonus tip: ensure you shower or at the very least rinse off after sweating, otherwise those toxins that just got released from your body will be reabsorbed into the skin!
- Your mind absorbs toxins like nobody’s business, probably even more than the rest of your body. I know now, that I need to avoid listening and watching the news, I know that I can’t stand horror movies and violent television shows and movies and I definitely qualify as a highly sensitive person. While many people have no issue watching the news or watching horror movies and are no affected by other’s moods, I know that I am. The mind is a tricky thing, many nutritionists wouldn’t call the mind a detox organ, but I know that when I meditate or take deep breaths or focus really hard on gratitude, my body functions a million times better. So I would definitely say that the mind plays a humongous part in detox
- Our nervous system innately knowns if something is toxic to our bodies, and our brains and minds are very susceptible to neurotoxicity
- To detoxify our minds, which also happens to reduce our stress levels, so it’s a total win-win, take 3 deep breaths whenever you start to feel overwhelmed, anxious, or whenever, this helps to oxygenate the brain and helps us focus and also helps our minds slow down so that we can focus on the positive. Another way to give your mind a detox is to put your phone away and give yourself a digital detox. One last way that I love, to stimulate detoxification of my mind is to say out loud three things that I’m grateful for, this also helps to give our brains a reset. Interestingly, the more we complain, the more our brains and minds become programmed to complain, but the vice versa is also true, the more we practice gratitude, the more our brains become programmed to be grateful! Do you ever practice gratitude?
If you’re looking to reset your body and habits, join the fuel goodness seven day detox! The seven days will begin at the end of January, on January 29th. It’s just $20, you will get an entire week of delicious, simple, detoxifying recipes along with a full seven day meal plan. You’ll also get access to my private Facebook group, where I’ll be checking in on you daily with different challenges.