Over time, exposure to toxins, from pollutants in the environment, pesticides and preservatives to heavy metals and cancer-causing chemicals, can negatively affect many systems throughout the body. Those toxins are stored in tissues and cells throughout the body, often for years, building up and creating a host of problems.
When done right, meaning in a safe, healthy way, a detox can eliminate these toxins and potentially prevent a host of health problems along the way. Just don’t fall for trendy detox “diets,” like consuming lemon juice and little less. A healthy detox is all about feeding your body with healthy whole foods that come from the Earth, not about starvation.
FACT: A healthy detox will rebalance, energize and recenter you so that your body can heal and move forward on a path to wellness and peace.
Even if you don’t think you’ve been exposed to apparent toxins like secondhand smoke and chemical fumes, there are many less obvious toxins too, like household cleaners, cosmetics, and other personal care products, some plastic bottles, containers, and even toys. It’s impossible to avoid all toxins in our modern world, but a detox can help keep them from invading our bodies and negatively affecting our lives.
While conventional medicine has yet to acknowledge toxicity as an important health issue, I think that doing everything we can to eliminate toxins from the body is one of the best ways to support our good health. But of course, I’m not the only one; numerous scientific studies have confirmed toxicity to be an underlying cause of multiple chronic symptoms we’re suffering from today, including the increasingly high rates of cancer that have occurred in recent years.
One article, in particular, published in the New York Times in 2015, noted some of the major risks that come with contaminants in the body and referred to a statement made by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics claiming that all of these toxins are interfering with our reproductive health. It describes the emerging evidence linked to endocrine disruptors which have been associated with the development of a number of different cancers, infertility, undescended testicles, and neurological problems.
Preventing Chronic Disease
Chronic disease has been on the rise, and while we may be living longer, we aren’t living healthier. While diseases can be caused by many different things, mounting evidence has suggested that exposure to environmental toxins is one of the major players in chronic disease.
These toxins have been linked to different cancers, heart disease, diabetes, strokes, neurological diseases, and many other conditions. While our body was designed to fight off these potential dangers, the problem is that those systems are overloaded trying to deal with all the toxins we face on a day-to-day basis. A detox gives our body a helping hand, making that task easier so that it can do what it’s supposed to do naturally.
The founder of Bastyr University, Dr. Joseph Pizzorno also agrees that toxins are a primary cause of chronic disease today. He’s said that we’re “doomed to huge burdens of disease” if we don’t act quickly. In his latest book, The Toxic Solution, he refers to some rather frightening statistics, including:
- 94% of Americans have been exposed to enough polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that it’s doubled their lifetime risk of asthma.
- 60% of women in the U.S. are carrying loads of PCB187 that double their risk of breast cancer.
- 33% of American adults have lead levels that are high enough to double their risk of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
- 25% of Americans have been exposed to enough aluminum to double their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Fact: No matter how toxic you may be, you CAN regain balance
Strengthening Your Immune System
A detox also helps to strengthen the immune system. When it’s not functioning as it should, it puts us at higher risk for things like the flu or the common cold, and many other health conditions. Our body will also be better able to fight off infection. By detoxing regularly, it means your immune system won’t be overtaxed.
It will have less work to do and fewer battles to fight, leaving it in a stronger state so that it can fight off the most harmful invaders and minor problems too. If you want to avoid illness and remain healthy throughout the year, there are few better things you can do than give your body some love with a detox.
Once I started detoxing regularly, I was amazed that I no longer got every cold that was going around, and I felt so much stronger too. I only realized recently that I haven’t even had a box of tissues in the house for quite some time when a neighbor with a cold stopped by – I think I’ve convinced her to start detoxing too.
Have you tried losing weight only to find that nothing you did seem to work? A detox might just be what you need to give it a kickstart. That’s because toxins affect the body’s natural ability to burn fat, which can lead to weight gain or make it impossible to lose those stubborn pounds. While the establishment has been telling us that all we need to do to lose weight is to eat fewer calories and burn more by exercising, the reality is, it’s just not as simple as that.
That’s because the actual science is different than the scientific establishment. Science tells us that calories from flour and calories from sugar are a whole lot different. They not only trigger overeating and addiction but the cause inflammation and insulin to spike. That results in more belly fat being stored, and also encourages you to overeat because you never really feel full until it’s too late.
The bottom line is that those calories ARE different. Whole food calories are far preferable to sugar calories. When there’s an excess of inflammation and a spike in insulin, that’s pretty much a “double whammy,” guaranteed to throw off the most well-laid plans for weight loss. By detoxing, you’ll be eliminating toxins stored in fat cells, which allows the body to boost the metabolism and burn more fat and calories, so you lose weight.
Controlling Sugar and Carb Cravings
Sugar and flour are addictive substances; there’s no doubt about that. With plenty of science to back it up. Still, many of us automatically blame an obese for being lazy, a glutton. While we are responsible for our own food choices, the fault isn’t all ours. The food industry shares some of the blame too, taking over our taste buds, brain chemistry, metabolism, and hormones by using certain ingredients.
Former industry experts have even said that the industry has hired so-called “craving experts” to create customers that come back for more and more. In fact, recent evidence, published in the journal PLOS One has found that junk food is eight times more addictive than cocaine! After analyzing the addictive potential of certain foods, the experts found that the “worst” were pizza followed by chocolate, potato chips, cookies, and ice cream, not coincidentally; they also turned out to be foods that were highly glycemic
If you try to stop eating high-carb, high-sugar foods, despite all the willpower in the world, odds are, you’ll fail. The only way to halt their addictive power is to detox by consuming a diet filled with whole foods while avoiding non-junk foods.
Slowing the Aging Process
When our organs and systems are trying to function in a toxic environment, they to work harder, which means can also speed the aging process, On the contrary, detoxing will help eliminate the excess free radicals, heavy metals, and toxins that are partially responsible for those signs of aging like wrinkles, age spots, and so on. After a detox, your body’s nutrient absorption rate will improve too, which means it will be getting more of the critical vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants it needs to fight oxidative stress.
The free radical theory of aging states that excess free radicals cause excessive oxidative damage to our cells, which results in aging. There has been scientific evidence that suggests that the amount of antioxidants in one’s diet correlates with aging. The more antioxidants consumed, the slower one will age.
Not only is consuming healthy whole foods a natural way to get more antioxidants, but your body will also be better able to absorb them, which means more get into the bloodstream. Going on a detox also helps to get rid of those harmful chemical toxins that accumulate in the body, contributing to free radical damage.
While a detox probably won’t make us look like we’re 30 when we’re 60, it can definitely shave some years off. More importantly, it helps you feel younger on the inside too.
Improving the Quality of Life
As mentioned, when our bodies are loaded with toxins they aren’t able to function as well as they should. That’s why a detox can help improve the overall quality of our life, in every way. When we’re not as tired, we can enjoy more of a social life or time with our spouse and family. When we can concentrate better, we do better at work or school. Depression may be a thing of the past, making everything we do that much better. And all those aches and pains, from mild to severe may diminish, all as a result of detox.
The best way I’ve heard it described is that it feels like you’ve been walking around in a Zombie state of being, and then suddenly, you actually feel alive again!
An Energy Boost
It makes sense that you’ll have more energy after a detox, mentally, physically and emotionally. That’s because your body no longer has to work as hard to do what it needs to do on a daily basis. You’ll naturally sleep better too, another reason for having more energy following a detox.
Depending on your level of toxicity you may notice some fatigue initially, but that’s only temporary, and soon enough you will notice your energy gradually increasing every day. Replacing junk foods like sugar, gluten, and other toxin-filled items with fresh, whole foods, naturally provides more energy without the inevitable crash that results from sugary foods.
Beautifying Your Skin
A detox can make a big difference in the condition of your skin. That’s because when the body is faced with an overload of toxins, it can only eliminate so many of them through the kidneys and intestines. Instead, it must look for other ways to get rid of toxins like sweating. That sweat brings the toxins to the surface of the skin, resulting in all sorts of problems, from acne and skin rashes to eczema, psoriasis, and even wrinkles. By detoxing regularly, you’ll naturally get that coveted clear, glowing complexion.
Don’t forget that not only is detoxing important but staying hydrated by drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day is also a must as it’s one of the keys to getting rid of all those toxins. Water helps to bring nutrients to the cells, it keeps the joints lubricated, flushes the body of waste, aids the digestion process, ensures the kidneys function properly, aids in regulating the metabolism and much more. By detoxing and drinking lots of water, you’re practically guaranteed to have more beautiful, clear skin.
Improving Mental and Emotional Clarity
Most people have experienced mental fog, often described as a “cloudy-headed” feeling and may include problems like memory difficulty, an inability to focus, and struggling to articulate something you usually are quite familiar with. While overworking, multitasking or substance abuse can all cause mental fog, a toxic body can too. Heavy metals like copper are commonly found in the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the food we eat. While difficult to diagnose, they can cause symptoms like mood swings, confusion, brain fog, and disorientation.
A detox can help in just about every area, not only physical but emotional and mental. When our body is physically healthy, a shift can then also occur in our mental and emotional states.
Of course, we’ll most likely notice the physical benefits from detoxification first. As toxins are stored in major organs, detoxification goes to work in those areas first. Once you’ve gone through the detox, you’re likely to feel “lighter,” and as mentioned, you’ll have more energy too. Soon after, you’ll notice that you can think clearer. You have a better ability to focus, analyze more accurately and your concentration will have improved. You may even see things a bit differently than you have before.
There are various hormones in the body that were designed to work together so that we can enjoy optimal health. But when they get out of whack by being overloaded with unhealthy foods and toxins, it can cause all sorts of problems. Women suffering from a hormonal balance may experience painful, heavy periods, hot flashes or night sweats, mood swings, low libido, vaginal dryness, infertility, acne, stiff joints, bloating, weight gain and hair loss, or excess body hair.
Restoring balance on the other hand, through a detox, will help our organs and body systems function as they should again.
Battling FLC Syndrome
Dr. Hyman has a name for what many Americans and others around the world are suffering from these days: FLC Syndrome, or “Feel Like Crap” He says you have the syndrome when you “wake up feeling less than vital, vibrant, alive, joyful and full of energy.” When you feel fatigued, suffer from allergies, have breathing difficulties, frequent brain fog, digestive problems, headaches, breakouts and so on, it’s no wonder you feel like crap, but most of us, he says, and I concur, don’t connect what we’re eating to how we feel. Once we go on a detox the light bulb suddenly comes on – we don’t have to suffer any longer!
A detox address all of the FLC symptoms that Dr. Hyman lists:
- Eradicating toxins and heavy metals
- Relieving pain
- Strengthening the immune system
- Reducing inflammation
- A better sex life
- Slowing the aging process
- Improving energy
- Preventing or combating chronic disease
- Aiding weight loss
- Improving sleep quality
- Boosting brain focus
- Detoxifying the liver
- Restoring the body’s balance
You’ve Never Detoxed
If you’ve never detoxed before, that’s just another reason to do it. You probably have a bucket list of some sort, doesn’t your health deserve to be on it? Perhaps you’re not sure if it will really help, but flooding your body with the nutrients it needs while avoiding ingredients that poison it certainly isn’t going to hurt. The majority of us have never taken time to think more about what we put into our bodies, more than a few minutes anyway. What if you committed to just 10 days? Ten days of feeding your body only whole, delicious, healthy foods. You can do anything for 10 days, right? Dr. Hyman advises thinking of it as a “super-quick tune-up.”
You probably take regular care of your vehicle – give your body the same courtesy with regular checkups through a healthy detox.
-The Alternative Daily