Why We’re Overloaded with Toxins
Your body’s detoxification system is powerful. But in our modern age, it’s also likely under considerable pressure.
Pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, heavy metals, chemicals, and stress can all strain your natural detoxification systems. It’s like one person is mopping the floor while another is stomping around the kitchen in muddy boots.
Stress can also play a part. It diverts energy and other resources from the detox process. The physiology of stress is rooted in the “fight or flight” response. The body interprets this as signaling a clear and present danger to our continued existence. But because most of our stressors are mental and emotional (financial worries, relationships…), the body can under-prioritize detoxification even when it’s the most useful thing it could be doing.
Does “Detoxing” Help?
The term “detox” has many different uses.
Because “detox” has become such a massive health buzzword, the term is, unfortunately, used to sell a lot of products and services with no basis in science.
Some detox programs recommend using laxatives or diuretics, going into “starvation mode,” going overboard with unsustainable exercise routines, popping unproven (and expensive) supplements, drinking diet sodas sweetened with dangerous chemicals, or even going on a grapefruit diet. None of these approaches prove to help in the long run. The best and safest way to detox is to eat real, healthy foods.
Unlike many of the popular “detox” programs and supplements out there, at HH we approach detox as a way of life. The goal is to avoid foods that contribute to toxin buildup and to regularly eat foods that enhance detoxification. In addition to that, we encourage a 14-16 hour overnight fast daily.
Here are some examples of foods that enhances detoxification:
Lemons are a staple of many detox diets, and there is a good reason for this. Firstly, lemons are packed with antioxidant vitamin C, which is great for the skin and for fighting disease-forming free radicals. Furthermore, the citrus fruit has an alkaline effect on the body, meaning that it can help restore the body’s pH balance, benefitting the immune system. Try starting your day with hot water and a slice of lemon to help flush out toxins and cleanse your system.
Ginger If too much fatty food or alcohol has caused problems for your digestive system, it may be worthwhile to add some ginger to your diet. Ginger is not only great for reducing feelings of nausea, but it can help improve digestion, beat bloating and reduce gas. In addition to this, ginger is high in antioxidants and is good for boosting the immune system. To give your digestion a helping hand, try sipping on ginger tea or adding some freshly grated ginger to a fruit or vegetable juice. Garlic Garlic has long been known for its heart benefits, however, pungent food is also good at detoxifying the body. Garlic is not only antiviral, antibacterial and antibiotic, but it contains a chemical called allicin which promotes the production of white blood cells and helps fight against toxins. Garlic is best eaten raw, so add some crushed garlic to a salad dressing to boost its flavour and your health at the same time.
For those needing a quick health-boosting shot of nutrients, you can’t do much better than beetroot. Packed with magnesium, iron, and vitamin C, the vegetable has recently been hailed as a superfood due to its many reported health benefits. Not only is beetroot great for skin, hair and cholesterol levels, but it can also help support liver detoxification, making it an ultimate detox food. To enjoy its benefits, try adding raw beetroot to salads or sipping on some beetroot juice.
While it’s not technically a food, no detox plan would be complete without regular consumption of essential liquids. Fluids are essential for keeping our organs healthy and helping to flush toxins from the body, and drinking green tea is a great way of boosting your intake. Green tea is not only a good weight-loss drink, but it is extremely high in antioxidants.
Cabbage is not only good for weight loss – it is also an excellent detoxifying food. Like most cruciferous vegetables (including broccoli and sprouts), cabbage contains a chemical called sulforaphane, which helps the bod