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Toxins and detoxification

Updated: Jun 10, 2022

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:


Lemon

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.


Beetroot

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.


Green tea

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

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 body fight against toxins. Cabbage also supplies the body with glutathione; an antioxidant that helps improve the detoxifying function of the liver.


Watercress

Like most green herbs and vegetables, watercress is an excellent health booster and detox food. Firstly, watercress leaves are packed with many vital detoxifying nutrients, including several B vitamins, zinc, potassium, vitamin E and vitamin C. Secondly, watercress has natural diuretic properties, which can help to flush toxins out of the body. To reap the benefits of this nutritious food, try adding a handful of watercress to salads, soups and sandwiches.


Apples

Apart from being rich in vitamins, fiber and minerals, apples are also rich in phytochemical and pectin, which all help in detox. Pectin flushes out food additives and metals in our body. The acids in apple (malic and tartaric) help in digestion. Apples are best eaten raw and if consumed with the skin are good source of vitamin C and fiber. Organic apples have higher antioxidants than those apples that are conventionally grown.


Berries

All the berries; strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, blackcurrant and blueberry are rich sources of vitamin C and fiber. Alone 1 cup of blackberry has 7.6 gram of fiber. Consuming berries helps produce butyrate, which is a fatty acid that helps in weight loss and makes the body lean. The best ways to consume berries for detoxing is crushing them to they release their juices, mix in water and let it rest for half an hour. You can also take them with oats or simply mix the berries and make a detox juice.


Pineapple

Pineapple is bromelain rich fruit which help in breaking down of proteins and its digestion. It also helps in reducing inflammation which further helps relieve arthritis and helps in speedy recovery from injuries. Pineapples are best if eaten fresh. The canned pineapples are not advised since the enzyme bromelian is destroyed in them. They also help in digestion.


Pomegranate

The best way to consume pomegranate is in the juiced form since the seeds of the fruit takes a long while to digest. Pomegranate offers good amount of vitamin C and fibre. It is also helps keep the heart healthy and regulates cholesterol.

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