Air pollution, cigarette smoke, heavy metals, pesticides, chemicals, plastics… Let’s be real, we are exposed to more toxins than ever before in our human history. It’s just too much for your poor body.
You have a sophisticated system to detoxify your body through your lung, liver, kidneys, digestive system, and skin. The problem is that your body wasn’t designed for our modern world where toxins are everywhere from our air to our food. If your body becomes overburdened with toxins, your detoxification system becomes sluggish and increases your risk of health issues.
The good news is that you can improve your body’s detoxification system naturally with the help of certain dietary and lifestyle strategies. Today, we want to talk about our top 7 strategies to detoxify your body.
Signs that you need to detoxify your body may include:
If you recognized yourself by reading this list, then chances are good that you need a detox. Here are the top 7 strategies to detoxify your body:
Drinking more water is possibly your best strategy to help detoxify your body. Proper hydration is a non-negotiable for just about every single bodily function. Water helps nutrient absorption, digestion, body temperature regulation, and the lubrication of your joints. It also helps detoxification.
Your body’s cells work all day long breaking down nutrients for energy, cellular repair, and optimal function. These processes, however, also come with waste products, such as carbon dioxide and urea. If this waste builds up in your body, it can cause some serious health problems.
This is when water comes into the picture. It transports waste products and allows your body to successfully get rid of them through sweating, urination, and breathing. Adequate hydration is clearly a simple, yet critical way to support this detoxification process.
How much water you need in a day depends on your activity level, health, body weight, the climate you live in, and other factors. We recommend that you start your day with 16 to 32 oz of water and drink another glass every hour or so. To gauge your hydration level, look at your urine. Pale yellow means optimal hydration. Dark yellow means that you are dehydrated and need to drink more water.
One of the most common causes of toxic burden in our body is food. Highly processed foods, refined sugar, refined oil, artificial ingredients, additives, and junk food may be the number one root cause of chronic inflammation, chronic symptoms, and chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
It’s true that your body is naturally equipped to detoxify itself. The problem is that if you are overburdening it with unhealthy, ultra-processed, and unnatural foods, it cannot do its job. Too much refined sugar, for example, can result in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, impairing your major detoxifying organs, such as your liver, from functioning optimally.
To support your body’s detoxification system, remove refined sugar, refined oils, artificial ingredients, additives, highly processed foods, alcohol, gluten, dairy, and foods that you are sensitive to from your diet. Choose a nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory whole foods diet instead.
Greens, vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices are your friends when it comes to detoxification and health. Antioxidants from food can help to reduce oxidative stress, protect you from free radical damage, and reduce the risk of chronic inflammation and health issues. Best sources of antioxidants include berries, oranges, lemon, kiwi, pineapple, broccoli, bell pepper, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, green tea, cacao, turmeric, and many other fruits, greens, vegetables, herbs, and spices. You may also benefit from supplementing with vitamin A, C, and E for their antioxidant benefits.
Beyond food, environmental toxins can seriously increase your toxic load. Unfortunately, environmental toxins are all around us. Completely removing your exposure is impossible. However, there are some simple ways you can reduce your exposure.
If you are a smoker, stop smoking. Avoid second-hand smoke as much as possible. Get your house checked for mold and get it professionally removed if there is any. Use a HEPA filter to remove toxins and allergens from your indoor air. Choose purified, filtered water over tap and bottled water. Opt for organic food to avoid pesticides, herbicides, and hormones.
Stop using conventional cleaning, personal hygiene, and beauty products that are loaded with chemicals and harmful ingredients. Choose organic, natural, and homemade options instead. Stop using plastic as much as possible. Choose glassware, bamboo, wood, stainless steel, ceramics, and natural fiber cloth options instead. Choose reusable or biodegradable over disposable options.
Your liver is one of the largest organs in your body. It is located on the right portion of your belly under your ribs. It is one of your most important organs for detoxification. Your liver helps to convert toxins into a form that your body can easily remove through urine, stool, sweat, and breath. This occurs through a process called phase I and Phase II liver conjugation.
This process is heavily researched in the study of drug metabolism and is a natural process your body possesses to rid itself of toxins. If your liver becomes sluggish, it can seriously compromise your body’s ability to remove toxins and increase your risk of inflammation.
With the right foods and supplements, you can support your liver function and detoxification naturally. Cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts may help to decrease inflammation and support liver health. Citrus and other foods that are rich in vitamin C can lower your risk of liver disease.
Sulfur-rich foods, such as cruciferous vegetables, onions, garlic, and egg yolks, and amino acid-rich pasture-raised meat may also improve liver function and reduce your risk of fatty liver disease.
Milk thistle, dill, caraway, and some other herbs are fantastic for liver detoxification. You may also try supplementing with vitamin A, B, C, and E, magnesium, selenium, copper, resveratrol, glutathione, and coenzyme Q10 for liver detoxification and liver health. We recommend that you work with a functional medicine professional to determine what supplements are right for you (hint: our team is always happy to help!).
Supporting your gut health is a critical strategy to detoxify your body. Just think about it. One of the major ways of elimination is through bowel movements. If your digestive system is sluggish and you are dealing with irregular bowel movements, your body’s way to detoxify and eliminate toxins becomes compromised.
To improve your gut health, you have to support your gut microbiome balance. If your gut microbiome becomes imbalanced, it can lead to chronic inflammation, gut health issues, poor detoxification, and chronic health issues.
Gut microbiome health starts with prebiotics. Prebiotics are a type of fiber that feeds probiotics in your gut. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are critical for gut flora balance and gut health. We recommend that you eat plenty of prebiotic-rich foods, including asparagus, artichokes, garlic, onions, and apples, to improve detoxification and gut health.
Additionally, consume plenty of probiotic-rich foods, including sauerkrauts, fermented vegetables, kimchi, yogurt, kefir, and kombucha. You may also benefit from working with a functional medicine professional to find any underlying gut health issues, including infections or leaky gut syndrome. They can help you come up with a treatment plan to address any underlying problems to improve detoxification and overall health.
Your skin is your largest detoxifying organ. Through sweating, your body is able to release a lot of unwanted toxins. Exercising is a great way to support detoxification through sweating. Using heat is another one.
Using heat to enhance sweating for detoxification does not mean that you have to spend your entire day out in the hot sun. There is a more practical option without the risk of UV damage for you: infrared saunas.
Using heat for health has been popular across cultures throughout human history. Roman hot soaking tubs, Roman bathhouses, and Turkish baths all use steam and heat. Native Americans still enjoy sweat lodges and in Finland, regular sauna use is part of life.
We recommend infrared sauna therapy for detoxification. An infrared sauna is a form of sauna that uses infrared heaters that release infrared lights combining heat and non-invasive light therapy. Infrared sauna helps your organs to detoxify and your body to eliminate toxins through sweating. Infrared sauna therapy can also improve your immune system, support liver detoxification, aid kidney filtration, support your metabolism, reduce inflammation, lower muscle pain, and aid relaxation.
Glutathione is the number one nutrient we recommend for detoxification. It is a powerful compound that offers antioxidant protection within your body. Glutathione also serves as a protective agent against free radical stress and damage. It helps cellular detoxification by disarming free radicals and then cleaning up any mess remaining.
To support glutathione levels, we recommend taking liposomal glutathione which is a glutathione supplement combined with liposomes. Liposomes allow glutathione to get into your digestive tract and cells easily. You may also try acetylated glutathione. Similar to liposomal glutathione, acetylated glutathione can get through your gut and move into your cells easily.
We also recommend N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC), which is a precursor compound of the antioxidant glutathione. NAC helps to improve your glutathione levels, to reduce oxidative stress, and help liver detoxification. Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) can also help to regulate your glutathione levels, reduce inflammation, support mitochondrial health, and improve immunity. Additionally, we also recommend milk thistle to boost glutathione levels, improve liver detoxification, and reduce intestinal damage.
If you are experiencing any chronic symptoms or health problems, we recommend that you visit our clinic. All of our patients go through a detox visit to guide you through a personalized protocol.
Your visit includes a consultation with one of our dietitians for a detox diet protocol. You will also meet with one of our naturopathic doctors to receive a detox protocol. Your detox program may include various supplements, sauna therapy, and other strategies depending on your personal needs and health goals. Don’t wait. Make an appointment today here.