Whether you’ve had a little too much Christmas cheer, eaten all the Easter eggs, gained some winter weight or constantly sipped on summer cocktail’s there’s probably been a time throughout the year that you’ve thought, “I need to detox!”
There are so many fad diets and extraordinary claims around detoxing that it’s hard to know what’s best for your body. Let us help set a few things straight for you…
How do you know if you need to detoxify your body?
Your body has its very own sophisticated detoxing mechanisms. Your liver, kidneys, skin, and digestive systems are constantly working to ensure that toxins are removed from your body.
So, the best ‘test’ to determine if you need to help your body with the detoxification process is to look for the signs that your system is struggling, such as constant fatigue, poor focus, dull skin, joint and muscle aches, headaches, body odor, gas, and bloating.
While this is a long list of symptoms that could relate to many underlying conditions, it’s important to take into consideration your lifestyle when thinking about if you need to detox.
Have you been overeating highly processed foods?
Have you been forgetting to drink enough water?
Are you ‘surviving’ on caffeine?
Are you partaking in a little too much alcohol?
Has your exercise regime disappeared?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these, then perhaps it’s time to ask yourself what you can do to better support your natural process of detoxification and your detoxifying organs.
Which detox program is the right one for you?
Doing a strict ‘detox diet’ can be dangerous and most of the common diets have little scientific evidence to support their effectiveness. However, a detox diet may be useful to ‘kick start’ a more balanced healthy eating plan. Before starting one it’s important to understand the basics of specific detox programs so you can make a safe and informed decision.
Simple fruit and veggie detox
This detox involves eating only fruit and vegetables for three to five days. While the increase in vitamins, minerals and fiber is beneficial, it’s not without its dangers. In general, the calories consumed will be much less than what your body is used to and could send you into starvation mode that messes with your metabolism and sees you holding onto fat stores. Similarly, with reduced calories and often poor amounts of protein it’s likely you’ll feel lethargic and find exercise taxing on your system.
Similar to the fruit and veggie detox, a smoothie cleanse gives you a big nutrient burst but blends all the foods to aid in digestion. While it has the same disadvantages as the simple fruit and veggie detox, incorporating smoothies into your regular balanced diet can be a useful way to get the recommended five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruits each day. If the convenience of putting your fruit and vegetables into smoothies suits your lifestyle, try some of these great recipes!
A juice cleanse involves consuming only the juices of fruits and vegetables for a short period of time (usually 3 days). You’re likely to gain a lot more nutrients than your regular intake and feel energized from the high sugar content. However, this may cause spikes in blood sugars and is particularly dangerous for diabetics. Because you’re removing a lot of the fiber content your gut microbiota suffers and the digestive issues you experience may outweigh any benefits.
This detox sounds simple and it’s always a good idea to reduce the refined sugar in your diet but there are many versions of this detox that are disguised as cutting all carbohydrates (including fruits and vegetables high in natural sugars) from your diet, which can be dangerous. Carbohydrates are an important macronutrient for your vital organs to function!
Apart from the health benefits (reduced chronic diseases) from cutting refined or added sugar from your diet you quickly become aware of how many unsuspecting foods, from savoury sauces to yoghurt, have added sugars!
A hypoallergenic or anti-inflammatory detox is similar to an elimination diet where you stop eating foods that are most likely to cause allergy-style issues. It is generally prescribed from one week to a month, often by dieticians to discover specific food intolerance triggers. It can be very limiting and often hard to find enough satisfying foods over the longer periods.
What does a full body detox involve?
Your body is just like a machine with many moving parts. If you want it to run efficiently, look good and feel well you need to feed it high quality fuel and maintain it regularly! So, a full body detox means you’ll need to address all the systems involved (liver, digestive, skin, kidneys) and consider what you can do on a REGULAR basis to ensure that you’re efficiently removing toxins naturally.
Check out these top 10 detoxifying tips to help you achieve a full body detox…
Top 10 detoxifying tips
#1 - Ditch the cigarettes
Cigarettes contain carcinogens that can lead to cancer, so it’s no surprise that quitting smoking instantly removes damaging toxins from your body, not to mention improves your sense of taste and smell within days!
#2 - Limit your alcohol
Having a glass of red wine may be great for your heart health but the breakdown of alcohol puts extra load on the liver, your body’s main detoxifying organ! Limiting or quitting alcohol can give your liver a chance to work optimally at getting rid of toxins and even repair itself from damage caused by excessive alcohol consumption.
#3 - Drink more water
While it may not be as fun as drinking alcohol, your body will certainly thank you for increasing your water intake. Water is needed throughout your entire body but is particularly useful to aid the kidneys in filtering toxins from the blood.
#4 - Give your natural detoxification a boost
Your digestive system is linked to so many other parts of your body and can impact everything from your energy levels to your mental health. Keeping it ‘running smoothly’ may require some extra help. Happy Mammoth’s Digestive Super Cleanse gently exfoliates the intestine wall and sweeps away impurities that may sit in the gut, causing bloating and unhealthy weight gain. This formula helps cleanse the gut of toxins and residues that may induce sluggishness, low moods, and poor digestion.
#5 - Sweat it out!
Exercise makes you breath harder, gets your blood pumping and makes your body glisten, aka sweat! Regular exercise improves your heart health, your mental health and your body’s ability to effectively remove toxins!
#6 - Cut the crappy food
Highly processed foods that contain added sugars, particularly fructose, have been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and fatty liver disease. While they may not be considered ‘toxins’, they are certainly toxic to your health!
Detoxing from added sugars is often considered difficult because of the ‘addictive-like’ feelings they produce, but your weight, your skin and your moods will thank you! If you know you’ll suffer with sugar cravings, check out how L-Glutamine can help.
#7 - Sleep away the toxins
Sleep is when your body rests, repairs, and works to eliminate toxins from your activities throughout the day. One review suggested that sleep was necessary to remove the toxic proteins that may lead to neuro-degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
#8 - Clean up your diet
It’s one thing to cut down on processed foods but it’s also important that you’re eating a nutrient rich diet full of antioxidants to help fight-off the effect of toxins and prevent disease. Great sources of antioxidant-rich foods include berries, fruits, nuts, cocoa, leafy green vegetables, and green tea.
#9 - Breath fresh air
We are exposed to a lot of toxic pollutants through the air we breathe. Improving your home environment with indoor plants, air purifiers, cross ventilation and eliminating mould can reduce the load on your lungs and leave you breathing easy!
#10 - Detoxify your environment
Prevention is better than cure…switching to natural cleaning and body care products can reduce your exposure to toxins in the first place. This is not only good for your health but helpful for the environment too. Vinegar and bicarb soda can work miracles on lots of surfaces!
The bottom line
The reality is that we could probably all do with supporting our bodies to naturally detoxify by incorporating any (or all) of the top detoxifying tips! If you choose to try a specific detox program, remember to be safe and treat it as a short-term kick-start to a healthier lifestyle!
We are all wonderfully individual and generally have that ‘gut feeling’ when our own bodies are running efficiently OR when they’re not! If you want to give your body the best chance of optimal function, then take our Free Comprehensive Health Assessment to see the products that would be best suited to your needs!