What Is a Natural or Holistic Detox?
From stress to environmental exposures to dietary choices, we’re constantly bombarded with a combination of internal and external toxins. These substances can impact your health, including your body’s ability to filter waste.
In a perfect world, your liver would cleanse these substances from your body, but this often isn’t the case. Toxins can migrate to and settle in your body’s tissues, including in glands and organs. Here, these exposures can increase certain disease risks and affect your energy levels. With time, you may notice changes, with your age, gut health, genetics and overall lifestyle also playing a part.
Focusing on the liver, kidneys, intestines, lymphatic system, lungs and blood, natural detoxification is a multipart process that helps remove existing toxins and supply nutrients to aid its operation. This approach strengthens its ability to fight diseases and reduces its overall toxic load.
When we hear “natural detoxification,” we may think of a juice fast or similar protocol. However, body detoxification has been around in some form or another for centuries. Today, this process involves two distinct parts: an initial detoxification often encompassing fasting and increasing select nutrients, and long-term maintenance around certain foods that aid the body in removing internal and external toxins.
The Detoxification Process
A holistic detox focuses on supporting the function and cleansing of substances from the liver, lungs, kidneys, lymphatic system, skin and sweat glands.
Detoxification of the body is a two-part process in itself:
- Phase 1: Cytochrome P-450 system enzymes neutralize existing toxins. This detaches them from existing fat cells and increases their water solubility.
- Phase 2: Along with other cellular groups, the enzymes help the toxins pass through the kidneys or digestive tract, ultimately eliminating them from your body and preventing recirculation.
At CentreSpring MD, we also approach body detoxification from an Ayurvedic perspective – one emphasizing daily maintenance. Along with purging toxins, this entails aiding and relieving your digestive system, cleansing the colon and practicing Pranayama breathing to help restore mental clarity.
Based on the process detailed above, foods ideal for body detoxification include:
- Phase 1: Cruciferous vegetables, green tea, rosemary, garlic, milk thistle, turmeric, dandelion, astaxanthin and N-Acetyl Cysteine.
- Phase 2: Along with milk thistle, cruciferous vegetables and turmeric, we recommend foods containing essential amino acids, glycine, glutamine, cysteine, taurine, resveratrol, B vitamins and alpha lipoic acid.
- Maintenance: For daily, long-term natural detoxification, we suggest basing your diet around fruits, particularly lemons, oranges and limes, green foods, raw vegetables, green tea and raw nuts. Learn more about additional detoxification recommendations.
Explore recipes for incorporating more detoxification foods into your diet.
Benefits of Natural Detoxification
Along with improved mental clarity and energy, body detoxification can provide the following benefits:
- Supporting your liver: A detox can improve how well your liver filters out toxins from the blood and can assist with stabilizing blood sugar.
- Weight management: A holistic detox can assist with reducing bloating and inflammation, regulating blood sugar and curbing cravings – all factors that can facilitate effective long-term weight management.
Does Your Body Need a Holistic Detox?
Your body might be trying to tell you something if:
- You regularly contend with brain fog, no matter how well you sleep.
- Your energy reserves are constantly low.
- You’ve gained weight or can’t seem to shed excess pounds.
- You’re experiencing breakouts, a rash, acne or painful menstruation cycles.
- Your moods fluctuate with no clear cause.
- You’ve developed insomnia.
- Your joints and muscles routinely feel sore.
- You’ve developed a food allergy.
- You’ve become acutely sensitive to certain smells.
Before starting a detox yourself, get guidance from the professionals at CentreSpring MD. We combine Western with Eastern medicine for a more personalized approach to your health. Learn more about our health coaching and nutrition counseling services to get started.