Demystifying The Detox
By Claudette Casey Freeman
After the last few weeks of celebrations, delicious food, great company and probably a little more alcohol than you’re used to, it’s time to get back on track for 2015. If you feel like you might have overindulged a little, you could be considering a detox to kick-start your new year – but where do you start?
Why do we detox?
External and internal toxins are populating our generation. Internal toxins live in our gut, intestine and even our fat cells, and have been associated with a range of conditions such as depression, chronic fatigue, autism and autoimmunity. Constant exposure to pollutants can influence chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, dementia, cancer and a whole series of endocrine disorders.
When we talk about toxicity, we really mean chronic inflammation and immune activation. In order to resolve chronic inflammation, health practitioners recommend detoxes to reduce the overload of internal and external toxins. Of course, your resistance levels of chronic inflammation/toxins differ because of sensitivities and genetic variables, as well as many other factors such as your age, diet and lifestyle, duration of exposure to toxins, gut composition and immune function levels. When deciding on a suitable detox, all of these factors need to be taken into consideration.
The key to detoxification is to enhance your body’s natural ability to detoxify and to reduce the build-up of toxins. This can be done by reducing the toxic load through your diet and lifestyle as well as cleaning up and improving gut, liver and kidney function.
Detoxing is particularly effective for chronic, recurrent and resistant conditions. You can also use detoxing if a plateau has occurred during weight loss.
How do we begin a real detox?
At no point do we need or recommend to fast or go on a liquid detox. In fact, calorie intake reduction should definitely be avoided as you will probably lose weight and gain it back again when you begin to eat normally. These types of diets are not safe and are not usually recommended or advised by a qualified health practitioner.
The first place to start with a real detox program is your gut. Gut health is both the source and barrier to inflammation. A poor gut wall and lining can create a leakage of bacteria, viruses, parasites, allergens and foreign pathogens into your entire body system. Maintaining proper acidity levels and optimising digestive functions, secretions and macronutrient absorptions are key to reducing inflammation and creating a healthy gut environment. If the toxins fail to be eliminated from your gut, they can infiltrate your liver and kidney. Further treatment will be required if this occurs.
Severe fatigue or a high sensitivity or reactivity can often result in you being unable to detox as effectively as others. To help you to detox, your health practitioner may need to adjust your detox program to a lower dose and add nutrients to prevent symptoms from worsening. Symptoms can, however, fluctuate and lessen in the initial stages of a detox. This is because many toxins get stored in fat and when the fat cells get broken down, toxins can be released into the blood.
Note: It is extremely advisable to only consider a full detoxification program with a fully qualified natural medicine or natural health practitioner because they are aware of the safety precautions and measures to assess and implement. Always ask to see their qualifications and who their association member is to guarantee you are being looked after in the correct manner.
Natural foods to help your body cleanse and eliminate toxin build-up
For those of you who are looking to cleanse your body with a lighter, easier and less intense method of detoxing, these guidelines are for you. They can be used on a longer term to build healthy eating habits and optimise immune defences to get rid of those pesky toxins:
Reduce alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, fried foods, soft drinks, sugar and lollies. Do this at a slow pace to avoid any cravings or resistances that the body may create;
Source Url: http://www.oxygenmag.com.au/Nutrition/tabid/620/entryid/1698/-demystifying-the-detox.aspx