If you do a quick Internet search on “how to detox,” then you’ll find countless remedies from juice cleanses to sugar scrubs, clean eating to superfoods. Despite all of these remedies, did you know that you already have the best natural detox system you can find? It’s your body!
That’s right. You don’t need to spend money on juicers, teas or laxatives to get rid of toxins. In most cases, your body works hard to process and remove toxins from the body every day. Keep reading for 5 tips on how to detox your body that are backed by science.
1. Love your Liver: Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Your liver is the ultimate detox machine! Even though the liver can help you detox poisons and toxins from drugs and medication overdoses, your liver also has to metabolize alcohol every time you drink. So, control your alcohol consumption. Moderate alcohol consumption is defined as no more than 2 drinks per day for men and no more than 1 drink per day for women. Drinking too much alcohol and/or binge drinking can damage your liver and make it less efficient (and some extreme damage is irreversible). For more liver myth busters, click here.
2. Love your Skin: Get Active
Another way your body excretes waste products and regulates itself is through the skin. While your skin does not necessarily sweat out toxins (i.e. drugs), water, salts and other substances like ammonium are released via sweat (1). Sweat helps hydrate the skin and keeps you cool during exercise. What’s more, exercise itself helps increase blood flow and optimize health, so getting active is a win-win!
Aside from exercise, it is important to maintain or achieve healthy skin. Your skin is your body’s protective barrier from the outside world, so have a good skin care routine. For concerns about your skin, consult a dermatologist for your personal needs.
3. Love your Kidneys: Stay Hydrated
To manage the amount of fluid and sodium in your body, your kidneys regulate how much fluid you hold on to and how much is excreted via urine. If you don’t drink enough water, then your kidneys hold onto water to prevent dehydration. Over time, inadequate water consumption can lead to a plethora of problems like dehydration, kidney damage and altered blood lab values. To keep your kidneys working to the best of their ability, drinks lots of clean water with a water filtration system and get regular check-ups from your doctor.
4. Love your Lungs: Don’t Smoke
Your lungs work all the time to breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide that needs to be removed from the body. If you smoke, then it is essential that you quit smoking. Regardless of how long or how much you have smoked, there are benefits to quitting smoking at any stage. To help you quit, ask your doctor if nicotine gum or nicotine patches are right for you.
5. Love your Gut: Eat a Healthy Diet
Our gut is really just a long tube from our mouth to our anus. What goes in is food from the outside world that has the potential to contain harmful substances like viruses, bacteria and other things that are toxic to our body. Since the gut is exposed to such potential dangers, the gut has built-in safeguards to fight against infection and possible threats:
Enzymes in your mouth.
Lysozyme is an enzyme found in saliva (and other mucous membranes) that kill some bacteria before it moves through the rest of the gut.
Highly acidic stomach acid.
When food enters the stomach, the stomach acid is ready to work! Did you know that stomach acid is more acidic than lemon juice? Talk about a sour pucker! As you may imagine, such an acidic environment can kill lots of different bacteria before it is absorbed in the intestines.
Probiotics in a healthy gut.
Another way your body tries to fight off toxic threats is by keeping the gut healthy. What does the gut want to eat? Prebiotics and probiotics! Check out our essential guide to improving gut health for more information.
Unpleasant reactions to get rid of dangerous toxins.
If other safeguards fail, the gut uses several reactions to get rid of a toxin: vomiting and diarrhea. Vomiting commonly occurs when we consume too much alcohol, and the body tries to get rid of the alcohol as quickly as possible. Diarrhea is a sign that something is awry in the gut.
Aside from the natural detoxifying safeguards that are in place, another way to optimize gut health is by eating foods that feed the gut. A diet that is rich in fiber will help move things along and keep your gut happy. We get fiber from fruits, vegetables, starches and whole grains. Also, staying hydrated and consuming healthy fats will help your body form soft stools that are easy to pass.
How to Detox Your Body for the Long Haul
As you can see from the list above, there are several organs and body systems that work hard every day to detox your body naturally. Remember to live a healthy lifestyle that keeps your liver, skin, kidneys, lungs and gut healthy so that they can work efficiently for a lifetime. If you have concerns that one or more of these organs are not working at their best, then talk to your doctor.