Detox for Health

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Rid your body of harmful toxins and pave the way for an enhanced well-being.

Widely practised across many cultures and countries, detoxification is a treatment in alternative medicine that eliminates toxins from our body; through removing toxins and then nourishing the body with essential nutrients, our body are protected from diseases and revitalised; thus enhancing our health and well-being.

We’re surrounded by toxins every day – from the air we breathe, the food we eat, the clothes we wear right down to the household cleaning products we use. Rarely are the vegetables we eat for example not cultivated with pesticides and agriculture chemicals; or that the beef we consume not injected by synthetic hormones, antibiotics, or other chemicals. And the air we breathe? Not exactly pristine considering the environmental toxins we get from vehicle exhaust or industrial plants swimming in the air whether you like it or not.

Although the body has natural ways to detoxify – toxins can be excreted through various mediums like the skin, bowels, and kidneys – but once there’s a build-up of toxic substances in the body that is too overwhelming to handle, illness and disease can occur as a result. The build-up may be caused by factors like unhealthy diets, overeating, and sedentary lifestyles. Detoxification can thus be considered as a beneficial tool to fight diseases and enhance overall health and vitality.

Basically detox works by cleaning the blood by eliminating the impurities from the blood in the liver. The objective is to eliminate the exposure to toxins, thereby strengthening the immune system. Most detox programmes would focus on dietary changes such as proposing diets that are rich in fibre and low in fat, prescription of nutritional supplements, or the implementation of fasting or carefully planned detox diets. Exercises are also a critical element of such programmes as with other methods like dry brushing and regular sweating out sauna sessions.

Some research has shown that there are health benefits from detox programmes being carried out. Generally detox programmes are safe although caution must be practised for nursing mothers, recuperating patients, and those suffering from health conditions. If such, it’s always best to consult your health practitioner before undertaking such a programme. Some practitioners have advised engaging in detox once a year for optimal health. We look at some ways that people practise detox:

Fasting
One of the quickest ways to eliminate toxins from the body, fasting is considered by some to be an effective detox therapy. Through fasting, your body organs get to rest, thereby promoting the elimination of stored toxins from the body and boosting the healing process. Fasting may require some degree of willpower and self-discipline, and considered to be quite a difficult task for some.

To build up the momentum, it’s advisable to start slow, by trying out a few hours of fasting in a day till you’re comfortable enough to fast for longer hours. Fasting could however be dangerous when you encounter dehydration. Thus, always drink at least 1.5L per day and avoid fasting for too long a period a time for example like 24 hours. And after breaking fast, care must be taken not to overeat and to consume foods that are unhealthy and calorie-and- fat-ridden.

Juice-diet
Perhaps less drastic than fasting, a juice-diet seems to be more manageable and achievable especially if you’re taking up a diet detox programme for the first time. Raw vegetables, fruit juice, and water are basically the food in liquid forms you consume. The diet usually ranges from one to three days. To take on this diet, it’s best to ensure that you receive sufficient nutrients for optimal results.

Foods that aid detox
If fasting is a no-go, don’t fret. There’re always some foods that can help your body to free the toxins better. These foods work to clear your digestive tract and cleanse your liver, ensuring toxins are filtered out. Consume fruits and foods that are rich in vitamin C and high in antioxidants such as lemon, strawberries, oranges and more. Have a cuppa of green tea for their antioxidant property such as catechins, which helps to flush out toxins. Omega-3 acids in fish and olive oil also help to filter out toxins from your body.

Organic food
Change to a diet of organic food to lighten the toxic load in your body. Organically grown produce are free from synthetic chemicals and pesticides and they help your body to detox naturally. And stick to a healthy, balanced diet to ensure your body gets the essential nutrients for rejuvenation.

Sweating it out
Skin is a major organ where waste may be eliminated. Sweating therapies like sauna, vigorous exercise or hot yoga for example help to release toxins that are stored under the fat cells through perspiration. What a way also to work the body. Regular exercise also encourages the lymph system and blood circulation, helping the body to enhance digestion and strengthen your body. Some exercises like Qigong also has exercises focusing on detox and cleansing.

Dry-brush
Another way to eliminate the toxins from your skin is through dry-brushing. Exfoliate and remove the dead cells and toxins from your pores, enabling your skin to feel refreshed after improved circulation. It’s incredibly easy to do too. Or try massage therapy like acupressure and shiatsu that help in the lymph drainage of your body system, enhancing blood circulation and improving your overall well-being.

There’re many detox programmes and recipes in the market, prescribed by practitioners depending on your specific needs. Most of the programmes involve a combination of diet and exercise lasting a couple of days to a week for instance. Some programmes may start with a liquid diet for one or two days then followed by a carefully planned detox diet; and this may be coupled with exercise and other activities.

Sometimes it has been reported that feelings of fatigue as well as aches and pain among other side effects are experienced by patients during the detox process. These are considered as part of the healing process caused by the elimination and cleansing of toxins from the body. Even so, it may be wise to consult a health practitioner should you plan on initiating a detox programme especially when you’ve a health condition.

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