Why cleaning out your body can be good for your healthspan.
As we head into spring, many of us are thinking about spring cleaning our homes. There are closets to declutter, cabinets to organise and baseboards that need a good cleaning.
Starting out the warmer months with a fresh clean house just feels amazing, especially after you’ve been cooped up indoors all winter; but why not extend those spring-cleaning efforts to your body? In this age of pollution and toxic chemicals, detoxification is more important than ever before. In fact, detoxification is a valuable tool for healthspan improvement that should become a part of your regular routine, not just in the spring, but all year round.
Why is detoxification so important?
We are exposed to toxins every day. They’re in the air we breathe and on the food we eat. They are also in the personal care and cleaning products we use in our homes and businesses. And toxins don’t just come from environmental sources. Stress, anxiety, and negativity create internal toxins that lead to fatigue and chronic illness.
Even if you do your best to live a healthy lifestyle, there’s simply no way to completely eliminate toxins from your life – and these toxins can have devastating effects on the body.
Toxins can affect the function and structure of your cells, contributing to chronic health concerns like autoimmune problems, headaches, digestive issues, fibromyalgia, and more. Toxic overload can also cause hormonal imbalances, food sensitivities/allergies and skin issues such as acne and psoriasis.
Detoxification also assists in removing toxins that speed up aging. Toxins in your body cause oxidation, which speeds up aging. Reducing these effects allows your cells to function optimally and slows down the aging process.
And, although the body does have its own waste removal system, it simply wasn’t designed to keep up with the toxic overload we’re exposed to today; supporting the body’s natural ability to detoxify can make a huge difference in how you look and feel on a day-to-day basis.
Cleanse vs detox
You may be wondering if a cleanse and a detox are the same thing, and the answer is not quite. The goal of a cleanse is to remove excess waste from the digestive tract. On the other hand, a detox removes toxins from the entire body. It gives the body’s natural detoxification system a fresh start so it can work more efficiently to detoxify your body on a daily basis.
There’s no question that you’ll feel better after a cleanse. But a detox usually has a much more dramatic and long-lasting result. In fact, many advocates of detoxification report that it can minimise or even reverse the symptoms of chronic illness.
So, how do you spring clean your body?
There are lots of ways to get the benefits of detoxification. Here are some of the most effective:
- Ionic Detox Footbath: An ionic detox footbath is one of the most pleasant and effective ways to boost your body’s natural ability to remove toxins. The process involves soaking your feet in a tub of saltwater. An array is placed into the tub, which produces a gentle electrical current that travels through the body and stimulates detoxification that continues even after the treatment is over;
- Herbal Detox: Herbs can be used on their own or with other detoxification methods to facilitate the removal of toxins and support the body’s natural detoxification process;
- The liver is the most important detoxification system in the body. It removes food additives, pollutants, and other toxins from the body. Milk thistle, globe artichoke, dandelion and turmeric all have powerful detoxification and rejuvenating effects on the liver;
- The kidneys also play a key role in the detoxification process. Dandelion, parsley, and uva ursi are fantastic herbs for supporting the kidneys because they promote the extraction of fluid;
- Lifestyle Detox: One of the best ways to support detoxification over the long term is to make changes in your diet and lifestyle. Eating a clean, organic diet that revolves around fresh fruits and leafy green vegetables is a great place to start;
- Regular exercise is also essential for detoxification. Not only does the body excrete toxins through sweat, but getting your body moving is essential for proper organ function and preventing waste build-up;
- And finally, stop putting toxins in your body and environment. That means choosing toxin-free cleaning products and personal care products. Don’t smoke and keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum.
A word of warning
Before trying a herbal detox, be sure to speak with to your GP or healthcare provider, as some at-risk groups (pregnant women, people with certain underlying conditions) should avoid them. Herbal detoxes that contain diuretics (increases urination rate) can increase your risk of becoming dehydrated and experiencing low electrolyte levels; this can be damaging, and in some cases, even life-threatening.
Although some people swear by detoxes, the science backing them up is more sketchy; there has been some research that suggests various detoxing ingredients, such as valerian root, coriander, liquorice, milk thistle, ginger and juniper) have chelating properties, which means they can bind to metals, they certainly aren’t a universal cure-all.
When it comes to supporting detoxification, don’t overlook the importance of basic self-care. Proper hydration is key for flushing toxins from the body. Your body regenerates when you sleep, so getting that eight hours of uninterrupted sleep is key. And perhaps most importantly, find ways to de-stress. Stress is a major contributor to toxic overload and a host of chronic health issues.
The information included in this article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this webpage is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.