If you are in excellent health your body will do a relatively good job of getting rid of any toxins that you may have encountered. For many people, however, toxins can be a serious problem. That's why detoxification is important for almost everybody. Technically, detoxification means cleaning your blood, but it is frequently taken to also mean cleaning, nourishing, and resting your overall body, and I will assume this latter definition. Many in the medical community do not recognize it, assuming that the various organs of your body clean your blood, and there is little you can do to make it more efficient. Nevertheless, the procedure is now becoming more and more accepted.
Who should detox?
How do you know if you should detox? There are, indeed, many symptoms that tell you that your body has a buildup of toxins. Fatigue is one of the major ones, but feeling bloated, headaches and feeling despondent are others. You have to be careful, though, and make sure the symptoms are not from another source. In general, however, almost everyone can benefit from detoxification.
Most detoxifications last from one to two weeks, and they typically consist of several days of fasting, followed by a diet consisting mainly of raw vegetables and fruit. They may also emphasize colon flushing and various types of herbs, or pills.
In considering a typical detoxification diet or procedure (as I prefer to refer to it) it's important to remember that the body detoxes itself quite efficiently, and all you can really do is help. And you do this by keeping the organs that perform the detoxification in top shape. The main detoxifier is your liver, and there are many things you can do to keep it healthy. Other detox organs are your kidneys, intestines, lymph, lungs and your skin. All of them work together to flush your body of toxins.
What are the major toxins? They are poisons, pollutants, and various types of molecules and heavy metals that get into your body in the food you eat, the water you drink, and the air you breathe. Gases from cars, factories, and various types of machinery are common toxins. And it's important that you flush all of them out of your body as quickly as possible.
The program I am going to suggest consists of a short, concentrated, week or two, coupled with an extended program over the rest of the year. Of particular importance, any detox program should be coupled with a healthy overall lifestyle, and this is what I emphasize.
Major aim of the program
Any detoxification program should do several things. They include:
1. Strengthening and revitalizing the liver. The reason for this is that the liver is the major detoxifier in the body.
2. Strengthening other detox organs such as your kidneys, intestines, lymph glands, lungs, and your skin.
3. Resting all the major organs of your body (including the above) by short-term fasting. This re-energizes them.
4. Improving the circulation of your blood. This is done mostly by exercise.
5. Refueling your body with healthy nutrients.
The program I'm suggesting consists of the following twelve things, each of which help eliminate toxins.
1. Eat as many super foods as possible. Some of the better ones are: broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, blueberries, spinach, apples, oranges, strawberries, oats, beans. Also include foods high in Omega-3: salmon, tuna, nuts of seeds, avocado. Finally, delete bad saturated fats, and as much sugar and fried foods as possible from your diet.
2. An occasional fast is very helpful. A complete fast is not needed; you merely need to cut back to 500 calories per day. Two days a week is suggested, and it is usually easiest to do them on the weekends.
3. Eat plenty of fiber, particularly from broccoli, cabbage, beets, and whole grains. Take a fiber supplement if needed.
4. Drink plenty of water. It's important to remember that two-thirds of your body is made up of water, and water plays a large role in your body. Also, water flushes out toxins. So drink at least eight glasses a day.
5. Most experts say that the best thing you can do to detox is exercise. This creates sweat and toxins pass out of your body in your sweat. If possible, try to exercise an hour a day six days a week.
6. Sufficient sleep is also critical. One of the major reasons is that sleep recharges your liver. For most people seven to eight hours is sufficient.
7. Stress inhibits the release of toxins so it is important to reduce your stress. You can do this in several ways. The main thing you have to do is relax and let yourself go. Meditation is also helpful, as is mindfulness.
8. Avoid obvious toxins. Toxins are all around you. Some of the major ones are smog, poor air quality, second-hand smoke, and fumes from nearby factories. If you can smell the air, in most cases is not good for you.
9. Breathe fresh air deeply. Clean out and refresh your lungs by taking several deep breaths. Hold it for a few seconds then release.
10. Hydrotherapy is very helpful. Soaking in a hot tub, or relaxing in a sauna helps you relax and it also helps release toxins. If you don't have access to them, a hot shower is helpful (many people like to finish it off with a cold shower).
11. Massage is also a good way for releasing toxins. Make sure, however, that it is from an expert masseur.
12. Get enough probiotics. It's important to get rid of any bad bacteria in your gut, intestines and so on. In the process make sure you replace them with good bacteria. Two the best sources of good bacteria are yogurt and kefir.
Your overall program should consist of the above in two forms: a short, one or two-week, program that is concentrated and intense, and a longer (all year) program that still emphasizes the above steps. In particular, fasting, drinking plenty of water, avoiding stress, deep breathing, and hydrotherapy should be emphasize and adhered to rigidly during the shorter program. The shorter program should be performed every few months