What are Toxins?
A natural detox, as you might have guessed, involves cleansing our body of unwanted toxins. But what are toxins? Toxins are harmful chemicals or substances we come in contact with every day.
Toxins can be found in our food, the air we breathe, and in a variety of everyday household products. Statistics show that the average home today contains 62 toxic chemicals— more than a chemistry lab at the turn of the century.
The New York Times bestselling author, Dr. Joseph Mercola, reports that the average women are exposed to 168 chemicals from cosmetics and beauty products alone on a daily basis. Less than 10% of these chemicals have been tested for toxicity and safety.
Similarly, a good amount of the food we consume on a daily basis contain pesticides, dioxins, GMOs, rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormones), and other synthetic chemicals that are harmful to our body.
The pesticides in our produce, pollutants in the air, and unpronounceable ingredients in the processed food we purchase all add to the number of daily toxins we encounter. The good news? There are ways to avoid these harmful toxins both in the food items we choose and through the use of a natural detox guide—such as this one.
What is a Detox?
To set the record straight, we’ll start off by stating this: the human body detoxifies itself.
Our body is programmed to naturally neutralize, transform, and get rid of unwanted toxins and materials. It is constantly communicating and interacting with all other functions of the body to complete this process.
Therefore, when we talk about detox, we are talking about additional ways to optimize and improve the natural detoxifying function in our body’s different organ systems.
A detox involves limiting the number of toxins we put into our body and filling up on the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it needs to function properly.
The main purpose of a natural detox program is to help the organs in our body get rid of all possible toxins.
A Detox Program Can Help the Body’s Natural Cleansing Process by:
- Resting the organs through fasting
- Stimulating the liver to eliminate toxins from the body
- Improving circulation of the blood
- Refueling the body
- Promoting detox through the intestines, kidneys, and skin
Is a Holistic Detox Better?
Whether or not a holistic detox is better is entirely dependent on personal preference.
The holistic approach of osteopathic medicine is based on older, more natural forms of medicine that work predominantly to improve and promote the body’s natural ability to eliminate waste. This approach is all about finding balance and well-being.
A holistic approach or detox is cited as the true mind-body-spirit way of healing. It’s known to encourage better sleeping patterns, improve coping mechanisms for stress, and teaching individuals the importance of self-care.
If you’re looking to get started with a full holistic detox program, we recommend reading Dr. Nish Joshi’s best selling book Dr. Joshi’s Holistic Detox. Below is a list of some of the fundamentals provided in this book:
Holistic Detox Fundamentals
- Hydrate: Drink a minimum of two liters of H2O daily to assist with natural detoxification in the body.
- No Refined Carbs: Avoid all refined carbohydrates, including but not limited to white flour, white rice, pastries, white pasta, white bread, fruits juices, and sugars.
- Eliminate Toxic Elements: Avoid all food with chemical preservatives and flavoring including food with toxic elements such as the heavy metals found in tuna.
- No Fertilizers: Eat fruits and vegetables that are fresh, ripe and ready to eat. Choose those free of chemical fertilizers as often as possible.
- Restrict Liquids: Minimize the amount of tea, coffee, dairy products, and alcohol you consume.
- Organic Everything: Your diet should be rich in organic, whole foods.
- White Meats Only: Eat protein such as white fish or white meats with every meal.
- Sleep: Get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
- Stay active: Exercise, practice yoga or meditation every day to reduce stress in the body.
How to Detox Your Body Naturally
According to integrative medicine physician Dr. Frank Lipman, a natural detox is an internal equivalent of brushing your teeth and bathing to feel refreshed. But unlike our external cleansing routine, it is hard to tell when our internal organs need cleaning. After all, we can’t exactly look inside. But a natural detox can help us feel better about the internal functions of our body.
Although many of our body’s organs possess the capability of clearing out toxins, it doesn’t hurt to encourage further cleansing. A natural detox will significantly improve your gut health and keep your skin glowing.
Use these simple tips to boost filtration and detox your body naturally:
1. Lemon Water Every Morning
Because the body detoxifies itself while we sleep, we wake up dehydrated. Drink of a glass of warm water with lemon first thing in the morning. It will provide with essential electrolytes in the form of potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
Lemon juice can also assist the liver with producing more enzymes. Enzymes aid in digestion and encourage the liver to eliminate toxins. Lemon also has powerful antioxidants that protect against free radicals and help to improve our immune system.
2. Take a Bath With Epsom Salt
The next time you’re in the mood for a hot bath, add a cup or two of Epsom salt. Sit back and relax for a full 20-30 minutes to soak in all the benefits. Epsom salt contains a variety of minerals that are absorbed into the skin and help with detoxification in the body.
The minerals in Epsom salt trigger action in the colon assisting the body in eliminating backed up waste by prompting a bowel movement. 1,000 mg of a magnesium supplement can also help regulation if you find yourself feeling constipated.
3. Brush Your Body
It’s not as weird as it sounds! Right before your bath or shower is the best time to brush off all your dead skin cells. Dry brushing is a core modality for Ayurvedic detoxification protocols because it stimulates the lymphatic system. Using a soft-bristle brush for best results.
4. Do Some Yoga
A natural detox doesn’t always have to be about diet. Yoga can be a great way to detox your insides and help you feel energized and refreshed.
With yoga, you can twist and squeeze to stimulate abdominal and digestive organs to rinse toxins from the body. Switch to a forward bend posture to compress the digestive organs and speed up the elimination of waste. Inversion postures help drain fluids from the feet and legs back toward the heart.
The Chopra Center has a great article on the benefits of yoga when it comes to a natural detox of the body. Read up on the detox benefits of the 7 different yoga poses they outline.
5. Lay Out and Get Some Sun
The sun provides us with vitamin D. This “healing hormone” has been linked to lower inflammation, lower blood pressure, improvements in muscle tone, improved brain function, and even protection from certain forms of cancer.
6. Try Fasting
Fasting can give your digestive system a much-needed break it deserves. You can fast for about a day or two and consume only fresh fruits and vegetables instead of heavy meals. Fasting is also known to triggers the ultimate healing process.
During a fast, energy is diverted away from the digestive system—since there is no food to mobilize it—towards the metabolism and immune system.
7. Sweat Out Your Toxins
You have the option of sweating it out in a sauna or sweating your way through an intense workout. Among other benefits, exercise can help your body better excrete toxins and burn fat more effectively. Find a workout routine that works best with your schedule.
8. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is the process of swishing one tablespoon organic coconut oil around in your mouth for 10-20 minutes. The chemical reaction between the saliva in your mouth and the oil “pulls” bacterial toxins out from the crevices in your entire oral cavity. Oil pulling is said to strengthen the stomach, heart, liver, lungs, and reproductive organs.
9. Add More Probiotics
Probiotics are essential when it comes to good gut health. High-quality probiotic supplements are packed with live, healthy bacteria just waiting to dive in and begin reshaping your gut environment.
The detoxifying effects of probiotics include reducing heavy metals, breaking down pesticides, and excreting BPA.
10. Do a “Detox” of Your Kitchen and Bathroom
Many of the everyday items we own have not been tested for safety. Inspect the items in your bathroom and kitchen cabinets. Switch out one commercial product at a time for an all-organic one, and repeat this process until your home is truly toxin-free.
11. Eat Fresh and Clean as Often as Possible
Nothing slows down the natural detoxification of the body quite like the constant consumption of highly fried, processed, refined and packaged foods. Excess fats and added sugars act as a toxin to your body.
Lighten the load on your body by opting for organic fruits and vegetables rather than consuming fast and processed food. Kale, celery, spinach, parsley, cilantro, and celery… all of these leafy greens are your best friends! They contain vital nutrients, plenty of fiber, and chlorophyll, which helps to cleanse the blood.
Some of the Best Foods for Natural Detoxification Are:
- Fats and Oils: provide energy for the detox and biotransformation processes.
- Nuts and seeds: sources of fiber that assists in excretion and elimination.
- Proteins: crucial for the proper function of major detoxification pathways inside the liver cells.
- Legumes: good source of fiber and amino acids.
- Fruits: provide a wide variety of antioxidants.
- Vegetables: provide phytochemical and fiber.
Dangerous Toxins To Avoid In Your Food
- Pesticides: These harmful toxins are used to raise and treat produce and have been linked back to cancer and birth defects.
- BHA & BHT: The International Agency for Research on Cancer has declared these common preservatives carcinogens. They can also mess with hormones and male fertility.
- rBGH & rBST: Recombinant bovine growth hormones are given to cows to increase the production of milk. They can be linked back to breast, prostate and colon cancers.
- BPA: Found in food and beverage can linings; it has been suspected of promoting breast and prostate cancer, reproductive and behavioral problems, obesity, and diabetes.
- Sodium Nitrite/Nitrate: Used in deli foods like processed meats, these preservatives are linked to many types of cancer.
- Artificial Food Coloring/Dyes: These toxic chemicals have been linked to neurological disorders like ADHD. Solution: Read ingredient lists to avoid.
- Dioxins: Highly toxic pollutants that accumulate in fatty foods are linked to cancer, liver damage, birth defects, and endocrine and immune disruption.
- GMOs: Genetically modified organisms are found in about 70% of processed foods. GMOs can cause organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility.
Natural Liver Detox Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Detox
Our liver is the main detox organ in our body. Apart from synthesizing and secreting bile, the liver acts as a filter for toxins and bacteria in the blood and chemically neutralizes toxins. It then converts these toxins into substances that can be eliminated by our kidneys.
The list above can contribute to the optimization or improved function of our liver. However, when it comes to a natural liver detox, tea is the ultimate secret weapon. Teas containing dandelion or milk thistle can boost liver function by helping to decrease the build-up of toxins in the tissues.
Tea herbs stimulate repair of liver tissue and protect against cell damage. Cancer studies suggest that milk thistle may strengthen cell walls to prevent toxins from getting in, stimulate enzymes, and block free radicals from attacking cells.
Dr. Sara Celik, a board-certified Naturopathic Doctor and Spokesperson for Renew Life Canada, recommends looking for teas that contain some of the following certified organic ingredients: dandelion root, milk thistle, nettle leaf, and cilantro leaf.
Natural Detox Drinks
Natural detox drinks can be both packed with benefits and delicious! We’ve compiled a short list of some of the best natural detox drinks and smoothies for you to incorporate into your diet:
1. Lemon Ginger Morning Natural Detox Drink
Lemon Ginger Morning Detox Drink: A great way to start your day. This detox drink is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants and helps to cleanse and alkalize the body gently.
2. Apple Cider Turmeric Natural Detox Drink
Apple Cider Turmeric Detox Drink: This is filled with powerhouse antioxidant ingredients that will have you feeling brand new in no time.
3. Broccoli Detox Smoothie
Broccoli Detox Smoothie: Broccoli is high in many nutrients like fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, iron and potassium. Compared to other vegetables, broccoli is a great source of protein.
4. Chlorophyll Natural Detox Water
Chlorophyll Detox Water: Chlorophyll is a terrific detoxifier because it promotes the production of liver enzymes that aid the body’s natural elimination process.
5. Collagen-Boosted Green Juice
Collagen-Boosted Green Juice: These fresh ingredients combined are incredible for supporting a sluggish liver and aiding kidney detoxification. This juice helps to flush toxins out of the liver and intestinal tract, and it helps to alkalize the gut.
Detox Products and Supplements
Natural isn’t the first word you think of when it comes to supplements. However, there are products and supplements available to accelerate any detoxing function in our body.
Some of the products below have been designed and created by nutrition experts; others are simply well reviewed and recommended.
Find the supplement, juice, or detox book that suits you best:
Supplements and Kits
1. The Cleanse
2. N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC): Research has indicated that it is very effective for up-regulating glutathione levels and reducing oxidative stress in the body and helping the liver to detoxify.
3. Super Glutathione
Super Glutathione: A very special peptide molecule that provides the greatest anti-oxidant protection and recharges other antioxidants within the body.
4. ThyroLiver Protect
Thyroliver Protect: This is a powerful way to remove mercury from the body before it has the opportunity to embed itself in fatty tissue and vital organs and cause health problems. This supplement also promotes healthy immune function.
5. Innate Response – B Complex
B Complex: This supplement is all natural and supports healthy energy levels while detoxifying the body.
6. Global Healing Center Colon Cleanse Kit
Global Healing Center Colon Cleanse Kit: This kit will help cleanse your entire intestinal tract of toxins and impacted fecal matter in just 6 days.
7. Liver Cleanse
Liver Cleanse: Contains synergistic milk thistle, turmeric, dandelion, and bupleurum as well as supports healthy digestion and a healthy liver.
8. Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics
Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics: This probiotic is composed of vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, and seaweeds along with living lactic acid bacteria.
1. Five Day JUS Cleanse
5 Day JUS Cleanse: built to provide your body with enough nutrients, vitamins & minerals to detox for five days straight.
2. The BluePrint OG (Renovation) 1-day Juice Cleanse
The BluePrint OG (Renovation) 1-day: (formerly known as the Renovation Cleanse) A go-to for hitting the reset button anytime you need to get back on track.
3. Raw Generation 3-Day Skinny Juice Cleanse
Raw Generation 3-Day Skinny Juice Cleanse: Jump-start your weight loss routine with a quick and effective juice cleanse. Drinking six nutrition packed juices per day will give your body what it needs to slim down, burn fat, eliminate bloating, and give you more energy.
1. Everyday Detox by Megan Gilmore
Everyday Detox by Megan Gilmore – 100 easy recipes to remove toxins, promote gut health, and lose weight naturally.
2. The 21-Day Sugar Detox Daily Guide by Diane Sanfilippo
The 21-Day Sugar Detox Daily Guide by Diane Sanfilippo – This book takes you day-by-day through Diane Sanfilippo’s popular 21-Day Sugar Detox (21DSD) program. You’ll learn what to expect each day of the detox, from how your body might be responding to how you might be feeling mentally.
3. Green Smoothies for Life by JJ Smith
Green Smoothies for Life by JJ Smith – A New York Times bestseller from certified weight-loss expert JJ Smith. This book offers a brand-new meal plan to incorporate green smoothies into your everyday routine while developing healthier long-term eating habits and improving your overall health.
4. Detox: 3-Day Rapid Weight Loss Detox Cleanse
Detox: 3-Day Rapid Weight Loss Detox Cleanse by Linda Westwood – This detox book from the best selling weight loss writer, Linda Westwood, will jump-start your weight loss, increase your energy levels, clear your mind, and improve your overall health.