Detox is a popular word used in many FAD diets. They promise that a full body detox will burn fat faster. Some of these “detoxes” involve special products. Fortunately, the body already has a system for detoxification and does not require special products or supplements.
That said, there are ways to enhance your body’s natural detox system.
The liver breaks down more than 90% of alcohol to acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is a chemical that causes cancer. The liver further breaks down this toxin to acetate, which the body excretes. Too much alcohol can damage your liver by causing scarring, fat buildup, and inflammation.
When this happens, the liver can no longer adequately detoxify the body. This causes a buildup of toxins. It is best to limit your alcohol consumption to prevent this from happening.
Water is important for detox. Asides from quenching thirst, water also regulates your body temperature, aids digestion & nutrient absorption, lubricates joints, and detoxes your body by removing waste.
Normal bodily functions in the cells release wastes in the form of carbon dioxide and urea. The buildup of these compounds can harm the body. Water transports these waste products to their excretion sites. The body then excretes them through breathing, sweating, and urination.
The high intake of sugary and processed food causes many modern diseases like obesity, cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases. These diseases greatly affect your body’s ability to detoxify itself by harming the organs responsible for detoxification like the liver and kidneys.
Eating less sugary and processed foods preserves your body’s natural ability to detoxify itself.
Antioxidants protect your cells against damage caused by free radicals. The body releases free radicals as a by-product for cellular processes, such as digestion. However, a poor diet, exposure to pollutants, alcohol, and tobacco smoke can produce excess amounts of free radicals.
Excessive production of free radicals can lead to a condition called Oxidative Stress, which causes cell and tissue damage. Long-term exposure to oxidative stress can cause liver disease, asthma, heart disease, dementia, and cancer.
Foods rich in antioxidants can reduce oxidative stress called by excessive production of free radicals. Examples of antioxidants include lutein, lycopene, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. You can find these compounds in coffee, green tea, cocoa, vegetables, spices, nuts, fruits, and berries.
A detox, for some people, can also mean removing excess water from the body. Too much salt will cause the body to retain more water. The buildup of excess fluid can cause bloating. This is worse if you already have a kidney or liver condition.
If you don’t drink enough water, the body releases hormones to reduce water excretion. By increasing your water intake, the body stops secreting the hormones. This means that you can excrete more water.
Potassium-rich foods also counter the high sodium content in salt. For example, bananas, potatoes, kidney beans, spinach, and squash.