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The concept of detoxification or “detox” is derived from the natural processes in which the human body cleanses...
The concept of detoxification or “detox” is derived from the natural processes in which the human body cleanses itself of harmful material, mainly through the liver and kidneys. It can also refer to medical procedures that eliminate toxic substances from a patient. To “detox” entered into popular vocabulary through the acute treatment of drug and alcohol abuse. Addicts spend time detoxing or withdrawing from a dependency and thereby returning their physiology to its normal balance.
In recent years “to detox” has taken on a slightly different, more metaphorical meaning. While many alternative treatments claim to purge or cleanse the body of toxins that build up due to unhealthy lifestyle habits or exposure to environmental poisons, there is little scientific evidence for these claims. That does not mean, however, that some diets or detox regimens don’t have their benefits. The best “detox” comes from eating healthy foods, staying hydrated, and getting enough rest and exercise. Many detox diets encourage healthier living by eliminating processed foods high in sugar, salt and solid fats, thereby making your liver’s detoxifying job a little easier.
According to the British Liver Trust, eating a well-balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for individuals with liver problems and aids in detoxification. Other ways to help your liver detox your body include limiting or eliminating alcohol consumption and thoroughly washing all fruits and vegetables before eating them.
Naturopathic doctors like Linda Page, author of the book Detoxification, recommend increased levels of vitamin C, especially in the form of fresh fruit, due to its high water content, and brown rice for B vitamins and high fibre. Relaxation techniques like deep-breathing exercises, massage, baths or even nature walks are also recommended in order to help the body’s natural detoxifiers better perform their job.
One sure-fire way to help detoxify your life is to limit the toxins that enter your body in the first place. Some of the easiest ways to do this are by not drinking to excess, not smoking, and not taking harmful drugs. Another simple way is to use natural household cleaning products instead of harsh chemicals and bleaches. According to the Canadian National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health, white or spirit vinegar is an effective cleaner and deodoriser due to its bacteria-killing properties.
Eat a well-balanced diet
Avoid drugs and alcohol
Use natural cleaning products
Eat fruits high in vitamin C
Eat plenty of fibre
Avoid processed foods
Thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables
Maintain a healthy weight
Practice relaxation techniques