If you’re very concerned about your health, and you’ve done some research on substances that can harm the body, you may have come across the term “toxin” a number of times. Toxins are poisonous substances produced by organisms and living cells. They vary in severity, ranging from mildly irritating, such as a bee sting, to deadly, such as botulinum toxin. You can easily get toxins through the food you eat and the air you breathe; in fact, your body can also produce toxins. Detoxification or “detox” is the process of eliminating toxins in your body so you’ll feel and look better. Get rid of the toxins in your body and environment through the following methods.
Ditch Toxins in Your Diet
The modern diet is filled with foods that are guaranteed to make you feel sick. It consists of fatty, creamy, sugary, super-sized foods that are filled to the brim with toxins. Here are foods that can help reduce the amount of toxins in your body:
- Fiber-rich foods: Fiber cleanses your digestive tract, promoting better digestion and excretion. It helps get rid of toxins because the body naturally removes toxins through urination and defecation. Go for foods like whole wheat bread, bran cereal, broccoli, brown rice, and raw vegetables and fruits to get enough fiber.
- Foods rich in Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a great detoxifying agent because it produces gultathione in the body. Low levels of glutathione in the body have been associated with poor liver function, weak immune system, adult respiratory syndrome, and damage from medications.
- Water: Water is one of the best detoxifying agents around. It flushes out your system and replenishes your energy. Always drink water instead of alcoholic beverages, soda, or sugary juices whenever you’re thirsty.
- Organic foods: Processed foods are filled with chemicals that may harm your body. When you’re out shopping for groceries, choose organic foods over processed foods. Organic foods, especially fruits and vegetables, are free from chemicals and harmful pesticides.
Eliminate Toxins through Exercise
Exercise promotes better metabolism so you can remove toxins in your body easier. You can improve the condition of all your body’s systems simply through regular exercise. The following are some forms of exercise you can do to start feeling better:
- Yoga: Many people who want to detoxify and reduce the stress in their lives choose yoga for their physical exercise. You’ll be amazed at what yoga can do for your body. It eases the mind, increases respiratory efficiency, and decreases blood pressure. It also improves posture and concentration, helps digestion, and promotes better sleeping patterns, as well.
- Swimming: Among all the sports you can do, swimming is probably one of the best at detoxification. It works out your muscles and heart, and increases your body temperature and breathing, which aids in internal cleansing. As much as possible, swim in pools with less chlorine, or in natural bodies of water like lakes and seas.
- Pilates: Pilates is very much like yoga, as it can boost your energy and immune system without putting too much stress in your body. A pilates program focuses on the core postural muscles that keep the body balanced. Pilates exercises strengthen the deep torso muscles and improve the alignment of the spine.
- Football or basketball: Any type of sport that makes you sweat reduces toxins in your body. Sports like football and basketball are especially helpful, because the strenuous activities in these games cleanse the toxins in the surface of your body. They also strengthen your cardiovascular system and improve your respiratory system.
Protecting Yourself From Everyday Poisons
The commercial products you use every day may look innocent enough, but some of them can deal damage to your body when used repeatedly. Go easy on the following products to keep toxins from accumulating in your system.
- Alcohol: Moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages, especially red wine, has some health benefits. Drinking too much of the stuff though, is guaranteed to wreak havoc in your body. Too much alcohol can damage your liver, weaken your heart, make you feel tired, and interrupt your sleeping habits.
- Hair dyes: There are many ways to be stylish without dying your hair. Hair dyes contain lots of unhealthy chemicals that harm your scalp and hair. They are also very damaging when you breathe them in every couple of weeks. Style your hair, but keep away from hair dyes, or you might sacrifice your health for fashion.
- Makeup and other beauty products: As much as possible, limit the amount of makeup you put on your face to protect your skin from harmful toxins; for example, wear multi-use products such as colors that can go on eyes, cheeks, and lips. You can also skip the mascara and just curl your eyelashes. Choose makeup and other beauty products that are free of chemicals, and are made of organic substances to keep your skin healthy.
- Drugs: Drugs are one of the most toxic things that are available in your home. You can get addicted to some prescription drugs if you’re not careful with your intake. Never get hooked on drugs because they compromise your immune system and destroy your relationships with family and friends.
- Cigars and cigarettes: Cigarettes contain 4,000 different chemicals, including hydrogen cyanide, arsenic, tar, and nicotine, all of which are absolutely poisonous. You are essentially killing yourself with every stick of cigarette you smoke. Quit smoking now to stop damaging your body further.
Simplify to Avoid Stress
Stress and toxins work together to bring your body down. Toxins make stress worse, and stress induces your body to produces toxins. You need to simplify your life to avoid unnecessary worries that just upset you, and lead to wrong decisions.
- Find some time for yourself: Spending time alone, meditating, fishing, or hiking is a great way to unwind. You don’t have to isolate yourself, but minimize communication so you can better reflect on your life. Cut back on e-mail messaging, Internet surfing, and cellphone usage. Remember also that you don’t have to be dragged to every party or gathering by your friends or colleagues.
- Say no: It’s normal to want to impress and meet the expectations of the people around you. Oftentimes though, saying “yes” to everyone results in anxiety and frustration if you fail. Learn to say “no” to people once in a while to avoid cluttering up your life. This will save you time and effort, and will also give you a sense of control over events.
- Sleep, sleep, sleep: The importance of sleep in reducing stress can’t be emphasized enough. The effects of sleep deprivation have been compared to being drunk. You’ll also develop a vicious cycle of sleep deprivation and daytime inefficiency if you continue to deprive yourself of sleep. Catching up on sleep during weekends also doesn’t work; instead, develop a regular sleeping habit to keep your body functioning like a well-oiled machine.
- Keep things in perspective: It’s easy to overreact and even get depressed when things don’t go your way. Don’t lose your head over setbacks and failures though, and always keep things in perspective. Ask yourself if the problem will matter in two weeks’ or two months’ time. Most of the time, it won’t, and you can save yourself a lot of unnecessary worries. Think of two or three solutions for each problem you encounter, and then try to get it out of your mind. Don’t let your problems control you; otherwise, you’ll just be stimulating your body to produce unhealthy toxins.
Detoxification Through Better Social Interaction
Social relationships can also cause a lot of stress, especially if expectations are not met. Your overall health is not complete without some changes in your social behavior.
- Go out on a date: Studies show that loneliness is closely tied to depression, which is bad for your health. If you’re shy, you have to try to step out of your comfort zone and ask someone for a date. The company of another human being can work wonders for your self-esteem.
- Smile: This might seem like a silly idea, but smiling helps you focus on the bright side of things. You can stimulate change through inward meditation and self-affirmations, but physically forcing yourself to smile can also be very effective. You may also change the clothes you wear, your shoes, and your perfume to see a new you in the mirror. Deliberate physical changes like these can spark positive feelings in yourself that reduce stress.
- Reconcile with friends and family: You can try to get the thoughts of grudges or fights with family and friends out of your mind, but they’ll soon affect your conscience. Instead of escaping from these thoughts, try your best to reconcile with estranged friends and family members to be at peace with yourself. Living is so much easier without the haunting thought that people hate you.
Detoxification involves making changes to your entire lifestyle. You have to alter your body and your surroundings to reduce the amount of toxins in your system. If the food you eat, the air you breathe, the tasks you do, and the relationships you keep are all healthy, then you’ll feel excellent inside and out.