• Atena

Detox 101: 10 ways to help your body eliminate toxins

Updated: Nov 19, 2019

A quick discussion on how to help your body release toxins in a safe and healthy way (aka please throw out your colon cleanses and laxatives).

I like the word 'detox' even though the mainstream health and food industries nowadays abuse it. I like the thought of releasing the things that no longer serve me, both physically and mentally (I've actually made an entire hobby out of it), and I love the feeling after a so-called detox week: everything just seems to work more smoothly, I have more energy, I feel more light, my mind feels more clear.

First let's start by making one thing clear: your body already has what it needs to eliminate toxins. Your liver, kidneys, digestive system, skin, and lungs have systems in place to eliminate unwanted chemicals and substances, and it is merely your lifestyle that is stopping these systems from functioning properly. What this means is that in order to properly detox all you need to do is go back to the basics:

  • food

  • physical activity

  • sleep

Your liver, kidneys, digestive system, skin, and lungs have systems in place to eliminate unwanted chemicals and substances

I find it necesarry to also make a quick note about the laxative and colon cleanse trend. I'm sure you've seen someone on social media promoting these as a good detox or weight loss option, so I'm going to be very clear about this: unless you've been constipated for the past 5 days, don't even go there (and even then, a better idea is a gental herbal laxative tea). Laxatives are meant for one reason and one reason only: to help people who have trouble pooping. And colon cleanses are literally full of shit. That's it. There's nothing else to add.

10 things to try this week

1. Consider your liquids

  • Make sure you drink enough water: 125 ounces (3.7 liters) for men and 91 ounces (2.7 liters) for women; keep in mind that you may need more or less depending on your diet, where you live, and your activity level

  • Avoid bottled water and choose filtered or spring water instead: this will help your wallet, and it will prevent ingestion of unwanted chemicals or microplastics

  • Drink lemon water every morning: squeeze one lemon in a cup and fill it up with water; drink as soon as you wake up

  • Drink green tea: preferably in the first part of the day because it contains caffeine

  • Reduce alcohol and sugary drinks to a minimum

2. Consider your food:

  • Minimize sugar and processed food intake

  • Focus on whole, organic foods

  • Make sure you add eggs, broccoli, tomatoes, artichokes, asparagus, oats, bananas, berries, fruits, nuts, cocoa, garlic, onions, cilantro, and spices to your diet - these all have some sort of detox capability

3. Get 7-9 hours of sleep per night

4. Sweat

  • Exercise-induced sweat is best

  • Infrared saunas are also a good idea

5. Physical activity

  • Move at least 30 min/day

  • Yoga is a great workout, as some of the postures stimulate the body's detox system

6. Take a bath

  • Add himalayan or epsom salt (1/4 cup), relax and enjoy for 30-45 minutes

7. Consider your cleaning products

  • Many products have toxic chemicals in them; consider replacing them with vinegar or baking soda

8. Consider your personal care products

  • If possible remove all products that contain parabens or phthalates; if not, make a conscious effort to avoid rebuying them once they run out and to replace them with more natural products 

9. Breathe

  • Practice deep breathing and meditation to help reduce cortisol levels

10. Avoid antiperspirant

  • Antiperspirant locks the toxins in, so try to find a natural deodorant that doesn’t have any antiperspirant or aluminum in it

Ok, now you're fully prepared for a healthy, natural detox! The best part? You can do this anywhere and at anytime, and you won't have to worry about having to have a toilet close by at.all.times (seriously, who thought laxatives were a good idea to sell to people?)

Happy detoxing!


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