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How do detox diets help eliminate toxins from your body?

Detoxification, or detox, is fairly popular right now. Detox is most often a special diet that is designed to rid your body of toxic substances that can build up as a result of the kinds of foods we eat and the kinds of chemicals we are exposed to these days. 

Our age is characterized by numerous toxins all around us. The materials in buildings, the pollutants in the air, and certainly the things that get added to our food are all potential toxins. These toxins tend to build up in our bodies over time, and they can cause serious health problems. 

It has become necessary to take some measures to rid our bodies of toxins. Cleaning the toxins out of our digestive system, circulatory system, and generally our lungs can help avoid some illnesses and health issues.  

It is important to understand what we mean by toxins. What kinds of things are considered toxins. How do we go about ridding our bodies of toxins? A detox is a safe and effective way of getting rid of toxins. This article will give you the information you need to understand toxins and detoxification. 

What are toxins?

A toxin is simply any substance that can be harmful to living systems, particularly the human body. Technically, toxins include things like bee stings and snake venom but when we talk about toxins and our bodies, we specifically mean synthetic substances that are deliberately or accidentally put into the flow of our food and water supplies. Some toxins are airborne such as those that come from industrial processes. 

The majority of the toxins we ingest, drink, or breathe are effectively processed by the kidneys and liver and expelled through urine and excrement. However, some toxins are resistant to the biological mechanisms that detoxify our bodies.  

When toxins resist natural mechanisms of detoxification, they begin to build up and cause damage to physiological systems. What is more, an excess of toxins can over-tax the natural systems designed to eliminate them. What we end up with are excess toxins in the body and a natural cleansing system that cannot properly function. These dual problems have given rise to ways of detoxifying the body. 

What happens when you have toxins in your body?

As we stated above, when toxins build up in the body, the problem becomes two-fold: the toxins cause damage to the body, and they compromise the body's ability to treat and eliminate toxins themselves. Some of the problems that can come about as the result of toxins in the body include:

Causes enzymes to not function properly

Enzymes are essentially small engines in the body that make other physiological processes work properly. Everything our bodies do depends on enzymes to manufacture molecules, produce, energy, and create cell structures. Toxins inhibit and production of enzymes and cause them to not work properly. This can be manifested as an imbalance in blood chemistry to accelerate aging. Pesticides are an example of toxins that impact enzymes. 

Displace minerals

The proper balance of minerals in the body is essential to health. Everything from blood to bones relies on a delicate balance of minerals in the body. Some toxins displace minerals form biological functions and inhibit them from doing the work needed to maintain health. Certain heavy metals, nickel, and cadmium for instance, that can turn up in food and water will have serious effects on our bones, causing them to become porous and weak. 

Damage to organs

Organ damage is a serious, and too common, effect of toxins in the body. Organ systems that are specifically involved in the removal of toxins are often the first systems to be damaged but toxins can cause damage to every organ system in the body. Asthma is on the rise as a result of organ damage caused by toxins in things that are as seemingly safe as flour. 

DNA damage

This is one of the most severe forms of toxic damage. Many commonly used pesticides, phthalates, improperly detoxified estrogens, and products containing benzene damage DNA. Studies show that toxins that contain benzene and benzene-derived chemicals cause damage to cellular DNA. This type of damage is a major cause of cancer and other fatal illnesses.

Damage to cell membranes

One key function that takes place at the level of cell membranes is signaling from one group of cells to another. This is how cellular functions are carried out in a coordinated fashion and produce a healthy organ system. Some toxins like certain metals commonly found in pesticides and other environmental pollutants interrupt the signaling functions on cell membranes. This can cause serious damage to the way muscles can function. 

Hormone imbalances

Toxins can mimic, block, and interrupt hormones in the body. Exposure to arsenic from environmental sources has been linked to thyroid damage due to the impact of arsenic on hormones regulated by the thyroid. This results in certain types of fatigue and metabolic disruptions. 

Can disrupt your ability to naturally detoxify

Perhaps the most striking effect of toxins on the body is that they ultimately make it difficult or impossible to detoxify through a natural mechanism like the kidneys and liver. The more our bodies struggle to remove toxins, the harder these systems must work to eliminate the toxins. This struggle will ultimately overwhelm the kidneys and liver and shut down our natural ability to remove toxins. It is best to detoxify the body well before you ever reach this stage. 

What are the symptoms of toxins in your body?

Severe toxic exposure will make you seriously ill and you need to see a physician if you develop any serious symptoms. What is not obvious are the small symptoms that show the presence of toxins in the body. Some of these symptoms include:

Weight gain

If you are trying to lose weight by counting calories and getting sufficient exercise, but you do not seem to be able to lose weight, this can be a symptom of toxins in the body. Some toxins are called lipophilic toxins. These include PCBs, dioxins, and many pesticides. These kinds of toxins will cling to lipids in your body and make it impossible to lose weight or cause you to gain weight. 

Unexplained exhaustion

Toxins can cause you to feel tired. If you are getting enough sleep but still seem to be fatigued, this could be the result of toxins. Chronic toxic loads in the body can lead to what is called adrenal fatigue. This reduces the ability of the adrenal glands to function and will result in feeling exhausted.  

Insomnia

A high toxic load in the body can cause cortisol levels to increase. Cortisol is a stress hormone. The normal load of cortisol is high levels in the morning when you are rested and low levels at night when you need to sleep. When your cortisol levels become unbalanced due to toxins, they remain high in the evening and you will be unable to sleep. 

Impaired thinking

Toxins like aspartame and monosodium glutamate (MSG), two common additives to foods, can cause neurological symptoms. MSG, for instance, is what is called an excitotoxin. In this case, it can excite brain cells to death. These chemicals have been linked to neurodegenerative disorders. Aspartame is found in diet soft drinks and diet foods. Some kinds of toothpaste contain aspartame. These things are toxic to the brain and neurological system in general. 

Body odor

Toxins can cause body odor, bad breath, and foul-smelling gas and stools. When your liver and kidneys cannot keep up with the toxic load in your system your body effectively begins to store the toxins that have accumulated. As a result, the toxins, or their components, start to come through your pores and your excretory system. These cause foul odors. This is a sure sign you need a detox. 

How do detox diets cleanse your body?

Our bodies are naturally adept at eliminating toxins. By giving your body a break from toxins substances you will allow normal processes to get to work and cleanse you of toxins. A body detox enhanced these natural processes by giving you exactly the things that stimulate liver and kidney function and help with the digestive system.

The first order of business is to cut out the things that bring toxins into your body. Cut out all alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and processed foods. Avoid all foods that contain processed added sugars. 

Get ready for your detox diet by drinking plenty of water. Lemon juice is a natural detox supplement so add fresh organic lemon juice to your water for added benefit. 

An actual body detox diet will consist of fruit and vegetable juices that contain powerful natural supplements designed to accelerate elimination and enhance liver functions. These are often consumed in smoothies and other forms that may include nut milk to make them more satisfying. 

A proper body detox regimen will include a balanced system of nutrients and vitamins to ensure that your body is getting what it needs while you pare down your diet to only the most basic requirements. 

A carefully planned body detox will achieve two things. It will help your body get rid of toxins and restore your health. A body detox will also cut back on calories, carbs, and sugars and this helps you lose weight. The combined effect of a body detox is to alter your metabolism rate so that the weight you shed stays off. A good body detox will cut down things like unhealthy food cravings.

Toxins and detox diets FAQs

What are toxins? 

A toxin is simply any substance that can be harmful to living systems, particularly the human body. Technically, toxins include things like bee stings and snake venom but when we talk about toxins and our bodies, we specifically mean synthetic substances that are deliberately or accidentally put into the flow of our food and water supplies. Some toxins are airborne such as those that come from industrial processes. 

What happens when toxins build up in the body? 

When toxins build up in the body, the problem becomes two-fold: the toxins cause damage to the body, and they compromise the body’s ability to treat and eliminate toxins themselves.

What are the effects of toxins in the body? 

Toxins can interfere with hormone functions, they can cause damage to cells, and impair your neurological functions. 

What are some symptoms of toxins in the body? 

Common symptoms of toxins in the body are fatigue, insomnia, weight gain, and body odor. 

How can a detox help get rid of toxins?

A carefully planned body detox will achieve two things. It will help your body get rid of toxins and restore your health. A body detox will also cut back on calories, carbs, and sugars and this helps you lose weight. The combined effect of a body detox is to alter your metabolism rate so that the weight you shed stays off. A good body detox will cut down things like unhealthy food cravings.

Conclusion

So much of the world we live in now is contaminated with toxic substances. These toxins are in our food and water, and in the air, we breathe. It is impossible to eliminate toxins from your life simply because they are all around us.  

Our bodies are well-equipped to deal with toxins. The liver and kidneys are there to process toxins in the body and get them out. In a normal set of circumstances, this would be enough, and we would not need to concern ourselves with the presence of toxins in the body.  

However, since so many of the toxins we are exposed to are beyond normal levels, we need to take care to help our bodies process these things. Toxins in the body can affect your circulatory system, your heart and lungs, and even your brain. Many of these toxins can lead to cancer and other serious illnesses. 

A solid detox is a great way to help your body eliminate toxins. When you do a detox diet, you rid your body from dangerous toxins, and you rejuvenate your natural system of processing toxins. By going through a sound detox, you will be healthier, look healthier, and feel healthier. 

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