Detoxification – Body Cleansing

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Nowadays it is almost impossible to avoid ads or articles that promote detox. This concept is already so popular that it prompted the occurrence and development of different detox diets that should stimulate the elimination of toxins from the body and thereby contribute to better health and wellbeing, and, of course, weight loss. However, as the popularity of detox is growing, numerous questions are arising, such as: are detox diets actually necessary, what do they include, are they effective or maybe even dangerous? Is it really possible to detoxicate with the help of “miracle” pills for detox and food supplements? Let’s see what science has to say about this.

Detoxication – what does science say?

Even though we can read a lot about detox in many magazines and online articles, this concept is almost not being used in health circles. Some scientists even claim that this is a pseudo-medical concept. The reason is that there is practically no completely clear and unambiguous evidence about the efficiency of detox diets. Diets that should detox the body are supported by a very small number of studies since the medical and nutritional experts agree that the only way to help the body in the elimination of toxins is a healthy lifestyle over a very long period of time. 

A glass of water with lemon, cucumber and mint.

Constant struggle against toxic substances 

The human body is constantly exposed to toxic substances – today more than ever before. Sources of such substances are divided into external and internal:

-external (exogenous) toxins enter the body together with unhealthy food and drinks, medications, and inhaled air (if it is polluted);

-internal (endogenous) toxins are a result of normal body functioning – substances that need to be eliminated from the body are also created in the biochemical processes. 

Our body is constantly exposed to toxic substances, so it has developed its own detoxication system which includes 5 main organs:

– kidneys,

– skin,

– liver,

– lungs and

– bowels. 

These organs constantly participate in the processing and elimination of toxic substances, most of which can be eliminated without any external help. If these natural detoxication or cleansing mechanisms fail, the disease can develop, which can even cause a person’s death. This means that we do not have to actively detoxify the body, but we need to help the organs that participate in that process to function efficiently. A healthy lifestyle is something that can help us the most. If we live in an unhealthy way, we overload our organs that are used for detoxication and thereby weaken the natural ability to cleanse our body. The worst for this is an unhealthy diet, followed by a lack of physical activity and too much stress. 

But how can we notice that we are poisoning our body?

If we excessively “poison” our body, it warns us with numerous obvious signs. The most important being:

-weight gain: if our body weight increases uncontrollably, this is the first warning sign. We can establish that we have gained weight by calculating the body mass index.

-Chronic fatigue: if we are constantly without energy and desire for physical activity, the most probable reason is saturation with toxins. 

Other signs include:

– irritability,

– insomnia,

– bad digestion,

– body oversensitivity or frequent diseases.

A healthy diet is key for proper detoxication

It is important to realize that our health is based on a healthy, balanced, and regular diet. The reason is simple: between 70 and 80 percent of our immune system is in our bowels, which also means that a healthy digestive system is key for the health of the entire body. If there is not enough scientific evidence that supports that, it can be assumed that a proper diet also supports natural detoxication processes. Our body can eliminate toxic substances in a natural way by itself, but since the modern lifestyle can overload this “cleansing system”, it is even more important that our basic menu includes various foodstuffs necessary for supplying our body with key nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that do not plague the gastrointestinal tract. 

Do you already know how Donat can help you in improving the health of your digestive tract?

And which food intoxicates our body the most?

The experts often put sugar on top of that list because it represents a special problem since we are inclined to sweet tastes since birth. That said, too much sugar inevitably intoxicates the body, no matter in which form it is consumed. Excessive consumption of sugar usually starts at an early age when kids consume different kinds of sweet juice and syrups together with sweets. 

Intoxication is also accelerated by fatty, fast food which mostly includes fried dishes, pizza, hamburgers, sweet and salty in-between meals snacks, processed and prepared meals, and sweet, carbonated beverages. Alcohol should definitely be mentioned too since it is actually considered the main body intoxicator in adult age. Its consumption also has numerous negative consequences for digestion because it can cause constipation or bloating. 

A rich salad plate with spinach, avocado, walnuts, radishes, cabbage and tomatoes.

And which food intoxicates our body the most?

The experts often put sugar on top of that list because it represents a special problem since we are inclined to sweet tastes since birth. That said, too much sugar inevitably intoxicates the body, no matter in which form it is consumed. Excessive consumption of sugar usually starts at an early age when kids consume different kinds of sweet juice and syrups together with sweets. 

Intoxication is also accelerated by fatty, fast food which mostly includes fried dishes, pizza, hamburgers, sweet and salty in-between meals snacks, processed and prepared meals, and sweet, carbonated beverages. Alcohol should definitely be mentioned too since it is actually considered the main body intoxicator in adult age. Its consumption also has numerous negative consequences for digestion because it can cause constipation or bloating. 

How do we properly “eliminate toxins” from our bodies?

In different media, a plethora of detox diets can be found, together with “miraculous” food supplements or pills that promise lightning-fast results. However, doctors and nutritionists warn that “overnight” detox does not exist. If we want to help our body manage and fight toxins efficiently, then the only and true way is a complete change of lifestyle that is based on three standards.

– The first and most important element is a change of diet. Detoxication can be equalized with a properly designed and natural diet that improves body functions, strengthens the body, and gives energy back to the body. At the same time, short-term solutions have to be forgotten because here we are talking about a long-term diet that becomes a constituent part of a quality, healthy everyday life. 

– Physical activity is also crucial. It means an activity that accelerates the heart activity and its beating. If you need to catch your breath for at least half an hour per day due to physical activity, you’re on the right track!

– It is also important to avoid any excess stress. Let’s try to calm down, relax, and remove those factors from our everyday life that cause most of our worries, bad mood, etc…

If we take into consideration everything that has been mentioned above, the first positive results of a healthy lifestyle are going to be visible after approximately a month. The first sign of change is usually loss of weight, which also ensures more energy, and better sleep, and makes you face stressful situations more easily. 

Which eating habits help in body detoxication?

The detox process is most efficient if we decide to have a balanced diet, such as the Mediterranean one. A healthy meal contains vegetables and fruit, a side dish with carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. The key is, of course, moderate consumption of all foodstuffs, or, as our grandmas used to say, a bit of everything. It’s not the end of the world if we occasionally stray with prohibited foodstuffs, but that should not happen more than once a week. 

For children until the of age five, equally distributed meals during the day are recommended. For adults, there is no need anymore for so many meals and three should be enough. However, the distribution of those meals also depends on the possibilities of a person, on the person’s physical activity, i.e., the lifestyle they lead. 

Frequently asked questions

1. Is a body detox really necessary?

Our body can eliminate toxins by itself, without any external help, but if we overload it with an unhealthy lifestyle, we decrease its natural ability for detoxication. In that case, a change of lifestyle is inevitable.

2. Which lifestyle intoxicates our bodies the most?

The main things that intoxicate our bodies are an unhealthy diet, lack of physical activity, and too much stress.

3. Which diet intoxicates our bodies the most?

The body is mostly intoxicated with too much sugar, fried, or fatty food, processed food, and alcohol.

4. How to detox the body?

For the process of detoxication, it is necessary to switch to a healthy, balanced diet, at least half an hour of physical activity per day (with an accelerated heartbeat), and avoid stress.

5. What is a detox diet, i.e., which food detoxifies the body?

We can help our bodies in the cleansing process only by a long-term change in eating habits that are based on a balanced menu, such as a Mediterranean one. A healthy meal contains vegetables and fruit, a side dish with carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats.

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Couscous with vegetables and chickpeas