Detoxification is a very misunderstood topic and often misinterpreted in the media. Detoxing your body doesn't have to mean long periods of abstinence from your favourite foods, giving up coffee or going t-total. Detoxing can be a gradual process that you build into your everyday life. Short extreme periods of detoxification can in fact sometimes cause more harm then good. To achieve a successful and sustainable detox is by increasing you awareness of what is toxic and choosing which ones you actually enjoy including in your life and which others are completely unnecessary.
WHAT ARE TOXINS?
It's common knowledge that the liver plays an important role in getting rid of toxins from the body, but what exactly are they? Yes alcohol is one but so are pesticides, pharmaceuticals, flame retardants, additives, sweeteners, refined sugar, hydrogenated fat, smoke fumes, chemicals in tap water, bad supplements, food intolerances... the list goes on.
THANKING OUR LIVER
It is widely known that it is the liver that is responsible for removing toxins from your body but it less known that the liver also has over 500 other jobs to do and when your toxic load is too high it can struggle. Here are some examples of a few of those jobs, imagine what happens when your liver is overburdened removing excess toxins and can't carry them out properly.
The liver produces a mind-blowing 800 – 1000ml bile every single day and this has a hugely important job. Bile helps the body to digest and absorb fats, cholesterol and some vitamins too.
With the help of vitamin K, the liver produces proteins that are needed for blood clotting. It also breaks down old or damaged blood cells.
Many people are completely unaware that the liver actually makes large amounts of cholesterol.
Iron & Copper Storage
Iron is taken from haemoglobin and stored in the liver as ferritin, ready to make new red blood cells. The liver also stores copper and releases it when needed.
The liver stores significant amounts of vitamins A, D, E, K and B12.
The liver contains high numbers of active immune cells called Kupffer cells; these cells destroy any pathogens that might enter the liver via the gut.
The liver produces albumin – a substance which helps to maintain blood pressure and stops the blood vessels from becoming leaky.
Blood Pressure Regulation
The liver also makes a hormone called angiotensinogen, which also helps to regulate blood pressure.
We like to recommend removing as many unnecessary toxins from your life that aren't bringing you any joy so you can enjoy the other ones guilt free. For example, going out for drinks with your friends or that morning cup of coffee. Below are a few examples of “pointless” toxins you can easily remove from your lifestyle;
- Tap water - tap water contains many unnecessary hormones and chemical which over time can have a detrimental effect on our health, try using a water filter or buying bottled water when you're out - its best to buy and store filtered water in glass bottles to avoid contamination with BPA and micro plastic.
- Fluoride toothpaste - fluoride has a particular affinity to the thyroid gland so this is definitely something to remove if your concerned about your thyroid or have a family history. There are many non-fluoride option on the market to try.
- Food intolerances - even if a food is considered healthy if you are intolerant it will cause a stress response and inflammation in the body.
- Pesticides - eat organic food where you can. This is particularly important for animal products such as chicken and dairy products and also fruit and vegetables with thin skin such as berries and green leafy vegetables.
- Harmful cleaning products - try using a natural brand of non-toxic household cleaning products.
- Unnecessary pharmaceuticals - many people will take over the counter pain killers at the first sign of a headache, but these substances can put a lot of strain on the liver particularly paracetamol. Often a headaches is a sign on dehydration, stress, hormone imbalance or mineral deficiency and can be solved simple by drinking sufficient water, having a neck massage, doing meditation or taking a natural supplement to balance your hormones or address a deficiency.
- Cheap supplements - these often contains a lot of excipients and fillers which can put strain on the liver.
If you have any question regarding this article or you would like help choosing a good brand of supplements or new cleaning products pleas do contact us via the connect page and we would be happy to advise. Please do get in touch.