One of the most controversial topics among health and fitness experts has been detoxing. The practice of detoxing and the sale of detox products have been around for centuries. But, it’s surged in popularity over the last two decades.
Detox or “cleanse” products usually include teas, drink mixes, shakes, or soups. Meanwhile, their practices usually involve fasting or heavily restricting food and drink to only the above products.
Detoxes and cleanses have been marketed as a way of improving health and treating a wide range of illnesses and diseases. These include everything from diabetes to cancer. It’s also been promoted as a fast and healthy way to help someone lose weight and drop fat. Recently, it’s even been touted as a way to help recovery from drug use.
Those who promote detoxes claim that they cause all these benefits by helping the body get rid of toxins. Toxins are used to describe harmful chemicals that supposedly build up through your body’s natural metabolism and through consuming unhealthy food or drink.
This has caused a lot of problems for detoxes I the medical and fitness community. These problems stem from the above claims made by detox promoters and their lack of evidence.
Good information regarding the problems with detoxes can be found on sites like quackwatch.com. Meanwhile, for more information on rehabilitation from addictive substances, you can check out recoverycentersofamerica.com.
In a nutshell, many of the claims made by detox companies are either false or misleading. Detox drinks often shine a spotlight on their high vitamin or mineral content. These can have a number of health benefits. But, many of these nutrients can be found in a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables. This is at far less cost too.
So, while some of the ingredients many detox drinks have can be beneficial, they can usually be consumed through a healthy diet.
But, this doesn’t mean that the way your body takes care of toxins or processes nutrients doesn’t matter. In fact, there are some changes to your diet and lifestyle you can make to help maximize the work your body does to fight harmful chemicals and optimize health.
Below, we look at how your body really detoxes and what you can do to help it.
How Your Body Really Detoxes
When people consider detoxing, they’re generally aiming to improve their health by getting rid of harmful substances from their body. While the claims made from detox supplements and users often claim their ingredients help eliminate these chemicals, the body has a pretty good way of doing this on its own.
Chemicals like alcohol, ammonia and even nitrogen can be toxic to the body in excessive amounts. Luckily, the body had two main organs to deal with this.
The liver sits at the top of the body’s natural defense against toxins. It essentially acts as the body’s detox center.
The liver does everything from breaking down harmful chemicals to storing excess nutrients to keep the body healthy. Drugs, toxic chemicals built up from processing nutrients and chemicals that cause inflammation are all handled by the liver.
So you can rest easy. This organ eliminates the need to drink expensive supplements to get rid of harmful toxins from your body.
The next most important organ for detoxing the body is the kidneys. Once the liver has processed any harmful or excessive substance, the kidneys do their job.
These two organs run the above chemicals through a mini filtration system to help create urine. This is then expelled from the body during your trip to the toilet.
This is a key way your body gets rid of what’s left of the alcohol you drank the night before, or the antibiotics you were taking for a cold or flu.
Alongside the liver, the kidneys make for a powerful detox system.
The Bloodstream and Lymphatic System
The bloodstream is an often overlooked element in detoxing. The blood and blood vessels act as the body’s transport system. This allows the body to transport any harmful substances to wherever they need to go, like the liver or kidneys.
It also has the lymphatic system, which acts as a sewerage system for the body. It gathers all the toxins together and disinfects them before flushing them out.
These all create an effective system for the body to get rid of nasty chemicals without any help from detox teas.
How You Can Help Your Body Detox
Just because many of the claims made by detox supplements are false, this doesn’t mean there aren’t ways you can help your body manage harmful chemicals.
There are certain nutrients that can help aid liver and kidney function for a more effective natural detox. Coupled with a healthy lifestyle, these can help you reduce your risk of illness and promote a fitter life.
Aside from taking in plenty of fruit and vegetables, there are a few nutrients that can help liver and kidney health.
Glutathione is an amino acid found in whey protein. This can help boost the immune system and fight inflammation. So, adding more milk or a whey protein shake to your diet may help with more than muscle.
Staying hydrated and taking in some cranberries can help kidney and urinary tract health.
Meanwhile, one of the few supplements that have shown to help liver health directly is Liv-52. Some studies show it can help reduce liver strain and even help with hangovers. But, more studies are needed to confirm its benefit.
Along with your diet, regular exercise can also promote a healthy liver and kidneys. Aerobic exercise like cycling and jogging can help improve blood flow to these organs and weightlifting can encourage cell repair and growth.
Together, these can help improve the health and function of every organ in the body and help manage inflammation and toxins.
So, carrying out a mix of strength and aerobic training each week can put the finishing touch on a lifestyle that will help keep you healthy and fit.
Khalid Irfan is a Fitness expert who enjoys spending time in gym. He also enjoys being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise as well as researching new topics to expand his horizons.