9 Tips for a Healthy and Safe Detox

A detox diet involves cleansing your body of the toxic substances which have built up over time. The food you eat, the air you breathe and the things you touch may all contain toxins, which your body stores. Toxins can also be created by the internal processes of our bodies. Many of those toxins can contribute to serious illnesses such as cancer. By removing toxins from your body, you will also have more energy and a clearer mind.

It is important to understand that performing a detox can have negative health impacts, if not done properly.

Do You Need to Detox?

People with a healthy diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables and wholegrain foods might not need to detox very often. If you have any of the following symptoms, it may indicate that a detox is needed:

  • Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Bloodshot eyes, puffy eyelids or dark circles under your eyes
  • A decline in cognitive performance (a cloudy mind)
  • Persistent infections
  • Poor skin condition

Addressing problems in your diet or exercise regime may gradually improve those symptoms. If any of those symptoms persist, you may require a detox to help your system recover.

How does a detoxification work?

Your body is already working hard to remove toxins and waste products from your system. The lymphatic system, liver, kidneys, blood and lungs all work together to remove toxic substances from your body. A detoxification program gives your organs a break from foods that contain toxins and foods that are difficult to process. It will add foods that are rich in vitamins and antioxidants, to help the body detoxify.

There are many detox plans available, some more extreme than others. If you have not done a detox before, it is a good idea to start with a plan that is not too extreme and does not stray too far from your normal diet.

Some of the potential side effects of detoxing include headaches, nausea, lack of energy, muscle aches and feeling dizzy. These side effects may appear due to the change in diet or as a response to toxins being pushed out of your system.

Detoxing may be unsafe for certain people including nursing mothers, the elderly and children. If you have a serious illness such as cancer, you should also be extremely careful when choosing a detoxification plan. If you are new to detoxification, attempt a short program first and avoid programs that involve fasting.

Here are 9 simple tips to help you perform a safe detox:

1) Drink Fluids That Help Your Liver Remove Toxins

One of the safest detox methods for detoxing is to increase water intake. Drinking 1-2 liters of water per day will help draw toxins from your body, hydrate skin cells and help your organs function effectively. Health experts suggest improving the quality of your water by filtering out chemicals and including lemon, cucumber, mint or cinnamon.

2) Completely Eliminate the Worst Foods - Slowly

Alcohol, caffeinated drinks, sugar, meat, dairy and fat require a lot of work to process. By simply eliminating these types of foods for a week, you will give your body time to detoxify.

It is important to remember that both alcohol and caffeine have withdrawal symptoms. If you normally drink 5 cups of coffee per day, you should reduce that number in the weeks prior to detoxing. If you do not scale these items back slowly, you may experience much more discomfort during the detox.

3) Use Hydrotherapy and Saunas to Cleanse

Hydrotherapy uses water for pain relief and healing. Naturopaths suggest hydrotherapy can be used in a detox to help the body remove toxins, improve circulation and boost immune function. Have a two minute hot shower, followed by a thirty-second burst of cold water. Repeat this procedure a number of times to stimulate your system and remove toxins.

You can also use saunas to sweat out toxins through your skin and stimulate your metabolism. Both showers and saunas are safe ways to detox.

4) Use Detox Programs That Allow Fruit and Vegetables

If you haven't done a detox before, choose a plan that allows you to eat most fruits and vegetables. Doing so will help you to maintain energy levels while you detox. Avoid detox programs that require fasting or a very narrow selection of foods.

5) Use Vegetable Juices

Vegetable juices are an outstanding source of nutrients that can help your body remove toxins. Try a combination of carrot, celery and beetroot to support your liver function. Some detox programs use fasting in combination with vegetable juices, but these programs should be approached very carefully. Any fasting program is more likely to carry nasty side effects.

Avoid juices naturally high in sugar or juices which have been reconstituted. Juices high in natural sugars include apple, pineapple, orange, cranberry and grape. Alternating between fasting and sudden bursts of juice high in sugar can be a dangerous combination.

6) Avoid Chemicals

A very safe detox method is to avoid household chemicals. You are attempting to give your body its best chance to flush out toxins, so avoid toxic substances found in your cleaning cupboard or workplace.

7) Use Alkaline Foods

People who have high levels of toxins in their system often have a problem with acidic foods. Substances including sugar, alcohol, processed grains, meat and caffeine can all increase the acidity of your stomach acid and lead to inflammation throughout your body. Tissue inflammation has been tied to arthritis, cancer and various skin conditions.

Choose foods that have an alkalizing effect on your body to reduce inflammation and help flush toxins from inflamed tissue. Some helpful alkaline foods to incorporate into your detox include green tea, spinach, hazelnuts, tofu, kale, spirulina and almonds.

8) Use Wholegrain Foods

Brown rice and wholemeal bread may be used in moderation for some detoxes. By choosing programs that use wholegrain foods, you will have more energy available and fewer negative side effects.

9) Continue Exercising

One of the safest ways to push toxins out of the body is exercising. Use moderate levels of aerobic exercise throughout the detox to sweat out toxins. Be careful to not overdo it because you will be on a modified diet that you are not accustomed to.

By following these simple guidelines you can find your healthier self through detoxing. The key to performing a safe detox is to avoid extreme measures!

Michelle Gensaya
Michelle Gensaya
Michelle Gensaya is a Senior Editor at Health Haxor and holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Michelle is passionate about health and fitness and often writes about natural home remedies, women's health and beauty tips.
Michelle Gensaya

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