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Pills and Potions: Are they a detox necessity?

Who else is losing count of the number, combination, and regularity of supplements you should be on, and for what? Vitamin D, but not without C, Fish Oil for this, Rosehip oil for that. Every second friend has found a miracle solution for a condition you didn’t even realise you should be worried about. Suddenly you’re taking the whole alphabet, and the only difference you’re noticing is the added stress of a vitamin regime you can’t seem to stay on top of. Pharmacy shelf, after supermarket shelf, after health store shelf is laden with bottles and packets of products claiming to possess the exclusive ability to detox your body. But do you truly need all these pills and potions to keep your body tip top?

Rest assured, nestled in the right portion of your abdomen – somewhere below your diaphragm but above your stomach – is the best detoxifier know to humankind: The Liver. Everything we eat, breathe, touch, or rub into our skin goes through our liver. It’s working every minute of every day to filter our blood, ridding it of the harmful toxins and chemicals that enter our system daily.

That’s some serious responsibility.

As our body’s primary detox system, it’s critical that we keep this filtering process in the best possible condition. It’s likely to take a significant toll on our body if its function is compromised, risking damage to other critical organs and hastening early aging. 

Do you get headaches, or begin to feel anxious after a single cup of coffee? Do strong smells make you lightheaded? Are you constantly feeling bloated, tired, and foggy? It might be time to do a Liver Spring Clean.

Natural detox and Cleanse, what are they ?

Yes, “detox” and “cleanse” are buzzwords for pills and potion providers, but don’t let that discredit the processes themselves! A little cleanse can go a long way – it can increase your energy, improve the quality of your sleep, help your skin look younger and your joints be stronger, and even help you achieve weight loss.

If you follow these three steps, you can invigorate your body’s natural detox processes, without having to use detox aids.

Avoid Stress (as best you can)

Stress commonly leads to binge-eating, binge-drinking, and even binge-smoking, all of which overwork the liver due to the excessive intake of chemicals. Stress is an unavoidable part of life, but there is a whole spectrum of productive and destructive ways to deal with it, that can in turn help or hinder your long-term health and wellbeing. Next time you’re experiencing stress, try and sweat it out with your choice of exercise. 

Load-Up on Nutrients

Amino acids aid the liver pathways. Cruciferous vegetables, garlic, onions, leeks, and shallots all contain good amounts of sulphur and amino acids, which aid liver pathways and enhance chemical breakdown phases. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that benefit the liver, so make sure to add a little to your next curry or stir-fry. The list of turmeric’s health benefits goes on and on.

Eat at least five servings of vegetables and three servings of fruits which contain zinc, methionine, and vitamins C and B6 to aid the detox process. Make sure to include lemons, limes, asparagus, grapefruit and beetroot juice in your diet.

Water, Water, Water

An excellent way to detox your liver is to detox your other channels of disposal. The kidneys work in conjunction with your liver by eliminating water-soluble toxins, so keep them well-hydrated with a good ol’ flushing of H2O. “Drink eight glasses of water per day.” – we’ve all heard that advice, but have we all followed through and felt the benefits?

When you’re next receiving the hard-sell on so-called “detox-products” be sure to remember this: your body comes fully equipped with natural, in-built detox systems. A little discipline and a few healthy habits can have you looking and feeling your well-cleansed best, with only yourself to thank.

You might also be interested in “Thyroid 101“.