Demystifying “Detox”: What it is, how it works and do you actually need it?

Let’s talk a little bit about detox. What is it? How does it happen? Is detox a good or a bad thing?

In the health and wellness field, “Detox” has become something of a buzzword. You most likely hear it often, but may not be super clear on what this word actually means.

Today we want to explain a little about detox for you so that you have a better understanding of it.

First things first, your body is a lean, mean detoxing machine. Every bodily system is set up with a detox organ. Your respiratory system has your lungs, your urinary system has your kidneys, and so on.  Your 5 main detox organs are your kidneys, your liver, your lungs, your colon and the biggest organ of all, your skin!

With this in mind, you now know that your body is constantly at work removing potentially toxic substances from your body.  There is never really a time when you are not “detoxing” to some capacity.  So why do people go on detox programs if we are detoxing all the time naturally?  There are a couple of reasons:

1. The system is overloaded with toxins.

It is important to note that when our bodies first take in a toxin, it takes energy for the body to process it and filter it out of our system. If there are too many toxins to deal with all at once, the body (mainly the liver) will attach a “buffer” molecule to the toxin.  This renders the toxin less toxic. It will then send it into the bloodstream to be carried to a cell, commonly a fat cell, on the periphery of your body, to keep your organs safe. If there are too many toxins to deal with all at once, the body stores them instead of eliminating them.

2. We do not have the nutrition we need to eliminate toxins.

If our diets do not provide our cells with all the components they need to do their jobs efficiently, we may not be able to properly eliminate the toxins that are coming into our bodies.  When this happens, we will store the toxin instead of removing it from the body

3. We are in an overly toxic environment for a prolonged period of time.

There are times when we cannot control our environments. If we are traveling, often times we do not have access to the water, air and clean food we are used to. If we are all of a sudden thrown into an environment our bodies are not used to, we may absorb more toxins than our bodies can deal with at one time. This goes for working in plants or factories that may have less than optimal environments as well.

4. After prolonged stress or illness.

It can be very useful to detox after a prolonged stressful period in life, or when recovering from illness. When we are in these run down states, our bodies are focusing more on basic survival needs than they are with detoxing. Toxins can easily build up during these times, and doing a detox afterwards can be super helpful to regain strength, energy and vitality.

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