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How to Get Rid of Toxins in Your Body

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5.27.20

BY: DR. KYON HOOD, MD

Toxins are all around you. You consume them in the food you eat, the fluids you drink, and the air you breathe daily. Of course, you know that toxins are harmful. But what are they, and why are they so bad?

Toxins are all around you. You consume them in the food you eat, the fluids you drink, and the air you breathe daily. Of course, you know that toxins are harmful. But what are they, and why are they so bad?

Toxins Explained

Toxins are any harmful substance produced by a living organism, for example, snake venom or a bee sting. We refer to toxins made by humans as toxicants. When your favorite skincare brand holds a live event on Instagram about flushing out “toxins” with a new mask, toxicants are usually what they’re describing.

Toxicants are the harmful substances that dwell within your body and have the potential to negatively affect your health. These substances can come from food, products that you use daily, drinking water, and other sources we may not even think twice about. Many of these toxicants are considered low-level threats to your health, but others have the potential to cause a lot more damage, and are worth avoiding as best we can.

Low-level toxicants enter and leave your body all the time, and they’re typically filtered and neutralized by your liver or kidneys. These toxins are processed within your body, then expelled from your system when you use the bathroom – or even when you breathe.

Your body’s built-in filtration systems are normally more than capable of getting rid of low-level toxicants, but overwhelmingly high levels of these substances can be too much for even the healthiest person.

In some cases, a person’s immune system may not be well-equipped to rid their body of toxicants, especially if that person has a highly sensitive immune system or a pre-existing health condition. Some chronic health conditions have symptoms that can get much worse when too many toxicants are present. As a result, doctors often encourage patients who suffer from these conditions to make changes to their diets and lifestyles to avoid worse symptoms.


Why Detoxify?

Detoxification is any process that reduces the amount of toxins present within your body. There are too many benefits to detoxifying to list, but let’s briefly cover some of the most convincing reasons to get rid of toxins in your body.

  • Weight loss and management: When your body is overwhelmed by toxins, your metabolism is likely to lose some of its efficiency, meaning you won’t be able to effectively process and receive energy from the food you eat, often leading to weight gain or difficulty losing weight. If you’re interested in reaching a healthier weight – and maintaining it – reducing the amount of toxins that you take in on a daily basis is a must.
  • More energy: Toxic substances aren’t meant to be hanging out in your body, so even an excess to the smallest degree can dramatically affect how you feel. One often-reported effect of toxins in your body is feeling lethargic and sluggish. You may notice these feelings of fatigue subsiding after taking steps to detoxify.
  • Increased internal organ function: Organs like your liver and kidneys play key roles in processing the toxins that enter your body, and they’re likely to be overwhelmed if too many toxic substances are present. Weakened kidneys and an impaired liver can cause major problems for your health, so keeping toxin levels to a minimum by controlling what you can and being more selective of what you ingest and consume are essential.
  • Stronger immune system: Toxic substances have the potential to make you sick, especially after consistent long-term exposure. Detoxifying is one of the best things you can do for your immune system – it’s a practical step to take to be kind to your body and promote better health.

Cleansing Your Body

If you’re not sure where to start in getting rid of toxins, don’t worry. There’s a lot of information out there, and it can be overwhelming. An excellent place to start is staying well hydrated. Health authorities recommend eight 8-ounce glasses or about 2 liters. This is called the 8×8 rule and is super easy to remember.

Looking to really detox? Here are six tips that cover how to get rid of toxins in your body.

1. Exercise

(Stop putting off the IG workout class!)

Working out is a great way to rid the body of toxins, according to The Telegraph. As you exercise, you create a condition for the body to optimize circulation and release toxins through sweat. It’s a win-win.

2. Sleep

(Put the phone down at night)

According to Healthline: Sleeping allows your brain to reorganize and recharge and remove toxic waste byproducts that have accumulated throughout the day. So, be sure to get your 8 hours!

3. Pack in the beans

(and lentils!)

Your body needs vitamin zinc to maintain a normal metabolic process in all of your internal organs. Jaclyn London, M.S., R.D., a senior dietician at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, recommends beans and lentils as a great source of zinc.

4. Eat foods high in probiotics

(If you needed a reason to drink more kombucha)

Gut health is just as important as mental health but often gets overlooked. Intestinal cells have a detoxification and excretion system that protects your gut and body from harmful toxins.

5. Incorporate IV therapy

(especially if you have trouble keeping yourself well hydrated)

help replenish essential vitamins and antioxidants to nourish the body, while also targeting the major detoxification pathways such as the liver.

6. Eat more fiber

(Say with me: fiber is my friend)

Ann Louise Gittleman, the author of The Fast Track One-Day Detox Diet, says, “The colon is the garbage dump in your system, but fiber acts as a garbage truck hauling away the toxic waste.” Increase those fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Get Rid of What You Don’t Need

If you’re like me and hit the snacks PRETTY hard during this quarantine, you’re probably due for a detox. Detoxification and detox are incredibly popular buzzwords, but try not to get lost in the cleanse craze. Your body does a pretty good job of getting rid of toxins by itself, but we all need a little extra maintenance. You’ve had time to clean your room, social circle, and texts. Have you taken the time to put that same attention into your body?

Sources:

What Are Toxins? | Mental Floss

Exercise detoxes body of depressive chemicals, scientists find | Telegraph

7 Easy Ways To Remove Toxins From Your Body Today | Bustle

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