21 signs that your body needs a detox

Posted by Jesse van der Velde on

 

You have heard about detoxing, right? This way of clearing toxins from the body may sound like fad to some people but quite the contrary is actually true: the body is always cleansing itself, without you having to initiate it or even think about it. During this cycle of natural cleansing, toxic substances are neutralised and eliminated from the bloodstream and organs in the body.

The liver, for instance, takes damaging chemicals, toxins and metabolic waste from the blood and breaks it down, expelling it from the body via other organs. So, our bodies cleanse themselves naturally and all that a detox does – is giving it a boost. In this blog, we learn more about detoxing and about the 21 signals that your body is ready for a detox.

Why is a detox necessary?

You may be asking yourself if a detox is necessary at all, considering that the body purifies itself. You need to bear in mind that there are a large amount of toxic elements in our food, cosmetics, cleaning products, medicine, water and air and these have a huge impact on the body. In addition, we are not only exposed to substances in our environment but also to those produced during digestive processes, when the liver releases toxic substances in order to convert substances for elimination. These are, for instance, the end products of the metabolism, toxins and gut bacteria. These toxins are called endotoxins.

The body cannot naturally expel all of the many harmful substances to which we are exposed. If the liver is unable to deal with the large amount of harmful substances, these remain in the bloodstream, where they can cause a lot of damage. They are then absorbed by organs and cells, particularly in the fat cells, where they can remain for many years.

The storage in fat cells is a self-protective mechanism of the body, which prevents the toxins from again getting into the bloodstream. The toxins remain in the fat cells until the liver is able to access them. But as fat cells in many bodies are never broken down, these can stay in the body for far too long. Depending on the kinds of toxins that are in the body, these can cause a range of chronic and degenerative conditions (i.e. Tuma, 2007[1]).

When you detox, you therefore boost the natural cleansing process of the body so that it is more equipped to remove toxins from the bloodstream, tissue, organs and blood cells, restoring balance in the body. Because even if you follow a healthy lifestyle -  eating only unprocessed, organic products and using no cosmetics, medicines or chemical cleaning products, it is impossible to completely protect your body from being exposed to harmful substances. That is why it is good for everyone to cleanse and detox the body every now and then.

Do you need to detox? Have a look at these 21 signs

It is generally believed that a detox should be undertaken every six months, but your body can also send you signals that it needs a detox. If one or more of the following is true for you, then it is time for a detox:

  1. White/yellow spots on your tongue/bad breath
  2. Your body is retaining water (i.e. swollen feet) or your nose is blocked
  3. You have too much belly fat  
  4. You crave sugar-rich foods
  5. Gall bladder problems or you have had yours removed  
  6. You often struggle with bloatedness
  7. You often struggle with excessive perspiration
  8. You can’t seem to lose weight
  9. Skin problems (acne, rosacea, itching)
  10. Fatigue, especially in the morning
  11. Mood swings
  12. Auto-immune problems
  13. Heightened sensitivity for alcoholic drinks and chemical substances  
  14. Sleeping poorly at night
  15. Have had jaundice
  16. You get inebriated fast (after one drink)
  17. Have pain in the liver area after meals
  18. Often struggle with flatulence after meals
  19. Often have belching or nausea after eating fat
  20. Your urine is a dark colour and/or stool is light-coloured
  21. You bruise easily

A natural way of detoxing

As stated before, detoxing is mainly done to support the body when it eliminates toxins. You can do this by beginning to optimise your eating habits:

  • Drink 1,5 to 2 litres of water daily, spread over the day
  • Try to eat at least 500 grams of vegetables per day
  • Choose brightly-coloured fruit (frozen fruit can be handy)
  • Have fatty fish 2x a week (for the omega-3 fatty acids)
  • Eat one or preferably 2-3 eggs a day  
  • Consume daily one handful of raw, unsalted nuts. Vary the type of nut you eat each day.

Some foods also contain specific nutritional substances that improve the functioning of the liver, stimulating and supporting it in the detoxification process.  (Madrigal-Santillán et al., 2014[2]):

  • Artichoke
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Leeks
  • Mushrooms (like maitake, shiitake)
  • Cruciferous vegetables (i.e. broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, radishes, arugula, bok choi, water cress)
  • Raw cacao or dark chocolate (at least 85% cacao)
  • Nuts
  • Seeds (i.e. sesame seeds, chia seeds)  
  • Blue berries  
  • Grapes  
  • Prickly pear cactus
  • Rhubarb
  • Eggs
  • Horseradish

In addition, it is important to avoid certain foods as much as possible, especially foods that can cause food sensitivity, allergy or intolerance, thereby causing other nutritional substances to be poorly absorbed. These include sugary foods, processed foods (in which more than one ingredient comes from a package, bag or bottle), gluten-containing grains, diary products (milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yoghurt), non-fermented soy, (tofu, soy milk and vegetarian meat substitutes based on soy).

This is how you aid the liver by detoxing

If you would like to support your liver with the detoxing process, then this is done best by drinking between 1 and 3 green smoothies per day. Green smoothies consist of whole, green vegetables and fruit and therefore contain a generous amount of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes that help protect the body against the effects of free radicals and assist in breaking down toxins.  

If you have no time to make green smoothies or find them very expensive, then you may be interested in Superfoodies Green Juice. Superfoodies Green Juice is a powder made of 26 different kinds of vegetables, algae and herbs that when combined, ensure that you get a very broad spectrum of nutrition, much more than most people get from their diet each day. This is due to all of the Green Juice ingredients having unique benefits and together making a very complete superfood. Diverse superfoods in Green Juice, like chlorella, spirulina, kelp powder and matcha powder are also very rich in chlorophyll, which cleanses the liver and gut and is one of the components of the blood itself, also being a source of pain relief and possibly strengthening the immune system as well.  (Mason, 2001[3]; Wu et al., 2005[4]).

Superfoodies Green Juice is not only a complete nutritional supplement that gives you all your daily required vegetables in one drink, but perhaps more importantly - it is very tasty! It has a fruity taste much like fresh fruit juice. Superfoodies Green Juice is also 100% natural and contains no artificial additives or remnants of harmful substances like pesticides. It is especially suited for those who are very busy, as Superfoodies Green Juice is a healthy drink that is quick to prepare: you only need to add water and your Green Juice is ready to be enjoyed.  

References

[1] Tuma, Rabiya S. “Environmental chemicals—not just overeating—may cause obesity.” Journal of the National Cancer Institute 99.11 (2007): 835-835
[2] Madrigal-Santillán, Eduardo, et al. “Review of natural products with hepatoprotective effects.” World J Gastroenterol 20.40 (2014): 14787-14804.
[3] Mason, Russ. “Chlorella and Spirulina: green supplements for balancing the body.” Alternative & Complementary Therapies 7.3 (2001): 161-165.
[4] Wu, Li-chen, et al. “Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of Spirulina and Chlorella water extracts.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 53.10 (2005): 4207-4212.

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