No word gets tossed around at this time of the year more than ‘DETOX’.Everywhere you turn someone is on some kind of detox in the form of diets,teas,juices-there is even even a detox coffee!
But what really is the detoxification process? Is it necessary?How do yo know you need to detox?
Quick Biology Lesson
Most people know that the liver is the main detox organ but it’s not the only organ.In the mix is the gall bladder,kidneys,the lymphatic system,colon and skin.Yes,your skin is one of the detox organs,not the most efficient but it picks up where other organs can’t cope.Dull skin tone anyone?
The liver does the main filtering of toxins in the blood that enter the body through the GIT( gastrointestinal tract) BEFORE it enters the rest of the body
Th colon moves whatever detoxification waste the liver has dumped into the digestive tract for elimination because if it hangs around the colon too much due to constipation,there is a risk that it can be reabsorbed into your bloodstream. You don’t want that.
There is another system in the body that we don’t hear much about yet it is one the most important and intricate body systems;the Lymphatic system.It’s made up of tiny vessels and groups of nodes that carry the interstitial fluid in the body and dump it to the blood stream to be removed.It also carries vital immune cell.The special thing about this system is that (1)it has no pumps to move the lymph(2)it moves in one direction.It moves with the help of surrounding muscles that press on the lymph vessels.
And lastly, skin.Skin is our biggest organ but it is also the least efficient when it comes to detoxing.It does however take over from other detox organs when they are overburdened with toxins.
Although the kidneys‘main function is maintaining the fluid balance in the body,it also does detox duty.It filters specific toxins,especially in protein foods, and removes it via urine.The fluid balance is important for blood pressure,electrolytes and the acid -base balance.
Since we have all these organs and systems detoxing while we are busy scoffing our faces with sinful indulgences,why do we need to add detoxification on our health plan?
Because,my nutrivore friend,there are forces bigger than us giving our poor liver and other organs a run for their money.Okay I could be exaggerating but our number one evil is the environment we now live in. Our world is filled with man made toxins,some of them the body does not even recognise. It stands to reason that it will need a bit help getting rid of them.
Another reason is that our diets are deficient in nutrients that assist these organs to work efficiently. Take fibre for instance; time and time again it has been proven that we do not consume enough fibre. Fibre is necessary to move things along our colon. So if we do not have enough fibre to assist elimination,we risk keeping the toxins in the body or even worse,reabsorbing them.
So yes,for these two reasons,among other,we need to detox.
When we embark on a detox program these 3 goals should be what we aim to achieve
1.To reduce the workload of the liver.
2. To stimulate the body organs to move the toxins out of the body.
3.To encourage detox organs to work better.
We clearly indulge excessively during the festive.We eat with the abandon.We are careless with our livers,drinking too much alcohol because,who drinks water during holidays?Really now.
So how do we achieve the above goals? That is the next topic in this detox series. Make sure you don’t miss it.