Have you ever thought about joining a “detox” but weren’t sure if it were a hoax or the real deal? The term “detox” sometimes gets mixed reviews, as it’s often associated with things like juice cleanses, calorie restrictive diets and quick fixes that promise to help you magically look like a celebrity goddess. But the truth is, detoxification is one of our body’s most important processes when it comes to maintaining optimal health, and there’s a lot of benefit to a detox if it’s done the RIGHT way.
First things first: What is detoxification?
Our body is like a factory – It has to take materials like food, water, sunshine, oxygen etc. and use them to keep our system running. The thing is, there are also extraneous substances that may serve their purpose but then need to be transformed into something else so that the body can eliminate them. This is known as detoxification – our body’s natural (and essential!) process of removing toxins and unwanted materials. There are exogenous materials like heavy metals, pollutants, UV radiation and then there are endogenous materials that body actually produces internally, like hormones and neurotransmitters. All of these materials eventually need to be eliminated from the body. This is done by the body’s built in detoxification system and it’s happening all the time! Natural detoxification actually occurs 24/7, 365 days a year.
So how does detoxification work?
Our primary detoxification organs are the gut, liver and kidneys. Our bowels and urinary tract are also important as they help excrete toxins through our bile and urine. Next up we have our skin, which helps eliminate toxins through our sweat and our lungs, which help us expel CO2. In a nutshell, these organs are involved in our detoxification pathways. Let’s start with the liver, which plays many vital roles in our body. When it comes to detoxification, for example, our liver is our body’s primary filtration system. It’s the star of the show, working day after day to cleanse our blood, excrete waste, metabolize nutrients, store vitamins, support immune function, produce proteins and remove dietary and environmental threats to avoid toxic accumulation. With the help of our kidneys, it’s our detoxification workhorse. Whether it’s one too many cocktails during a night out, a non-organic diet or a round of medication, the liver helps filter and detoxify any materials that aren’t supposed to circulate in our body. There are a few steps to this process. The first step involves using enzymes and oxygen to prepare toxins for removal and the second is when our body actually eliminates them through bile (stool) or urine. The kidneys are equally essential to these processes, as these little bean shaped organs help regulate proper mineral balance, support hormone excretion, flush out urinary bacteria, support a healthy pH and more.
Why is it so important to detox?
While a healthy body naturally detoxifies using the organs we described above, in the increasingly toxic world we find ourselves in today, they’re usually not functioning at an optimal level. Let’s put it this way – Picture a water filter that is constantly used. Day after day for years and years, this filtration system is running, but it’s never cleaned or maintained. This would lead to blockages and an overabundance of toxic substances. That’s what’s happening to our detox pathways! That sure helps put things into perspective, doesn’t it?
5 Reasons To Detox
We clean our homes on a daily basis – wiping the counter, sweeping the floors, cleaning the bathrooms and doing the dishes – and the truth is, we need to be doing the same for our bodies. There’s no quick fix when it comes to our health, but there are things we can do to set ourselves on the right path to upgraded wellness.
Here are 5 reasons you should consider a detox:
1. Our toxic burden is heavier than ever
The challenge we’re facing today is that our volume of toxic burden is greater than it’s ever been. According to the Environmental Working Group, studies show that that the average newborn baby has 287 chemicals in their umbilical cord blood. These are little humans who have picked up a toxic burden without even physically living in the world yet! If this is the case, just imagine how many chemicals we’ve been exposed to in our lifetime that are BIOACCUMULATING and the impact that might have on our long-term health.
2. It can set the stage for healthier habits
A worthwhile detox is one that involves implementable habits and actionable tools that you can incorporate into your daily life. Sure, you can drink green juice for 3 days, but what happens after that? You’ll likely fall back into old habits. In our 21-Day Clean Gut Detox program, we include a variety of easy nutritional guidelines, healthy recipes, an extensive grocery list, fascial release exercises, daily workouts and more to help you implement a long-term approach to living a life full of vitality!
3. It can help you feel better
Picture a dishwasher in a restaurant – Dirty dishes are loaded in and come out clean on the other side. But when the restaurant gets too busy and there are too many dishes to be cleaned, the dishwashing process will slow down. The same thing happens to our detox pathways when we’re exposed to too many toxins (from our food, air and the environment). This can make us feel moody, sluggish, achy, fatigued, bloated and more. Many of us don’t connect what we eat to how we feel, but the truth is, detoxing can make a world of a difference when it comes to healing our symptoms and feeling better.
4. It can curb cravings
Sugar is addictive. Period. If you experience a daily sweet tooth, you’re not alone. Many say that sugar is the new nicotine and in fact, studies show that sugar is even more addictive than cocaine. Although there’s usually a period where you might experience some withdrawal symptoms, a detox can help you unhook yourself from sugar cravings and other hyper-palatable foods. You’ll start to realize just how GOOD you feel replacing inflammatory foods with nutrient-dense options, and a GREAT detox will TEACH you important things like what’s contributing to your cravings and how to recognize true hunger from emotional hunger so you’re better equipped the next time that craving strikes!
5. It can help balance your hormones
One of the roles of our liver is to help break down and remove any excess hormones, which helps to keep our hormones balanced naturally. If you’ve ever heard the term “estrogen dominance” you know what we’re talking about. When our liver is overburdened, it can contribute to the re-circulating of hormones (that should have left the body!) creating imbalances that cause a wide range of symptoms like hair loss, mood swings, and painful periods. Detoxing can give our liver and our hormones the reset that they need!
Ready to take your health to the next level? Join us for our next 21-Day Clean Gut Detox!
About The Movement Boutique in Toronto – Pilates, Chiropractic, Functional Medicine
Located on Yonge Street in Toronto, The Movement Boutique serves the areas of Summerhill, Rosedale and Yorkdale with Pilates classes and much more. Our philosophy is centred on a holistic, multimodal approach to health, grounded in the latest therapeutic techniques and clinical research. Our approach: Optimal health cannot be attained through a single therapeutic lens; injuries are often the result of a constellation of lifestyle issues, including dysfunctional movement patterns, trauma, nutritional deficiencies or destructive habits of mind.