After any holiday or crazy weekend your body normally feels a bit sluggish and tired after all the overindulgence.
This is a good signal to start detoxifying the body!
Detoxification, or detox for short, is the physiological removal of toxic substances from the body.
Detoxing has been around for centuries and is about resting, cleansing and nourishing the body from the inside out.
The following symptoms are all signs of toxicity in the body: fatigue, headaches, low back pain, nervousness, neck pain, gastrointestinal upset, skin problems, allergies and food intolerances to name but a few.
If you experience any of these symptoms or have simply been overdoing it then it will be worth giving yourself a detox.
The main culprits that lead to a toxic body are dehydration, processed foods, pasteurized dairy products, processed juices, dehydrogenated fats, caffeine and stress.
Eliminating these common causes even for a week will make you feel human again. Let’s take look at them in further detail.
We need to consume half our body weight in pounds, in ounces of water a day. Alternatively multiply your body weight in kilograms by 0.033 to calculate how much water to drink in liters.
If you not consuming this much water then there is a good chance you are dehydrated.
When the body is dehydrated it will scavenge water from the vital organs including the digestive system.
If the membrane of the colon is dehydrated it will make bowel movements hard and can lead to constipation.
Constipation turns the body toxic.
If waste remains in the body for more than 24 hours it will rot and smell foul. Just like when you leave the garbage out and it doesn’t get collected. It’s not nice.
The colon then drains as much water as possible from this backed up waste to hydrate the body, drawing toxics back into the blood stream and leaving the matter dry and compact.
These foods contain an alarming number of chemical additives, preservatives, colourings, stabilizers and emulsifiers.
There are over 4000 chemicals used in food processing, all of which our immune system doesn’t recognize as food. The intestinal tract tries to dilute and remove the food, which is how we get diarrhea.
These chemicals also stress the digestive system causing it to slow down our digestion and elimination which again leads to constipation and a toxic bowel.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not require manufacturers to include additives on the labels of foods and a simple ‘artificially flavored’ or ‘contains artificial coloring’ will suffice.
It is no surprise to learn then that the average person consumes 150 pounds in dry weight of these toxic chemicals each year!
Non-organic dairy products contain hormones, antibiotics and pesticides from feed eaten by the animals we eat.
It is also badly damaged by pasteurization and homogenization that is no longer really a food.
This heat kills the lactase enzymes that naturally break down lactose in milk. Most people are lactose intolerant to some extent.
The same applies to processed juices. Cooking the juice, which has to be done to extend its shelf life, also damages all the nutrients and vitamins that naturally occur in fresh fruits, vegetables and freshly squeezed juices.
This just leaves us drinking sugar water, which causes indigestion, and this undigested sugar is a feeding ground for unfriendly bacteria and parasites in the gut.
These critters also have to excrement, which is highly toxic too!
Dehydrogenated fats often found in processed food and at fast food restaurants are damaged from the heating process, giving them a chemical structure more similar to plastic than any food.
This makes it very hard to digest, which produces excess bile and can again lead to diarrhea.
Most people have drinks containing caffeine such as coffee.
When coffee enters the intestinal tract it stimulates the digestive muscles and triggers bowel movements as the body is trying to eliminate it. Not only is this an irritant to your intestinal tract but is also a diuretic and will further dehydrate you.
In today’s world, stress is at an all-time high.
We wake up early, get stuck in traffic, rush around all day, deal with work problems, make the school run and watch something horrifying on the news to add to it all.
When we are stressed, the body prepares itself for fight or flight and digestion is compromised and slowed down.
This is a primal mechanism for safety.
Over time your body senses that waste is not leaving the body, so your appetite lowers, as it doesn’t want any more food coming in.
You may feel full but the truth is your body is still hungry, as it is not getting the nutrients it needs. You may have eaten three meals in a day but nothing is coming out!
This makes your body very toxic and is similar to leaving the trash out for days on end. Not a pleasant thought.
Trying Yoga or Qi-Gong will have stress-reducing benefits to your lifestyle.
Avoiding the above will give your body the detoxification that it needs. Even if you don’t party too hard it will still be worth eliminating these toxics for seven days.