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Although most people correlate detox with juice cleanses, starvation diets and skinny teas, what is detoxification really? It is a biological process that happens ALL THE TIME in order to eliminate waste through sweat, urine, bowels and our breath. The truth is, we are terribly exposed to a toxin-ridden world. And that can be harmful to our health.
Nutritionist Ruchi Sharma, Founder of Eat Fit Repeat, explains the effects of toxins.
“Our body has to fight chemicals, smoke, pesticides and preservatives everyday. Along with the increasing pollution around the globe, toxic overload impacts all systems of our body. It may lead to potential damage to vital organs and tissues throughout the body, including our brain as well as jeopardizing mental and emotional stress,” Sharma tells HealthShots.
The body neutralizes or eliminates toxins via liver, intestine, kidney, lungs and skin. When the body is unable to self- cleanse or self-detoxify, it may show signs and symptoms that need immediate attention. That is when you know it’s time to detox!
Frequent indigestion is a very strong indicator of a body overloaded with toxins demanding for a detox. Sharma says, “Liver is the key organ responsible for detoxification and repackaging of the toxins. Fundamentally, it filters everything that goes in your body. It triggers abdominal bloating, acidity, constipation, diarrhea and resistance to losing weight”. It is when your body prompts for detox on an urgent basis.
If you’re feeling groggy even after hours of sleep or you’re feeling extremely exhausted at the end of the day, that’s a sign for you. Fatigue often creates a lot of stress for adrenal glands. A long- term toxic load leads to a condition named adrenal fatigue, making your glands function improperly due to excessive levels of cholesterol from toxins. Hence, it calls for an urgent need of detoxification in order to get back on health track.
Do you feel overwhelmed by day-to-day activities, and does that even affect your mood? Blame the toxins in your body! Nutritionist Harleen Gulati, Founder, Selfpledge, tells HealthShots, “Stress takes an ugly shape, causing us to have moodiness, anxiety, depression, headaches and even insomnia. It may be due to an imbalance in your cortisol level.”
Cortisol, as we may know, is a hormone that the body releases (especially in the evening) to relieve stress, causing us to be more energetic in the evening”. Hence, it triggers insomnia. To this, Sharma adds, “Toxins like xenoestrogens cause hormonal imbalances, as it is a synthetic mixture of several hormones that act as estrogens in our body. Also, toxins like aspartame have the ability to kill brain cells which affects the optimal functioning of brain cells”. Your mood swings should ring a bell for your detox time!
If your body is oscillating between gaining and losing weight despite the fact that you are calorie counting and exercising, your body is raising an alarm for a detox. Gulati comments, “Adipose tissues also known as ‘fat cells’ have the tendency to hold onto toxins. Our body recognizes it unsafe to break down these fat cells and release the toxins within the body leading to unwanted weight gain. Having rapid changes in food intake, nutrition, alcohol consumption and smoking leads to a situation where the body can’t function properly”.
Waste removal is an important daily function of the body. Sharma says, “Constipation or not having bowel movement can be due to lack of antioxidants in your diet, and it can lead to toxins getting absorbed into your bloodstream. Also, extreme episodes of diarrhea occur when the body is unable to hold excessive toxins thereby, shedding essential vitamins and nutrients from the body.”
If any of these things are happening to you, you need a cleansing and detox plan to give a break to your gut and help it to restore its natural digestive tendencies.
When you notice a combination of these signs, just don’t ignore it! Instead, go for a proper detox diet in consultation with a dietitian.