by ICANS Editorial Team
When it comes to detoxification, most people do it wrong. Their eating habits have gone a little off the rails, their waistline has ballooned, and they yearn for a fresh start. They turn to juice fasts, crash diets, or apple cider cleanses that end up doing more harm than good.
To help you get on the right path and detoxify correctly, this tip will discuss the most common detoxification mistakes and give you pointers for a successful detox.
Mistake #1: Lack of Nutrients
A common misconception is that with lots of water and colorful juice you can flush all the waste compounds from your body in one fell swoop. In reality, every waste product must go through three phases to be safely eliminated from the body. Fasting, juice cleanses, and plant-based detoxes don’t supply the nutrients necessary for efficient removal of toxins.
In phase 1 detoxification, the liver filters waste products out of your blood. In this first phase, the liver attaches a mineral or vitamin to the toxin. This new compound is toxic and can cause a lot of oxidative damage if not shuttled into Phase 2 detoxification right away. During Phase 2, the liver attaches an amino acid to the toxin, making it water soluble so that it can be safely eliminated from the body.
Fasting, juice detoxes and the like don’t supply the necessary amino acids to neutralize the toxic compounds produced during Phase 1 detox. Instead, toxic compounds end up recirculating in the blood, making you feel sick. Fat loss is often impeded because the body will store the volatile compounds produced in Phase 1 in fat tissue.
Take Away: Detoxification is a nutrient-dense process. Consume abundant amino acids, vitamins, and minerals to ensure you eliminate toxins instead of accumulating and recirculating them.
Mistake #2: Continued Toxin Exposure
There are two kinds of toxins that the body must eliminate during detoxification:
Endotoxins are toxins made inside the body, such as the waste products produced during exercise.
Exotoxins are toxins we are exposed to through skin or mouth from outside the body.
This means there are only two things you can do about toxins:
1) lower your exposure to toxins, and
2) increase your body’s ability to detoxify
A lot of people focus on helping their body to detoxify without reducing their exposure to toxins. Although it’s true that we are practically swimming in toxins in our modern environment, there are actions you can take to lower your exposure. Identify your areas of greatest toxin exposure and do something about them. Here are no-brainer actions you can take to lower your toxin exposure:
Eat organic and get a water filter. Avoid drinking out of plastic whenever possible.
Get an air filter for your home. Furniture, carpet, and paint are all treated with petroleum-based toxins that get into your body through skin and air.
Choose natural cleaning and personal care products. Shampoo, condition, lotion, and cleaning sprays all contain parabens, phthalates, and other toxic compounds that add to the toxic load your liver must deal with.
Reduce your intake of unnecessary medications. Anti-depressants, pain meds, antacids, birth control, and blood pressure medications all put a strain on your liver and your body’s detoxification process.
Take Away: The solution to pollution is dilution. Reducing your exposure to toxins with simple actions is your first line of defense for lowering your toxic load so that you place less stress on your body’s detoxification system.
Mistake #3: An Unhealthy GI Tract
In the third phase of detoxification, toxins are eliminated through either the urine or the feces. If you have an unhealthy GI tract, toxins that are on their way out of the body can break free and re-enter circulation. For example, an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase will cleave estrogen that is on its way out of the body, removing the vitamin and amino acid bound to it, and allowing it to enter the blood stream where it harms cells and DNA.
What are the primary factors that lead to an unhealthy gut?
An overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria in the GI tract will increase beta-glucuronidase levels and impair the elimination process.
Lack of dietary fiber impairs elimination and encourages the growth of harmful bacteria in the GI tract. Fiber also counteracts beta-glucouronidase and helps with the detoxification of hormones such as estrogen.
Consumption of foods that you don’t tolerate well. Food intolerances trigger the release of proteins that harm the intestinal lining and allow toxins to escape the GI tract and re-enter the bloodstream.
Take Away: If you aren’t going to the bathroom twice a day, toxins aren’t being eliminated. Start fixing your gut with a probiotic and fiber supplement.