Updated: Oct 7
DETOX is a popular buzz word these days. The environment most of us live in, and the foods that we are exposed to, all too often cause a buildup of toxins in the body. Fortunately, your body is well-equipped to eliminate toxins and doesn’t require special diets (just eat healthy), or expensive supplements to do so.
However, you can enhance your body’s natural detoxification system with the proper nutrients and regular exercise. In this article we will lay out a program that includes:-
The detox process and why you need to detox.
The foods/liquids you can consume that help the process.
The asanas you can practice to regulate the various organs involved in the process.
The Detox Process
Your body has a sophisticated way of eliminating toxins that involves the liver, kidneys, digestive system, skin, and lungs. The "detox" system actually involves multiple organs and processes, each eliminating certain kinds of waste.
Digestive tract (Stomach, Intestines, Colon) - Responsible for the absorption and excretion process.
Liver - Responsible for processing toxins and removing them from the bloodstream.(link to source)
Kidneys - Filter the toxins from the blood to urine.
Lungs - Responsible for elimination of CO2 and many other toxins. (link to source)
Skin - Handles toxins that are water soluble through sweat when kidneys and liver are overloaded.
Sleep - The brain uses this time to re-organize and get rid of toxins accumulated throughout the day.
All of these processes must work well together to maintain a detoxified body. The body identifies and processes toxins efficiently if all the operating parts are kept healthy. If you consume meat and processed foods, and live in a city environment, chances are that you ingest toxins on a regular basis and should incorporate a detox program for a week or two, every few months.
What You Consume
The human body doesn't produce toxins that it cannot get rid of. All the toxins we are seeking to get rid of in this article are ingested by the body whether in breathing, eating or drinking. Therefore, it should stand to reason that a detox diet is just a healthy diet, with a higher amount of internal cleansing agents. You have to limit your toxin intake as well, for it to work effectively.
There are several things you can stock in your kitchen that will give your detox a kick start. For the time you are on detox, avoid meat and processed foods to decrease your toxin load.
Also, reduce alcohol/tobacco intake if any. Those two have a direct effect on the body's ability to detoxify itself. Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated . Having a diet that includes good amounts of the following products will go a long way toward keeping your insides clean.
Lemons - Lemons contain citrate which helps the kidneys avoid calcium buildup.
Ginger – aids in digestion and supports the immune system.
Leafy Greens - Great source of fiber, minerals and antioxidants
Fresh Fruits - Fruits are packed with minerals and vitamins and phytochemicals. They also contain loads of fiber and are good for the skin. Also, fruits that are high in Vitamin C will help the lungs immensely.
Chia Seeds - Chia seeds become gelatinous and absorb toxins that get left in the digestive tract by the body. Awesome cleaner for your intestines.
Prebiotics/Probiotics - The trillions of microorganisms that live in our gut play a huge role in proper absorption of nutrients and gut function. Eating foods that are rich in prebiotics, and fermented foods such as yogurt rich in probiotics, will help these organisms immensely.
Legumes - Proteins and nutrients aside, legumes also contain Tryptophan, an amino acid that gets converted to melatonin and aids in healthy sleep.
Cayenne - Cayenne helps the body dissolve mucous that store toxins.
Green Tea - High in antioxidants, a few cups of green tea a day will aid your liver function.
During a detox diet, you essentially want to consume nutrition dense foods that with lots of fiber and water. Juicing is a great way to make nutrients easily available to your body, aiding digestion and absorption. Juicing can reduce your risk of cancer, boost your immune system, help remove toxins from your body, aid digestion and help you lose weight. Fresh juices can give you a burst of energy and a clear mind.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
PINEAPPLE – Insanely good immune booster. Helps you in digestion and good for heart problems. Rich with calories and vitamin C.
SPINACH – The beauty of spinach lies in how easy it is to disguise the taste. It’s mild tasting yet packed with vitamins, has anti-cancerous properties, and is one of the healthiest foods on the planet.
CUCUMBER – Since it’s 95% water, it’s an incredible detoxifier and helps with liver and kidney function.
LEMON – One of the most important items to stock in your kitchen. It contains highly effective cleansing agent that cuts through the bitterness of greens.
CARROTS – Known for being a good source of beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin K, and potassium. Carrots have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved eye health.
CELERY – It is a low-glycemic and low calorie food and a good source of dietary fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K.
BEETS – Contain nutrients that may help lower your blood pressure, fight inflammation, and support detoxification. Great for lungs.
APPLES – Helps to fight inflammation and heart health.
ORANGES – It is high in Vitamin C and low in calories which helps to boost Immune system.
FRUIT AND VEGETABLE JUICES
GREEN BOOSTER: Spinach, Cucumber, Celery, Lemon, Ginger, and Apple. Ingredients: 2 cups Baby Spinach Leaves, 4 stalks Celery, 2 large Cucumbers, 1/2 Lemon, 2 medium Apples, 1-2 inch Ginger
BEET BOOSTER: Beets, Carrots, Lemon, Ginger, Apple. Ingredients: 2-3 med-lg Beets, 4 Carrots, 2 medium Apples, 1/2 Lemon, 1-2 inch Ginger
PINEAPPLE BOOSTER: Pineapple, Lemon, Carrot, Celery, Ginger. Ingredients: 2 cup Pineapple, ½ lemon, 1 carrot, 2 stalks Celery, 1 inch Ginger
TROPICAL CARROT: Carrots, Apples. Ingredients: 10 large Carrots, 2 medium Apples
These asanas will gently massage your internal organs and regulate secretions, ensuring maximum efficiency.
Half Lord Of fishes
Wide Leg Forward Bend
Bound Angle Pose
Follow these breathing exercises : Kapalbhati, Nadi Shodhana (click for more detail)
Any Yoga routine should start with a warm up. For a detox program we recommend doing 30 to 50 Suryanamaskars (Sun salutation) per day. This will get your blood flowing to flush your skin and open up the pores for a healthy sweat.
Proper sleep is an essential element for body's recovery mechanisms. Also, deep restful sleep has its own benefits other than detox. We are have linked Yoga Nidra post that we really recommend you to check out, as it's too much to cover here.
There you have it, a complete detox program which will address your body's needs and leave you clean inside without suffering from any loss of energy or muscle. The asanas provided will add a terrific boost to your diet and you will see results much sooner.