When you hear the word ‘detox,’ do you immediately think celebrities, influencers and diets? We suggest you clear those social media campaigns from your head because true detoxification is a daily physiological process that is 100% natural, intrinsic to our body’s core, and necessary for optimal whole-body health.
What Does Daily Detoxification In The Body Look Like?
The body relies on multiple organs and complex cellular pathways to remove toxins in a natural process called metabolic detoxification. This process is complex and happens all day, every day – whether you realise it or not.
We have a number of organs (e.g. liver, kidneys, skin) and physiological systems (e.g. respiratory, lymphatic, digestive) that work constantly to flush out toxins and by-products of the body’s everyday processes.
Whether these detoxification pathways are more obvious to us – like daily trips to the bathroom to excrete toxins via urine and poop – or occur without much of our attention (e.g. sweating and expiration aka exhaling carbon dioxide and other toxic gases), they serve a common goal: balancing, cleaning up, and/or casting out unwanted compounds from the body.
Do Our Bodies Need Help Detoxing?
Human bodies are innately wise, and the complexity and effectiveness of detoxification pathways are proof the human body knows what it needs, what it doesn’t, and how to eliminate toxins before they make themselves at home.
That said, like any facet of health, there are many factors that support (or hinder) the detoxification pathways as they clear out what isn’t needed in the body.
“Our environment is becoming increasingly toxic, and the link between environmental toxins and various health concerns continues to expand,” explains Lise Alschuler, N.D., FABNO, professor of clinical medicine at the University of Arizona. “This suggests that ensuring adequate detoxification is important.”
While the body’s built-in systems are designed to promote everyday filtering and removal of toxins, the true challenge is creating daily habits that support the intrinsic detoxification pathways.
How Can We Support The Natural Detoxification Process?
Alschuler notes that detoxification occurs on many levels throughout the body at all times, so fostering healthy detoxification requires a holistic, multifaceted approach.
“One component is to ensure the proper elimination of waste by supporting bowel regularity, doing activities to generate sweat including keeping hydrated to help urination,” she says.
In fact, many of the healthy habits we know to support other areas of our wellbeing, such as exercising, drinking water, and getting good sleep, also promote optimal detoxification.
Unsurprisingly, nutrition plays a big role in promoting organ and system function for proper detoxification.
Alschuler explains that the liver for example, is one of the most important organs for detoxification and that “detoxification pathways in liver cells require adequate vitamins, minerals, as well as natural antioxidant compounds found in plants.”
Detoxification pathways are not only important to buffer us against environmental factors, toxins, and stressors. They also help us achieve homeostatic antioxidant-versus-oxidant balance (aka redox balance) in the body on a daily basis.
Whether consumed through antioxidant-rich foods or targeted supplements, nourishing our bodies with antioxidants each day helps neutralise free radicals to combat oxidative stress – ultimately promoting positive whole-body benefits.
In conclusion, detoxification is an all-day, everyday process, not a ‘sometimes’ thing; and your body deserves the support it needs which you can help along.