Supporting and supplementing your body’s natural detox systems
The primary goal with any successful detox, either periodically or as a long-term approach, should be to support what the body already does naturally. By design, the body has numerous internal systems which eliminate unwanted toxins and chemicals. In this article we have compiled 4 important areas to be aware of when it comes to detoxing and to how to integrate them into your life. Doing this may also have the added benefit of helping the efficacy of our products through strengthening the immune system and supporting key health areas to assist the transportation and activation of GcMAFpets within the body.
It is interesting to note that many of our customers have reported mild detox-like effects simply by using our products. Within our range of creams are certain ingredients which also help detox the body – view ingredients here.
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What is a detox?
In the modern world we are increasingly bombarded by the chemicals in our food, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the cosmetics and household cleaners we use. There are also many other natural and man-made toxins which find their way into the body from various sources, all of which can have a negative effect on our health. Detoxing is all about assisting what the body does naturally to flush out these impurities via the liver, kidney, intestines, lungs, lymphatic system, skin and other organs. The human body is designed to do this naturally, however because many of today’s chemicals didn’t exist 100 years ago, there is additional resistance in adapting to these in modern times. Helping and supplementing the innate role of the body when it comes to detoxing is the premise behind any effective approach.
A common misconception about detoxing is that you have to go on extreme diets and fasting. There are other more manageable ways in which you can help your body to remove and eliminate toxins without going to such extremes. Being mindful of these will help boost your immune system and renew your innate ability to maintain optimum health. Below are 4 broad areas to be aware of when it comes to detoxing.
1. Drink lots of water
The human body is comprised of up to 60% water which we constantly lose through common bodily functions such as urinating and sweating. It therefore goes without saying that drinking lots of water is a great way to assist detoxing by replacing fluid loss and helping flush the body of impurities. Drinking adequate amounts of water also impacts your energy levels, brain function and carries oxygen to your cells. It helps to remove toxins from the body and prevent these from building up and having a negative impact on your immune system. Adding lemon to your water helps increase electrolytes for fluid absorption and assists the digestive system to breakdown foods. Green tea is also a fantastic way to stay hydrated whilst also reaping the benefits of antioxidants and helping protect your liver from toxins.
It is recommended to drink at least 2-3 liters of filtered water per day to stay optimally hydrated and aid detoxification.
2. Ensure adequate sleep
Getting 7-9 hours of good quality sleep each night is important for so many reasons. Although it doesn’t necessarily prevent you from getting sick, sleep deprivation does weaken your immune system thus making you more susceptible to illness. Not getting enough sleep has been shown to have the same negative impact upon the body as that of physical stress and illness. Poor quality sleep has even been linked to high levels of stress, anxiety, high blood pressure and obesity.
During sleep your body produces cytokines, a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation. When you skip restful sleep your body makes fewer cytokines, which can lead to a weakened immune system response. Research has also found that during sleep your brain activates the glymphatic system which flushes waste from the brain into your circulatory system and out through your liver.
It’s important to prioritize good quality sleep. Every hour of of high REM sleep (the deepest type of sleep) is said to be worth more than 2 hours of normal sleep leading up to (and after) this period. The best way to ensure you obtain optimal sleep is to have a regular bedtime, sleep in a dark cool room and do not use any mobile/electronic devices one hour before you sleep. The blue light found in phones, tablets and laptops increases your alertness and can interfere with your sleep rhythms.
3. Vitamins & minerals
The body requires numerous vitamins and minerals to facilitate its natural detoxification processes. Ensuring you meet the recommended daily intake for these, either via the foods you eat or from supplements, is key for successful detoxing. Below are just a few of the main ones you should be aware of in regards to your diet. Where possible the best way to obtain these is through the foods you eat, however in certain situations it may be necessary to use supplements to achieve your desired levels.
Vitamin C Vitamin C is integral to any type of detox approach. It helps deliver antioxidants which fight free radicals, protects the body from toxins, boosts the immune system and helps fight off infections. It also produces Glutathione, a liver compound which is very effective for removing toxins. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant and helps neutralize free radicals, enhance the immune system and detoxify the liver. It is central to the body’s detoxification role and is also stimulated by many of the other vitamins listed below. When it comes to detoxing, it is very important to ensure you have adequate amounts of Vitamin C in your diet. This is best sourced from foods such as citrus fruits, pineapple, papaya, broccoli, berries, cantaloupe, spinach and cauliflower. Your body does not naturally make Vitamin C and therefore must be sourced externally from food or supplements. For adults, the highest daily Vitamin C intake deemed to pose no risks is 2,000 mg per day.
Vitamin D Vitamin D plays an important role towards your health by contributing to bone strength, heart health and healthy skin. Ensuring adequate levels of Vitamin D through safe sun exposure, diet or supplementation is vital for effective immune function as well as detoxing. Like Vitamin C, it helps produce Glutathione and also assists key peptides whose role is to trigger anti-microbial responses, allowing the body to quickly and effectively fight off infections. The recommended daily dose of Vitamin D is 1000 – 4000 IU, with higher levels within this range typically used for more intense periodic detox purposes.
GcMAFpets is a Vitamin D binding protein. We recommend customers increase their daily Vitamin D intake to assist the carrying capacity of GcMAFpets throughout the body.
B Vitamins Vitamin B encompasses a larger group of complex B Vitamins. Your body needs these to help with digestion, brain function, immunity, nerve cell function and energy levels. They also cumulatively support your liver to process and expel toxins to purify the body. Vitamin B12 in particular helps flush out specific toxins including fat-soluble toxic chemicals, sulphites and certain preservatives. Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) stimulates production of Glutathione, which previously mentioned, is imperative for detoxing. B Vitamins are found naturally in many foods include whole-grains, meats, seeds, nuts, legumes and green leafy vegetables. Most people get their recommended daily intake of B vitamins through a normal diet, however for specific detox purposes you may also wish to supplement specific vitamins within this group. If doing so, please make sure to research the recommended daily intake of each specific B group vitamin you take to ensure safe levels.
Vitamin E Vitamin E works in similar ways to Vitamin C when it comes to detoxing. It helps the body produce antioxidants which help neutralize toxins and free radicals to protect your cell membranes and DNA. To naturally obtain your daily levels of Vitamin E you can eat foods such as olive & vegetable oils, nuts (hazelnuts, almonds), seeds (sunflower) and green leafy vegetables. Don’t exceed more than 1,200 IU per day as this may pose a risk towards excessive blood thinning.
Iron Iron is important for many bodily functions, however when it comes to detoxing it has a very specific purpose. Iron activates cytochrome P450 which is a special type of enzyme responsible for assisting the liver to help break down toxins in a format which can be easily expelled from the body. Even if you do not eat meat, you can still obtain high amounts of iron from vegetarian sources such as lentils, tofu, nuts, seeds and green vegetables like spinach, silverbeet and broccoli. Be sure to never exceed the maximum safe daily iron intake of 45mg (dependent on factors including age, sex and pregnancy) because doing so may actually be counter-productive to detoxing and harm the liver.
Vitamin A By promoting antioxidants, Vitamin A helps neutralize free radicals within the body by scavenging and destroying them. It helps give additional support specifically to the liver and lymphatic system, as well as nourishing the skin to help stop toxins entering in the first place. Foods naturally high in Vitamin A include carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, spinach, kale and squash. Recommended daily intake is around 700-900 mcg.
Calcium D-Glucarate This is a special phytonutrient found naturally in cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, cauliflower etc.). It is especially effective for helping detox the liver and removing chemical toxins and excess steroid hormones. The body converts Calcium D-Glucarate into glucaric acid which binds itself to toxins which are eliminated via urine rather than being reabsorbed in their free-form. It also helps inhibit beta-glucuronidase which further allows these toxins to be removed. Other benefits of Calcium D-Glucarate including protecting cells from carcinogens, helping lower LDL cholesterol, aiding protein digestion, and removing excess estrogen from the body. The recommended daily intake should be between 500 to 1000mg.
The first thing people think of when it comes to detoxing is juicing – and for good reason too. This is because juicing is an exceptional method of delivering highly concentrated doses of essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients which greatly the assist the body to expel toxins. By choosing the right vegetables, fruits and other ingredients to use in your juices, you can greatly assist the capacity of the body to perform its natural detoxification roles.
On one end of the spectrum, many people choose to do a full juice cleanse where they consume only juices (no solid foods) for multiple days at a time. The goal of doing this is to give your digestive system a break whilst flooding your body with nutrients to help release toxins. This is certainly a very effective way to fast-track detoxification if done correctly. The main thing here is to ensure all your recommended dietary requirements are met by choosing the right ingredients to put in your juices. If a strict juice-only diet is not for you, there are still many benefits to gain simply by having a fresh green juice as a part of your morning routine each day. Doing so will ensure delivery of key ingredients to assist your body’s natural detoxification processes.
For detox purposes the best ingredients to add to your juices include green vegetables such as kale, spinach, cucumber and celery as well as ginger, lemon, carrots, beets, apples, oranges and turmeric. These ingredients contain high anti-oxidant levels, essential vitamins and minerals, anti-inflammation properties and other vitamins and minerals conducive to eliminating toxins. When preparing your juice it is also important to consider how you make it. A cold-press juice machine is much better to use than a centrifugal juicer because the heat generated by the spinning blades is shown to destroy some of the enzymes and oxidize nutrients. These are a little more expensive to buy but well worth the investment if you are serious about getting the full benefits from juicing. It is also recommended to consume your juice fresh immediately after making it so you absorb the full amount of nutrients and avoid any bacterial growth which may occur if you consume it later.
Other tips and what to avoid
Avoiding toxins at their source More important than what to do when undertaking a detox is often what not to do. Obviously directly introducing toxins into your body from things like cigarettes, alcohol and other drugs is the worst thing you can do, so be sure to clear of these. Also avoid (or safely use) anything else which contains toxic ingredients such as household cleaners, building materials, plastics and any other places or products where toxins are found. By being more aware of putting yourself in situations where toxins or harmful chemicals prevail is key to detoxing, because prevention is always the best medicine.
Maintaining a healthy diet When it comes to your diet it is important to limit additional sugar intake because sugars feed bacteria and cancer cells, as well as generally compromising the immune system. The same can be said of foods high in unhealthy fats because the body actually stores toxins which are not eliminated within its internal fat deposits. This is a double-edged sword because these same toxins negatively affect hormones such as Leptin which are responsible for regulating how the body stores fat and converts it into energy. Add to this the fact that when you lose weight, the toxins stored within the fat are re-released into the body, it is very important to eliminate this at the source rather than adding more fat which exacerbates the cycle. By limiting your fat intake you are effectively creating sustainable long-term support for the body’s natural detox systems. Try to also avoid eating large meals and instead opt for smaller more regular meals instead. This helps avoid bloating which makes your digestive system work overtime, thus limiting the capacity of the body to remove toxins naturally. Maintaining a healthy diet of vegetables, fruit, lean meats, whole-grains and other unprocessed GMO-free natural foods is imperative when it comes to supporting detoxing and general health.
Eliminating stress Another important, yet often overlooked, area to be aware of in regards to detoxing is your mental state. The mind and the body are interconnected at a deeper level and when you are stressed, anxious and tired this will affect the rest of your body. Stress is directly linked with negatively affecting the hormonal, immune and nervous systems, as well promoting weight gain, digestion problems and even illness. Eliminating stress and actively maintaining a relaxed, calm and positive mindset, goes a long way towards not only helping support the bodies natural detox systems, but also promoting wellbeing across many other areas too. Some effective ways to eliminate stress include practicing yoga, relaxation audio programs, tai chi, deep breathing techniques, meditation or any other positive activity you enjoy which makes you feel relaxed and happy
Physical activity Exercise and physical activity is important for a number of reasons when it comes to detoxing. Doing so helps keep the body and internal organs healthy, which in turn supports the natural role of our internal detoxification systems. It also helps burn excess fat where toxins are stored, as well as converting sugars into energy and aiding the digestive system. As an additional benefit, physical activity promotes mental wellbeing and can help eliminate the effects of stress. When approaching any type of exercise please do so within your physical limits. Even just a short relaxing stroll of an afternoon can go a long way to helping here. Although there are many proponents who say that sweating is an effective way to help expel toxins from your system through the skin, there is no real scientific evidence which proves this. When it comes to exercising, it is not so much about building up a sweat, rather the physical and mental benefits which support the detox process instead.
When it comes to detoxing it is important to choose an approach which best suits your current health situation, dietary requirements and lifestyle. By being aware of the areas listed in this article, you can integrate these into creating a sustainable long-term approach to help what your body is designed to do naturally. Of course there are exceptions to every rule and in some cases a more extreme approach is necessary. Regardless, it is always important to be aware of any possible conflicts or adverse effects when it comes to supplementing your diet or undertaking strenuous exercise. If you are unsure, consult with a medical practitioner first. The information presented in this article is not meant to supersede or replace any advice or treatment from a medical practitioner, rather to work adjunct within your own unique needs to help promote better health and wellbeing.
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