Detox. With summer looming its ugly head (I really hate summer) the Facebook ads pushing the latest pills and powders to help your body with a process that it’s been managing by itself for the past million or so years have begun to multiply.
Now I’m not here to knock detoxing, because it’s very important. Without it, we’d all be dead. The issue comes when we are led to believe that our body is somehow failing at this task, and it needs you to cut out a whole bunch of foods or swallow various herbs and supplements to fix things.
What is detoxing?
The major organ responsible for detoxification in your body is the liver. This incredible organ filters 1.5 litres of blood PER MINUTE, to help remove foreign substances such as drugs, alcohol and bacteria, as well as all of the waste products your body produces whilst keeping you alive. Once these substances have been broken down, they are then filtered out of your blood and exit your body via your sweat, your breath or your toilet. (Side note, it can also REGENERATE. This is my new favourite fact that I’ll be telling everyone at parties.)
Thanks to your liver, kidneys, skin and lungs your body does an amazing job of detoxing, but there are certain things we can do to help it keep up the good work. These are my detox dos and don’ts:
Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables
Detoxing is hard work, and our liver needs lots of vitamins and minerals to help it do its job. The absolute best way to make sure you’re getting all of the vitamins and minerals you need is to eat a wide range of fruits and vegetables every day. Getting these things from food ensures we’re getting them in the form the body recognises and can make the best use of. Not sexy, but important. Not sure how to incorporate more of these goodies into your diet? Jono can help!
Drink Plenty of Water
All three ways that waste products are transported out of our body involve water, so it’s important to make sure that we’re adequately hydrated. Recommendations vary depending on a whole host of things such as your body type, activity levels and environment, but 2-3L a day is a good start!
As I mentioned before, the liver burns through lots of vitamins and minerals whilst going about its daily business. This has led to a pretty huge market for supplements to support your liver, with the belief that if some vitamins and minerals are good for us, more must be even better! The reality is, the amounts we get from fruits and vegetables are more than adequate and are in a much better form. There have also been reported cases of these supplements actually DAMAGING the liver. The irony. Instead, follow my first tip and save your cash.
Over consuming alcohol can increase the demand on the liver, as it prioritizes breaking down and excreting alcohol before dealing with the other things it needs to do. Australian guidelines recommend no more than 1-2 standard drinks per day, and no more than 4 standard drinks at any one time. It’s also a good idea to include a number of alcohol free days each week. Sticking to these guidelines is a great way to make sure we’re not adding a long list of extra jobs to the liver’s to do list.