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Detoxification and its tremendous benefits

Updated: Aug 21, 2023

Detoxification is the body’s natural process of eliminating waste such as mold, fungus and even metabolic toxins from the body, which are naturally occurring toxins as a result of the digestive process.

Our bodies are designed to perform this function on a daily basis and with the right tools, it will work magically in your favor.

Before we dive into the effects of detoxification on our bodies, let’s look at why we need it in the first place.

For centuries our bodies instinctively did the process of detoxification to eliminate naturally occurring toxins produced by the foods we digested and the environment. There were not too many toxins to eliminate back then, as the environment was much cleaner than it is today. Things began to change relatively recently, after WWII. During WWII many biological chemicals were created to combat enemies. The problem is that after WWII many of these chemicals were reintroduced, reinvented for agricultural use—killing herbicides, insecticides, pesticides—leading to their release into the air, land, water, and food. This led to over 60,000 man-made chemicals to be released into the environment and it has never stopped. Our bodies have never been exposed to so many chemicals before, and because we are exposed to it on a daily basis, we never get a break from any of these types of chemicals. Therefore, trying to eliminate them is extremely difficult. Despite being created with good intention, these chemicals have been proven over and over again, to wreak havoc in our bodies and are highly carcinogenic. For instance, chemicals like asbestos, mercury, lead, glyphosate – that have once been used safely, have since been proven carcinogenic. Glyphosate - commonly known as roundup or weedkiller- has been classified as a Group 2a carcinogen, a substance that probably causes cancer in people, yet is still used and sprayed on wheat as a drying agent before harvesting, leading to its presence in many foods that we consume on a daily basis.

Mind blowing, right?

You can read more about these chemicals on the World Health Organization’s page where these chemicals have been classified as highly dangerous to our bodies and carcinogenic.

It's important to acknowledge how disruptive these men-made chemicals are to our hormones and our gut microbiome. Did you know that your gut houses your second brain, or possibly even your primary brain, given the ongoing debate, and that your brain and your gut are in constant communication? In order for your body to function properly, to keep you healthy, balanced and happy, your hormones have to be in in balance as well. Once the microbiome’s normal function is disrupted, so will be your overall health, which will shows up in various forms, starting from brain-fog, sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, to infertility, obesity, diabetes, cancer, just to mention a few.

More than 80% of your immune system is in your gut. Have you heard the saying “heal your gut, heal your life”? Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said that: “all disease begins in the gut”, and today many studies have shown that he was right, there is a very strong correlation between the gut and our overall health. These studies demonstrated over and over again that when the gut was healed, the body healed as well. Hippocrates prescribed detoxification for both preventing and healing diseases in his patients.

Research reveals that the umbilical cord of a newborn contains over 200 men-made chemicals, potentially compromising the health of the innocent baby from the outset, putting her/him at a risk of developing life-threatening diseases before they are even born. Children are more vulnerable than adults and more prone to absorbing toxins and heavy metals, as they have immature detoxifying capacity and greater exposure by body weight. The window of susceptibility to environmental threats is from preconception to the first 2-3 years of life.

In today’s modern world, a full body detoxification is more needed that ever before for anyone but especially for people who want to become parents, for they are creating the future generations.

Over time, especially since the industrial revolution, we started becoming more and more exposed to heavy metals and the heavy metal toxicity has become a widespread concern to our modern-day world. Our bodies need small amounts of some metals in order to function properly. Elements such as calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, potassium, sodium, and zinc all play important roles - some of them are even crucial to the body’s natural detoxification process. However, there are a few metals, commonly referred to as heavy metals, which have no benefit to humans and can be extremely toxic.

The five most common and toxic heavy metals are cadmium, lead, arsenic, aluminum, and mercury (CLAAM). These metals are the biggest concern for most people because, unlike some other metals, they have no known benefit to humans. The CLAAM metals are hard to avoid in all natural environments, have a multigenerational life, and also possess the undesirable quality of being able to bioaccumulate in the tissues of living organisms (like us). Each one of these five metals are also listed on the World Health Organization’s Top 10 Chemicals of Major International Public Health Concern. You can read to further deepen your knowledge and their side effects on the WHO’s webpage.

Although all the man-made chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis are extremely harmful to our health, we add to it by living in a stressful, fast paced life that leads to burnout, depression, anxiety and panic attacks. All of these affect our overall well-being at cellular level.

Our bodies are meant to eat, rest, digest and then repeat. However, when living in this faced paced life with long to-do lists awaiting to be completed, we are always eating in a fast-paced style, therefore we usually leave sleep and rest the last thing on our list. Many people tend to eat in their cars, on their way to work/school/meeting and/or snack constantly which puts lots of stress the body, never giving it the time to properly digest the food or rest in between meals.

Over time, our body gets run down from this fast-paced life , from the not-so-healthy foods, caffeine, alcohol, stress, toxins in our environment, and unhealthy habits that sneak into our daily lives. This accumulation of unhealthy habits screams for a cleansing and detoxification ritual that can give our bodies the time, space, and right conditions to deal with all of these negative factors that run our systems down. Think about it like a reboot for your computer. How many times do you need to restart your computer, download a new software in order to reset it? The same goes for your body. A full body cleanse, a detox can reset your body, renew your cells, give it time to rest, to digest, and HEAL. When you stop feeding the body all these chemicals, it will start to release them. It will let go.

The problem is that people have forgotten how it is to feel good, to really feel good without aches and pains, without burnout and anxiety, without stress, overwhelm and a constant busy schedule. I am here to tell you that feeling good is possible, and when you feel good, you are happier, you can achieve more, your relationship with yourself and others flourish, your stress levels drop and all because you gave your body the necessary tools to rest, digest and renew.

Let’s explore some ways your body can detoxify naturally and how can you help in the process:

1. Through our skin

Most people don’t think of skin as an organ, but our skin is our largest organ, and it plays an important role in detoxification due to its ability to excrete toxins through sweat.

You can support this function by staying hydrated, exercising, spending time in an infrared sauna, or enjoying an Epsom salt bath.

2. Through our lungs

Just by breathing, our lungs filter out CO2, airborne toxins, fumes, mold, and allergens.

Focus on deepening your breath, spending time in nature, or try a focused breathwork class.

3. Through our Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system runs parallel to our bloodstream and works to remove bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens from circulation. Lymph nodes are located in the neck, armpits, and groin areas.

The best way to support your lymphatic system is to dry body brush or try rebounding on a mini trampoline.

4. Through our colon

The colon is a crucial elimination pathway, releasing “processed” toxins through our stool. If we aren’t eliminating stool regularly, then these toxins are reabsorbed back into the body, which can cause the liver to be overburdened.

The best way to achieve healthier stools is to drink plenty of water, look after your gut health, and increase your intake of fiber-rich plant foods.

5. Through our kidneys

The kidneys are our body’s filtration system - they filter around 200L ( aprox. 53gal ) of blood each day! Their main job is to eliminate the toxins and excess fluid through urine. As simple as it sounds, the best way to support your kidneys is to significantly increase your daily intake of good-quality water. It is suggested to aim for 2 - 3L ( 67 to 100 oz) per day, depending on body weight, exercise, lifestyle. Make sure your water contains healthy minerals to support hydration. You can do this by adding a pinch of salt or lemon/lime to your water.

6. Through our liver

The liver is the body’s primary detoxification organ. It cleans the blood and transforms potentially harmful chemicals into compounds that can be readily excreted from the body.

The best way to support the liver is to eat a diverse whole food diet.

As for my personal motivation for detoxification, I embarked on this journey due to a strong internal call from my body, my intuition, my higher self. In the past several years I have learned to listen to my body, to see what it wants, what it craves, how it feels best and to work in harmony with it. Because when I do listen to my body, I feel my best. It’s not only that I physically feel best, but I also feel happy, I feel healthy, I have more energy, I sleep better, and I show up as a better person in return. And that for me is worth everything.

After I have stopped breastfeeding, I always felt that I was ready to detox my body. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, I have consciously chosen to eat whatever my body felt like and many times it surprised me: I was craving more meat, more sugar, more late night snacking and even though I always choose organic, grass fed produce and organic dark chocolate for sweets, I was consuming a lot more than I should have. I was exhausted and my body needed energy and what better way to pump up my energy than with a lot of dark chocolate?!

I have always taken care of my body by being conscious of what and how I eat, by practicing yoga and meditation, by thanking my body for everything that it was capable to do - 2 pregnancies, 2 births, breastfeeding, tiredness, stress and overwhelm. After my second pregnancy, my time for me has subsided and my yoga practice became almost nonexistent. Although I was still eating very healthy, I was overly tired and constantly snacking ( lots of dark chocolate, to be more exact ) and I was not as present with my body nor did I listen to it as I used to.

This is when I decided it’s time for a detoxification, it's time to get back to the basics, to listen to my body, to take care of it with love. Detoxification would not only give me all the tremendous benefits that I have been talking about above, but it would also reset my system to be more aware to what I put in my mouth, to pay attention again to how I feel, how food makes me feel, plus I would get a whole body system reset by literarily shooting nutrients to my bloodstream. By choosing a juicing detox program, I knew that I would give my body the necessary nutrients, while giving it time to rest, digest and renew. My body needed it and I felt it in every cell of my being. During the a week of my juicing detox I kept a journal, I meditated, I became more present with my body. I lost 5 pounds, I gained energy, I got rid of bloating, regained my focus on mindful eating and I felt healthier than I have in many, many months.

By doing a juice detox, you have nothing to lose, but a lot to gain.*

Cheers to health.


Andrea Popan

*Disclaimer: If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or if you are on any type of medication, please consult with your healthcare practitioner before starting any type of detoxification program. If you choose and are allowed to do one, please choose a guided detoxification program led by a professional in the field.

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