With my yearly Detox Challenge nearing its end, I’ve gotten a lot of questions from about the actual biological and chemical processes that make detoxing so effective.
- What are these “toxins” everyone keeps talking about?
- Why can’t our bodies get rid of them on their own?
- Weren’t our livers designed just for that purpose?
In this post, I’m going to answer all of these questions, and show you exactly what happens to each part of your body during a detox.
What Are Toxins (And Where Do They Come From)
The terms “toxins” refers to substances that have accumulated in your body and are likely to cause unwelcome health effects.
As members of modern society, we are exposed to far more toxins than someone living a thousand or even a hundred years ago.
The problem with that? Our livers, kidneys, and other organs were not designed to deal with the amount of industrial toxins we encounter today.
The Center for Disease Prevention and Control has found detectable levels of more than 200 chemicals like pesticides, retardants, and tobacco by-products in the blood and urine samples of large groups.
Some of these are known cancerogens; others have been proven to affect hormone levels in women.
So, where do these toxins come from?
For starters, the standard American diet is full of processed foods, saturated fat, and, worst of all sugar.
Neither is good for the body - or for the brain.
In addition to that, we no longer live in clean, non-toxic environments.
The polluted air we breathe in, the plastic items we use on a daily basis, even the medicine we take - everything is so much more toxic than it once was.
Your body is not equipped to deal with that many chemicals on a daily basis.
However, this is where a well-designed detox program can really help!
What Actually Happens to Your Body During a Detox
A detox helps rebalance the gut bacteria, aid the liver in eliminating these toxins from the body, gives the other organs a rest, and lets the body refuel with lots of healthy nutrients.
The Western diet excess sugar, dairy, and processed foods can wreak havoc on your gut bacteria.
Even plant-based diets are not fool-proof: vegan junk foods and processed vegan substitutions can have a similar effect on your gut if consumed excessively.
Doing a detox can help you rebalance your gut microbiomes and significantly reduce inflammation.
That’s why just a week of eating detoxifying foods can help you reduce digestion issues like bloating, gas, and constipation.
Rebalancing your gut bacteria can also help you see improvements in your sleep, mood, and even allergies!
The primary function of your liver is to detoxify your body naturally.
However, your liver was not designed to process the amount of toxins someone living in the modern world encounters every single day.
If you are digesting more toxins than your liver can keep up with, it might need a little help.
It doesn’t take much - a single night of cocktails can send your liver into overdrive and wreak havoc on its ability to eliminate toxins from your body.
A detox helps your liver do its job much more effectively, especially during times when your body is under a lot of stress.
A detox will lower the oil production in your skin, which will help those of you who struggle with breakouts or acne.
However, be warned: your skin may actually look worse during the first week of a detox.
You can speed up the detoxifying process (and get clearer, brighter skin a bit sooner) if you do a little high-intensity exercise or hop into the sauna during the detox.
The mental energy boost you get from a detox is largely due to the rebalancing of the gut bacteria.
After the first few days of a detox, your “brain fog” should dissipate and you should feel a steady flow of energy going through you.
You can also expect improvements in mental clarity, concentration, and focus.
If you are feeling more cranky thank usual thorough most of the detox week, don’t worry!
The first few days of quitting sugar and caffeine may be rough, but you will definitely experience a mood boost at the end of the detox week.
How Meal Mentor Can Help
Didn’t manage to jump into this year’s Detox Challenge?
I’ve got your back with a downloadable PDF Detox Challenge plan you can do on your own time and repeat as needed throughout the year (i.e. after vacations).
It includes tons of healthy, plant-based recipes, a complete grocery list & my beloved detox drink recipe that I drink 365 days a year!
Thinking you might need a little more support on your journey to health and happiness?
OR do you feel SO GOOD you want to keep it going?
Start your membership with Meal Mentor for immediate access hundreds of simple plant-based recipes that are both healthy and delicious. You’ll also get weekly accountability reminders and a copy of the meal plan I’m using to feed MY family.
Ready to make 2019 your healthiest year yet?