Take a look at the word detoxify. The root word is toxin, so to detoxify is to remove toxins. The more your body stores toxins, the less able it is to fight off infections, colds, and flu. Toxins may be stored in many areas of your body, but your colon, liver and lymph nodes are the most common.
When your body is tired, dehydrated, or otherwise stressed out, all systems go into emergency mode. This keeps you going, but important functions such as toxin removal begin to fall by the wayside when you don’t have enough clean water to flush them out. Sleeping enough and proper hydration are excellent habits to reverse an unhealthy trend, but sometimes you need a more serious approach.
When people talk about detoxification programs they generally are discussing a cleanse of the colon. This is certainly logical. Many important functions take place in your small and large intestines. More and more research says poor intestinal health contributes to overall systemic inflammation. Systemic inflammation is linked to many if not most serious diseases such as lymphoma, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and even cancer. Dr. Mark Hyman has a published blog titled Is There A Cure for Autoimmune Disease? which details in plain language how our immune system can turn on itself if not properly supported. A periodic colon cleanse may benefit most people. The more you “need” the cleanse, the more uncomfortable it may be the first time, but the results for your overall health are worth the temporary discomfort.
Revisiting fiber: According to the Institute of Medicine the average American adult is only eating 15g of fiber per day. It is recommended that women have at least 25g grams of fiber, and men need 38g or more. The daily habit of adding enough fiber to your diet helps keep your colon working as it should, and may reduce the need to do a periodic and sometimes uncomfortable cleanse.
Your liver is another organ of your body which stores toxins when necessary. Certain nutrients and herbs can help detoxify the liver, and keep it functioning well. While hydration is important for all of your body, consuming healthy fat is another important part of cleaning up your liver. Good fats can “push out” the toxic fats your liver may be holding onto if you are not including enough essential fatty acids in your diet.
Your lymph system is also key to your immune system, and can benefit from detoxification and support. Essential nutrient vitamin C helps support your lymph system, and certain other nutrients can help as well. More than 50% of Americans are deficient in vitamin C.
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