Detox Hari Ghotra

How to Detox Your Body at Home

Detoxing is a bit of a buzz word, but when it comes to detoxification it’s important to understand that our bodies are naturally equipped to remove toxins- it’s a process that happens every day, all year round. Our bodies take on toxins all the time and this is called our ‘toxic load’; if you take on more toxins than your body can eliminate it will start to affect your health. Some of the common symptoms of a high toxic load may include chronic itching, tiredness, bloating, headaches, skin issues and irritability.

The food and nutrients we consume can help our bodies clear out toxins naturally. B vitamins, protein, bioflavonoids, glutathione and other important minerals all help the digestive tract, liver, kidneys and skin to remove these toxins. Here’s a quick overview of how to support your body’s natural detoxification system.

What is a Toxin?

A toxin is a molecule that can cause damage and disease in the body. Toxins can come from the environments in which we live, from sources such as chemicals in our food and food packaging, cosmetics, medications, cookware and air pollution. Toxins can also be produced inside the body as by-products of everyday biological processes, such as ammonia, excess hormones and free radicals. Our toxic load is ever increasing due to pollution, pesticides, food packaging and many other sources.

How Does Our Body Deal With Toxins?

Our bodies can identify, disarm and eliminate most toxins from the body, although how efficiently these processes happen is dependent on age, genetics, sex and lifestyle choices. The gut is our largest interface with the outside world; beneficial bacteria and specialist gut cells work to identify toxins, prevent them from being absorbed and disarm them. Toxins that make it through this barrier, or those that are absorbed through the skin or inhaled, are carried in the blood to the liver where most of the detoxification process occurs. Here they are transformed and made more water-soluble so they can be more easily and safely carried out of the body via the gut in stools, kidneys in urine, skin in sweat and lungs in exhaled air.

How Can Nutrition Help?

There are several nutrients that are central to the detoxification system’s ability to deal with the vast array of toxins that accumulate in our bodies. Detoxification also demands large amounts of energy, without which the process can become compromised and we can start to feel very tired – this is what many people experience on a typical ‘detox’. As our bodies are constantly working to eliminate toxins, making some simple lifestyle choices to support it is important for overall health and wellbeing.

Dietary Tips for Supporting Natural Detoxification

Eating a whole and balanced diet made up of nutrient-rich and colourful foods is a great start. Some top tips include:

Eating a Fibre-Rich Diet 
  • Fibre is required for keeping the gut clear of waste matter and preventing it from being reabsorbed back into the body. Fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and pulses are all good examples of fibre-rich foods. 
Having Enough Protein (But Not Too Much!) 
  • Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and the liver requires a selection of these for its detoxification processes to occur effectively. This is why many juice cleansing diets don’t work - they just don’t provide the proteins required. 
Getting Your Fats Right 
  • Toxins can be stored in fats, so opt for lean, organic meat or wild fish to help keep your toxin intake down. Over-heating some cooking oils causes them to oxidize and become toxic, so it’s better to choose a fat with a high smoke point such as coconut oil, ghee or rapeseed oil, as these can stand higher cooking temperatures.  
Drinking Plenty of Caffeine-Free, Sugar-Free & Unsweetened Fluids 
  • This will help your body to flush out toxins - try and aim for around 1.5 litres per day.
  • Keeping active helps your body sweat out toxins.
This Mustard Marinated Halibut recipe is a great recipe that takes into consideration some of the key elements in supporting natural detoxification - try it here. 

By Hari Ghotra
Food blogger and chef at the Tamarind Collection of Restaurants.
Hari’s always loved Indian food and creating spicy dishes. She trained at the Tamarind Collection of Restaurants and flies back and forth to India in search of great flavours, textures and aromas.
Want to see more great Indian food recipes? Click here to go to Hari's webpage. 

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