Our body is exposed to a range of chemicals and toxins on a daily basis. From polluted air to chemically treated vegetables and fruits, we are surrounded by toxins that find a way to enter our internal system and affect our well-being. These toxic wastes tend to accumulate and circulate throughout the body. They have the potential to affect the immune system as well as cause an imbalance between hormone levels, both of which are linked to slower metabolism. Research shows that toxin accumulation plays a crucial role is obesity and delaying the process of weight loss. In addition to that, some undesirable microbes that enter and multiply in our digestive system, due to use of antibiotics or excessive consumption of sugary foods, tend to cause digestive problems, which further affects metabolism, making weight loss extremely difficult.
It is particularly important to lower toxic load and restore the body’s balance and regulation from time to time, through a process call detox, short for detoxification. Detox is nothing but the body’s natural process of removing toxins and impurities from the blood. And there are several natural ways that you can consider to support this natural mechanism of detoxification.
- Healthy diet: A healthy diet can go a long way in reducing toxin overload in your body and maintaining a healthy natural detox process.
- Fibre-rich foods: Foods like beans, lentils, fibrous fruits and leafy greens are a good source of fibre which enhances the digestive process and boosts elimination of toxic wastes. Further, they also contain certain nutrients which have antioxidant properties, protecting the organs from harmful effects of toxins.
- Health fats: Several studies have pointed out the role of natural fats, healthy oils and spices in boosting detoxification. You can benefit a lot by just adding them in your daily meal preparation to support detoxification.
- Nuts and seeds: Making nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts and flaxseeds a part of your diet can boost elimination and excretion of toxins.
- Protein sources: Make sure that you include protein sources such as meat and fish in your meals. Proteins are required for enzyme production to carry out the detox process in the liver cells.
- Avoid processed foods: Processed and packaged foods are often treated with preservatives and chemicals to enhance their longevity. Even though they don’t cause immediate problems, over a period of time, they cause accumulation of toxins. The more toxin load in your body, the more difficult it becomes to lose weight.
- Drink enough water: Just by drinking plenty water, you can keep your internal processes working at optimal levels. Water acts as a natural detoxifier and it also helps in boosting weight loss. It is important to note the quality of drinking water. Filtered water should be your preferred choice. Avoid drinking water stored in plastic bottles over a long period of time.
- Exercise regularly: We all are aware that exercising helps us burn calories and lose weight directly. But exercising regularly has more benefits than that. When you exercise, you sweat and sweat acts as a good medium to eliminate toxins and wastes accumulated in the muscles.
- Focus on getting good sleep: Having a healthy sleep schedule is important for your natural detoxification process. When you don’t get enough sleep, toxic accumulation in your body increases and your body is unable to carry out its detoxification effectively. On the other hand, when you sleep, the cellular system of your brain relaxes, allowing toxins to be flushed out of the system. This, in turn, results in healthy circulation and supply of nutrients throughout the body.
- Avoid midnight snacks: Many people have the tendency to eat unhealthy snacks after dinner, especially when they stay awake late night. Eating late at night is linked to slower metabolism and weight gain. It also disrupts digestion and causes sleep deprivation due to increase in toxin load of the body.
- Maintain good hygiene: Healthy hygiene practices act as first line of defence against toxin ingestion. Practices like washing hands before eating reduces entry of toxins in the body thereby lowering the stress on the liver to carry out the detox process.
- Avoid stress: Stress can severely impact the ability of liver to detox your body. Firstly, stress increases cravings for processed foods that contain unhealthy fats and high sugar content. Secondly, stress impacts the enzymes that break down fats which can further cause weight gain. Practicing yoga or meditation can calm you down and lower stress levels significantly.
Detoxification is a slow process and you may have to adhere to these changes over a period of time to see significant results. You can use each of these tips in different phases of detoxification to achieve your weight loss goals faster.
Dietician Arti Jain
MSc (Dietetics), PG Dip(Nutrition), Diabetic Educator (USA), International Certified Obesity Management (Australia), International Sports Nutrition ( California), Dip in Skin Aesthetics & Trichology