Lacking Energy? It May be Time for a Detox!
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Feeling run down, tired, bloated or depressed? If you’re lacking energy, it may be time to cleanse your body from the inside-out! Here, Millie Lytle, ND, MPH, CNS former Director of Nutrition for InVite® Health, highlights five major organs you should target in your cleanse to help you reap the benefits of a strong body with glowing skin and more energy.
The major organs that eliminate waste and toxins from the body are called emunctories. Emunctories are excreting organs or ducts that serve to carry waste out of the body. Here is how to improve the function of your emunctories via regular detoxification.
The liver is the workhorse of the body. It performs over 500 vital functions and creates about 1000 different enzymes. It serves a crucial role, acting as the body’s main filter and detoxifier. If the liver is not functioning properly, the entire body suffers.
There are several key nutrients that have been shown in clinical trials to support liver health, specifically neutralizing and expelling harmful toxins such as tobacco, pesticides, some prescription drugs, chemicals and damage brought on by alcohol, before they are able to cause the body harm.
NAC, or N-Acetyl-Cysteine, is a nutrient that helps your body produce Glutathione, an amino acid which acts as a detoxifying agent to most organs, helping to remove harmful, toxic, heavy metals that inhibit proper organ function. Alpha-Lipoic Acid, or ALA, is known for its ability to target water and lipid-soluble chemicals. Together, these nutrients help improve detoxification in the body, especially the liver.†
Once the liver’s efforts have been facilitated, it is crucial to maintain healthy elimination. Having regular bowel movements – 2-3 times per day – is necessary to remove old waste material from the body, including cholesterol, and prevent them from re-circulating in the blood stream.
Psyllium husk is a carbohydrate that supplies fiber in order to clean the intestines and form bulk in stool. Bitter berries, called Triphala, act as a tonic for the liver and intestines, further promoting healthy digestion. Cruciferous vegetables, like cabbage, can help the liver and colon safely eliminate hazardous waste material, sealing toxic waste to the stool and preventing its absorption.†
Much of the waste that doesn’t get formed in the stool is eliminated through the urine. About 8 cups of water per day is necessary when cleansing to help the body dilute water-soluble waste products and carry out them out through the urine.
Cranberries offer a variety of health benefits, as they contain a wide range of antioxidants. Cranberries have been known for their ability to support urinary tract health issues, such as mild frequency, urgency or irritation. Due to it’s acid level, it has been shown in some clinical trials to inhibit bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract wall. Chlorophyll, from dark, leafy greens is a natural diuretic shown to have protective benefit for the kidneys and other organs of detoxification exposure to pollutants, toxins and heavy metals.†
Clear your Skin!
The skin is the largest organ, covering the entire body and measuring 14-18 square feet. The skin ‘breathes’ via sweat production. Drinking 8 cups of water per day and inducing sweating through exercise and saunas are the best way to improve skin detoxification. When the liver and colon are functioning better, the skin benefits by revealing a radiant, healthy glow.
To further promote clear, healthy skin, choose products – cleansers, toners, and moisturizers – that contain green tea extract, witch hazel, shea butters and aloe vera. Products containing these natural ingredients contain powerful antioxidants that lift away impurities and maintain the skin’s natural moisture balance, deeply cleaning and moisturizing the skin.
Detox your Lungs
The best way detox the lungs is to breathe! If you are a shallow breather, your lungs are not functioning to their maximum potential. Count to five while inhaling for oxygen and exhale on 5 to eliminate carbon dioxide.
If your lungs require extra cleansing, a nutrient like NAC, has been shown to support lung health as it helps to breakdown the immune system’s “chemical messengers” known as leukotrienes and to break up mucus, supporting nasal and respiratory health.†
A healthy detoxification diet consists of mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, gluten-free whole grains, lentils and raw seeds. Eating a ‘clean’ diet for a couple of weeks give the body an opportunity get a break from stimulants, inflammatory foods and alcohol, as well as other sugary and processed foods. You’ll be on a fast track to healthier organ function, energy, restful sleep, shining skin and maybe even weight loss.
Consult a health practitioner prior to a cleanse; especially consult a physician if taking prescription medications.
Have your tried any cleanses or detox options? Share your story and join the conversation in the comments below!