Young woman drinking smoothies

Young woman drinking smoothies (© Africa Studio - stock.adobe.com)

Many people looking to clean up their health fast want to detox in the easiest way possible. This is why the traps of expensive supplements and juice cleanses are everywhere you look. However, there is little to no solid research supporting the need to do anything like that to support your body’s ability to process toxins and pollutants.

What is detox?

Detox simply means the removal of toxins. Your body does this on its own. Specifically, it achieves this with the help of different nutrients. Some of the most important nutrients for detox are B vitamins, antioxidants from fruits and veggies, and sufficient protein and fiber intake.

Your body is equipped to find things that don’t belong there, and pass them to your liver. This doesn’t mean that this process is always efficient, though. The liver is one of the most forgiving organs, but it won’t always be.

Estimates show close to 100 million Americans have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This condition develops when excess fat builds up in the liver that isn’t from alcohol. Usually, this comes from poor dietary habits and lack of exercise. This ultimately may impair liver function, inherently reducing your body’s ability to process toxins. Additionally, alcohol is a huge part of the social culture around the world, which can make matters worse. Although you shouldn’t fall into quick-fix fads, supporting your body’s natural ability to do so is still important.

How to help your body detox:

Stop drinking so much alcohol

By now, we know alcohol can seriously harm the liver. It is almost entirely the liver’s job to metabolize these drinks. Chronic alcohol consumption can fatten up, inflame, and ultimately scar the liver. This is one of the best ways to keep your liver happy.

Bartender pouring beer

Eat more wild blueberries

Blueberries (and other berries) are known to supply the body with antioxidants that help neutralize toxins and facilitate their exit. Wild blueberries contain roughly double the antioxidant content of normal blueberries. Eating more of these small yet potent berries can help bind to heavy metals and remove them.

Blueberries on brown wooden chopping board (Photo by Davies Designs Studio on Unsplash)

Sleep more

During sleep, your body works hard to get rid of toxins that have accumulated throughout the day in your body. Studies show that between seven and nine hours of sleep is optimal.

A woman sleeping
A woman sleeping (Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels)

Eat more fiber

Fiber acts like a scrubber, sweeping through and grabbing things your body shouldn’t really have. Fiber also supports healthy bowel movements, which is how your body gets rid of these things. All fruits and vegetables are abundant in fiber. In your digestive tract, soluble fiber can help not only bind and excrete heavy metals like mercury, but also excess estrogen and cholesterol.

A look at some of the best foods for increasing fiber
Foods containing fiber (© bit24 – stock.adobe.com)

Eat less sugar

High sugar intake is a major contributor to fat buildup in the liver. Not to mention, research has consistently linked high refined sugar intake to diseases like heart disease and diabetes, which can impair your body’s ability to get rid of harmful things even more.

A spoon sprinkling sugar on a bowl of oat cereal (© David Smith – stock.adobe.com)

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About Shyla Cadogan, RD

Shyla Cadogan is a DMV-Based acute care Registered Dietitian. She holds specialized interests in integrative nutrition and communicating nutrition concepts in a nuanced, approachable way.

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