Detox Breakdown: Guide To Effectively Detoxing Your Entire Body
Written by: Kavata Kithome
Given the right care, your body has the ability to remove, repair, renew and recover. Your body does so much not only to support you, but to also protects itself. This is especially true when it comes to detoxing.
Did you know that there are six organs that support your body’s natural detoxification process?
These organs work tirelessly to clean the air you breath and the blood coursing through your veins, to extract macro and micronutrients from the food you eat, to send healing cells to areas of infections and injury and so much more. I like to think of them as the “Dyson vacuums” of the body: they are the lungs, lymph, liver, kidneys, colon and skin.
Each of these organs work daily to rid excess waste produced from your natural metabolic process. Waste products and metabolites are called xenobiotics, but are usually referred to as toxins. These “Dyson vacuum” organs work around the clock to release toxic burden and improve the function of the metabolically active tissue (MAT).
When your body’s detox organs are functioning at peak performance, you feel better, you are healthier and you are able to burn more calories while sleeping, eating and breathing.
By now you know that I am all about using food as medicine, I also believe that we must eat foods that support our detoxing organs for optimum health. After my research I was happy to find that a lot of the foods, herbs and spices that support these incredible organs are already in my kitchen.
Today I would like to share some tips on how to detox each organ of elimination with simple actions and foods, herbs and spices that you probably already use.
Your lungs are a loyal friend, they are responsible for filtering out CO2, fumes, mold, allergens and airborne toxins. You naturally detox your lungs by simply inhaling and exhaling deeply. Sleeping soundly without sleep apnea or excessive snoring also promotes lung detoxification. This is why taking deep breaths is so important.
Try this breathing exercise; it is especially great for those who are smokers, have smoked or live in places with polluted air. Your lungs will thank you, I promise. This exercise will really help you cleanse your lungs and can be a nice start to your day.
1. Stand up and relax, keeping your arms at each side and your feet a little apart.
2. Take several deep breaths. Breathe in through the nose and calmly exhale through the mouth until you can’t exhale anymore. There’s more air in your lungs, so don’t stop here; while you breathe, you don’t replace all of the air and it stays in the lungs.
3. Next, make your diaphragm let out all the air from your lungs by heavily gasping. Exhale through your mouth a few times, doing “ha, ha, ha” until you think there isn’t any air left in your lungs. This should make you feel as though you have pulled in your stomach to your spine.
4. Inhale fresh air through your nose into your empty lungs.
5. Fully consume your lungs with air and hold your breath for 5 seconds, counting slowly. By now, every cell in your body has been filled with oxygen.
6. Exhale through your mouth once again until there’s no more air left and do the “ha, ha, ha” to remove the last of the air out of your lungs.
7. Return to step 4 and do this as much as you want. Another perk of this exercise is that it makes your stomach stronger.
The foods that are especially great for supporting your lungs are foods with spicy pungent flavors and slippery, soothing textures. These include:
I have shared my experience with my skin several different times. This is because it is the way we present ourselves to the world. Keeping your skin happy and healthy is vital because the skin plays many different roles such as protecting your insides from the elements, helping experience your environment through your sense of touch and sweating out toxins from your body. Like your lungs, it can absorb waste and then release it through salty sweat with electrolytes as well as release heat.
All forms of detoxing benefit the skin, particularly exercise, dry skin brushing, Epsom salt baths and saunas. Remember to drink water as hydration is key to promoting a healthy sweat.
Foods that support skin detoxification include:
Herbs that support skin detoxification include:
Try this amazing smoothie. The potent blend of antioxidants in this healthy smoothie helps cleanse your liver, which processes the toxins that could be contributing to your skin woes. Bonus: it’s a great way to sneak in some bitter-tasting greens, because the berry flavor overpowers the taste of the veggies.
Skin And Liver Detox Smoothie
- 1 tbsp fish oil
- ¼ cup frozen strawberries
- ¼ cup frozen blueberries
- ¼ cup frozen raspberries
- ¼ cup frozen banana
- ¼ cup chopped kale leaves
- ¼ cup of dandelion leaves
- 1 cup filtered water, coconut water or aloe vera juice (which is great for the colon)
Instructions: Blend and enjoy!
The lymphatic system parallels your red blood circulation and removes products of infection, bacteria, virus and other pathogens from the circulation.
Lymph nodes – found in chains throughout the brain and body – can become tender and swollen as a result of an infection being cleared. The lymph system requires movement in order to function well. I wrote on that very topic in this article.
You can promote lymph movement by tapping on your thymus gland 10 times. The thymus gland is located in the upper front part of your chest right between your lungs. You can also promote lymph detox by gently using a natural bristle brush or sea sponge and brushing your skin in circular motions from your feet up to your heart, from your neck and finger tips up to your heart. Cardiovascular exercise, sweating and breast massage also promote lymph detox.
Foods that support lymph detoxification are:
- Lemon, lime, and grapefruit
Adaptogenic herbs that move lymph:
Try this recipe showcasing ginger, turmeric, lemon and lime.
- 2 cups (500 ml) warm/hot water
- 1-2 tsp honey
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 in (2.5 cm) piece of fresh turmeric, sliced or grated
- 1 in (2.5 cm) piece of fresh ginger, sliced or grated
1. Boil the water.
2. Pour into a cup and let water cool to your desired temperature (some people prefer hot while others prefer warm).
3. Mix in the lemon and lime juice with the sliced or grated ginger and turmeric.
4. Let it steep for 5-10mins then enjoy! You can let this sit overnight to get even more out of the ginger and turmeric.
Did you know that the liver is the only part of the body that is both an organ and a gland? This powerful organ cleans the blood and transforms harmful chemicals for excretion. It does this by cleaning and filtering every ounce of blood and metabolizing all chemicals, even the good kinds. If the liver is out of order, your whole body is out of order, which is why it is so important to care for the liver
A great yoga pose to help detoxify your liver is Parivrtta Utkatasana (Revolved Chair Pose):
1. Bring your feet either hip-width apart or together (depending on your comfort level).
2. Bend your knees as if you are sitting on a chair; make sure your knees are aligned with the center of your feet.
3. Bring your hands together at the heart center and bring one elbow to the opposite knee, pressing your palms firmly together.
4. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and open your chest wide.
Detox benefits: In addition to improving the health of the spine and vertebrae, this asana stimulates the liver, spleen and digestive system, while also toning the abdominals and improving the elimination process. If you interested in more yoga poses, click here.
Bitter foods and foods that facilitate the body’s production of internal antioxidants, glutathione are best for liver detoxification.
Foods that support liver detoxification include:
Bitter herbs that support liver detoxification include:
The role of the two kidneys is to flush waste and toxins from your blood by turning them into urine after they’ve been cleaned by the liver. The liver and kidneys work together to help your body get rid of waste. The kidneys flush water-soluble waste in response to water and electrolyte concentrations.
It’s recommended to drink at least 2-qts per day of water while detoxing. You can also consume green herbs and teas, which are weak diuretics that promote kidney detox without unbalancing your electrolytes.
One of the best ways to help the kidneys is by giving them a gentle massage. One my of favorite ways to do this is by doing the spinal twist. This yoga pose is pretty easy for most people and can be done lying on the floor. Due to the axial rotation of the spine, not only are the glutes and spine stretched, but the internal organs are also massaged and the liver is purified and vitalized.
1. Simply place your arms out wide like airplane wings
2. Let one leg roll across the body until your spine is stretched to its maximum while still comfortable and also allowing the shoulders to stay flat on the floor.
3. Look away from the leg that is across the body (just be careful if you have degenerative discs).
Foods that support kidney flush:
- Green tea
Renal tonic foods:
The large intestine or colon’s job is to excrete chemical solid waste so that it’s not recirculated into the bloodstream. It also houses protective bacteria that make up the body’s ecosystem, called the microbiome.
In order for the colon to detox, it needs to get rid of old stool; you can detox the colon by increasing soluble and insoluble fibers, water, edible bentonite clay, probiotics and gentle herbal or salt laxatives.
It is best to consult your healthcare provider to determine the best strategy for you. In the meantime, you can continue to eat foods that support the colon.
Foods that support colon detoxification include:
- Chia seeds
- Lacto Fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, apple cider vinegar)
- Root vegetables like sweet potatoes, beets, turnips
- Onion and garlics
Fiber and herb sources that move the colon:
It is important to listen to your body to find what works and what doesn’t, especially when it comes to detoxing. Involving your health care provider or health coach in this process can really help take detoxing to the next level. Your body is incredible and with a few tweaks like the tips mentioned above you can enjoy a healthy ailment-free life.
Do you have any exercises or recipes to support these 6 detoxing organs? Please share in the comments below so that we can all enjoy the benefits.
Kavata Kithome is an advocate for living your best life, full of health and longevity. While working closely with gym owners and personal trainers, she was able to sculpt a well-rounded view of fitness and understands how to incorporate it with a healthy balanced diet. She is a regular contributor to the One More Step Lifestyle brand.
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