• Dr. Saru Bala

5 reasons why you don't need a juice cleanse or detox supplements to detox your body

"Detoxing" has become a hot fad recently. Everywhere you go, you hear celebrities, influencers, supplement companies, and more talking about "detoxing."

Do you really need to be detoxing? Are you just an unhealthy sh*t bag if you don't drink those green juices and take all those supplements?

In short, no. To all of it. You're not "unhealthy" because you don't do a detox or cleanse every few months. And you don't necessarily need to be doing that.

5 Ways your body naturally detoxes, regularly

Luckily, your body is so well built through years of natural selection to handle most of what you encounter on a daily basis. So as long as you're supporting the natural processes to happen on a daily basis, you're already doing exactly what you need.

1. Liver

This is the most common organ you hear about when talking about "detox." Your liver has multiple steps it goes through for metabolism to take a fat soluble "toxin" (i.e. alcohol, drugs, environmental pollutants, etc) and turn it water soluble for excretion via kidneys or gut.

So yes, your liver does the heavy lifting, but it's not the only piece that matters. And if you're supporting all the other ways of eliminating, you won't need to focus solely on your liver to do all the work.

2. Kidneys

This is probably the second most common way you hear about "detoxing." Your kidneys filter your blood every 90 minutes, and that means you're constantly filtering out the things your liver has metabolized and made water soluble.

Support your kidneys on a daily basis by:

  • Drinking adequate amounts of water

If you're doing this, then you're probably all set to go in this department. You'll know you're adequately hydrated when your pee is light yellow to clear and you don't feel thirsty.

This can depend on where you live. If you're in a climate that's chilly and humid, you're probably going to be drinking less water than those of us in a dry hot desert (AZ chickpeas, I'm looking at you! Drink up). A general rule of thumb is about half your body weight in ounces.

Read more about hydration here.

3. Gut/Colon

Your gut is another place that water soluble waste created in the liver goes to see the light at the end of the tunnel (aka getting excreted).

This is why pooping REGULARLY is so important. If you're not eliminating daily, you're not getting rid of those waste products (including estrogen/other hormones) your liver metabolized.

And to take that even further, there's a group of bacteria in your gut called "estrobolome" that can actually "undo" what your liver did with your estrogen and put those estrogens back into circulation. We don't want that happening. So make sure you're eliminating regularly by:

  • Having daily well formed bowel movements (not too hard, not too soft/loose)

  • Eating plenty of fiber (at least 30g/day from food, not supplements) to keep your gut microbiome diverse and healthy

  • Staying hydrated (two birds one stone, since it also helps with kidney elimination)

  • Eating probiotic rich foods, or adding them in via supplements if needed

  • Including stress management tools in your day-to-day

These are just a few ways to start with improving your gut health. Read more about gut health and how it impacts your hormones here.

4. Skin

This is one most people tend to forget about or overlook. Your skin is your biggest organ! Don't forget that.

"Induced sweating appears to be a potential method for elimination of many toxic elements from the human body."

Something as simple as sweating every day for 20-30 minutes can be so helpful for eliminating those waste products that can accumulate in your body. You can do this by:

  • Sauna (steam or infrared)

  • Moving your body (any form of exercise that gets you sweaty)

My personal favorite way is by moving my body since I can also count that exercise and get all those benefits too, and I am all about multitasking. But some days (especially in the winters) my workouts don't get my as sweaty as I'd like, and on those days, the sauna can be helpful.

5. Lungs

This is the most underrated form of detox that most people either don't know about or have forgotten about!

Breathing is considered "respiratory detoxification." Your lungs are the exchange center for oxygen and carbon dioxide, we all knew that. But you can also exhale compounds that become volatile (gaseous) at core body temperatures (aka you breathe away these compounds). This isn't a "main" detox mechanism, but it still is a mechanism that's going on whether you think about it or not.

  • Making time for intentional breathing. Sure we breathe all day, but intentional deep breathing/diaphragmatic breathing is much more beneficial for this and something most people aren't getting regularly

  • Exercise. Three birds, one stone. You're raising your core temperature, increasing your respiratory (breathing) rate, and possible sweating. Throw a fourth bird in there, because regular physical movement actually helps with your bowel movements.

6. Bonus: Avoidance

Avoiding increasing the burden on your body is always going to be so important #rootcause The less your liver, kidneys, lungs, skin, and gut have to process, the better!

  • Avoid fragrances of any kind (check your detergents, soaps, lotions, beauty products, etc)

  • Eat organic when possible, and at the very least, shop from the clean 15 list if you're not buying organic

  • Filter the water you're drinking. This is one that many people overlook. Unfortunately the water you drink these days has so many contaminants that is adding extra burden on your liver

When would a detox be necessary?

If you're doing all of these things on a regular basis, you likely won't need to worry about when to detox.

However, in practice, there are some instances when I would consider adding extra liver support when hormonal issues arise and these foundations have already been implemented. Sometimes a little nudge is necessary to get things moving along in the direction we want.

It's never a "21 day detox" full of fasting and harsh supplements, but rather some simple but effective herbs to help increase antioxidants in the body and support the different phases of liver metabolism to improve your hormonal health.

But for the most part if you're working on these aspects of health on a regular basis, you won't need to do a cleanse, detox, or special supplements! Your body is designed to take care of everything it needs, if you just give it the right tools.

If you want to learn more about how to support your hormonal health journey, book a free discovery call to find out how we can work together!

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