Detox plan: How to eliminate toxins from the body
Published: 21 December, 2018 - Updated: 11 February, 2021 | 5'
Especially after heavy meals, our body needs to “cleanse itself“. If you have ever wondered how the body eliminates toxins, you should know that it protects itself with not just one mechanism but with several. The liver, kidneys, intestine, lungs and skin are the five filters our body has to keep toxins at bay. In this article we will deal with the first two; the liver and the kidneys, to understand the importance of detoxification, also known as detoxification or detox. It is very important to know that these magnificent natural filters are directly responsible for our quality of life. Do you know what the functions of the liver and the kidneys are? What foods and habits are their enemies? What can help you to detoxify your body?
How does our body drain and purify toxins?
The process of detoxifying our body often involves two steps.
The first is drainage, whereby the circulation moves toxins through the lymphatic system to the liver and kidney, which are responsible for purifying, filtering and finally removing them.
The second step is known as detoxification, in which the organs involved carry out the proper elimination of toxic waste. This means that the liver speeds up the process of filtering and converting the waste, and then the lymphatic system carries it to the kidney for disposal.
What is the liver’s function?
The liver is in the abdominal area. It is made up of two lobes, a larger one on the right and a smaller one on the left. The liver weighs about 1.4 kilos in an average adult and plays a key role in health. After all, it is the second largest organ in the body and the only one that can regenerate itself. Blood and bile circulate through the liver. Blood enters the liver from the digestive system with nutrients, medications and in some cases viruses, bacteria, parasites and other elements containing toxins. The substances that enter the liver can be processed, stored, or modified to return to the blood or sent to the intestine for elimination. The liver selects what to do with each substance, filtering, reconverting or discarding. It is the chemical treatment plant that allows us to feed and detoxify ourselves. The liver has many functions and also metabolic activities with carbohydrates, proteins and fats or lipids. If we had to summarize them, we would say that some of the most important functions of the liver are:
- It filters blood coming from the intestinal tract before it returns to the bloodstream.
- Detoxifying effect of chemicals and drug metabolism.
- Secretion of bile.
- Forms and regenerates the blood. Can store up to 1.5 liters.
- Converts nutrients into substances that our body can assimilate, stores them and provides them to the cells when they are needed.
- It breaks down fat molecules and converts them into energy.
- Keeps an eye on your blood glucose level. If the glucose level is high, it will remove the sugar from the blood and store it as glycogen. If it is low, it will break down the glycogen and release sugar.
- It can store vitamins and minerals such as iron or copper and release them when the body needs them.
What is the function of the kidneys?
The kidneys are part of the urinary system and are located above the waist. They are two organs about the size of a fist and each kidney weighs about 150 grams. The cleaning of the kidneys is crucial to good health. Their main functions are:
- Eliminate waste and toxic substances through the urine.
- Maintain water, sugar, salt or potassium levels in the blood despite changes in your diet.
- Separate what is useful to be returned to the bloodstream; what is discarded goes into the urinary system. This process is done several times to ensure that nothing necessary is wasted. Approximately every hour, the kidneys have filtered all the blood in the body, purifying 180 liters per day and sending 1.5 liters of urine to be expelled. The amount of urine passed each day is a good indication of the health of the kidneys.
What are the enemies of the liver and the kidneys?
Red meat, fat, alcohol, fast foods, soft drinks, excess protein, salt, whole milk products, industrial bakery products, tobacco, drugs and insufficient water intake are the main enemies of the liver and kidneys. Their abuse can cause some of the most common liver diseases such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver cancer or liver failure. In Spain, unfortunately, fatty liver disease is very well known and is not associated with alcohol consumption but with obesity. In the case of the kidneys, as they are closely linked to the heart, the two main causes that can lead to kidney problems are diabetes and hypertension.
How can we help detoxify our body?
Nature provides us with foods and supplements that help cleanse the liver and kidneys. Make a note of:
We’ve heard this many times. The artichoke is very good for the function of the liver, and because it facilitates intestinal transit.
Beetroot (Beta vulgaris) is considered a “functional food“, and its natural properties for the body’s well-being date back to Roman times. Beetroot is rich in several bioactive compounds that can be useful for a healthy diet, including Betaine, which is a compound that occurs naturally in the liver and is related to the amino acid methionine.
Vitamin B12 contributes to the production of energy, as well as to the production of red blood cells and the care of nerve endings.
Choline is a very important health supplement that is found in many foods, albeit in small amounts. It is very good for the liver because it contributes to the maintenance of normal liver function, and together with vitamin B12 it contributes to the metabolism of homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood.
Inositol is derived from brown rice. It is also known as vitamin B8 compound, present in all the cells of our body. It is naturally contained as a phospholipid in all body membranes, especially in the liver and nervous system.
Vitamin E is also known as tocopherol. It protects us from free radicals that are responsible for oxidative damage to the tissues.
Rosemary and Juniper
These have traditionally been used for the well-being of the digestive system.
Marian thistle is a great ally of normal liver function.
Horseradish is believed to have originated in China, and its root has a pungent taste, and it is often eaten in salads. Its sulphur compounds give it its characteristic taste and smell, and it has been traditionally used in China for digestive well-being.
Of course, the lemon contributes once again to the improvement of your health. It is very good for purifying, alkalizing and hydrating, in addition to its vitamin C content. If you have a full calendar of meals and dinners ahead of you, such as during Christmas, or if your social routine involves eating out many times, remember these foods and supplements to help detoxify the liver and cleanse the kidneys, as both organs perform vital functions in the maintenance of good health.