Nowadays it is very hip to be busy with detoxing. I regularly receive questions about this; supplements, certain diets, or even one 'tea box'. No idea what it means and I honestly didn't look it up. I have my own opinion on this craze, but let's keep it substantiated and objective. First of all, it may be known that our body has quite a few options to fight toxins. You should go to the toilet several times a day. I can tell you that none of it or at least not many useful foods should disappear in it. As much water as possible is reabsorbed, so that a concentrated amount of waste remains. I am now talking about numbers 1 and 2 by the way.
In addition, we have an immune system that is extremely busy every day to make all kinds of invaders and harmful substances harmless. We have heartburn, which not only has a function in protein digestion, but also in rendering harmless bacteria in food, for example. We have a liver; an organ with a huge number of different functions, of which detoxing is certainly not least.
However, to take this article off would be too short a bend; therefore I want to delve further into the matter with you.
Only harmful IN the body
The above piece does not mean that we do not have to pay attention to anything because the body regulates everything anyway. What does not enter does not have to be defused. Under normal circumstances we can get toxins (detox - toxic - toxic substances / toxins) in different ways. As we discussed earlier in other articles, a substance can only have an effect if it is in our body. The air we breathe is only 'in' our body when it is absorbed into the blood. Food we eat is part of the external environment as long as it is in the gastrointestinal tract.
Only in the real image is it in our body. Similarly for toxins. This means that toxins must be absorbed before they can cause damage. This can be done in several ways of which we have already mentioned 2, namely food or drink and by inhalation. In addition, our skin is not impenetrable and we can also ingest toxins through our skin.
What are toxins?
Perhaps it is good to first pay some attention to what toxins are and what they contain. Toxins negatively affect our metabolism and endocrine system. They can be produced internally by our body, as a byproduct of energy production. However, as discussed above, we can also get them from the outside world. It is impossible to escape exposure today. The air and water are full of toxins, our food is sprayed with them and animals that we eat or from which we drink milk also ingest them. Fish ingest heavy metals, petrochemicals and plastic from the water and so on. This is a given, nothing can be done about it.
What we can do about it is to support our body so that it can deal with these toxins as well as possible. In addition, we can make choices that will limit our exposure.
We can limit the amount of toxins we put on or spray on our body, we can limit the amount of toxins we consume through food. Think of cleaning products, detergent, deodorant, shampoo, shower gel, perfumes, etc. I am obviously not saying that we have to go back to the Stone Age, but it may be good to wonder how much you use these types of products and whether there may be less harmful alternatives. For yourself, but also for the environment. Also consider the choice of paint, plasticizers in plastic that children chew on, smoke (cigarettes), heat plastic containers with food, etc.
Effects of toxins
Let's move on to the effect of toxins on the body. There is a lot of research that shows that toxins can unbalance hormones and indirectly cause all kinds of problems and even obesity and cancer. An accumulation of toxins in the body can cause an imbalance in the functioning of, for example, the thyroid gland. Lower thyroid function can have a huge impact on your overall metabolism.
In addition, toxins cause inflammation and we know from previous articles what the negative effects of too much inflammation can be. Inflammation has a very negative effect on, among other things, the insulin sensitivity of muscle tissue.
Is losing weight so healthy?
The body usually stores toxins in adipose tissue. Here they are often less harmful. This is also the reason that eating predators or animals higher in the food chain is often unhealthier or at least this will expose you to more toxins than animals lower in the food chain. Wastes that do not excrete the body well concentrate more and more the higher you look in the food chain.
The storage in adipose tissue is therefore more favorable than that toxins would go around the body continuously in the bloodstream. However, as soon as you start losing weight, the stored toxins are released; during cutting, you are not only exposed to toxins through food, air or anything you put on your skin or spray, but also internally, from adipose tissue.
Different types of toxins and different effects
All toxins will have a negative effect on the metabolism and directly or indirectly on your body composition. Pesticides have been linked to neurological problems from research, which will lower your output. Xenoestrogens can increase inflammation and depress testosterone levels, which in turn negatively affects insulin sensitivity and possibly muscle mass. Heavy metals can lead to osteoporosis, damage organs such as kidneys and liver and increase the risk of various cancers. Phthalates can cause all kinds of problems, even reproduction and development problems. Parabens affect the endocrine system, especially estrogen related. BPA can affect the thyroid gland and can have estrogenic actions in the body. PBDEs are known to be harmful to the liver, thyroid and nervous system.
The holy duo against toxins
Reducing your exposure to toxins can therefore reduce stress on the body, leaving more energy and nutrition for training, being active and feeling good. Healthier (and I mean not only in terms of toxins but also in terms of diet in itself) eating will give your body more access to the micronutrients needed to deal with toxins and also place less stress on the body so that the body has more energy to detox. This is how you manage your stress; limiting your exposure to stress can in turn have a positive effect on your body composition and / or your ability to deal with toxins.
You can see that lifestyle management is very important and that diet and lifestyle are not isolated, but are inextricably linked. This is also the reason why I so often hammer on stress management and sleep.
How do you avoid toxins?
Now we've had a long story about the negative effects of toxins, but you probably also want to know what we can do to reduce exposure. I have already mentioned a number of points. One of the substances we are most exposed to are phthalates. These fabrics are used to make plastics firmer or more flexible, but also in glue, perfumes and ink.
Exposure to these substances comes mainly from scented perfumes, lotions, soaps, shampoos and conditioners. From cosmetics, nail polish, scented candles, deodorant. From air fresheners, plastic packaging material or plastic bags and from plastic or rubber toys.
Parabens are another substance we are exposed to a lot. These are mainly found in lotions, moisturizing creams, shampoos and conditioners. In addition, in mouthwash, toothpaste, shaving gel and processed food, but also in washing-up liquid and all-purpose cleaner.
PBDEs often act as a flame retardant and are used in many household products such as fabrics, upholstered furniture and electronics. Think, for example, of blenders and toasters.
BPA is found in canned food (including drinking cans), plastic bottles and storage containers for food.
The important questions
So it may be wise to take a closer look at whether you can use less of these things than you do now. I am not saying that you have to completely get rid of the plastic, you should no longer brush your teeth, you only have to wash your clothes with water, you no longer have to toast your bread and you can no longer drink cans of soda, but a little awareness can't hurt.
Do you heat your food in the microwave or else while it is in plastic containers or cups?
First, pour or transfer the food to a plate or glass.
Are you exposed to fumes from paint, detergent or exhaust fumes at work? Perhaps it would be wise to consider protection.
Do you only eat ready-made food with many preservatives or dyes? Also try eating fresh.
Do you use a lot of deodorant, perfume, lipstick, nail polish, lotions or other cosmetics? Try to find alternatives that are more natural.
Do you smoke?
You can also support your body by eating enough fruit and vegetables, using green powders and getting enough antioxidants and fiber.
A long story and maybe I'll scare you a little bit about this. That is absolutely not my intention. In the suggestions I make you can also see that I am by no means telling you to avoid all exposure. Perhaps in this article there are some or some points that are very easy to apply for you with which you can limit exposure to these types of substances.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask them.