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The Body: A Detox Machine

Consuming large food portions, endless cookies and too much alcohol during the Holidays can leave us feeling sluggish and tired in the New Year. We may feel the need to detox our bodies to recover from all of the overindulgence. Fortunately for us, healthy bodies are incredibly efficient at detoxing on their own. Functions including sweating, urinating and moving the bowels all rid the body of toxins. Toxins are by-products of food, air and water and we are exposed to them on a daily basis. Even when you are consuming a healthy diet, toxins are produced and must be eliminated from the body.

The liver, kidneys, respiratory, lymphatic and gastrointestinal (GI) systems all work together to process toxins out of our bodies every day. It is not necessary to follow a ‘detox or cleanse diet,’ to clean out our bodies. In fact, these diets are usually insufficient in calories, protein and other important nutrients. If you want to cleanse your body from the Holidays and work towards being the healthiest you in 2018, here are a few things you can do to support your body’s already existing detox processes.

  • FLUID. The majority of Americans consume less than the recommended eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Drinking enough water allows your GI tract and kidneys to efficiently rid the body of toxins regularly.
  • FIBER. Very few Americans consume the recommended 25-30 grams of fiber per day. Eating foods high in fiber cleanses the GI tract, preventing build up of dangerous toxins that promote disease. Include whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables in your daily meal plan.
  • FITNESS. Exercise stimulates the lymphatic, circulatory and respiratory systems to detoxify the body. Sweating is another way the body gets rid of built up toxins. Those who exercise regularly typically have a lower percentage of body fat, which is where toxins are stored. Losing weight through a healthy diet and exercise is a great way to actively detox your body.

Instead of focusing on “detox dieting” this New Year, let us work towards supporting the body’s natural detox processes. If you are interested in detoxing the body through healthy weight loss, schedule an appointment with a Registered Dietitian.

Andrea Thompson, RDN, LDN, Clinical Dietitian. If you’re interested in individual outpatient nutrition counseling, contact Andrea at 610-208-4735 or AGamber1@pennstatehealth.psu.edu or schedule an appointment at 610-378-2100.

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