Detoxification: How It Works and Why It’s Important

Detoxification - Fresh Fruits and Veggies

Detoxification - Fresh Fruits and Veggies

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By Sue Ward, MS CCN
Guest Contributor

Do you want to feel as energetic and alive as possible each day? Most would answer “yes,” however, many of us are in poor health and do not even realize it.

We often accept low energy, unwanted body fat, constipation, a weakened immune system and an unhealthy physical appearance as “part of life.”

If you are ready to improve your health and longevity, it’s important to first understand how toxins affect us and then learn some simple things you can do to help your body reduce and eliminate everyday toxins.

Detoxification - Liver HealthDetoxification is a natural bodily process by which our bodies filter and remove harmful substances (toxins).

We must process internal toxins or those created by normal, daily metabolism (digestion, energy production, hormone synthesis), and external toxins, such as those we take in from the world around us (heavy metals, chemicals, plastics, processed foods).

Our bodies are continually eliminating toxins through our skin, urine, feces, lungs, and lymphatic system.

All toxins need to be processed and eliminated. The liver is the organ that does most of the work, but it has become overwhelmed and inefficient due to the increased amount of toxins in our world today. Increased toxicity in the body may progress slowly over time and ultimately lead to chronic diseases.

There are two phases of liver detoxification.

  • In phase one, toxins are made into less toxic, water-soluble forms.
  • In phase two, the toxins are prepared to be excreted from the body.

It is important that adequate nutrients are available to make this process work at top efficiency. Protein is one of the basic requirements for phase two detoxification, which is why cleanse programs that do not include protein may hinder effective liver detoxification. This is also why many detoxification programs include supplemental nutrition support.

When our bodies become overwhelmed with toxins and our natural method of eliminating them becomes impaired, every system in the body can be affected. Too much toxicity in the body can lead to chronic health conditions such as fatigue, obesity, depression, diabetes, infertility, hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases, and cancers.

6 Steps to Lower Your Overall Toxic Burden

In addition to supporting the body’s natural detoxification systems, environmental toxins should be reduced as much as possible through sensible lifestyle choices. Here are six simple things you can do to lower your overall toxic burden:

  1. Strive to eat a whole food diet. This means eating foods that are close to their natural state and avoiding highly processed food products that include additives, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners. Eating at least one whole food meal daily is a great start.
  2. Reduce toxins in your home environment or replace with non-toxic alternatives. Household cleaners, laundry products, bug sprays, personal care products, air fresheners, plastics, dry-cleaned clothes and mold are some examples of household toxins. Look to reduce your biggest sources of exposure.
  3. Increase your intake of foods that support the liver such as artichoke, avocado, dandelion greens, garlic, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lemons, limes, apples and medicinal mushrooms (shitake, reishi, maitake).
  4. Increase fiber in your diet by adding plenty of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.
  5. Drink plenty of pure water daily from a glass or stainless steel water bottle (avoid plastic).
  6. Consider nutritional supplementation that supports liver health and everyday detox. A nutrient formula that includes milk thistle, alpha lipoic acid, and N-acetyl cysteine is an example of a synergistic blend that can provide daily support.*

As you learn more about toxins and how they can affect your health, begin to take these steps to put you on the path to better health. Once you do, you will find your body in a more balanced, healthy state. Remember, the body has the ability to heal itself. You just need to provide the right environment.


Sue WardSue Ward, MS CCN, is a Nutritionist and Health Educator at Sanoviv Medical Institute. Located in beautiful Rosarito Beach, Mexico, Sanoviv is a fully-licensed hospital that offers a unique blend of conventional, alternative, and integrative programs to help maintain good health.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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