We live in a very toxic world. Although this doesn't always seem obvious and apparent to most of us. Many of us associate toxins with strong chemicals that are corrosive and that have strong repulsive smells, but in reality, most of the toxic substances we are exposed often have no smell and often are invisible to the naked eye. In fact, most toxins will be out the experience of your 5 senses.
Many of us think about smoke, tobacco and alcohol as the common toxins. But toxins can come from all kinds of sources including;
Harmful chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and insecticides.
Chemicals in soap, detergents, cosmetics and toiletries used in the home and other places.
Chemicals from paint, waxes, vanish and other household items.
Metals like aluminium found in deodorant, soda and beer cans.
Toxic material in cookware like aluminium pans and non-stick cookware.
Chemicals from plastic bottles and other reusable containers
Chemicals in flavourings, additives and things for chemical enhancement of food.
Foods like sausages, tinned meat, baked beans, ketchup, tomato sauce and salad dressings, commercial drinks like soda and other similar convenient items contain toxic substances.
Common foodstuffs like sweeteners, margarine and even sugar are toxic on the body.
Chemicals from charred and deep-fried foods.
Car fumes and other emissions from factories.
There are so many toxins we are exposed to every day. We are exposed to thousands of toxins each day from the air, water and food. And the air, especially in Kampala, has been shown to often be at very harmful levels. In fact, one survey showed that Kampala is among the top 20 worst cities globally (not just in Africa) when it comes to air pollution. And even Kampala Capital City Authority reported about 6 months ago that the air quality in Kampala is six times worse than global standards.
And because we don’t easily experience the toxins, we aren't easily aware when we are exposed. But there are some signs and symptoms that could be an indication that you have some toxins to deal with in your body. Here are 10 common signs and symptoms that you could be toxic:
Accumulation of belly fat (abdominal fat)Trouble losing weight.
Low energy and feeling fatigued.
Unexplained headaches and migraines.
Forgetfulness, memory problems and difficulty concentrating or focusing.
Feeling depressed and having mood changes.
Nonspecific body pain and soreness.
Sexual challenges and dysfunction.
Skin eruptions, wrinkles and unexplained skin problems.
Toxins by nature cause injury or inflammation to different parts of the body. Once you have inflammation, then that part of the body will not function well. I know some of you may be wondering, in particular, how the accumulation of belly fat and trouble losing weight are linked to exposure to toxins. I explained some of that in my article on visceral fat.
But in brief, the body stores toxins in fat cells. Fat accumulation is therefore linked to high toxic levels in the body. The body stores toxins in fat cells to protect you. Because the liver is the organ that has the primary responsibility to deactivate and remove toxins (detoxification), the body tries to store the toxins as close as possible to the liver. When the liver gets on with its detoxification work, the toxins are already nearby. Building up of fat in the abdomen is therefore what the body does in response to a high toxic level. This abdominal fat that is used to store toxins is called visceral fat.
Many of us have significant toxicity in our bodies and are not aware of it. If you have any of these symptoms and have not been able to figure out why you have them, now you may have an explanation and it may be time to consider supporting your body to detoxify.
But what is detoxification?
Most people associate detoxification with things like colon irrigation or certain products that you use to cleanse the body. While all those may support the process, detoxification is actually done in the liver. Once this is done, the digestive system and other organs like sweat glands and the kidney can help to remove the toxins. For the liver to effectively do its work, it requires a large number of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and phytonutrients that are very abundant in plants and specifically in non-starchy vegetables (such as cabbage, spinach, broccoli, beetroot, carrots, ginger, garlic etc) as well as in fruits.
A diet that consists of mostly or only these foods will greatly enhance your detoxification. But we must also be aware that heat destroys many of these vitamins and plant nutrients and so eating these foods uncooked is really the best way to support detoxification. And while some of the vegetables aren't easily eaten uncooked, they can be made into juice and drank. It is easier to eat broccoli uncooked in a nice smoothie than to just chew on it.
So, the best way to detox, in my opinion, is to go on a continuous 3 to 7-day period of eating only uncooked fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. But this period can be extended even up to 21 days although I recommend you start off with no more than 7 days. And if you want to enhance this process, you make whole juice out of these foods, and then have a juice only period for anywhere between 2 to 7 days. When you juice the fruits and vegetables, you can have a wide variety in your drink and enhance the effect of the detox. Some people call this juice only period a juice fast.
If you have any of the symptoms I described above, I strongly recommend you try to go on a detox period. It will enhance your health in so many ways including helping to reduce belly fat and to reduce weight. If you really want to go on a detox but need some help please get in touch with us at Wellcare and we shall definitely be glad to help you. We have different types of detox programs you can choose from. Read more about them here. Or you can click on this here to let us know your exact needs.
But when you want to go on a detox, there are 3 other important things you should do.
1. Remove things from your diet that don’t support detoxification or that can make it harder for your body to detoxify. These include:
Sugar, packed juices, soda, all sweetened beverages and all drinks with sugar
Foods high in refined carbohydrates like bread, cake, chapati, mandazi, pasta, biscuits, pizza, white rice, cornflakes and even posho
Red meat like beef, goat, sheep and pork including all processed meat like
Refined cooking oils and deep fried foods like chips and crisps
2. Do things that support detoxification
Drink a lot of water. A lot more than you normally drink. At least 2 litres a day.
Get enough rest. At least 7 to 8 hours. This helps your body to focus on detoxification.
3. Consider using some herbs and supplements to help the liver to detoxify. Some good herbs, vitamins and supplements to use include:
Matcha green tea
Realizing that you could be toxic is very important because it helps you understand why you may be feeling the way you do. And going on a detox is quite simple and something everyone can do quite often. I recommend everyone gets anywhere between 3 to 7 days to go on a detox at least twice a year. And if you need help, remember we are here to help you.