Self-Cleaning: Our bodies Are Built for It

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Here, how to kick-start your body’s natural ability to detoxify with healthier food options.

The human body is an amazing organism.

While constantly exposed to potential threats, such as infections and pollutants, it is designed to take what it needs from the environment and food while protecting us from infection and excreting waste. Because we want to boost our bodies’ ability to do so, there is a large industry that caters to detoxification, either with “cleansing” diets or juicing or colonic cleansing or irrigation.

The bad news is that these cleanses are essentially useless and, in some cases, potentially dangerous (for instance, risk of bowel perforation from colonic irrigation).

The good news is that we don’t need them.

A healthy body eliminates unhealthy substances naturally, a self­-cleaning system – the kidneys filter toxins from the blood and excretes them in urine, the liver helps remove unwanted substances from the body, the lungs breathe out toxins and the digestive tract absorbs the nutrition from food while letting unhealthy substances pass.

Next: The best strategy for keeping body clear of harmful substances

So the best strategy for keeping the body clear of harmful substances is to do what you need to keep it functioning healthily.

And that starts with food.

A kidney-healthy diet consists of foods that aren’t too high in sodium, potassium and phosphorous, so include bell peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic, onion, apples, cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, red grapes, fish and olive oil.

A liver-healthy diet includes antioxidants, which prevent or delay cell damage. Foods high in antioxidants include beans, berries, artichokes, apples, pecans and plums as well as green tea. To improve circulation and blood supply to the liver, add garlic to your diet along with leafy greens, which contain vitamin K, which the liver uses to help in clotting to stop the bleeding when we hurt ourselves.

Nuts, which contain protein, fibre and essential fats, help both liver and cardiovascular health.