Why detoxification is good for you & your hormones

When you hear the word “detox” it may conjure up visions of cayenne pepper juice cleanses or extremely restrictive (and miserable) crash diets. But in reality, detoxification is a process that is happening in your body all the time through organs such as your liver, kidneys, skin, sweat glands, gut, and lymphatic system. 

When we’re talking about intentionally detoxing, we usually mean aiding these systems so we can naturally support our body’s detoxification processes. There are many ways to help your body’s detoxification systems function at their best, without resorting to extreme and unpleasant protocols. The aim of detoxification should be to help restore balance to your system, not to add stressors that your body is not equipped to handle. 

Our body’s detoxification process is absolutely essential, especially because we are now exposed to more environmental toxins than ever before - from the food we eat (and the containers we eat and drink from), to the air we breathe, to the products we put on our skin. 

These everyday toxins take a toll on your health, but luckily you can help your body holistically detox by reducing your environmental exposures and boosting your body’s natural elimination pathways. Here’s how you can start:

  • Flush Your System: No, we’re not suggesting the cayenne pepper-induced pipe-cleaning you may be thinking about. By simply drinking enough water, you can help your body’s detoxification process, especially your liver, work at its best.¹ Aim to drink half your bodyweight (in lbs) in ounces every day, and remember that herbal teas count toward your goal!

  • Phase Out Plastics: Plastic has become such an insidious part of our daily environment that it’s hard to imagine life without plastic. But most plastics contain xenoestrogens, which mimic estrogen in the body and can lead to serious hormonal imbalances.² Try to phase plastic out of your life as much as possible, especially if it comes in contact with your food or water (think water bottles and leftover containers). Opt for stainless steel or glass for storing food and beverages since plastics tend to leach chemicals, including xenoestrogens, even if they claim to be BPA free.

  • Amp Up Your Antioxidants: Eating a nutrient dense diet full of whole, plant-based foods is one of the best ways to support your body’s natural detoxification system. Antioxidant rich berries, leafy greens, and cruciferous vegetables can be especially helpful in aiding your liver function.³ In addition to adding these foods to your diet, try to dial back harmful, inflammatory substances such as alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and processed foods that make your detoxification systems work overtime.

  • Try Seed Cycling: Since many of the toxins we come into contact with daily disrupt our hormonal system, it’s essential to take steps to counterbalance those effects. That’s where seed cycling comes in. Not only does it naturally support your body’s hormones throughout your cycle, but the selenium found in flax seed, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds aids liver function and their high levels of fiber keeps your bowel movements regular (a key part of your body’s natural detox process).⁴ If you’re interested in learning more about how seed cycling can help support your system click here.

  • Clean Up Your Routine: Consider what non-food products you come into close contact with daily, from your skincare rituals to your makeup routine to how you clean your countertops. There are a slew of endocrine disrupting chemicals in most household and personal care products, so check in with an independent source like the Environmental Working Group to see how you can start adjusting your daily routine to reduce your exposure to these toxins.

While it’s impossible to eliminate all toxins from your environment, there is still plenty within your power to change. Reducing your exposure to environmental toxins while taking care of your body’s natural detoxification system can help you achieve better hormone health in the long run. 

 

Sources Referenced:
¹ https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-021-00891-9
² PMID: 21367689
³ PMID: 26221179
⁴ DOI: 10.1016/j.aohep.2020.07.006