To detoxify means to remove toxins. Our bodies do a pretty good job of this already, and is why we have livers, colons and kidneys to filter and help remove our waste, but some people like to help the process along, especially when they're feeling sick, bloated or low energy.
Detox is a broad term for ridding the body of excess toxins and can range from drinking teas, to only eating raw foods, to only consuming juices, and can last anywhere from hours to a few days or weeks. While extremely restrictive diets are not healthy nor recommended by any health professional, to some, a detox is a very strict, regimented diet where you are only allowed to consume certain, strategic foods. For the more relaxed detoxer, it simply means making an effort to consume foods that aid your body in the tough job of digestion and eliminating waste.
Some swear by detoxes, others hate them, and there seems to be an even split of both warnings and recommendations out there, which can be confusing for anyone. Proponents of detoxes say detoxification enhances the body’s natural cleansing process, allowing it to better defend against illness and disease. They cite increased energy, clearer thinking, improved skin and weight loss as just some of the benefits of doing a detox. Detractors' opinions on detoxes range from unnecessary to dangerous and restrictive disordered eating under the guise of health.
No matter what detox means to you, the safest, most effective detox fluid everyone should be drinking is good old fashioned H2O. Think about it: you're made up almost entirely of water. Staying hydrated is extremely important for your health, and water is necessary to flush the toxins that build up in your body away. Becoming dehydrated can dry you out and shrivel you up, and even mild dehydration can affect everything from brain function, to appetite, to hormone levels, to energy and can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, muscle cramps, and more.
If you take cleansing and purifying water and add to it other naturally detoxifying ingredients, not only will your water taste better—making it easier to down your 64 recommended daily ounces—but it'll be even more effective at flushing your system. Try adding these 5 naturally detoxifying ingredients to your water, and take your detox game to the next level.
1. Lime, Lemon or Other Citrus
Citrus fruits, like limes, lemons and oranges, contain flavonoids that stimulate the immune system and help to protect against harmful bacteria while helping to reduce cholesterol levels. Citrus fruits also help to flush out toxins from your digestive tract, as well as remove uric acid from your joints, one of the main causes of inflammation. Citrus also helps to relieve symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, gas and bloating, but a lot of these helpful nutrients are found in the peel. So keep the peel on, not to not miss out.
Cinnamon adds a little spice to your beverage but it also reduces triglycerides, which are the toxins that fat expels into your bloodstream when you lose weight. Not only that, but cinnamon reduces bad cholesterol while improving digestion, reduces inflammation, regulates blood sugar, and it even contains antibacterial and antiviral properties. To make your water even more tasty, try adding a few slices of apple into the mix for a more familiar flavor.
Cucumbers add a mild and refreshing flavor. They also have many anti-inflammatory properties and they're a diuretic, meaning they prevent water retention by increasing urination to really flush your system.
Ginger cleanses the colon, liver and other organs of the waste that builds up and improves circulation to help prevent blood clots. Ginger has a high concentration of gingerol and shoga, which have anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic effects on the gastrointestinal system. This helps digestive enzymes flourish, neutralizing acids. So ginger has a soothing effect for those suffering from gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is almost a detoxing cliche, but there's a reason so many people use it. Apple cider vinegar has been shown to help cleanse the digestive system, both due to its acidic nature, and the fact that it contains enzymes that encourage the growth of healthy gut bacteria, which is essential for proper digestion. Apple cider vinegar will even help replace some of the intestinal flora that can be lost by eating unhealthy, processed foods. Made from apples, apple cider vinegar provides the the same benefits of the fruit, including B vitamins, vitamin C and vitamin A.