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Have You Been Detoxing Wrong?

Have You Been Detoxing Wrong?

Cleanses and detoxes have become a hot topic recently. Different products are being advertised and touted on social media claiming to shed weight, cleanse the body, and clear up the skin. But, the concept of “detoxification” has been a little misrepresented. Our bodies don’t build up toxic substances that need to be cleaned out; However, we do accumulate fat cells, cholesterol, and unwanted matter in the digestive system. This buildup is amplified by eating excessive amounts of unhealthy food and living a sedentary lifestyle. Free radicals also accumulate and mutate cells, causing maladies and wreaking havoc throughout the body. Luckily, we can cleanse the body of these unwanted culprits. Incorporating tea into a healthy diet can promote weight loss, lower cholesterol, and cleanse the colon. People have waxed lyrical about tea’s health promoting super powers for centuries! Let’s explore why.

Cholesterol: Don’t Go Clogging My Heart

Cholesterol is a thick, waxy substance that is present all throughout our bodies. We need a certain amount of HDL and LDL cholesterol to help lubricate the tissues and carry fat-soluble nutrients through the bloodstream. Our body naturally creates cholesterol, but we also consume a fair amount in dairy and meat products. An excess of cholesterol can start to form plaque in our arteries and create blockages that lead to stroke and heart disease. Drinking three cups of green tea a day has been shown to combat this accumulation and significantly decrease bad cholesterol build up in the body. Regular tea drinkers have a lowered risk for cardiovascular disease and heart attack compared to the general population.

Sugar: Not So Sweet After All

Food manufacturers sneak sugar into products where you least expect it. Even “healthy” foods like yogurt and granola contain copious amounts of the addictive white powder. This excess has seen a drastic increase in obesity and type 2 diabetes. Drinking green tea lowers resting blood glucose levels and slows absorption rates. Pairing the positive effects of green tea with a more mindful approach to sugar consumption can reduce these risks. Cutting down on sugar isn’t always easy. We are addicted to the dopamine release and feel good response, not just the taste. Studies suggest that detoxing from sugar addiction only takes about a week. When the cravings arise, tea can come to the rescue! Tea contains it’s own compounds that promote feel good responses in the brain. The combination of l-theanine and caffeine in tea promotes relaxation and increased cognitive function — perfect for the 3 o’clock slump!

In addition, fruit tisanes and herbal teas can satisfy your sweet tooth without tightening your waistband! Tisanes are fruit-based infusions that are naturally sweet due to the volume of fruit in the brew. Replacing dessert with a pot of naturally-sweet sugar-free tea can reduce calorie and sugar intake.

Liver: The Only Filter You Need #NoFilter

The liver is a complex filtration system that cleans the blood and metabolizes toxic substances. If it becomes overburdened by excessive sugar, alcohol, or pharmaceuticals, its function becomes impaired. Fatty liver is a side effect of poor diet and excessive imbibing, and is often paired with other maladies. The liver is the only organ that can regenerate itself! Giving the liver a break is like changing an air filter. In this analogy, green tea provides the flush! Scientists at University of Connecticut have discovered that green tea aids in replenishing the liver and removing built up toxins and fatty deposits.

Weight Just A Minute!

Often times, when people discuss a “cleanse” or “detox,” they are actually referring to losing weight or inches from their midsection. For some, a detox is a removal of the built up waste in the colon. Pu-erh tea can offer relief from constipation and bloating, reducing waist size and discomfort. The removal of buildup from the colon helps to relieve discomfort and allows the body to absorb more nutrition from food. In order to burn fat, a combination of exercise and green tea has been shown to be the most effective. Green tea actually stimulates fat burn and amplifies the results of exercise.

Free Radicals + Antioxidants

An “antioxidant” is any of a variety of compounds that prevents the oxidation and degradation of cells in the body. Free radicals are the main culprit in the mutation of cells, altering the DNA and destabilizing healthy cell membranes. Free radicals are erratic and unstable atoms which present themselves in the body in response to various environmental stressors. These volatile atoms are nullified by the neutralizing effects of antioxidants, preventing cell damage. Tea has high levels of antioxidants, called catechins. EGCG is a powerful flavonoid found in high quantities in white and green tea, and in slightly lesser quantities in oolong and black variants. It also happens to be a widely recognized free radical scavenger.

A Clean Bill Of Health

The current definition and perception of a “detox” may be ambiguous. All of the products and “before-and-after” photos being broadcast on social media should be met with skepticism, as should anything that promises to fix a problem more quickly that it was created. Look behind the thin veil of celebrity secrets and quick fixes, an oversaturated market of overblown claims. Convenience is at the helm of the solution and the problem. Perhaps convenience is itself the problem. There is no magic panacea that will rid the body of all toxins. However, these results can be achieved by incorporating high quality loose leaf teas into a healthy diet. Tea can aid in the digestion and absorption of nutrients, cleansing the bowel and reducing inches of compacted waste from the body. Meanwhile, it works on the inside as well, reducing free radical activity and preventing cell mutation. Tea’s medicinal properties have spanned many centuries and cultures. Why not enjoy a couple mugs of delicious tea a day and “detox” the right way?