So you’ve made the decision to nutritionally support your body through its natural detoxification process. You limited your caffeine intake, cut out excess sugar, and have eaten more fruits and vegetables every day than you have in a long time, maybe ever. In the beginning you may have had doubts, but, if you’re near the end of your detox, you’re probably already starting to notice the benefits of detox.
That’s because detoxing really works.
Toxins are basically unavoidable. We’re exposed to them on a daily basis: in the air, in cleaning products, in alcohol, and much more. The fundamental purpose of detox is to target, neutralize, and eliminate toxins from your body that have accumulated over time. It gives your body a chance to reset, and so it should be no surprise that many people feel positive effects all over their body, inside and out, after a detox (plus, think about all the extra whole foods you’re eating during this time).
Here are 5 signs that detoxing really works:
- More regular bowel movements. If you’re going to the bathroom on what feels like a more regular basis and not feeling “blocked up” like maybe you did before, that could be a sign that detox is working.
- Improvement in intestinal permeability. This means your intestines are allowing the nutrients through that should be absorbed by your body. Your gut has a selectively permeable barrier for a reason – to allow access to digested nutrients for absorption and limit or decline access for undigested nutrients and other unwanted particles. If this normal intestinal permeability is disrupted, this can cause an array of problems, including nutrient malabsorption and indigestion, general GI upset, and specific skin issues. Detoxing may improve intestinal permeability, and you may notice benefits as a result.
- Improved composition of the gut microbiome. Okay, you can’t exactly check in with your gut bacteria to see if they are happy with the ratio of “good” to “bad” guys, but detox may indeed improve a , as gut microbes can elicit effects on compounds to make them more or less toxic. (Learn more about microbiome testing here.)
- Evidence of fat in feces. Again, this isn’t something we necessarily recommend investigating on your own (please), but bile is an important aspect of the elimination of toxic compounds. Inadequate bile pathways could be seen by discolored stool or undigested fat in the stool (ask your health care practitioner).
- You’re not dying. This is only meant to be slightly sarcastic – since we’re exposed to toxic compounds every day, we would die if bodily organs like our kidneys, liver, and intestines didn’t help to remove them. A detox is meant to make toxin removal more efficient overall – win!
Toxins also contribute to fatigue and difficulty sleeping, food cravings and weight gain, reduced mental clarity, low libido, and joint discomfort. So if you’re sleeping better, craving less, thinking more clearly, enjoying your sex life more, and feeling relief in once-stressed joints, you might have detox to thank. Snaps for detox!