For the past few years, detoxing has become a popular practice and there are now more people than ever promoting its benefits. They’re designed to eliminate the internal and external toxic substances — in everything from caffeine and alcohol to an increase of body toxins, such as intestinal microbes — that accumulate in the human body.

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Toxins are part of our everyday life but if they’re not eliminated properly, they may cause mild to severe illnesses. The reason for this is that toxins strongly affect the structure and function of cells. Health problems, including constant fatigue, premature aging and digestive problems, such as bloating and diarrhea, fluid retention and even obesity may be the result of a rise in body toxins.

The build up of toxins in the body can be seen through symptoms, like insomnia, rashes, poor digestion, circulation problems, migraines and heaviness — although they do vary from person to person.
Some food allergies are caused by toxins and undigested food. When both pass through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream, they confuse the immune system’s ability to identify what is good, with what is bad, thus causing a disorder that can lead to a food intolerance.

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Although there are those who use a detox as a way to lose weight, its importance actually lies in reversing certain conditions and improving people’s quality of life. In many detoxification processes, foods, including refined sugars, flour, processed foods, coffee, alcohol, sugary drinks and red meat are restricted.

Experts recommend individuals to detoxify the kidneys, colon and liver; however, it is essential that any process is properly supervised by a doctor, in order to avoid any long-term damage. On the other hand, it is also important that food intolerances are taken into account, so that the detox lasts.

Benefits of a detox
• It reinforces the immune system
• Helps the body better absorb nutrients
• Improves the appearance of your skin
• Facilitates weight loss
• Helps prevent diseases
• Contributes to the expulsion of parasites and bacteria
• Modifies unhealthy eating habits
• Improves the aging process
• Helps fight allergies

How to decide whether you need a detox
• You always feel excessively tired
• You have become more prone to allergies
• Your stomach is constantly upset
• You suffer from difficulties during your menstrual cycle
• Your skin looks dull, lifeless
• You often forget things

Five detox foods you should eat all year

1. Cilantro. Many green juice recipes contain cilantro (coriander) because its regular consumption helps control blood sugar and cholesterol. It’s effective in removing toxic contaminants and heavy metals. In addition, it is also an antiseptic, antifungal and anti-inflammatory. The herb is also rich in potassium, manganese, calcium and vitamins A and K.

2. Ginger. This root has a high concentration of vitamin C, which helps prevent respiratory diseases. It also helps stimulate the metabolism and digestion, while being a very effective anti-inflammatory. The Medical Center of the University of Maryland reported that China has used ginger for 2,000 years to treat digestive problems, diarrhea, nausea and stomach problems.

3. Fennel. This plant is very effective in detoxifying the body, thanks to its diuretic properties that prevent fluid retention and bloating. Its high concentration of essential oils also help reduce the chances of an upset stomach.

4. Lemon. It is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, which help eliminate bacteria and toxins from the body  and the reason its recommended as a preventive measure against respiratory problems. One of the great wonders of lemons is that by detoxifying the body of bacteria, it helps stabilize the body's pH. The fruit can also be used as a treatment for diarrhea, nausea and stomach issues.

5. Pineapple. It is rich in the minerals copper and manganese that help detoxify the body. The fruit helps improve lymphatic circulation and combats cellulite by stimulating its diuretic properties, as well as alleviating sports injuries.