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Let’s face it. We live in a toxic world where our body is exposed to toxins in our home and world environment, in things we ingest, and of course, there is stress.
If you’re feeling a bit foggy it’s time for a reset. With over 77,000 synthetic chemicals introduced since 1940, it’s no wonder we are weary. The quality of our food, air, and water is strikingly different than it was 100 years ago. Our exposome, what you get exposed to both inside and out, is responsible from 90% of chronic disease.
So, how do we protect ourselves?
The good news is that are many wonderful ways to armor up our immune system and properly protect our microbiome from further doom.
Using a few simple tools can go a long way to cleaning up our act like increasing water, changing your diet, detoxing the home, adding herbs and even mindfulness. It could be that one thing that you have overlooked if you have tried everything under the sun to get to your 100%.
Signs You Need to Detox
toxins left unchecked in our bodies may eventually wreak havoc. Symptoms can vary from emotional to chronic and deadly, according to Reihm.
“Toxic overload can cause depression, fatigue, insomnia, various food allergies, hot flashes. There are numerous studies linking toxicity to diseases like Parkinson’s, fibromyalgia and various cancers. Toxic exposure is at the root of so many diseases that any illness suggests one needs to look at toxic exposures,” says Tim Reihm, director of Communications & Outreach at the Alliance for Natural Health USA.
These common complaints could be a sign you need to detox:
- Digestive Issues
- Feeling fatigued
- Muscle aches
- Sinus problems
- Can’t lose weight
- Puffy circles under the eyes
- Hair loss
Alan Christianson, a naturopathic medical doctor specializing in natural endocrinology with a focus on thyroid and adrenal disorders, says other signs of a toxicity problem in the body include poor short-term memory, nerve pain, and uncontrolled random movements.
If you have symptoms like these, the next step is finding an integrative physician to run some tests.
“Screening tests for toxicology,” says Christianson, “[t]hese can be done via blood or urine. [These] tests are not done for specific organs or regions but rather for the whole body at once. Some toxins are known to store more in some organs more than others.”
So you get yourself tested, and results are positive for toxic exposure. Not a huge surprise—but now what?
“Some toxins can come out with a diet high in chlorophyll from greens and fibers like rice bran fiber and ground flax,” says Christianson. “Others need targeted detox therapies, or specific chelation therapy. Dry saunas, hydration and gentle exercise are also helpful.”
Reihm says the first step in reversing the damage is to minimize your toxic exposure. Beginning a detox program while maintaining high levels of toxic exposure will undoubtedly be less effective, he says.
“It is always a good idea to consult a professional when undertaking any detoxification program,” he says. “Detox programs can be complicated by genetic factors that necessitate expert guidance.”
How to Detox Your Body
Toxic exposure testing may or may not be necessary depending on the severity of your symptoms, but it’s always a good idea to consult your healthcare practitioner if you are experiencing symptoms or need more guidance. However, most experts will agree on some simple detox tips.
1. Drink More Water
Water is paramount to detoxifying the body. With so many contaminants and neurotoxins like fluoride and chlorine present, consider water of the highest quality such as spring water, deionized, or reverse osmosis. Ideally, your water should be slightly alkaline with mineral contents such as magnesium and calcium.
As for quantity, drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water. (We are made up of approximately 60 percent water.)
It sounds simple but adding the agua is critical to the success of your detox efforts. Proper water intake has the following benefits:
- Eliminates toxins in the body through waste
- Helps in the creation of saliva and digestive fluids
- Oxygen delivery
- Allows cells to grow and thrive
2. Clean Up Your Diet
Next, let’s consider the food we consume. Whole foods when broken down properly are literally the building blocks of the body.
A fast food meal of hamburger, fries and milkshake, as all American as that is, cannot alone provide all the nutrients we need and can create more harm than good.
Depending on the source and preparations, a fast food meal can be laden with GMO’s, glyphosate, flavor enhancers, hydrogenated vegetable and soybean oils, GMO corn syrups, guar gums, meats with antibiotics and hormones raised on GMO grains.
So eliminating processed foods can be a huge help to your digestion and risk for chronic disease. Add to that organic vegetables and fruits, and you will be feeling fantastic in just a few short weeks.
Detoxifying Foods to Add to Your Diet
- Consider foods like chia seeds or the highly fibrous sprouted flax seeds that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. They both are both pros at absorbing toxins and make a delicious addition to a morning smoothie.
- Apple cider vinegar is also a wonderful accoutrement to your kitchen. It’s great at balancing your PH levels and is simple to splash on your salad for an extra probiotic boost.
- Keeping lemons in your fridge is a great detox tip too. A few slices added to hot h30 in morning is a pleasant way to stimulate the liver and flush out toxins.
- Come snack time, apples are a delicious way to cleanse the colon as they are filled with pectin, which is a type of soluble fiber that binds to fatty substances in the digestive tract as well as the toxins. Avocados are surprisingly fibrous and contain large amounts of magnesium (which will loosen muscles) and potassium (which will help flush out toxins!).
3. Eat Foods High in Sulfur
Naturally occurring sulfur in foods help remove waste and toxins from the body. If your body can process sulfur foods like onions, garlic, ginger, eggs, broccoli and other cruciferous veggies, they make great staples for your diet. Thiamine and Biotin contain sulfur which can be depleted with excessive alcohol, soda and sweets consumption.
Consuming homemade soup is one way to get a greater volume of vegetables in your diet. Juicing and smoothies is another, or, just pile up a big leafy bowl and add some yummy fats like avocado.
4. Support Healthy Digestion with Enzymes
You are what you absorb. Eating the healthiest diet on the planet will only benefit you if you can absorb the nutrients. Having your steak dinner ferment in your gut can create lots of problems with acid reflux, leaky gut, and could create a bacterial overgrowth downstream.
Getting proper enzymes will allow your food to break down to the proper size to be assimilated in the body. Many people lack the proper enzymes to break their food down. Ever feel like you have just eaten a brick and feeling literally sick to your stomach?
Getting digestion to run smoothly is where you can increase your athletic performance and avoid chronic disease from gut problems. Check out these digestive enzymes MassZymes that we love.
5. Ditch Sugar
Ditching sugar will detox your liver and clear up your skin. Refined sugar has a bad reputation for good reason. Eliminating sugar will lighten the load on the liver, stop feeding the bacteria in your gut, and restore the pH of your stomach.
Seriously, cutting the added refined sugars and flours (which basically do the same thing in the body as sugar) is a challenge, but once you get it out of your system, many issues like fatigue, acne, and headaches may disappear.
Other trigger foods that many people have are wheat, dairy, and soy, and you could consider eliminating those for a few weeks as well and see how you feel.
6. Explore Detoxifying Herbs & Supplements
Herbs will cleanse the liver and help with speed up the detox process. The liver has hundreds of functions besides cleaning the body so your liver will thank you for your support.
Turmeric is an herb that may be in your pantry that is a superhero for the modern body. There is a substance called Curcumin in turmeric that enhances detoxification.. It is a cancer fighter, lowers inflammation, helps with mood and cardiovascular health. The research on turmeric is astounding and is helpful for so many dysfunctions and disease.
Learn more about an organic Turmeric Extract Purathrive.
Activated charcoal, a fine black powder created by superheating natural sources of carbon, is also great for detox. Toxins bind to it and are then flushed out via waste elimination, since the body is unable to absorb charcoal.
7. Soak Up the Sun
Vitamin D3, the sunshine vitamin, destroys the bad bacteria in the body and can kill cancer cells. After just 20 minutes outside, your body produces over 200 antimicrobials.
Go on a short walk or eat your lunch in sun for a quick detox trick. Taking a good supplement is also very beneficial.
Exercise can be great for detoxing. Plus it’s simple and completely cost effective. It can stimulate the lymph nodes can do the job of cleansing and purifying the blood and lymph.
Raising your temperature and sweating can cleanse the body through the skin, draining the lymphatic system of toxins like mercury and lead. You can also try a sweat lodge or an infrared sauna to detox through the skin.
Bonus points if you workout in the sun.
9. Detox Your Home
Take a sweep of your home and look at places you may be bringing in perfumes and chemical additives. Back in the olden days we wore lots of natural fibers and washed with natural products with few ingredients. Using organic fibers in clothes, natural skin care products, detergents, removing those plug-ins from the wall and dish soaps can go a long way. Once our body has hit a toxic overload it can react to many different chemical agents in the home.
10. Be Gentle & Rest
With any new detox, don’t take on too much during that time. Expect that you will need more rest. When detoxing from sugar, there will be a few days, before you will feel better. How long will depend on how much detoxing you have to do. The call of sugar is strong so make sure to get in those healthy fats, proteins, veggies and a small amount of starchy carbs if you need some extra energy.
Remember your body is doing the best it can to keep you functioning and managing in this toxic world we live in. If any of these methods make you feel seriously sick, stop right away. You can expect to experience mild flu like symptoms while detoxing but if you have serious metal toxicity it is critical to find a practitioner who knows the right detox protocol for you. Making sure the body is ready for detox is so important as not to create further chaos when the body is struggling.
11. Reduce Stress
Many body systems and hormones cannot regulate and detox until we deal with chronic stress. With all of the many stresses in our lives, it can be a huge factor in dis-ease. Successfully managing stress takes practice and persistence. These 3 easy steps will go a long way:
- Awareness Recognizing that you are having repetitive or negative thoughts is first step to stop them in their tracks. Are you ruminating on something that you will not let go?
- Allow the thought to speak to you. Be a detective for a moment. Is there something in your life you need to change? Emotions are a signpost for what you need to attend to.
- Transform An easy way to detox that situation is to bring in gratitude. Think of a person, an accomplishment or even progress in an area of your life that you are grateful for. Take a moment and allow the feeling of gratitude to fill your heart and permeate to all of your cells. If you are truly allowing gratitude, you can transform your thoughts and get back into a parasympathetic state.
More Quick Detox Tips
And let’s not forget some quick recipes to get your detox done in a more delicious way!
- Supplements. Taking high quality supplements designed to facilitate cleansing such as milk thistle or activated charcoal is a must.
- Saunas. Whether you decide to invest in one, or simply stop by the local gym, stepping into the sauna is a fast way to stimulate a cellular sweat. The deep, penetrating heat stimulates metabolic activity and destroys unwanted intruders.
- Fasting. Giving your body a break from the burden of digestion is a wonderful way to unwind the inner workings and can supercharge your detox. Being in a state of ketosis breaks down your fat stores (so many toxins held there!) into free fatty acids.
- The 30 Second Cleanse Cocktail: Pure water. Splash of Apple Cider Vinegar. Lemon juice. Cinnamon. Cayenne pepper. Stevia. Stir. Great before or after meals!
- Superfood Reboot Shake: Collagen powder. Apple. Celery or cucumber. Flax seeds. Avocado. Blend.
- Detox Dressing for a Super Salad: Apple Cider Vinegar. Olive oil. Salt. Pepper. Mix well.
Embracing the environmental facts is a great way to embark on the detox journey. Knowledge applied to daily life becomes a superpower. The key is uncovering a cleansing ritual that works for your unique thumbprint. Explore your options and find what works (or doesn’t work). Whether sweating it out in the sun, or following a designated detox kit, find fun and creative ways to eliminate toxins and stay resilient amidst the prevalent pollutants.
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