Detoxification is our goal. Toxicity is our legacy.
Detoxification has never been so relevant and important. It is no secret that we live in a world full of toxins. Never before in human history have we been exposed to such high levels of toxins. The air we breathe, the chemicals in our foods, the release of chemicals in our homes and workplaces all add to our toxic load. Therefore, on a daily basis, it is important for our body to break these toxins down and clear them from the body. Our detoxification organs such as the kidneys, liver, lungs, and skin have a lot of work to do every day.
Our body naturally detoxifies on a daily basis. But, to accomplish this, the body needs a variety of nutrients to support the detoxification process. If these nutrients are not available, the body will have a difficult time detoxifying. Also, if we are under stress and are eating inflammatory foods such as sugar, refined carbohydrates, bad fats and living off of stimulants, such as coffee and sodas, or have a chronic health condition, then the detoxification process is slowed down and the toxins are not effectively eliminated. When this happens, the toxins will re-circulate and are held in the tissues for detoxification later on. But, as more toxins enter the body, those stored toxins do not get eliminated. As time goes on, the toxins accumulate and eventually the cells are not as able to receive nutrients and the energy factory of the cells, the mitochondria, become impaired. Symptoms of toxicity appear along with identifiable health issues.
Symptoms of toxicity
- Gas, BloatingGas • Headaches or migraines
- Nausea or vomiting • Weight gain
- Brain fog • Bitter, metallic taste
- Joint and muscle aches • Inflammation
- Acne or skin rashes • Fatigue
- Excessive mucous • Digestive problems
- Ringing in the ears • Constipation
- Circles under the eyes • Skin rashes
- Strong body odor or bad breath
- Poor concentration
Health issues related to toxicity:
- Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
- Leaky gut
- Chronic fatigue
- Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
- Chronic Fatigue
- Developmental issues
How the body detoxifies
A good 80 percent of detoxification is done by the liver which has the job, along with the immune system, of identifying these foreign substances and transforming them into something harmless and preparing them for elimination. The liver accomplishes this by turning these harmful toxins into water soluble intermediate chemicals. Then through different metabolic pathways according to the type of toxin, amino acids, sulfur, and other natural substances bind (conjugate) to the toxins so that they can be eliminated. If the nutrients needed to conjugate the toxins are in low supply, the toxins re-circulate as new toxins that are sometimes more toxic than the original substance.
It is not only toxins that are broken down, but also hormones, natural waste products, medications, and fat soluble vitamins. Some of the nutrients needed for better detoxification are:
sulfur (cruciferous vegetables, onions, garlic, eggs); vitamin B6 (nuts, seeds, avocado); zinc (nuts, seeds, shellfish); and protein (meat, fish, dairy, poultry).
As the toxins are being eliminated a host of free radicals are produced and also must be cleared. Antioxidants disarm these harmful oxidants. Thus, eating a variety of colored fruits and vegetables on a daily basis and when detoxifying is really important.
Healthy elimination is another factor in detoxification. It is through our urine and bowel movements that harmful substances are eliminated. Eating a good amount of fiber and hydrating with purified water every day will assist in this elimination process. Fiber is found in such foods as grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, and legumes. Vegetables, vegetable starches such as beets, carrots, squash, and yams, as well as fruit alone can provide good amounts of fiber. Consuming at least 25 grams of fiber every day will greatly improve your detoxification capacity. Filtering out chlorine and the typical chemicals found in the water supply before you drink the water will lower your toxic load.
What can we do to improve our capacity to detoxify?
Here are some other ways that you can improve your chances of keeping your liver healthy and of assisting the clearance of toxins.
Limit exposure to harmful chemicals.
Drink purified water and in glass bottles not plastic bottles that contain thalates and Biosphenol A (BPA). Purchase a water purifier and put a filter over your faucets and shower heads.
Don’t heat food in the microwave, especially in plastic containers. The plastic leaches into the food. Microwaving also significantly depletes the nutrient content of foods.
Clean your home environment with natural cleaning agents.
Buy materials and home accessories that are less toxic: hardwood flooring that is laid without glue, organic cotton bedding, lead free glassware.
Use an air purifier to clear your home environment of chemicals and dust.
Eat only wholesome, organic, fresh foods in a variety of colors.
Clean out your heater and air conditioner every season.
Eat a balanced diet of all food groups: protein, good fats, vegetables, fruits, raw nuts, and seeds and eliminate periodically the most inflammatory and toxic foods such as grains, legumes, and dairy.
Don’t cook or fry foods in non-stick pans coated with chemicals. High heat wears away the coating which is then cooked into the foods.
Eat liver and kidney enhancing foods: beets, artichokes, dandelion greens, green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, burdock root, milk thistle.
Choose to be a restorative sleeper. The brain detoxifies itself during sleep and clears harmful substances that can lead to brain degeneration.
Do a month long detoxification program at least twice a year to improve and maintain your health. This will ensure that your body is more successful in clearing your daily toxic load.
Mental and Emotional Detoxification
For many of us the build-up of negative or non-productive thought patterns can be toxic to our psyches and to our bodies. These thought patterns can become habitual and the emotional memories can literally be bound in our cells. Have you ever had the experience of remembering some past traumatic event and at the same time experiencing emotions associated with that event or had an emotional reaction to a situation that seemed out of character to that situation? These are examples of emotional patterns that have become imbedded in our cells.
When undertaking a detoxification program, it is a good idea to cleanse the mind of negative though patterns. In fact, cleansing can help us to uncover and express hidden frustrations, anger, fear, and other held-in emotions and replace them with forgiveness (others and self) , love, peace, and happiness. Your psyche and body will feel cleansed and heave a sigh of relief as these old, stuck patterns of functioning are released.