We are exposed to toxins daily in our fast paced, modern world.
Personal care products, cell phones, microwaves, wireless electronics, processed foods, plastics, cleaning products, carpet, water, and food may contain chemicals or emit electromagnetic frequencies.
So, how do we stay healthy? Our body is designed to eliminate toxins from the body as part of the natural processes in the liver, kidney, bowel and skin. But there are simple things we can do to help flush out the bad stuff.
To maintain health, you need to a) Minimize the toxins you are exposed to, and b) Improve the ability to rid yourself of toxins in your system through detoxification.
The following natural ways to detoxify should be used regularly to keep toxic accumulation to a minimum:
1. Drink Lots of Water
Our body is made of cells. These cells need to be hydrated to work properly. A client of mine visited a naturopath concerned about her energy levels and the first thing she asked her was, “how much water do you drink?” After telling her water consumption was pathetically low average, she advised her to "drink 1/2 my body weight in ounces every single day".
Water is vital for maintaining energy levels and for flushing out toxins. Without it, the heart is forced to work harder, which increases the heart rate. Add citrus (lemon or lime) can aid in elimination.
2. Sweat Toxins Out
Another way to rid your body of toxins is to sweat it out. Moving your body is great for your health anyway, but it can also help you get rid of built-up toxins. Increase exercise that makes you sweat. Try Bikram (hot) yoga, run, play in the sun. Sitting in a steam room or infrared sauna (photo) like the one here at NIHA will also get you sweating out the bad stuff. But with the excess sweating, remember to drink lots of water to flush out toxins and rehydrate the body.
3. Ditch the Junk Food
This is huge. Nutrition is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle and so it is important to eat as “clean” as possible. What does eating clean look like? Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Preferably organic, but not all foods need to be.
Meat and dairy should come from grass-fed cows, preferably from a local farmer (who you know for sure is only feeding his cows grass). Eggs are an excellent source of essential vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fat. Free-range chicken eggs can be found in some stores, but many people who raise chickens also sell their excess eggs.
Nourishing your body with healthy fats provides the building blocks for well-balanced hormones. Butter (from grass-fed cows) and organic coconut oil are excellent and flavorful foods for making sure you’re getting adequate amounts of the right kinds of fat critical for detoxification.
4. Use Natural Cleaners
We have toxins all around us – our homes alone have chemicals in the paint, carpet and cleaners. Learning how to make your own cleaners is a great, simple way to reduce your exposure to harmful toxins. Many recipes call for these ingredients:
Use these ingredients to make your own laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, toilet cleaner, all-purpose cleaner and a lot more.
5. Use Herbs
Herbs can be a helpful part of cleansing your body. But, like with most things in life, it’s going to work better for you if you can keep it simple. Fortunately, many cleansing herbs are common ones that you’d find in your kitchen: garlic, ginger root, cayenne pepper and parsley.
Garlic is a natural antibiotic that cleanses the blood and boosts the immune system.
Cayenne purifies the blood, increases sweating and fluid elimination.
Ginger root stimulates circulation and sweating.
Parsley leaf is a diuretic that flushes the kidneys. (Avoid if breastfeeding – it is also helpful for lowering your milk supply).
Chlorella is a green algae but is a remarkable detoxifier and all around nutrient.
6. Get a Massage
Massage is a great way to remove toxins from your lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is critical for our body’s overall detoxification but needs muscle contraction and manual therapy to complete this function. Consult with your massage therapist and let them know that you’re trying to cleanse your body of toxins – they might have essential oils to apply during the massage that will help or have certain techniques they can do such as lymphatic drainage.
7. Nix Sugar
Sugar is terribly addictive. Our bodies crave it and the more we eat, the less healthy we become. Eating processed sugar lowers our immune system’s ability to fend off illness. It also messes with our blood sugar, knocking our hormones out of whack.
If you have a sweet tooth you can remove processed sugar (and high fructose corn syrup) from your body and replace it with something more nourishing. Raw honey and pure maple syrup can be used in many recipes and are even sweeter than sugar. They also have vitamins and minerals and raw honey boasts healing properties.
However, if you’re a hard-core sugar addict, try eliminating all things sweet for at least 3 weeks. Give your body a chance to reset itself – both your blood sugar and your taste buds. When you do eat it again, you’ll notice that you need much less and you can gradually reduce consumption.
8. Increase Fiber
Part of eliminating toxins from your body is elimination. Toxins will be flushed out through your sweat, urine and your bowel movements. For the latter, it’s important to get plenty of fiber so that things move along nicely. The last thing you want to do is go through the effort of eliminating only to get constipated and have these toxins sit in your body or get reabsorbed.
Thankfully, by increasing your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, you’re giving your body a good amount of fiber. Eat more carrots, broccoli and parsnips.
Constant detoxification is critical for health. The above 8 recommendations are an easy strategy to detoxify throughout your life.
Enjoy the Journey.