The science behind detoxification shows the toxic elements in our lives come from everyday products we use, the food we eat and our environment.
While the onslaught of toxins we face on a daily basis can feel overwhelming, with the right information and actions, you can get started with detoxification and better health today.
The Everyday Toxins All Around You
Regardless of your body’s ability to process toxic chemicals, or how much of a tolerance or sensitivity you personally have, the sheer number of environmental toxins we’re all exposed to does add to one’s toxic load. Over time, these toxins accumulate and interact, stressing or debilitating the organs in charge of detoxification.
According to Dr. T. R. Morris, N.D., there are nine toxic chemicals known as the “toxic bunch,” including:
- Heavy Metals (lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium) — Found in the foods we eat, due to pesticides, lead pipes, ceramics and glassware, batteries, dental fillings, and older imported toys.
- Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) — Can come from charred meats, exhaust fumes, smoke, trash incineration, and forest fires.
- Phthalates and Phenols — Found in consumer products that use plastics, car interiors, mattresses, nail polish, processed foods, and more.
- Organochlorine (OC) Pesticides — Specifically found in foods from countries where OCs aren’t banned for growing produce or raising livestock.
- Organophosphate (OP) Pesticides — Same as above.
- Polychlorinated Dibenzo-dioxin and Furans (PCDDs and PCDFs) — Found in high-fat foods, as well as PVC production, paper production, and bleach products.
- Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) — A toxic chemical and known endocrine disruptor found in farmed fish, also called “Atlantic salmon.”
- Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) — Used as flame retardants in furniture, foam, bedding, toys, electronics, and plastics.
- Polyfluorinated Compounds (PFCs) — Used to make fast food grease-resistant and used in products like shampoos, and denture cleaners.
Three-Step Plan to Detox Your Body (and Life) Today
The long-term effects of these accumulative toxic chemicals in the body span everything from an increased risk of diabetes to hormonal imbalances, neurological and cognitive impairment, cancer, and the list goes on.
The only way forward is to try to limit your exposure to toxins the best your can and help your body detoxify itself. Here’s a three-step plan to help support your detoxification system:
1) Detoxify Your Organs
Even as you get a better understanding and fuller picture of your “toxic load,” you’ll need to address the organs in your body that are responsible for processing waste in the body.
These crucial organs are often the sites of hormone breakdown and production, so any disruptions to their functioning and pathways could lead to double trouble: the symptoms of a hormonal imbalance and the harmful effects of toxic chemical build-up.
Here are the three organs you should focus on:
- The liver — Acting as the body’s processing plant, the liver breaks down anything that you consume. It is your liver’s job to keep the nutrients you need to absorb (like vitamins and minerals) and eliminate dangerous or unnecessary substances out of your bloodstream (like drugs or alcohol). The pathways of your liver also process excess hormones like estrogen and insulin. To support the liver, eat a nutrient-rich diet to facilitate the liver detoxification pathways. Focus on limiting alcohol consumption and decreasing your overall toxic load.
- The gut — The gut is known as the “second brain” because it controls so many different aspects of our internal systems. Exposure to heavy metals such as mercury, aluminum, and lead can damage the gut mucous membrane and tissues, causing it to become more permeable and allowing toxins to spread throughout the body. This leads to allergies, food intolerances, and potential immune reactions. It also puts you at risk for leaky gut syndrome, in which the toxins found in the gut get recirculated in the body because they weren’t properly processed and excreted. To support the gut, be sure to drink plenty of filtered water and eat a high fibre diet which is both important for a proper bowel movement and elimination of toxins. Eat foods rich in pre and probiotics and consider taking a daily probiotic to maintain a balanced microflora.
- The kidneys — These two connected organs play an important role in detoxification. They extract waste from our blood, help balance our bodily fluids, and form urine so we can excrete toxic waste. To support the kidneys, avoid excess protein, drink a lot of pure filtered water, and eat foods rich in potassium like avocados, spinach, and coconuts.
2) Choose Foods That Support Overall Detoxification
A huge role in detoxification is your diet. A plant-based diet is high in phytonutrients and can induce or inhibit specific enzymes, provide soluble and insoluble fibre and ensures the consumption of antioxidants. It can also actively detox the body and give support to organ detoxification.
In addition, if you focus on a whole-food diet complete with fresh, local and organic produce, as well as responsibly-raised meat (hormone-free, milk-fed or grass-fed) can do absolute wonders for your body’s nutritional needs.
Things you can implement immediately:
- Foods high in sulphur like garlic, legumes, and onions
- Good sources of water-soluble fibre like apples, oat bran, and legumes
- Cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and broccoli
- Artichokes, beets, carrots, and dandelion greens
- Herbs and spices like turmeric, cinnamon, and licorice
- Green leafy vegetables, green tea, wheatgrass juice, chlorella, and spirulina
3) Clear Your Lymphatic System
Your organs are one way in which the body detoxifies itself. The other is through lymphatic system function. The lymphatic system is a vital part of the immune system consisting of vessels and nodes that carry a fluid called lymph from tissues and organs to the bloodstream.
You need lymph to allow the body to filter and clean toxins, debris, and pathogens that accumulate in our circulatory system as a result of toxic environments, medications, and an unhealthy diet. To support the lymphatic system, use daily movement and exercises, diaphragmatic breathing, stay hydrated, make sure you sweat often and use a regular lymphatic points drainage routine. this is an older blog but the truths and tips still hold true today – CHECK IT OUT HERE.
The next time you purchase a cleaning product or buy a memory foam mattress, reconsider both your actions and see if there are better alternatives for you to purchase. Detoxification plans only work as well as you do at eliminating these environmental toxins from your life and replacing them with healthier, natural, and sustainable alternatives.
While it’s certainly not an overnight change, every little bit counts when it comes to detoxification. After all, chemicals accumulate over time — and everything you do to detoxify your life will help your overall well-being.
Let me know what products you have switched to for a healthier solution!
If you found this blog helpful, you may want to read about minimizing our exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (EMF’s) in your life as well. You can READ IT HERE.
References and Resources:
- Reducing “High-Priority” Toxic Exposures. (2016, April 07). Retrieved January 28, 2017, from https://trmorrisnd.com/2016/02/25/reducing-high-priority-toxic-exposures/