It’ Giving Your Body a Healthy Detox
Pollution. It’s everywhere–in the air, in our water, in our food. Even our bodies generate some pretty potent chemicals. Our bodies can do an amazing job of riding toxins through natural processes. Due to the accumulation of toxins over time and the weakening of our immune systems through illness, age, poor diet and/or addictive substances, we need to give our systems a helping hand.
“Detoxifying,” or making an effort to clean up our act, will help reduce the damaging effects of toxins in our body. We can make a conscious effort to reduce our toxin intake and support the body’s natural detoxification systems. First of all, we can reduce our exposure to smoke, pesticides, food additives, solvents and herbicides. In addition, we can adopt healthy habits with food, herbal remedies and exercise.
- Eat a diet that focuses on fresh vegetables and fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds, and whole grains.
- Include vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, broccoli sprouts, onions, garlic, artichokes, beets and other red and green vegetables every day.
- Eat organic or natural and seasonal foods to minimize exposure to pesticides, herbicides, waxes and pathogens.
- Reduce or avoid caffeine, an addictive stimulant that can produce symptoms of anxiety and insomnia. It is found in coffee, tea, chocolate, many sodas and even certain medications.
- Reduce processed and refined foods. Consequently, avoid “instant foods,” preservatives, artificial flavors, saturated fat and MSG.
- Vary the foods you eat, especially dairy, wheat, eggs and yeast foods, to prevent an overload of allergens.
- Curb your consumption of red and cured meats. A general rule of thumb is to limit red meat to two to three servings a week. For protein, include foods like beans, nuts, seeds, quinoa, protein powder and fish.
- Reduce sugar intake and keep artificial sweeteners to a minimum. Therefore, avoid foods that have ten or more grams of sugar per serving. Drink filtered water to reduce your intake of chemicals like mercury and lead.
- Cook in iron, stainless steel, glass or porcelain cookware to avoid lead, plastic polymers and chlorofluorocarbons.
- Drink herbal teas to help cleanse the bladder, kidneys and adrenals. Herbs for the bladder include echinacea, goldenseal and comfrey. Chamomile and white nettle are good for the kidneys and rosehips strengthen the adrenals.
- Add cilantro to your diet daily (the leaf from the coriander plant). It can accelerate the excretion of mercury, lead and aluminum from the body. Consider adding fresh cilantro to soup, salad or fish dishes or try mixing a couple teaspoons of cilantro pesto with whole-wheat pasta.
- Basil can kill bacteria on the skin surface. Steep two to three teaspoons of dried basil in a cup of boiling water. Allow the herb to steep 5-10 minutes or more in order to extract the healing oils from the plant. Then soak a washcloth or compress in the tea and apply to the areas where pimples, acne or skin eruptions are most present.
- Garlic has many health benefits that range from controlling free radicals to possibly reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Add garlic liberally to sautéed vegetables, sauces, marinades and salad dressings.
- Ginger helps prevent and treat various forms of nausea. It’s also suggested for the treatment of atherosclerosis, migraine headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, high cholesterol, burns, ulcers, depression and liver toxicity. Many oriental recipes use ginger root as a staple ingredient. Furthermore, it can be made into tea.
- Like garlic, onions are rich in sulfur-containing compounds that help with the elimination of harmful heavy metals from the body.
Exercise for a Healthy Lifestyle
- Get your body moving and sweating on a regular basis. The benefits of exercise include cleaning your pores, relieving stress and improving mental outlook.
- Forty-five to sixty minutes a day is recommended, but any physical activity is better than none.
A clean body is a happy body. Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the best way to reduce the toxins that bombard us every day. Hence, reducing exposure to pollutants in the air and water, eating fresh whole foods, paying attention to herbs and exercising are the best ways to clean up our act. Get your family on board. Finally, start by making one small change to your lifestyle every week. In a few months, you’ll notice a positive impact!