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Everyone is toxic. These strategies can help reduce your toxic load.
The word “detox” might conjure images of drug detox, alcohol detox, or wheatgrass enemas. That’s not what I’m referring to here. When I talk about detoxification, I mean the science of how our bodies get rid of waste.
If waste builds up, we get sick and fat. The key becomes figuring out how to enhance our body’s capacity to detoxify and get rid of waste while minimizing exposure to toxins.
In her book The Need For Balance: Body, Mind, Spirit, Lorraine LaJoi says there are approximately 80,000 toxic chemicals registered for use in the United States. Few of these toxic chemicals have been tested for their long-term impact on human health. Sadly, the results aren’t pretty for those that have been tested.
According to the nonprofit organization Environmental Working Group (EWG), the average newborn baby has almost 300 known toxins in his or her umbilical cord blood. I can only imagine how many toxins we’ve been exposed to in our life.
Altogether, how can we not be affected by this massive amount of poison?
Numerous culprits contribute to toxicity. Some of them include:
- Heavy metals, mercury and lead, petrochemicals, residues, pesticides and fertilizers.
- Food allergies, environmental allergies, molds and toxins from molds.
- Our standard American diet (SAD indeed).
- The mental, emotional and spiritual toxins that affect us include isolation, loneliness, anger, jealousy and hostility.
- Often we need medications, but the reality is that most of us are over-medicated. Modifying lifestyle and diet can be a safer alternative to medication.
- Internal toxins like bacteria, fungus and yeast are inside our gut and may be affecting us, as well as hormonal and metabolic toxins.
From that list, we can begin to understand why we carry such a massive toxic load. We live in a sea of toxins that destroy our bodies and brains.
Signs that we are toxic include fatigue, muscle aches, joint pain, gas, bloating and headaches.
In a healthy body, the process of detoxification runs smoothly. When we become toxic, the mechanism for detoxification in the liver gets sluggish, and certain toxins can remain active longer than we want or than our systems can handle. This makes us sick and impedes normal metabolism. It also causes fluid retention, bloat and puffiness.
If we are overweight, we are toxic by definition because most environmental chemicals like pesticides and plastics are stored in our fat tissue. As we lose weight, we need to flush out the toxins that get released from our fat tissue. Otherwise, they can poison our metabolism and impair weight loss.
In fact, nearly every disease on the planet has links to toxicity, including dementia, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, food allergies and digestive issues.
I’ve helped numerous patients reduce their toxic load. While some require more advanced tactics, these five strategies become a good starting point to reduce toxic levels:
- Incorporate detox foods. Cruciferous vegetables, herbs and spices, green tea and sulfur-containing foods like barnyard eggs are among the foods that help our liver detoxify. For a more comprehensive list, please see my books The Blood Sugar Solution and The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet.
- Add detox nutrients. N-acetylcysteine (NAC), milk thistle and vitamin C are among the nutrients that play a role in detoxification. Most people should take a good multivitamin with optimal amounts of zinc and selenium as well as fish oil.
- Fix the gut. Gut imbalances are a key source of toxins for many people. Fixing our gut might require visiting a functional doctor. Most people see dramatic improvements eliminating food sensitivities like gluten and dairy.
- Get moving. Exercise helps our blood and lymphatic circulation do its job. Most people can benefit from the fitness plan I’ve provided here.
- Detox our mind, heart and spirit. This is just as important as detoxing our body, and it’s an area few of us ever think about as a source of toxins. Whether it involves yoga, meditation or deep breathing, find something that works and do it regularly. My UltraCalm CD is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety.
Optimal daily detoxification also requires drinking 8 to 10 glasses of filtered water, minimizing drugs including caffeine and alcohol, sweating regularly and avoiding sugar like the plague.
Incorporating these steps will help to correct problems caused by toxicity, maximize our body’s own detoxification capacity, and help us safely eliminate toxin stores in our body.
Remember, getting rid of toxins and learning how to optimize your detoxification system is essential for losing weight and creating lifelong vibrant health.
If you ever worked with an integrative specialist to detoxify or otherwise implement a detox plan, what was the most impressive result you saw? Share your story below or on my Facebook fan page.
“Video: 10 Americans.” EWG. N.p., n.d. Web.
“Obesity Can Turn Body Fat Toxic.” Science News. N.p., n.d. Web.
Bezek S, et al. Developmental origin of chronic diseases: toxicological implications. Interdiscip Toxicol. 2008 Jun;1(1):29-31. doi: 10.2478/v10102-010-0029-8.
LaJoi, L. 2014. The Need For Balance: Body, Mind, Spirit. Indiana: BalboaPress.
Detox: Eat Lots of Good Food & Stay Fit.
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Bonus: Dr. Mark Hyman tells Waylon his secret to staying healthy.
Author: Mark Hyman
Editor: Rachel Nussbaum
Photo: Lauren Coutts
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