Someone recently asked me what the simplest method of detoxification is. This is such a great question about a deeply important topic so worthy of a quick post.
The simplest way to detoxify your body is to minimize your exposure to toxins on a daily basis. When you limit what is going in each and every day, it allows your body to use its energy to optimize immune function, repair and rebuild, and work to excrete accumulated toxins already in there. These processes help you to feel well and have balanced health. When the toxins go in each day, the body becomes imbalanced over time which can lead to stored toxins, inflammation, and symptoms. Toxins get stored in fat tissue, in the myelin of our nerves, connective tissue, and even into cells.
There are two types of toxins that our bodies deal with, the first being endogenous toxins which are toxins produced inside our bodies such as lactic acid, urea, and even toxins produced by fungi and bacteria. The second type of toxins we are exposed to are exogenous toxins which come from external sources such as air, food, water, beverages, body care, pesticides, some prescription drugs*, alcohol, tobacco, recreational drugs, and even vaccines*. Exogeneous toxins are chemicals and substances that are harmful to our bodies when absorbed into the bloodstream through our skin, when ingested, or inhaled.
The good news is that with some simple lifestyle changes you can limit the exogenous toxins that are getting into your system that are under your control, helping your body to detoxify and function at its best. The best place to begin is by decreasing the toxins you know you are getting every day; food and body care being at the top of the list.
Food and water/beverages: Purchase organic as often as you can as the non-organic food supply contains pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, and hormones. The Environmental Working Group publishes the annual Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen which can point you to produce that contains the least and most contaminants and pesticides allowing you to choose organic when necessary and conventionally farmed produce when you can. Check this list out. Processed foods contain chemicals and preservatives our bodies don't like so stay away from these. Filter your water and avoid drinking out of plastic bottles which are high in Bisphenol-A. Skip all artificial sweeteners and MSG which are extremely toxic to nerve cells.
Body care: What goes on you goes in you. "Chemicals can be absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream, causing toxic effects." says the Extension Toxicology Network (EXTOXNET).
Many experts agree that chemicals absorbed through the skin are more dangerous than those consumed through the mouth because they are not broken down and detoxified by our kidneys and liver. The quickie tip here: swap out a few, or all, of your body care products, such as body lotion, liquid soaps, face cream, deodorant, lip balm, and makeup for organic or mostly organic and paraben, phthalate, and triclosan free versions. Its easy to assume that if a few chemicals are in a body lotion "it must be okay" but when products are tested there is no factoring in of other chemicals being put on or ingested into the body that can interact and pile up, or of frequency of use. A chemical laden product is okay for a few days but beyond that you are loading up and taxing your system. When I mention swapping out body care products I often get rolling of the eyes and hesitation. I promise you after using a vegan, essential oil infused lotion or even straight coconut oil, you will never want to go back to the junky stuff!
Other simple steps to take to limit these toxins are to open windows and let fresh air inside your home, swap out cleaning products for natural alternatives, eliminate teflon-coated cookware, look for metal food cans that do not contain Bisphenol-A (BPA), do not microwave food in plastic containers, and avoid plastic food containers altogether if possible.
Can you make some changes to limit your intake of toxins each day? I hope you will swap out some of your self care products and food and beverages for cleaner versions. Your body will thank you Friends!
*I am in no way stating to avoid prescription drugs and vaccines; simply stating that these things do contain some toxins and need to be used prudently and with caution and supervision.