In my last post I reviewed where we get exposed to toxins and why it is important to reduce one’s exposure to them as much as possible. There is a connection between toxin exposure as a fetus and to lower IQ levels in children. These toxins are the chemicals found in food, cleaning agents, paint and other household items including skin care products that contain preservatives, perfumes and formaldehyde. One of these categories are products that are “phthalates”. They are known as endocrine disruptors –the endocrine disruptors are linked to infertility, lower sperm counts, and endometriosis, and may be associated with contributing to preterm birth, among other problems relating to the menstrual cycle. These chemicals are used in plastics (most of our food is wrapped or contained in some form of plastic), and perfumes; so it is best to avoid exposure, especially during pregnancy to limit the food that is contained in plastic and not microwaving food in plastid containers, avoiding clothes dryer sheets that are scented. In fact, most (70%) of perfumes , especially synthetic perfumes, contain phthalates. Also, check the number on the plastic container, those with 3, 6, and 7 should be avoided.
So how else can you eliminate toxins other than not eating, drinking, breathing, or bathing? If you did all or those you would be dead, so there has to be some other way. The truth of the matter is that all fruits and veggies should be washed well before eating them; secondly, use stainless steel cookware or iron skillets rather than the non-stick pots and pans; thirdly, filter your water with a good filter, and this goes for ALL the water used for cooking and drinking. Buying water in plastic bottles is actually loaded not only with BPA, but also there are microscopic plastic pieces that are in the water too.
In this process to eliminate toxins, you have to help your liver do its job. Everything that you eat, drink or put on your skin ends up going through your liver at some point in time. So you have to make sure that it is functioning optimally. Certain things can make the liver sluggish. Drugs can affect the liver–especially too much acetaminophen, and too much alcohol damage the liver, so it is important to keep these at a minimum. Also foods that are high in sugar make the liver work harder and that includes many fruit juices that are predominantly sugar. Fresh fruits low in fructose are better, dried fruits tend to be higher in fructose, too. One fruit that helps to detox is lemon. Squeeze the juice of a fresh lemon or lime into a glass of water and drink that instead of some other concentrated sugar drink such as a carbonated beverage. The artificial sweeteners are also bad for your liver. Another way to help the liver is to cut down on the amount of red meat, as it is harder to digest. Fast food is especially hard on the liver because of the salt content, calorie content and trans fats. There are foods that can detoxify the body, broccoli is one of them, in addition to the other cruciferous veggies.
As part of the detoxification process it is important to stay well hydrated, to eliminate toxins through the kidney, but the process should be done slowly, as toxins that are stored can contribute to headache, joint pain, malaise, and fatigue if they are released too quickly. Often minerals that the body needs may be eliminated as well in the process, so taking a really good multi-vitamin such as “Maximum Vitality” during the process is essential. Products such as Pectasol (made from modified citrus pectin) help to eliminate environmental toxins and heavy metals from the system. During this time of detoxification, it is essential to have a “cleaner diet”, more whole, unprocessed foods, and less processed high sugar items.
Don’t forget that a part of the detox process is getting sufficient exercise and stress management. Stress has been found to be a toxic component to many people’s lives.