This is the second part of the detoxification series. To understand the definition of a toxin and how our body’s detoxification pathways work please read my previous article. These are four practical steps one can take to live a more detoxified life!
Step one: Decrease your toxic exposure
- Eliminate toxic household cleaners and opt for healthier alternatives. Check out green cleaning recipes.
- Eliminate toxic p ersonal care products. Consider what you are absorbing through your skin. Check out “What are you soaking yourself in? What everybody should know about personal care products.”
- Canadians spend an average of 90% of their time indoors! Indoor air tends to be of poorer quality than outdoor air. Weather permitting open a window even if it is only for 5-10 minutes.
- Include plants that improve air quality such as: spider plants (chlorophytum comosum), boston fern (nephrolepsis exatata bostoniensis), english ivy (hedera helix), striped dracaena (dracaema marginata).
- Consider investing in the air you breathe by purchasing one of the leading air purifiers such as the IQAir.
Step two: Heal your elimination organs
- Take a quality broad spectrum probiotic to support gut health.
- Ensure you are having quality daily bowel movements. Increase your dietary fiber or consider adding fiber supplements to your diet.
- If you have chronic digestive concerns consider visiting a naturopathic physician to complete a strategic hypoallergenic diet and heal your gut- it is imperative to deal with the cause and minimize systemic problems that could ensue.
Step three: Nourish your detoxification system
- Drink plenty of fluids such as herbal teas, green tea and lemon water.
- Eat at least 8 servings of vegetables & fruits
- Consume at least one serving of each grouping daily, they have specific compounds important in detoxification:
- Brassica foods:Arugula, bok choy, broccoflower, broccoli, broccoli sprouts, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, collard greens, radish, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, rutabaga, turnips, watercress
- Thiols foods: Saikon radish, onion, garlic
- Liver and kidney support: Asparagus, beets, artichokes, celery, celery root
- Detoxifying leafy greens: Beet greens, bok choy, chard, cilantro, collard greens, dandelion greens, endive, escarole, parsley, radicchio
- Increase blood flow and lymphatic circulation by exercising, participating in heat therapy such as infra red saunas and by skin brushing or lymphatic massaging.
Step four: De-stress and Detoxify your mind
- Contrary to many beliefs, relaxation is an active process! Active relaxation is an intentional effort to activate your parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is essential in restoring proper digestion and healing.
- Try meditation, relaxation breathing, restorative yoga.
- Assess your thought patterns- are they positive and conducive to health or are they self-sabotaging? This is likely one of the most overlooked and important sources of stress. There are various self-discovery tools such as cognitive behavioural therapy that can be very powerful in bringing forth new awareness and behaviours.
Step five: Consider a comprehensive metabolic detoxification annually or biannually
These four steps are basic detoxification techniques you can do on a daily basis safely on your own. A more intensive detoxification strategy is often needed in many individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivities, fatigue, muscle soreness and other various symptoms. The length of a metabolic detoxification is determined by symptomology. As a proactive measure I recommend doing a 10 day metabolic detoxification on an annual or biannual basis. A metabolic detoxification takes detoxification to the next level by combining a scientifically formulated diet with prescription grade medical foods and macronutrient formula to comprehensively support the detoxification process. This detoxification has been studied in women with pain syndrome and found to significantly improve their pain scores.
Incorporating Steps 1 through 4 on a daily basis is not only ensuring you have the right tools to detoxify, it is also ensuring habits that can have major impacts on chronic health disease. Increasing vegetable consumption, increasing fiber in your diet, decreasing toxic environmental exposures and toxic cognitive self-talk can impact markers of disease well beyond topics discussed at hand. Detoxification is an innate foundational process that is well deserving of an annual ultra-supportive, ultra-efficient, non-fasting detoxification. Think of it as your body’s annual tune-up!