Ronit Mor, ND
If you browse the magazine aisle at your local supermarket, then it’s easy to see this world is caught up in trends. Fads are plastered all over social media, showcased on commercials, and broadcasted pretty much everywhere we go. But be careful, just because something may be labeled a temporary fad doesn’t mean it is. Concerning detox, it may be currently trending on Twitter, but the reality is, it’s been practiced for thousands of years.
From the ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture to the Native American sweat lodges, humanity has been utilizing detox techniques to rid the body of unwanted pollutants.
In today’s society, has the need to detox diminished? According to research from the World Health Organization, more than 9 out of 10 of the world’s population – 92% – lives in places where air pollution exceeds safe limits. And this staggering fact only deals with air pollution! What about the toxins that are present in our foods, personal care products, and cleaning agents?
If anything, it’s imperative to decrease our exposure to the barrage of toxins assaulting us every day.
What are toxins?
Toxins are poisonous substances that can cause damage to the body. Toxicity is the level of toxins found within the body. Our goal is to reduce the amount of toxins in our system through a process called detoxification. There are several avenues that aid in detoxing the body, but there’s one that has been implemented throughout the ages with huge success. What if you could use the foods you eat as a weapon against toxins?
What does my diet have to do with detox?
Everything! The World Health Organization states, “There are more than 1000 pesticides used around the world to ensure food is not damaged or destroyed by pests. Each pesticide has different properties and toxicological effects.” The CDC estimates that 80% of all illnesses have environmental and lifestyle causes. Blend these facts together, and it’s easy to deduce that what we eat can either make us stronger or debilitate us.
So what can I do?
Whenever possible buy local, organic produce. More than any vegetable or fruit, meat is number one for carrying heavy pesticides and obesity-causing hormones. One study shows that meat is routinely tainted with harmful residue. Therefore it’s important to purchase humane-certified, organic meat that came from animals that were pasture-raised and grass-fed.
Water is one of the major tools when detoxing. It’s recommended to install filters throughout your home—even for the shower—to make certain your water is pure and free from pollutants. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water. While water itself doesn’t eliminate toxins, the kidneys use water to get rid of waste. Think of water as a fluid that helps flush your system, keeping it functioning at optimum level.
There are certain foods that help shift the detox pathways into high gear. These include:
It’s also a good idea to consume foods that have gut-friendly bacteria, known as probiotics, such as sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, etc. These help in keeping your gut balanced as well as promote waste elimination.
In detoxing, there are foods that are necessary and foods that need to be avoided. Sugary foods have low—if any—nutrients and minerals needed in the detox process. Plus, sugar is linked to a plethora of health problems. It’s also recommended to avoid processed foods. It’s just as convenient to open a bag of almonds as it is to rip open a bag of chips. Refined flour should also be cut from your diet because it’s hard to digest.
In your pursuit of toxicity reduction, it’s important to take into account the self-care products and cleaning agents. According to a certain study, there are around 84,000 chemicals on the market and only about 1 percent of them have been studied for safety. That said, it’s important to use organic products all around in order to keep your system free from toxins.
Following these steps will not only decrease your toxin exposure, but will also keep your system functioning at healthy levels. Maximum wellness is always within reach, but the action is yours to take.