Last week I spent some time discussing the nature of what it means to be “toxic” and what the real process of detoxification is…and hopefully it wasn’t too boring! This week is going to be more fun! There are so many modalities out there claiming to help you detox, so we’re going to go through a few of the more popular ones so you can decide which ones you may want to take advantage of.
Detoxifying Food | A clean and healthy diet is one of the best ways you can support detoxification, because the more whole and clean foods your digesting, the less workload you’re placing on your liver to identify and eliminate toxins from your food. Also, a clean whole foods diet will allow your body to maintain proper pH, metabolic rate, gut motility, and nutrient absorption. However, there are a few extra foods you can ingest to support detoxification a little more…
- Apples: An apple a day right? Apples contain pectin, a soluble fiber that helps remove food additives and metals from your system.
- Artichokes: These are chock full of silymarin, an antioxidant that helps your liver process toxins, and cynarin, an acid that supports your liver’s ability to break down fatty foods.
- Avocado: In addition to it’s many nutritional benefits, avocados act as a natural colon cleanser, which helps flush out waste stored in your digestive tract.
- Beets: This root vegetable is a great source of betacyanin, which is packed of magnesium, iron, zince and calcium to help flush toxins, and it also contains some cancer-fighting properties.
- Brazil Nuts: these are packed with selenium, which is great for helping flush Mercury out of your system.
- Dandelion Greens: In addition to be jam packed with vitamins and antioxidants, dandelion greens are great for supporting and cleansing the liver.
- Goji Berries: these are packed with vitamin C beta-carotene intake. Vitamin C helps with waste removal, while beta-carotene improves liver performance.
- Onions: these are packed with sulfur-containing amino acids, which efficiently detox the liver. Raw onions deliver the most health benefits
Juicing/Smoothie Cleanses | Lots of places are now selling detox smoothies and juices, and it seems to be all the rave right now. Of course, doing a juice cleanse will NOT make you drop 20lbs in a week, nor will it miraculously make you a beacon of health…however there are some great benefits to juices and smoothies. When foods/juices are blended together into a juice or smoothie consistency, their parts are already blended down quite significantly, so by the time it makes its way do your stomach and small intestine, it has to work less hard to digest and absorb the nutrients. Therefore, there is some indication that incorporating smoothies or juices into a whole foods diet can help your metabolism and can also give your digestive system a break. However, in juices and smoothies, a lot of the fiber in whole foods is lost so it’s important to still incorporate whole foods (fruits, veggies, and lean proteins!) into your meals. Also, try to keep some of the peels and pulps of your chosen ingredients, this is where most of the nourishment lies! And lastly, be mindful of the ingredients you’re putting into your juices and smoothies – many juices contain a lot of sugar and additives that will do more harm than good!
Saunas | We talked about Sauna Safety a few months back, and the differences between conventional saunas and Infrared Saunas, so I’m just going to give a quick summary of sauna benefits. Being in a sauna causes your core temperature to rise, which does a few things. First and foremost, if you’re dealing with an illness, raising your temperature will help kill the pathogenic cells because they tolerate heat very poorly (this is why we get fevers when we’re sick!). Saunas also induce sweating, and when we sweat we promote the elimination of toxins stored in our skin that we’re exposed to. Infrared Saunas are potentially more detoxifying since the infrared radiation can penetrate deeper into the skin layers, thereby releasing toxins stored at deeper levels.
Detox Foot Baths | There is a lot of buzz going on around foot baths, and unfortunately there just isn’t a lot of sound research to indicate they are effective from a scientific standpoint. These ionic foot baths utilize an electrically powered device that is said to produce ions that stimulate the cells in the body to excrete toxins via the pores of your feet thus changing the color of the foot bath and also making it quite mucky for some folks. However, I also know plenty of people who use them regularly and have noticed changes in their digestion, immunity, and energy levels since using them. Ive used them a couple of times, and have not noticed much…so in the end we’ll leave it as “the jury is still out”.
Stay tuned, next week we’re going to talk about Acupuncture and Detoxification!