Detoxification or purification can help you remove natural toxins from your body and help you maintain a healthy weight (toxins are stored in our fat cells to protect us, and sometimes the body is resistant to weight loss as a protective mechanism). We are constantly exposed to external toxins including pollutants, pesticides, and chemicals. Internally our bodies produce waste byproducts as a result of normal metabolic function. Our bodies are designed to get rid of these toxins naturally, but we can become overburdened. Detoxification gives your body additional support to expel these toxins and minimize your weight, helping you maintain health and vitality.
Toxins can contribute to a wide range of conditions such as: stuffy head; fatigue or difficulty sleeping; digestion and other gastrointestinal problems; food cravings and weight gain; low libido; reduced mental clarity.
In the US there are about 80,000 synthetic chemicals registered for use. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that hundreds of these chemicals are present in our bodies. Many of these chemicals have been shown to disrupt our immune, endocrine, nervous and reproductive systems. Here are some examples of common external and internal toxins: air and water pollutants, household cleaning products, caffeine, cigarette smoke, cosmetics, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals (yes prescriptions), pesticides and herbicides, preservatives. Internally we constantly produce ammonia, carbon dioxide and free radicals.
Your genetics, lifestyle and exposure are all factors that play a role in detoxification. Your toxic load is the amount of toxins that your body needs to process. Most of us are familiar with external toxins such as perfumes, cleaners and pollution, not to mention the chemicals that come from things like paint, carpet, etc. They are now starting to really study the effects that these chemicals have on our bodies. Many people are suffering from sick building syndrome and don’t even know it.
Our diets are often a large contributor to our toxic loads. See how many of the following you say yes to:
Eat processed foods
Eat non-organic fruits and vegetables
Eat meat and poultry that are not free range
Consume genetically modified food
Use artificial sweeteners
Eat foods with preservatives, additives, dyes, or sweeteners added (you would be surprised where color is added – to things like salmon)
Eat fast foods regularly
Charbroil or grill foods
Drink coffee regularly
Drink tap water
If you answer yes to the majority of these then is it likely that your diet contributes significantly to your toxic load. Many common external toxins such as perfumes, cleaners, and pollution also add to your load.
There are different approaches to detoxification. Some of the most important things to consider are increased water intake, ideally filtered water and eating a plant based diet. Most will reduce calories and your main intake is vegetables, some fruit, and essential fatty acids over a period of days. Then you gradually add in limited whole grains, and plant based proteins. No processed foods, no sugar, no animal products. We like to do a purification program by Standard Process that includes meal replacement shakes, specific whole food supplementation to support organs that assist in purification and fiber. There is a specific food guide to follow. The program lasts for 21 days and helps you purify and nourish your body from the inside out.
Prior to starting a program, you may want to start eating better, basing your diet more on plants (fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes) and start cutting out/back on things like processed foods, sugar, and caffeine. The more toxic you are, the greater the chance that you will not feel great at the beginning of the program. That is why it is easier for some to follow if they start taking steps to clean up their diet prior to doing a purification program.
Dr. Nels and I have not been eating as good as we usually do. We have been drinking caffeine lately, eating more sweets and treats and foods we don’t normally indulge in. It happens. So starting next week we will be cleaning up our diets and will do a short purification program. Feel free to join us and follow along with my blog. I will post what we are doing.