One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to do a good detox. We see different detox plans online, in magazines, in health stores; pretty much everywhere.
I truly believe that there is no better time to get on the detox wagon and cleanse our body, and there are certainly things we can do to kick start our purification process, but also, keeping it going long-term.
But I also want to point out what detox really is. I feel that there is this belief that detoxifying is down to a single product that will do the magic, so we spend so much money buying products that will detox us.
The way I look at detoxification is that the body simply does its job. There are certainly compounds that we can add into our body to help the process, but in the end, the only thing that will truly remove waste from our body, is the body itself.
Being on detox is also not being on an extreme diet; we need to have enough balance in our daily practices to incorporate and implement methods that allow our bodies to do what they know best.
It may come as a surprise, but think about it: if our bodies did not remove toxins on a daily basis, how would we live? We would probably die from poisoning.
If the holidays were filled with delicious but overindulgent goodies, then I think it is important to do a week of strict food intake. Not for any other reason than giving the body a well deserved break from trying to break down overloads of sugar and fat or chemicals it does not know what to do with.
Additionally, there are tips we can use to keep our life toxins free too:
- Drop the labels: Going back to basics is a must and relying on nature for real food is the only way to help the body regain health. If you are used to buying things with labels with loads of ingredients and funky words, then please go to the fresh produce isle and shop for vegetables and fruits mainly, making you less likely to buy pre-ready meals. Enjoy healthy fats from nuts, seeds, coconut oil, avocados and olive oil. Rely on healthy sources of fiber and protein such as beans, lentils and chickpeas and try staying away from gluten. Granted, some foods, even nuts come in a package with a label, so make sure you read it carefully so you know exactly what you are having. If you can’t read it, don’t eat it!
- Use superfoods: Superfoods are classified as nature’s gift to mankind. They are plant-based products that have a very holistic health effect on the body and can promote wellness. They also have amazing nutritional value, above other plants. For a good detox, the foods that I recommend are: Spirulina, Chlorella, Wheat Grass, Maca, Baobab, Lucuma, Barleygrass, to name a few. My staples are Spirulina and Chlorella, which are just wonderful supplements to a healthy diet. Spirulina is an amazing immune booster; great source of protein and it helps alkalize the body very quickly. Chlorella is a powerhouse of goodness with 40 times more chlorophyll than any other grass. One of the best ways to get a good mix of the superfoods I mentioned, is through blended powders. Click here for a great offer on our stock.
- Add in fermented foods: Fermented foods are probably the best detoxifying foods out there! The fermentation process means that live cultures inhabit these foods and when you ingest them you are giving your gut an extra probiotic boost! The gut flora is the most important piece of the health puzzle! If your colon is healthy, your immune system works well and you can detox easily as well! Listen to your gut!
- Add in clays: For a proper detox I always recommend thinking about what we have in our body that does not serve us, and how to remove it. I frequently take milk thistle to help the liver detoxify properly, it is a wonderful super herb. Other clays I use to keep heavy metals and parasites in check are: Zeolite and Bentonite clays. Zeolite helps the body bind all heavy metals together and removing them through the digestive tract. Bentonite is a mineral clay that once ingested and going though the colon, removes a variety of parasites that might be lodging in the our digestive tract. We all have them so we all should remove them.
- Pay attention to your mouth: When we talk about toxins and detoxification, we rarely think about what is in our mouth. Dentistry can be one of the most toxic professions if not done correctly. A lot of the old school fillings in our mouths contain mercury and according to some functional medicine doctors that could be an issue. Whilst the debate on how mercury fillings can harm us still carries on, some dentists still use it in their practice; others have adopted a much more holistic approach.
I had the chance to speak to Dr. Adeline Wright, from the Adelaide Dental Lounge, an holistic dental practice in London, to ask what her opinion on the matter is: “As a biological dentist, I am also consulted by patients on the impact of dental restorations/ infections /allergies on their general health. Some patients want our help to find the most immune compatible material for them and we can test for sensitivity to metals should the patient require it. In a small study by Vera Stejskal, published in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, delayed hypersensitivity to metals like mercury nickel, gold and palladium was found in patients with connective tissue diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, SLE and Sjogren’s disease. While the cause of such diseases is unclear, environment, genetic and lifestyle factors are thought to be contributory. More research with larger sample sizes is needed to firmly establish the link between connective tissue disease and metals. People are exposed to metals via dental restorations, medicines, medical devices, and through the environment. The international agreement to phase down the use of mercury in the industry and by extension the use of dental amalgam, emphasises the urgent need for replacement dental materials which can last well. Gold has been in use for a long time. Newer materials like porcelains composites and glass ionomers are in increasing use. There are no known allergies to porcelain, and allergy to gold is possible. Outright allergy to mercury is not an everyday occurrence, however we know that there is no biological usefulness to mercury and that mercury can bio-accumulate within living systems. We are also identifying more susceptible groups, who seem to have trouble excreting mercury. There are cases of patients reporting improvements in feeling of well being after removal of their amalgams, but this is an area of investigation, which is fraught with controversy, because of the difficulty in quantifying the health benefits directly associated with this”.
My personal opinion is that, when we can avoid heavy metals we should do so and for me biological dentistry makes more sense; whether I am personally sensitive to mercury or not, I think it is toxic and as such I would not want it in my body.
- Your home can be toxic too: Believe it or not, one of the most toxic environments is found to be our homes! When we buy commercial cleaning products or personal healthcare products, we are purchasing toxins! Unfortunately what we are sold is not for our wellbeing and what is on the package often hides the real villains! There are a few eco-brands that are kinder to the environment and ultimately to our body, but also remember, you can clean your home effectively with apple cider vinegar and essential oils; which not only make cleaning better, also way cheaper! Don’t pay to inhale toxins and spend a ton of money paying for them to only remove them later. We already live in a toxic world but where we can control it, personal space and food, please do.
By adopting these six steps there will be huge improvements in your health, also because those are steps to implement long term. The fewer toxins we create around us, the cleaner we keep our bodies. In the long run, that makes a huge difference to how our bodies do their job: detox. Something to try in 2016