Why is it important to detox? In today’s modern world, we are exposed to toxins from every avenue. The water we drink, the food we eat, the air we breathe, the things we put on our skin, and the things we use in our home. Toxins are emerging as the underlying cause of many of the diseases we are seeing today. By participating in an effective detox we can rid the body of these toxins.

First principle in any detox

The first principle in any detox is to identify the toxin and stop the exposure. This is when it is really important to work with your physician to identify and test for exactly which toxins are on-board. Are they heavy metals, plastics, pesticides, or something else? By first identifying the toxin, you can then stop the exposure.

Second principle in any detox

The second principle in any detox is to eliminate the toxins that are in the body. There are four major ways to eliminate toxins from the body.

Four ways to eliminate toxins from the body

1) Diet
Consume a plant based, whole foods, and organic diet as much as possible. Organic produce helps eliminate our exposure to things like pesticides and herbicides. Organic, free range, grass fed meat and wild caught fish minimizes exposure to things like hormones, antibiotics, heavy metals, and other toxins that bio-accumulate up the food chain.

Fiber has two main roles in detoxification. First it binds up fats, hormones, chemicals, heavy metals, and other undesirables in the intestines. Then it prevents them from getting absorbed and ensures that they are eliminated from the body within our stool. Fiber also prevents constipation by keeping our bowel habits normal and regular. It is important to prevent constipation when detoxing because anytime our digestion is sluggish the toxic waste matter is just sitting in our bowls and the toxins are reabsorbed into our body.

The best sources of fiber are things like legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Aim for 30 – 50 grams of dietary fiber per day. If you can’t reach this through food in your diet, you can always supplement with things like psyllium husk and flax seed. Start with ½ tsp before meals and work your way up to 1-2 tsp. Ingest the fiber before the meal hits and the bile comes because, the food that we are ingesting brings with it, it’s own load and the fiber that is already there will bind those up and ensure that it is eliminated with our stool.

The liver is a major detoxifying organ. Everything we absorb in our gut, first goes through the liver before it is redistributed through the body. So doing things that support the liver, its detoxification properties, and its ability to make bile are ultimately going to help you with detox.

Foods to include in your diet: Black radishes and cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, and kale. These contain compounds called glucosinolates that promote bile flow, enhance the liver’s ability to process hormones, and aid in detoxification. Aim to eat ½-1 cup at every meal. In addition, other foods that are good for the liver include lemons, limes, beet, carrot, chlorophyll, artichoke, fresh rosemary, burdock and dandelion roots

2) Sweating
Most toxins are excreted very well in sweat so engaging in activities that involve sweating daily is important for any good detox. Sweating through things like moderate to high intensity exercise, hot yoga, Epson salt bath, and dry or infrared sauna. If you don’t sweat easily or are intolerant to heat you will want to start slowly with 20 – 30 minutes per day and work your up to 1-2 hours a day depending on the intensity of your detox protocol.

3) Supplements
Supplements support your liver by giving it a boost and help detoxifying properties to work as often as possible. This includes: Vitamins such as B’s, C, D, E, and carotenoids. Minerals such as: magnesium, zinc, and selenium.  Amino acids such as: glutamine, glycine, and taurine. Herbs such as: milk thistle, dandelion, burdock, turmeric, and ginger.

Supplements can also be used as binders that work directly in the gut.  In addition to fiber things like: activated charcoal, bentonite or zeolite clay, and cholestyramine are helpful.  Including cellular binders that go directly into the cells, bind up toxins, and remove them out of the cells is also important. These are things like: glutathione, N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), and Alpha lipoid acid (ALA)

4) Synthetic chemical chelators
DMPS, DMSA, and EDTA are important to bring on board when you are dealing with toxicity from heavy metals.

As mentioned previously,  it is very important to do a Doctor guided detox.  The three components of a good detox are first identify the source of the exposure,  then identify which toxins are on board and finally determine a safe and effective protocol to mobilize and eliminate the toxins from the body.

If you have questions about detoxing, contact the clinic today to schedule your free 10 minute consult with Dr. Alyssa Christoforou: https://naturopathic-doctors.com/contact/