Every day we are exposed to toxins through the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Your body has it’s own natural mechanisms to get rid of these toxins, but after years of continuous exposure your detoxification organs become over burdened and many of these harmful substances do not exit your body effectively. There has been a recent explosion in the number of studies showing the detrimental effects of these environmental toxins on human health and unfortunately this comes with a side of untrained health ‘experts’ talking about cleansing and detoxification in nonscientific terms, often in the context of products and practices that make exaggerated claims. A good daily detox protocol can help you eliminate these toxins and there are a few great scientifically proven ways to improve your body’s ability to detox. The following evidence-based changes aim to stimulate the organs of elimination in order to cleanse your overloaded natural detoxification systems:
- Drink Lemon water: Lemons and other citrus fruits contain a compound called Limonin which has been shown to reduce markers of liver damage and oxidative stress in response to toxins. Simply squeeze the juice from 1/2 a lemon in 1 cup warm water and drink upon waking to stimulate liver detoxification and promote digestive function.
- Stay Hydrated: The kidneys play an important role in detoxification and adequate hydration is therefore essential in order to assist in carrying these toxins out of the body. The kidneys require a large amount of water for the filtration of waste and toxins from the blood stream and their excretion via urine. Under typical conditions an average adult requires 1.5 to 2.0 L of water daily to clear a body’s normal solute load of 900 to 1200 mOsm per day. This is why I recommend that my patients drink a minimum of 1.5 L of water daily, keeping in mind that the body will need even more water on hot days and after physical exercise.
- Daily Physical Exercise: Toxins are generally lipid soluble and are therefore stored in neurological tissue and body fat. The fact that the body tends to store these toxins in our fat is the exact reason it is so important to support to move your body daily in order to maintain a healthy body weight. Exercise and weight loss help to release the toxins stored in fat tissue, it also improves circulation, providing more oxygen to your liver and kidneys so they can better filter out toxins.
- Switch to glass or metal Tupperware containers & bottles: Most plastics contain a chemical called bisphenol-A, which increases the number of harmful estrogens and hormone-disrupting toxins in your body. Replace plastic bottles with glass or metal (available to most grocery stores) and try to bring your own containers to restaurants to take home extra food.
- Take a Glutathione Supplement daily: Glutathione is your body’s most powerful antioxidant and detoxifying agent. It is created by the liver to protect the body from heavy metal damage and it has been shown to support the production of the liver enzymes that break down toxins. Be sure to also include the following foods in your diet to further support and stimulate glutathione production: garlic, onions, asparagus, avocados, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, parsley and watercress, curcumin, and cinnamon. If you have severe heavy metal or toxin burden you can also talk to your Naturopathic doctor about adding intravenous (IV) glutathione to your detoxification program.
Looking to connect with a Naturopath in Oakville to discuss your health goals and guidance through a personalized detox? Book your appointment here.