Detox diets continue to make headlines. Indeed, the women who come to Green Mountain frequently ask about whether a detox diet is something they should consider. I always answer that what we’re feeding them at Green Mountain provides the best support for helping your body eliminate toxins. This article I wrote for Spry Living tells more.
Experts claim we’re exposed to more toxins today than ever before in human history. Pesticides, heavy metals, petrochemicals, molds, medications and more may be mucking up our systems, leading to problems such as fibromyalgia, depression, food allergies, bloating, headaches and, yes, difficulty achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
So should we all periodically fast, or follow some master plan for detoxing, to cleanse our bodies? Not so fast….
The fact is that our bodies are very efficient at detoxing themselves. We’re built to identify and eliminate toxic substances that we eat, breathe or manufacture internally. Today’s problem is that at the same time we’re overloading with toxins, we’re not supplying our bodies with the nutrients we need to get rid of them.
Support your body’s natural ability to protect your health and achieve a healthy weight with a plan that reduces exposure to toxins while at the same time ramping up your ability to eliminate them. Here’s how.
Eat clean. Selecting organically-produced food – both plant and animal — is perhaps the most recognized way to reduce exposure to toxins. According to the Environmental Working Group, you can significantly reduce your overall exposure to pesticides by buying organic when you choose items listed in the Dirty Dozen. (Caveat: Some experts say the Dirty Dozen is too simplistic but others say we don’t have good research on what’s safe and what’s not so the Dirty Dozen gives a quick, easy guide to reducing exposure.) Organic meats and milk help reduce exposure to pesticides as well as synthetic hormones and antibiotics. Also minimize use of over-the-counter medications, nicotine, caffeine and alcohol.
Eat plenty of vegetables. Colorful vegetables power up your detoxing ability. Remember the plate model? The biggest space is meant for vegetables! Choose plenty of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts. Garlic and onions provide sulfur, an important mineral for detoxing.
Drink plenty of clean water. It helps flush toxins from your body. Know whether your water supply measures up; use water filters if it doesn’t.
Stay active. Exercise gets everything moving, including your blood and lymphatic system, which transports nutrients and helps eliminate toxins. Think cardiovascular, strength and stretching exercises at least five days a week.
Sweat. Our skin is our largest organ, and it’s also one of the best routes for eliminating toxins. Chances are you’ll work up a sweat with exercise, but try adding saunas and steam rooms to your routine.
Keep your gi track moving. Daily bowel movements are important to get rid of wastes of all kinds, including toxins. If you’re falling short there, try adding ground flax seed and/or probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt and kefir to your daily routine.
Relax. Stress produces significant amounts of toxins, too. That makes learning how to relax and otherwise take care of ourselves just as important as everything listed above.