A report from the Environmental Working Group(EWG) found an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in umbilical cord blood from babies. Those pollutants included pesticides, consumer product ingredients and wastes from burning coal, gasoline and garbage. These chemicals were all passed on the newborn by their mothers. Other similar studies have shown the same degree of toxins in adults. Our environment has become increasingly more polluted. New chemicals are introduced into our environment every day they have never been studied together. So no matter how careful we are we are all have some level of exposure. The liver carries the greatest burden of clearing all these foreign substances from our system Do we even need to question that we are all living in a toxic world? We absorb these chemical through our skin, inhale them from the air we breathe, and ingest them in our foods. They are present in the cleaning chemicals that we use, our cosmetics, and body lotions.
Many of the chemicals for example like Bisphenol A an ingredient found in plastics and cans, and nail polishes. have been found to disrupt hormones ,having an estrogen like effect, they are referred to as xenoestrogens and have been linked to cancer. They also interfere with our immune function. Phthalates which are used to soften plastic can lead to kidney and liver damage. They too disrupt hormones in both men and women and are possibly carcinogenic. They have been linked to early puberty in girls as have other chemicals in our environment.
Heart attacks have been linked to air pollution. So its not just road rage that’s bad for you but actually sitting in traffic may kill you! Exposure to tar and cigarette smoke and radiation in air has been linked to several diseases including cancer.
So what can you do about all theses toxins that we are exposed to on a regular basis?
Adding organic fruits and vegetables limits you exposure to pesticides. Eating organic has been shown to have greater antioxidant value, provide significantly more Vitamin C, iron ,magnesium and less nitrates than conventionally grown foods. Vegetables and fruits such as are found in a Mediterranean diet are associated with a longer survival. Even a small increase in their consumption can make a difference. Antioxidants in the food and flavonoids help protect you against disease. These same flavonoids are found in red wine and black tea.
The next big question .Do I need to detox? What is detox? Doesn’t our liver naturally detox and take care of everything.The answer is no. It is impossible to avoid toxins. It is impossible to consume enough nutrients to help our body detoxify. Over time we accumulate toxins and they build up. This excess of toxins has been implicated in low energy levels chronic fatigue,obesity,memory,hormone imbalance.
Now I am not recommending you go on a severe detoxification regime, or fast. Simple things like herbs and nutrients can be used to support your body’s own natural detoxification. Herbs such as Milk Thistle,astragalus,dandelion help break down waste and toxins and protect the liver. Reducing your intake of coffee and tea, alcohol and sweets, and red meat along with increasing your fresh fruit and vegetables helps minimise your toxin exposure.Exercising,saunas and dry brushing help with lymph circulation and the movement of toxins from the body. Drink plenty of clean alkaline water.
How often do we need to detox? Everyone is different depending on their lifestyles and exposure. I recommend at least twice a year. Other people may require longer more frequent medically supervised detoxification programs along with targeted nutrients supplements and medical foods.
Are there reactions to detoxification plans? Yes normally they are mild. Headaches may occur as you eliminate chemicals from your body. Skin breakouts due to eliminating chemicals through the skin.The skin is the largest organ of elimination. Increased bowel movements may also happen. Any one on any prescription drugs needs to discus detoxification regimes with their health practitioner as many drugs are metabolised by the liver and may be affected.Detoxing will leave you feeling more energetic, and with a sense of well being and vitality. A side effect may also be weight loss.