Detoxification Made Simple
Every year around springtime we give our homes a thorough cleaning. Although we all try to keep a clean home year-round, things build up and need a more intensive deep cleaning once in a while. This practice not only makes sense for our homes but should make sense for our bodies as well. We typically are less active over the winter, don’t have access to as much fresh food, and spend much of our time indoors, where the air quality is poorer than outdoor air. These factors increase our exposure to toxins and reduce our ability to effectively eliminate them. We’ve all heard the word detoxification, and yet so many of us poorly understand this concept. Simply put “to detox” is to support the bodies own existing detoxification systems and in turn help lessen the impact of our chemical burden. Through detoxification our bodies can eliminate harmful products that we produce and are exposed to environmentally. Why is it so important to ensure that our body can deal with these toxins effectively? We are all under an enormous chemical burden that is challenging us like never before. The EPA estimates there are some 84,000 chemical substances in use today¹. A 2020 study suggests that the number of chemicals used in commerce is vastly underestimated². They looked at the chemical inventories of 19 countries and found 350,000 have been registered for production and use³. That’s four times the amount previously estimated!
Although not all of these 350,000 chemicals are toxic, many are known to cause cancer and negatively impact reproduction, respiration, hormone balance, brain function, and cardiovascular health, to name a few. The toxic challenges we face daily must be effectively handled by our body if we are to stay healthy. All too often this is not the case and we fall ill due to the enormous strain these persistent environmental toxins place on our bodies. This strain is often referred to as our “chemical body burden” and can be linked to chemicals like benzene, dioxin, organophosphates, mercury, lead, arsenic, PCBs, DDT, and BPA, all of which are present in many of us.
The Studies Prove It – Your Body Is Under Toxic Stress
The Toxic Nation study highlighted the challenges we face in Canada. Of the 88 chemicals they tested for in the blood and urine of Canadians, 60 were found. Of these 60 chemicals, 41 are suspected of causing cancer, 53 impact reproduction and the development of children, 27 disrupt our hormonal balance, and 21 can lead to respiratory illnesses.⁴
8 Common Toxins You Probably Aren’t Aware of, That Are Inside You
Many of these hazardous chemicals are found in places that one would never expect and because we often can’t see, feel, smell or taste some of them we don’t even know we’re being exposed. Below are some examples of harmful chemicals, where they’re commonly found, and how they impact health⁵:
- Bisphenol A (BPA) – found in many plastics –Linked to hormone disruption, reproductive issues
- Phthalates – used to soften plastics & products that have a fragrance –Linked to lower IQ, hormone disruption, infertility in men
- Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) – These are better known as flame retardants and are found in mattresses, upholstery carpets and electronics - Linked to hormone disruption, reproductive issues, immune dysfunction, cancer risk, neurological function, child & fetal developmental issues
- Organophosphate pesticides – Found on many non-organic foods – half of all pesticides fall under this class of chemicals - Linked to higher levels of ADHD in children, developmental brain & nervous system issues in children⁶
- Talc – Found in talcum powder - Linked to decreased lung function and fibrosis, ovarian cancers
- Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – AKA Teflon used for non-stick cookware - Linked to cancer, liver damage, decreased fertility, asthma, and thyroid disease⁷
- Triclosan – A common anti-microbial compound found in body washes and even toothpaste - Linked to reduction in thyroid hormones, skin cancer, and antimicrobial resistance, mitochondrial dysfunction, alter zinc balance, and endocrine disruption⁸
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – These gasses are given off by some paints, varnishes, cleaning products, glues, cosmetics, engineered wood products found in furniture (like some Ikea furniture) and disinfecting products – Liver, Kidney and nervous system damage, cancer, increased risk of asthma and eczema in children.
Signs of Excessive Toxicity
There are a number of symptoms that may suggest one is overly toxic and in need of doing a detox. Do any of these apply to you?
- Low energy
- Weight issues
- Digestive problems
- Brain fog
- Trouble concentrating, irritability and anxiety
- Sugar cravings
- Slow recovery after exercise or repairing from injury
- Hormone imbalances
Open The “Doors” In The Body To Help Eliminate Waste
Supporting and strengthening the so called “Channels of Elimination” is a good place to start. These channels are the means by which our body can eliminate these toxic compounds. The primary channels, also known as emunctories, are the liver, kidneys, lungs, and bowel. The secondary emunctories are mucus membranes, stomach, skin, lymphatic system, spleen, pancreas and stomach. These secondary emunctories come in to play when our primary ones are being overly challenged or not working as well as they should.*
There are many nutrients that have been shown to support the body and help eliminate some of these chemicals. Some are herbs like milk thistle and dandelion, some are supplements like NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) and alpha lipoic acid, some are vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, magnesium and zinc, and some are phytochemicals like resveratrol, polyphenols and quercetin.* But the best place to start is food – we are what we eat. Using healthy foods to promote detox helps deal with the root cause of the problem.
What Should You Eat For Better Detox?
There are a number of ways one can promote detoxification. Eating more vegetables and fruits is key. There are hundreds of plant-based chemicals (phytonutrients), vitamins, and minerals in veggies and fruits that support the body’s ability to deal with and eliminate toxins. Having more vegetables and fruits (preferably organic) is by far the most impactful thing a person can do to detox. Make every attempt to consume the recommended 7-10 servings of vegetables/fruits a day and ensure these foods reflect the rainbow of colours found in the plant kingdom (red, blue, purple, green, yellow, orange, white, etc.). Although nothing beats whole foods, if you’re not consuming the recommended servings of vegies and fruits, look for a greens powder formula that incorporates vegetable and fruit superfoods, like Daily Greens. It provides 52 superfoods sourced from land and sea. Try it for a week and take note of how you feel. People routinely find they feel better and have more energy and don’t need to rely on caffeine to get them through the day.*
One of the key strategies in helping the body eliminate toxins is to consume more fibre. Fibre is akin to a sponge and binds to chemicals in the gut and helps the body efficiently eliminate them. A recent scientific review looked at 150 published studies and found that fibre plays a critical role in supporting detoxification organs, namely the gut, liver and kidneys⁹. Despite knowing we all need more fiber, the cold hard fact is this - 95% of adults and children are not consuming the recommended amount¹⁰. For years, scientists have been telling us that we are "Fiber Deficient", and we need to close this "Fiber Gap"¹¹. Using a convenient and balanced fibre supplement like Daily Cleanse will help fill the fibre gap by providing half of one’s daily fibre need.*
Although protein is often thought of in the context of muscle, it has been shown to be critical for healthy detox. In fact, a low protein diet has been shown to slow down the detox process.¹² Proteins in the blood may also bind to chemicals to reduce their toxicity.¹³ Whether you chose a plant based protein like Plant Protein or Vegan All-In-One or a grass-fed whey protein like Immuno Whey+ or Iso Protein 100, ensure you’re meeting your daily protein requirements.*
The need for detox support has never been so great. Following a sensible diet, using the right supplements, exercising, reducing your exposure to chemicals by eating organic foods, drinking clean filtered water and reducing exposure to airborne contaminants will go a long way to helping you achieve optimal health!
6 Critical, Simple Ways You Can Reduce Exposure To Common Toxins
- Use natural cleaning products instead of synthetic ones. Use vinegar, essential oils, baking soda instead
- Getting a water filter to remove some of the impurities found in tap water
- Don’t buy/use disposable plastic drinking water bottles. Use stainless steel ones instead
- If you live in an urban center and especially near a busy road consider a quality HEPA filtration unit and/or buy plants that are known to filter the air https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Clean_Air_Study. Open the windows in your home and let in some fresh air. Indoor air was found to be considerably more polluted than outdoor air.
- Don’t use Teflon based products. Look for non-stick alternatives like ceramic-based cookware, cast iron pans, or stainless steel pots/pans.
- Buy organic foods and visit the Environmental Working Group website and look at their “Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen Shopper’s Guide” https://wwwn.cdc.gov/TSP/substances/SubstanceAZ.aspx. It lists the foods with the highest and lowest levels of pesticides.
Disclaimer: The information in this article has not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please seek competent medical advice before making any significant changes to your normal eating pattern.