We live in a toxic world. According to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates, more than 6 trillion pounds of chemicals are released into the environment each year. This includes air emissions from factories and vehicles, as well as agricultural and industrial chemicals discharged into the ground and water.
Some of these pollutants inevitably make their way into our bodies through the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink. Couple this with exposure to noxious elements in household cleaners, building materials in your home, personal care products and the like, and we’re talking toxic overload. That’s why it’s so important to detoxify your body.
Your Liver Breaks Down Harmful Toxins
Your body’s primary toxin-removal organ is the liver. It filters your blood (two quarts a minute), removes toxins and converts them into nontoxic substances for elimination.
To do this, the liver employs a two-step process known as phase I and phase II detoxification. In phase I, a group of enzymes called cytochrome P450 neutralizes some substances and breaks down others so they can be detoxified by phase II enzymes and eliminated from the body.
Symptoms of Toxic Overload
Normally, phase I and phase II detoxification go without a hitch. However, when the toxic load becomes too great, or when you’re deficient in certain nutrients, the process can be impaired. Furthermore, the systems that neutralize these toxins and rid them from our bodies falter as we age, and toxins may accumulate.
Signs You Need to Detoxify Your Body
- Aches and pains
- Difficulty concentrating and other neurological complaints
- Skin problems
- Autoimmune disorders
- Overall poor health
If you have any of these symptoms, you might be one of the millions of Americans suffering from the effects of toxin accumulation. Fortunately, you can safely and naturally detoxify your body.
Steps to Detoxify Your Body
Although there are many detox kits available on the Internet and in health-food stores, they are designed to be used for short periods of time—typically about a month. My approach is a little different. I believe that you should take daily measures to detoxify your body. Here are my top 5 recommendations.
Eat a healthy diet with plenty of fiber-rich vegetables, beans and other plant foods. This will help to ensure that you have regular bowel movements, which, obviously, are required for proper elimination. And for good measure, take supplemental fiber, such as psyllium, glucomannan, or my favorite: flaxseed. One of the easiest ways to use flax is to sprinkle a quarter cup of freshly ground seeds over salads, soups or other dishes every day.
Get into the habit of drinking at least eight glasses of clean, filtered water daily. The kidneys filter metabolic waste products and excrete them in the urine. Water is so important that if you don’t drink enough, your body will divert limited resources to life-sustaining functions such as maintaining blood pressure—at the expense of flushing out toxins.
Exercise—and sweat. The lungs and lymph are also involved in detoxification, and exercise encourages deep breathing and gets the lymph moving. Make sure you exert yourself enough to build up a sweat. Sweating mobilizes and excretes stored toxins, allowing you to detoxify your body. I’m so convinced of the benefits of sweating out toxins that I installed an infrared sauna in my house and spend time in it almost every morning.
Replenish the “good guys” that protect your health. Friendly bacteria, or probiotics, are the front-line soldiers of your immune system. They help to crowd out the bad bacteria we’re all exposed to in food and water, before they can add to your toxic load. They also help to support optimal bowel function.
Take supplements that support your liver. The ones I recommend incorporating into your daily regimen include the following:
- 100 mg of lipoic acid
- 526 mg of silymarin (milk thistle extract)
- 70 mcg of selenium
- 200 mg of calcium-d-glucarate
- 600 mg of n-acetyl-cysteine
- 50 mg of ellagic acid
- 300 mg of trimethylglycine
We can’t escape the toxicity of our world. But with the recommendations listed above, you can safeguard your health—not only this spring, but year-round—by helping to naturally detoxify your body.