Detoxification is a naturally occurring process that the body is designed to perform in order to rid waste products that occur as part of normal metabolism. In addition, it works to rid the body of toxic elements that are inhaled or consumed from the foods we eat and the environment around us.
Toxins are substance that can potentially harm body tissue, such as chemicals that we are exposed to in our environment, food, water, and cleaning/beauty products we use on a regular basis. The liver, intestines, kidneys, lungs, skin, blood, and lymphatic systems work together to transform toxins to less harmful compounds and excrete them from the body.
Your body is continuously “detoxing” or cleaning itself as part of the normal metabolic functions of the organs mentioned previously. These harmful chemicals are filtered and flushed out in the urine and feces. However, if you are deficient in essential minerals such as calcium and magnesium the body will store toxic metals in their place. As the body gets bombarded with too many toxins, it cannot keep up, like a street drain getting backed up, which makes the body perform less than optimal and can lead to dis-ease!
Not only do our bodies have to deal with heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, aluminum, and mercury but there is increased burden because of exposure to pesticides. Over 98% of sprayed insecticides and 95% of herbicides reach a destination other than their target species, including humans, air, water, and soil! The United States Environmental Protection Service states, “Pesticide exposure can cause a variety of adverse health effects. These effects can range from simple irritation of the skin and eyes to more severe effects such as affecting the nervous system, mimicking hormones causing reproductive problems and possibly cancer.”
Some research suggests that many of the chemicals we ingest through food, water, and air can become deposited in fat cells in our body as well. These toxins include pesticides, antibiotics, hormones in food, chemicals from food packaging, household cleaners, detergents, food additives, heavy metals, pollution, drugs, and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree cigarette smoke! You would be amazed by looking at the ingredients you use on a daily basis, what types of chemicals you see!
This cumulative load of toxins bombarding the body causes too much burden and can lead to illness, hormonal imbalance, impaired immune function, and nutritional deficiencies.
How do we know if the body needs a little extra help to detox? First of all, you can subjectively look at how your excretory system is functioning.
Check your urination: your urine should be pale yellow and you should be drinking enough clean water to urinate every three hours. We generally recommend one quart of clean drinking water, preferably reverse osmosis filtered water, per fifty pounds of body weight not to exceed three quarts.
Bowel Movements: You should be having at least one bowel movement a day which is solid. Vegetables fruits, and beans can increase the fiber in your diet to help bulk your stool Diets unbalanced with high meat and processed food consumption tend to slow digestion and therefore interfere with efficient excretion.
For more definitive answers on whether or not your body has too many toxins, testing can be done. Toxic element testing through hair analysis or a toxic urine overload test is the best way to test for this. These tests are relatively inexpensive and not only break your toxic environment but can also determine what toxins are in the body and if your body is storing or excreting toxins properly.
Signs and symptoms of toxic overload will differ from one body to the next. But here are a few signs that your body may be warning you:
-feeling tired, sluggish, lethargic -trouble with memory, concentrating and staying focused –trouble sleeping –allergies –depression –irritability –frequent colds or sickness –weight gain or problems losing weight.
If you are experiencing some of the previous mentioned symptoms, there is good news. There are many non-toxic products out there now that can help you limit toxic exposure on a daily basis. I would recommend you do your research on products you use daily and choose a non-toxic alternative.
You can also perform a whole body detoxification program at least once a year. A purification program provides a nutrient dense menu, giving the body a break from the processed, sugary, fat laden foods often found in the average American diet.
This allows organs like the colon, kidneys, and liver to function more optimally. Purification can support healthy liver detoxification, which cleanses the body of naturally occurring toxins. During one of these types of programs you would be eating whole foods, exercising, drinking lots of water and usually taking some form of natural vitamin/mineral/herb to help speed up the detoxification process.
I recommend and personally utilize the Standard Process 21 day purification program. It is the most comprehensive program I have come across and have found great results that last long term. The program is not just a cleanse, it’s a structured program that brings healthy lifestyle habits into focus. Unlike other programs, the purification program addresses multiple body systems from the colon, to the liver and kidneys. As usual, before starting any program make sure you do your research, as there are a lot of “detoxing” programs out there and most do not support the body properly and just focus on helping someone lose weight that is not necessarily the most healthy way.
Now that you know about toxins and detoxification, make sure you do small things on a regular basis to help support the body’s ability to heal itself. Limit toxins whenever and wherever possible. Eat as clean as possible, and before bad symptoms start, give your body an oil change and do some form of healthy purification program to help your body purge. Do these few things and watch how your energy, health, and vitality will blossom for years to come!
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