Living in the modern world sometimes feels like swimming in a poisoned pool.
Toxins and heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium and aluminum invade our bodies in many ways. We contend with pollution in our environment, such as plastics and poor air quality, and contaminants in our drinking water. Pesticides and additives infiltrate the food chain. Medications, alcohol, smoking and recreational drugs add to the body’s toxic load. Dental amalgam (silver) fillings and large fish (like tuna, sea bass and swordfish) expose us to mercury, an insidious neurotoxin.
Aging, trauma, stress and poor diet also have toxic effects.
If this is how toxins get into our bodies, how do we get them out? Here’s an overview of what can be done to reduce our exposure to toxins — and then open and maintain detox pathways.
Diet and lifestyle tips
- Exercise helps the body detoxify itself
- Infrared saunas, like exercise, offer many health benefits
- Natural cleaning products don’t pollute your home or the environment
- Reusable bags cut plastics use
- Remove outdoor shoes in the house to avoid tracking in bacteria and toxins
- Drink filtered water
- Eat clean, whole foods, mostly plants (see info box)
Supplements to support detox
- Dubbed the mother of all antioxidants, glutathione slows aging, detoxifies the body and removes heavy metals. It also prevents depression, anxiety, cancer and diseases like heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
- Used for centuries, bitters activate detoxification pathways in the liver. They help with digestion, liver function and increase absorption of fat soluble vitamins.
- Fibre is critical for detoxification. Just 1,000 mg of psyllium husk a day keeps your gut healthy and whisks toxins from your body.
- NAC/ALA (N-Acelyl-LCysteine and Alpha Lipoic Acid) raises the levels of antioxidants in the body, especially glutathione that is crucial for liver detoxification, and promotes the excretion of mercury from your body.
- A powerful antioxidant, Vitamin C is key to supporting the liver process and eliminating toxins.
- Zinc can be depleted by heavy metal reduction treatments. This essential mineral supports liver function in the elimination of toxins and waste.
The Dirty Dozen
Here are the top 12 most contaminated and sprayed fruit and vegetables. They’re safe choices if you buy organic
The Clean 15
Buy this conventional produce, which isn’t heavily sprayed with pesticides:
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas, frozen
- Honeydew melon