In our busy, polluted modern world toxins are rife. Toxins can be anything that enters the body and shouldn’t be there. Naturally occurring chemicals can also become toxic if they accumulate in ratios too high for the body to manage. All disease is the result of something becoming toxic in the body and our system failing to cope and detoxify it. As a result of foreign toxic loads on the body we are getting sicker and often fatter.
We can support our bodies, in particular our immune systems, by trying to minimise the toxicity going in. In this article I cover some quick and easy ways to detoxify your life. You could experience some profound changes as a result!
1. Eat organic and free range food as much as possible
This is one of the key ways to detoxify your life. I appreciate that cost can be prohibitive factor, but food quality is just so important.
Today our food system is very broken. We have battery farmed eggs and feed lot meat, pesticide dependent crops and vegetables that have at least 60% less nutrients than they used to. It is hard to escape this completely, but by choosing organic and free range food you’re supporting a much better alternative.
Free range meat and ideally grass fed is very important because animals like cows, pigs and chicken are NOT designed to eat a diet a predominantly grains. When that is what they are fed it alters that fatty acid profile of the animal, making it far less healthy for humans. We are seeing a huge rise in inflammatory diseases and we also know that excessive grains in animals and humans cause inflammation.
Herbicides and pesticides are known to kill pests but they also destroy and contaminate the soil in which we grow our food. Don’t kid yourself that these aren’t ending up on our plates. Even in trace amounts they are dangerous. One common type is glyphosates, a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide, including Monsanto’s round up. There is more and more evidence to say that these kinds of herbicides and pesticides are linked to cancer, birth defects, hormonal imbalances and serious neurotoxicity (poisoning of the brain).
2. Cut out processed food (things with a nutrition panel)
It can be so hard to navigate to a healthy diet these days. Nutrition information is very confusing and we are constantly bombarded with claims of low-fat, sugar-free, gluten free etc. But do you trust any of the companies just trying to sell you their packaged “food”? I don’t, which is why I no longer buy foods that have the need for a nutrition panel on the back.
Broccoli, bananas, steak and chicken don’t need to make health claims. They just contain good old natural minerals and vitamins in a form that we can absorb.
Crisps, biscuits, cereals, bagels, canned spaghetti – none of these “edible food like substances” as Michael Pollan refers to them should really have a place in our food system. These contain huge amounts of added sugar, trans-fats, thickeners, flavour enhancers. Basically a lot of potentially toxic chemicals.
If you just stay away from the middle aisles of the supermarket and stick to fresh vegetables, organic grass-fed meat and quality eggs then eating well doesn’t need to be confusing. Removing processed foods is a sure way to detoxify your life.
3. Switch perfume to essential oils
The term perfume or fragrance encompasses a plethora of products from perfume you apply to toilet and air fresheners. Thankfully there is now growing awareness that perfumes can be toxic and cause things like migraines disrupted hormones.
We apply perfumes to our skin everyday and breathe it in at the same time so these chemicals have multiple chances to enter our blood stream and even cross the blood-brain barrier. Common chemicals in perfume include ethanol, acetaldehyde, benzaldehyde, benzyl acetate, which are known to cause neurotoxicity (brain toxicity), skin irritation, acne and mental health issues. Run away!
Essential oils can be used in place of almost all commercial scented products. They make a great perfume or they can be used in a vapouriser to make rooms smell nice. Essential oils not only smell great but have real healing properties too.
- Peppermint oil is very calming and great for headaches
- Oregano oil is a potent antimicrobial
- Lavender is very calming.
- Frankincense improves negative emotions and relieves stress
4. Swap to chemical free make up, moisturiser and skin products
Your skin is your largest organ and it contains tiny little pores that are designed to absorb things, so if you want to detoxify your life assessing your personal care regime is critical. Everything that you put on your skin will end up in your system, even if only in trace amounts. I have a little rule that I won’t put anything on my skin that I wouldn’t put in my mouth.
I don’t really wear makeup so this is an easy one for me, but there are so many great brands out there that do organic, natural makeup these days. For moisturiser I use cold pressed oils such as jojoba oil, hemp based products and of course good old coconut oil (I can’t think of a more versatile product!)
Moisturising is a pretty modern concept and our skin should really have the nutrients it needs to shine from the inside out, not the other way around. Avoiding putting anything on your skin at all might be a good solution, eventually it will get used to just living and breathing as nature intended!
I use bicarbonate soda and apple cider vinegar to wash my hair every other day and will occasionally supplement with an organic shampoo. My hair is still very soft and shiny!
5. Ditch cleaning products full of nasty chemicals
There are so many chemical laden products that we use to clean our homes and selves. All of these are absorbed into the air that we breathe with a toxic impact on our bodies, especially young and developing bodies of children. In my house we no longer use any commercial cleaning products, because a combination of vinegar, bicarb soda and water will almost always do the trick. To find any kind of home made cleaning solution just hit up doctor Google!
Do I need to detox?
Unfortunately we live in a world that is full of toxicity. Toxins come from the food we eat, the air we breath, the products we use on our skin and in our house and even from the water we drink every single day. We can all take steps to reduce the impacts of toxicity on our bodies. Some people need to do this more than others because their bodies don’t detoxify as efficiently. This can be the result of a genetic conditon, illness, leaky gut and more.
If you think that your body is showing signs of toxicity (and really we all are) then why not reach out to me, a certifed nutritional therapy pracitioner for support? I will help identify the biggest toxic loads in your life and provide solutions to minimise the impacts.