Our body has its own amazing detoxification system, but if the total amount of toxins accumulate to a certain point where our detox system is overwhelmed; we will experience symptoms and feel sick. This is not uncommon in our fast paced, stress filled, and overly processed lifestyle. Symptoms can affect all of our physiological systems from gut to skin to our brains.
Toxicity comes from many places:
- Diet: high sugar, high processed foods
- Allergies: food allergies, molds / environmental allergies
- Metal Toxicity: overload of heavy metals, mercury, lead, fertilizers
- Stress: from mental pressures, abuse, anger or physical pain, illness, sleep deprivation
- Gut related toxins: bacterial, fungal or yeast infections
It is important to decrease our toxic exposure by avoiding food / environmental exposures and undergoing routine detoxification.
When you starting a detox program, it is not only for your physical health, but also for your emotional and mental health. Rather than fill up your schedule with social events and an increased workload, set the intention to create a serene and healing environment for yourself to go through this process. All of these tips can also be incorporated into your regular lifestyle.
14 Tips for Optimizing your Detoxification
1. Drink plenty of water, 8-10 glasses of filtered water a day.
2. Eat mostly organic produce and grass fed animal products, when possible.
3. Eat 8-10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, especially cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, collards, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, as well as garlic and onions, which increase sulfur in the body and help detoxification.
4. Avoid stimulants, sedatives, and drugs such as caffeine, nicotine and alcohol.
5. Keep your bowels moving, at least once or twice a day. If you need some help, take two tablespoons of ground flax seeds, probiotics and 400mg of magnesium citrate capsules
6. Sleep 7-8 hours per night, preferably between 10pm – 2am
7. Walk or Exercise for 30 minutes, five days a week with a rotation of stretching, cardio and weight training.
8. Remove all refined carbohydrates: white sugar, flour, bread, pasta
9. Sweat at least 3 times a week, using exercise or a sauna, steam or hot detox bath (1 cup epsom salt, 2 tbsp baking soda, lavender oil).
10. Eat regular small meals with snacks in between to avoid low blood sugar. Drink a high quality protein shake (Metagenics’ UltraClear) in between meals.
11. Schedule time to relax deeply every day so your body can rest and rejuvenate
12. Start a mindfulness practice or meditate daily: do deep breathing exercise for 5 minutes 1-2 times a day. You can try inhaling through your nose for 4 counts, holding for 7 counts and exhaling through your mouth or nose for 8 counts as a starter.
13. Journal every day. Write down any emotional along with physical reactions that come up.
14. Keep track of your Before and After symptoms by using a tool such as the How Toxic Are You Survey, or simply write down any symptoms such as headache, abdominal bloating, pain, rash, etc and rate the severity.
What have you tried recently to help decrease your toxic load? Share your success stories or tips.
To a partnership of Health, Happiness and Holistic Endeavors.
Onna Lo, MD.