How To Detox Your Body Naturally

They creep into your body through your food . . . the air you breathe . . . even your shampoo and toothpaste . . .

    Toxins are everywhere and toxins can destroy your health, cell by cell.

    Fortunately, while our health is under attack, our body is also well-equipped to isolate toxins and ferry them out of us . . . 

    Special enzymes produced in the liver work together to immobilize, neutralize and bind toxins. 

    Your digestive and urinary tract moves toxins out.

    Your immune system helps in three ways: First, it attacks microbes like fungi and bacteria that produce toxins in your body. Secondly, your immune system also identifies and destroys non-living substances. Chemicals and toxins can also become antigens – the red flags your immune system focuses its defense on.

    Your skin forms a barrier to toxins. And the skin’s sweat glands allow you to sweat out the toxins that have slipped past your various defenses.

    Sticky, thick mucus that lines the nose, the mouth, and the vagina trap toxins before they can get too far.

    Nonetheless – even with all these detox systems - your body can always use some help on this front. In today’s toxic world, it’s easy for your body to become overwhelmed by the garbage we’re exposed to.

    By using a few tactics, you can help your body get rid of toxins more effectively. Here’s a great list of them:

Natural Detox #1: Drink Water

    Let’s start with the most basic . . . Just like you use water to wash everything on the outside, you can use it to wash your insides. Your body needs water for every metabolic reaction. It is the medium that helps you move toxins out of each cell, through the bloodstream, through the cleansing kidneys . . . it’s what you use to move waste out and to sweat it out. Water is by far the most essential detox ingredient.

    And don’t get caught up in all the special water crazes out there – ionized, alkaline, mineral, etc. Your body simply needs plain, pure H2O. Many different filters on the market will help you remove some contaminants found in water supplies. But the most reliable and comprehensive way to get pure water is through distillation.

    There’s no set rule to how much water you should drink each day since we’re all different weights and have different activity levels. The best way to check if you’re getting enough water is to check your pee. If it’s light colored, you’re getting enough. If it’s dark yellow, drink some more.

Natural Detox #2: Exercise

    There’s nothing like working up a good sweat for getting rid of junk that’s built up inside you.

    Exercising not only gets your sweat glands working, spewing out a mix of water, oils and toxins. It also gets your heart pumping and the blood moving. With this increase in circulation, your body is able to move toxins out of the body more quickly.

    In addition, exercise helps you burn fat. Many toxins can bind to fat and avoid being washed away by normal internal cleansing processes. However, once the fats they’ve attached to start to break down, they no longer have a safe refuge.

Natural Detox #3: Heat

    Exercise is the best way to work up a good sweat. But you can also sweat it out sitting in a sauna or steam room.

To get the most out of a good sweat, make sure you drink lots of water. Not only can this prevent you from suffering from dehydration, but also, the more water your body has at its disposal to move the toxins out through your sweat glands, the better.

Natural Detox #4: Massage

    Massage doesn’t just feel good. It does good. Along with working out knots, it helps increase circulation. For a while, many health experts considered the massage-circulation connection to be a myth, but recent study has proven them wrong . . .

    Researchers at the University of Illinois, Chicago, divided study participants into 3 groups. One group exercised and then got a massage, one group just exercised, and one group just got a massage. When they compared the blood flow in the arms of people who got a massage after exercising to the people who didn’t get a massage, there was a significant difference in flow for up to 72 hours.

    Surprisingly, the group who didn’t exercise but just got a massage also showed the same increase in circulation as the people who exercised before a massage. [1]

Natural Detox #5: Eat Organic

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    No matter how hard you wash produce that’s been grown conventionally, you can’t wash it clean. Pesticides and other conventional agricultural chemicals are persistent. In fact, some stay in the soil for decades.

    Organic foods have less of these chemicals on them. And – as an extra bonus - research shows they’re higher in antioxidants than their conventional counterparts.[2]

    While it’s ideal to eat as much organic food as possible, it can be challenging to do so on a budget. If you can’t go all organic, be selective. Some items are more important to eat organically than others. To help you figure out which is which, the non-profit Environmental Working     Group publishes a list called “The Dirty Dozen”. Based on USDA data, EWG lists the 12 vegetables and fruit with the most amount of pesticide residues on them. They also list the 12 “cleanest” veggies and fruits that – even when grown conventionally - tend to have minimal pesticide residues after harvest.

So you can save your money and take less pesticides in with your meals.

Natural Detox #6: Eat Detoxifying Foods

    In addition to eating foods that don’t come with a serving of toxins, some foods are particularly good at helping your body remove toxins.

    What are these super detox foods? Here are a few stars:

    Greens like cabbage, kale and all members of the brassica family boost the activity of enzymes that are critical for neutralizing toxins and removing them.

    Chlorella has a well-documented history of helping the body remove heavy metals and toxins like dioxin from the body expeditiously. Its high concentration of chlorophyll and fiber seems to be a big part of its exceptional detox benefits.

    Onions and garlic have high concentration of sulfur compounds known for helping cleanse the liver, your body’s main detox organ.

    Ginger is known among herbalists as a great circulation-booster.

    While you would never guess it, avocado is a great source of the next important detoxifier . . .

Natural Detox #7: Get Your Fiber

    Fiber scrubs out your body. It can help you get rid of toxins in two ways:

1. Fiber binds with toxins, neutralizing them and making it easier for your body to get rid of them. And

2. Fiber helps your bowels move waste out.

    The best way to get fiber is through the food you eat. When you eat whole grains and minimally-processed vegetables and fruits, you get not only fiber but a whole slew of other nutrients.

    There are many ways to enjoy fresh fiber-rich foods – in a salad, soups, a stirfry or simply chomping a piece of fruit out of hand. However, one of the more enjoyable ways to get your fiber is to . . .

Natural Detox #8: Drink Smoothies

    Good fruits and veggies can help your body get rid of toxins in another – very delicious way – as a smoothie. By pureeing up a mix of fresh produce, you also serve yourself a tall glass of fiber.

    And let’s be clear here – smoothies beat out juicing any day. When you juice you lose out on all the good fiber. Get everything by blending ingredients whole.

    Looking for some great smoothie ideas? Check out these somewhat unusual but healthy smoothie ingredients. Or try this delicious Green Machine smoothie.

Natural Detox #9: Bring Plants Indoors

    Did you know NASA has been studying plants for years because of their detox power? NASA’s research has shown plants are nature’s air purifiers. Put them in a room and they can clean up all kinds of contaminants (not to mention produce some oxygen on the side!) NASA researchers found plants can clean up toxins like benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde.[3]

Which plants are especially helpful in keeping you breathing easy? Some of the particularly powerful air purifiers include the spider plant, English ivy, peace lilies and pothos.

Natural Detox #10: Limit Your Use Of Plastics

    Many of the plastics used in our food chain – lining soup cans and in water bottles – contain a chemical called bisphenol A (BPA). BPA seems to mimic the hormone estrogen, triggering changes in our body that has been linked to cancer, obesity, neurological problems and more.

    Subsequent to the documentation of BPA’s bad effects on health, many manufacturers have switched to BPA-free plastics. However, a 2011 study published in the journal

    Environmental Health Perspectives found all plastics tested triggered estrogenic activity. And some BPA-free plastics were even worse than BPA![4]

    So the best solution lies in limiting your exposure to plastics as much as possible. It can be hard to do. But if you opt for less processed food, you usually have an easier time going plastic-free. At home, use glass or metal to store food in. Some manufacturers have ditched plastic altogether.

    Finally, don’t heat food in plastics. Heat triggers more leaching of BPA and other estrogenic chemicals than plastic left at room temperature.

Detox Your Body And Your Life

    So while it’s hard to dodge all the toxins coming at you in this world, you don’t have to lose hope or get paranoid.

    You have a number of tactics for getting them out of your body quickly and avoiding them all together.

    Better yet, of all, many of these strategies are fun, easy and even delicious!

    Best of all, this is just the beginning of the natural detox tools you can put in your healthy tool chest! Next week, we’ll be going over another 10 great ways to keep and get toxins out of your body!


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Sources:

[1] Franklin N et al. Massage Therapy Restores Peripheral Vascular Function following Exertion. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2014; DOI:10.1016/j.apmr.2014.02.007
[2] Chang K. Study of Organic Crops Finds Fewer Pesticides And More Antioxidants. New York Times. July 12, 2014.
[3] Wolverton BC et al. Indoor Landscape Plants For Indoor Air Pollution Abatement. NASA. Sept 15, 1989.
[4] Yang CZ et al. Most Plastic Products Release Estrogenic Chemicals: A Potential Health Problem That Can Be Solved. Environ Health Perspect 119:989-996 (2011).