Toxins come from countless sources and accumulate in the body, particularly when sedentary habits, viruses, and heavy foods are most prevalent. In addition, we're constantly exposed to a steady stream of environmental toxins that can get lodged deep within. There are countless pollutants in our air, soil, and water. Pesticides, food allergens, and chemicals in our households, bodies, and cleaning products—even radioactive ions—bombard us regularly. Our bodies often need help keeping up with the onslaught.
Fortunately, there are a number of solutions that can help remove accumulated toxins, prevent their reabsorption, and boost overall health and vitality in the process.
One major advantage of a cleanse is that it can significantly help to jumpstart good eating habits—and help us stick with them. When we balance blood glucose and insulin with nourishing, low glycemic (low sugar) foods, our unhealthy cravings begin to diminish. More importantly, the increased energy and overall sense of well-being that can result from healthy eating habits become key motivators to keep us on track.
A detoxifying diet serves as the basis for a cleanse. First, we need to eliminate foods that increase our toxic load. I recommend eliminating animal protein from your diet during a cleanse, but if that's not practical, then switch to organic, pasture-raised meats and avoid dairy products. In addition, avoid inflammatory foods and beverages that are loaded with sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. And definitely nix all processed foods, which are high in salt, sugar, and a host of chemical ingredients. Again, our first goal is to stop ingesting toxins. Only then can we work toward eliminating them.
Emphasize lots of organic fruits and vegetables, as well as vegetable-based proteins. I particularly recommend green leafy and cruciferous vegetables, which are highly nutritious and, in particular, full of detoxifying nutrients like sulfur compounds and chlorophyll.
We also want to fight acidity in our bodies. In addition to increasing stiffness, pain, and inflammation, acidity can impair our immune system. The solution is to emphasize alkalizing foods, such as cucumber, kale, sprouts, spinach, avocado, and broccoli. These veggies can help restore our pH balance, as well as eliminate toxins. Try to soak and sprout grains, legumes, and nuts for better digestibility, less acidity, and higher nutritional content.
I also recommend fiber-rich foods, because fiber helps get toxins out of the digestive tract—among other crucial benefits, including immune support. I'm a big fan of chia seeds, flax, and rice bran. It's also important to stay hydrated! Drink at least 64 ounces of filtered water, herbal teas, and low-sodium, homemade vegetable broths daily.
Lastly, don't forget your friendly flora. Every week it seems that a new study outlines how important beneficial bacteria are to both physical and mental health. Healthy populations of good bacteria in the digestive tract also aid detoxification and keep harmful microbes at bay. Probiotic-rich, cultured foods may be the best way to help maintain our natural flora. In particular, look for sauerkraut, kimchi, natto, and miso to help keep your GI tract, and the rest of your body, on healthy footing.
Unfortunately, exposure to harmful radiation waves and radioactive particles is a part of our modern existence. There have even been reports