Other building and home materials, such as flame retardants, paints containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs), cleaning products and air fresheners contain toxins that can find their way into our body through our skin or the air we breathe.
Others are even naturally-occurring poisons, such as mycotoxins (fungal poisons) that can contaminate our food and the air we breathe.
All of these toxins can accumulate in our bodies. Your body does have its own ways of dealing with these pollutants, largely via the liver. Likely though, our bodies were never intended to deal with the volume of toxins that we are regularly exposed to. Fortunately, there are safe, easy and natural ways of supporting these mechanisms in the body that can assist in ridding our systems of these toxins.
What You Should Not Do.
Before discussing what some practical and useful steps towards detoxing might be, it is important to discuss what you should not do, and what you should not expect.
First, detoxing is not a silver bullet for weight loss or any other health concern. Certainly, it can be useful for weight loss and certainly for other health problems, but a panacea it is not.
Certain strict and draconian “cleanses” come in and out of fashion, and usually require an enormous restriction of calories and other unpleasantness. Surely, you might lose some weight in that period, only to gain it all back following your “cleanse.” These are generally advised against unless ordered by a physician.
Certain supplements, too, often promise the benefit of detox, often without any additional advice, such as dietary change. These should be treated as suspect. Supplements and detox teas often do very little on their own, especially if not used as part of a comprehensive program. This is not to say that certain supplements cannot be beneficial, but supplements often fail to perform as promised if no other changes are implemented.
What You Should Do.
Like your diet, detoxing should not be something you approach as a short-term solution, but rather as part of your lifestyle. To that end, The Kaufmann Diet can be thought of as a kind of detox. On The Kaufmann Diet, you are eliminating many foods that contain highly toxic poisons called mycotoxins that contaminate our food supply, specific foods like grains, corn, peanuts, sugar, and soy. This is a good step towards detoxing. There are a few more simple steps one can take, though, with the aim of detoxing.
Eliminate certain foods.
We have talked about eliminating foods containing mycotoxins, but other foods such as processed foods contain preservatives, food coloring, and other agents that might be beneficial to avoid.
Avoiding certain fish, such as swordfish, shark and excessive amounts of tuna can prevent exposure to toxins like mercury.
Certain types of produce should always be organic too because the risk of contamination with toxic pesticides is higher.
It is also important to pay attention to the way your food is packaged and prepared. Avoid plastics––especially those containing bisphenol A (BPA)––or cans lined with plastic.
Incorporate certain foods.
Certain foods contain powerful detoxifying properties. These include foods like garlic and greens like kale, spinach, chard, parsley, and cilantro. These foods can assist in removing heavy metals from the bloodstream. Juicing these foods is a good way of concentrating the natural, detoxifying components therein.
Foods rich in folic acid can be beneficial, as folic acid binds to mycotoxins and assists in eliminating them from the body.
It is important to remember to drink lots of pure, filtered water. Staying hydrated helps flush these contaminants out of the body. This should become habit. Some practitioners recommend drinking your body weight in ounces every day, which may be a good place to start.
Foods high in fiber, such as berries, nuts and avocados, assist in maintaining regularity; keeping the bowels moving is an important part of detoxification.
Support your body’s natural detoxification systems.
There are a variety of ways we can support the body’s own detox mechanisms; one way is through supplementation. Supporting the liver with milk thistle will assist in supporting the body’s largest detox organ.
Activated charcoal and psyllium hulls are good at helping sweep mycotoxins and other toxins out of the digestive tract, and can (in the case of psyllium hulls) promote healthy, regular elimination, which is vital for detoxification.
Another way to naturally support the body is via sweating; sweating is one way the body eliminates wastes, and this can be facilitated through exercise or via the use of far infrared saunas or steam rooms. It is important to shower following perspiring, as toxins could potentially be reabsorbed through the skin.
Commit to a more comprehensive plan.
An unfortunate part of modern society is the toxic bombardment we endure on a daily basis. Many of these exposures are unavoidable. Some, however, such as those found in cosmetics, cleaning products, and products found in the home, are easy to eliminate or swap for more natural varieties; opt for these when possible. It is important to do your own research over the products you choose to use and include in your home.
What Are The Benefits of Detoxing?
Ultimately, there are a variety of benefits that can be expected from detoxing, but all might not be seen nor felt immediately.
Some, however, are immediately apparent. Particularly if you are using the Kaufmann Diet to detox the body of fungi and their poisons, you might initially feel worse, which is ironically a sign that the diet is working! This is usually a sign that pathogenic fungi and yeasts are starving and dying. After a few weeks on the diet, though, many people report feeling better than they ever have.
When detoxing in the proper way as part of a comprehensive program, often people feel better, have more energy, more mental clarity, lose weight, have clearer skin and may experience relief from some health problems. Largely though, these effects are achieved through a comprehensive detox program that includes diet, supplementation and lifestyle changes. Rarely are these long-term results experienced from short-term “cleanse” or by simply taking some supplements, if ever.
Many of the toxins eliminated or mitigated by a comprehensive approach to detox have been implicated in diseases like cancer and other serious diseases. By detoxing, you are putting yourself in a better position to avoid these types of illnesses in the long run. However, detoxing must include the elimination of sources of toxins, which includes contaminants in food, water, air, environment, and consumer products as much as possible. While complete elimination of harmful substances is likely impossible, making some simple changes can go along way towards detoxification and ultimately better health.