Our Toxic Lives
You may be familiar with the phrase “clean eating.” It’s a term used to describe a diet that emphasizes the benefits of eating whole foods and avoiding highly processed, toxin-filled foods. Perhaps you are wondering how your food could contain toxins. We live in a first-world country and buy food from a grocery store! How can our food be toxic?
The term toxins refer to the pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides that are sprayed onto the fruits and vegetables we eat. While they are deemed “safe” by regulatory agencies, this safety rating is highly debated among natural health communities. Regardless of whether these toxins are safe or harmful, our body doesn’t recognize toxin-filled foods as nourishing and files them into the “unsafe” category anyway. The liver then goes to work filtering waste and removing toxins in the body.
Toxins in foods aren’t the only thing your liver needs to manage. Look up the ingredients in your personal care items in the Skin Deep database from the Environmental Working Group. You may be shocked and dismayed by the potential damage these foreign ingredients can do to your body. Let’s examine a well-known shampoo (we won’t reveal the name of it) for example. This common household product contains coal tar, a known human carcinogen and respiratory tract toxicant. The same product also contains propylparaben, an endocrine disruptor that wreaks havoc on male sex hormones and is often responsible for allergies and dermatitis.
Fragrance found in lotion, makeup, body wash and the vast majority of personal care items also overwhelm the body with toxins. Put simply, everything we are exposed to, from cleaning products to shampoo to environmental pollutants, can and will be absorbed through our skin and breathed into our lungs. Our livers have a tough job filtering through it all. To make matters worse, stress puts a damper on normal liver function. The detox process comes to a halt and the body resorts to storing these toxins as fat. So, how can you give your liver the boost that it needs?
Foods That Support Detoxification
There are numerous detox diets on the market that claim to eliminate toxins, improve your health, and promote weight loss. The reality is that our bodies are designed to flush toxins out — it’s the primary function of the kidneys, liver, and lymphatic system. The only thing we need to do is let our body do its job. However, there are ways we can facilitate this process. A good start is cutting back on processed foods and incorporating foods into your diet that promotes the natural detoxification process. This is especially important if your body is storing toxins as fat. Choosing to eat more foods that encourage the natural detox process and less non-organic and processed foods will do your liver a huge favor. Here are a few foods that promote the removal of toxins in the body.
This common fruit is loaded with pectin, a fiber that helps remove toxins and cholesterol from your blood. Apples are high in malic acid, which is reported to soften gallstones and help your body rid itself of heavy metals.
They may be hard to figure out how to eat, but it’s worth the effort! Artichokes are loaded with fiber and antioxidants that stimulate the liver’s detox methods and help us digest fatty foods to eliminate toxins.
Cabbage, along with most of the cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, and kale), contains a chemical called sulforaphane which is a detoxifying agent. Cabbage also contains glutathione, an antioxidant that actually helps the body bind and eliminate toxins.
Lemons, limes, and oranges are loaded with vitamin C, an antioxidant that fights compounds responsible for cancer and other diseases called free radicals. Lemons also contain d-limonene, a chemical that helps the liver break down toxic substances.
Chlorella and Spirulina
These algae superfoods pack a powerful amount of nutrients in a tiny amount of food. Chlorella and spirulina are often found in the form of a supplement and are loaded with phytonutrients, amino acids, magnesium, B vitamins, potassium, and more. These superfoods are natural chelators, which means they remove heavy metals like arsenic and mercury from our bodies.
Dark, green leafy vegetables like arugula, bitters, and dandelion contain high levels of chlorophyll, a super detoxification agent. It can sometimes be difficult to figure out how to prepare these greens, but be brave and dabble in them!
Turmeric and ginger are heralded for their anti-inflammatory properties, but they also have wonderful detoxifying abilities. Turmeric contains curcumin, which supports the gallbladder by encouraging it to produce more bile. In turn, bile helps cleanse your liver and prevents toxins from damaging it. Ginger detoxifies your body by stimulating digestion and sweat.
It might be surprising to learn that watercress is one of the healthiest foods you can eat! Watercress contains B vitamins, which are necessary for making toxins water-soluble in order to properly eliminate them. Watercress is also loaded with antioxidants, zinc, potassium, and other minerals. It’s also a diuretic and helps expel toxins quickly and easily.
The best detox diet isn’t one that requires drinking only juice for days on end. It turns out that the best detox diet is simply one that is full of nutrient-dense foods that facilitate your body’s natural functioning. If you’re looking to change the way you eat to lose weight and feel your best, the team at Revitalize Weight Loss & Wellness is here to help. Schedule your consultation today and one of our nutrition experts will coordinate a plan that works best for your unique biology and metabolism.
Get the Amazon #1 best-selling book Fear No Food or book your initial consultation with Revitalize to learn more about our award-winning weight loss program HERE.