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With the recent fires in Canada and the resulting smoky air, it is a great time to help your body and give yourself a little detoxification boost! Detoxification does not have to be anything extreme and can be simply drinking more water. Let’s look at reasons we need to help detoxify our bodies and simple ways we can do it.

Why detoxify?

1. Our food!

  • Pesticides are not only in our foods, but around us in the air we breathe. The air moves and with it, it carries anything that may be in it. When farmers utilize pesticides, they get caught up in the wind and carried.

  • Other toxins in our foods include artificial flavors, sweeteners and preservatives.

  • The food we eat is often hit with radiation more powerful that than of a chest x-ray!

  • Many conventionally raised animal products come from animals raised on antibiotics, hormones and steroids.

2. Our environment!

  • Oil spills

  • Nuclear energy: this one is a little close to home, but also think about how the fallout from Fukushima is beginning to make its way to the western United States

  • Exhaust from our cars, trains, airplanes, construction vehicles, factories, etc.

  • Every day items such as shampoo, face soaps, body washes

  • Cleaning supplies

  • Plastics containing BPA (bisphenol A)

Symptoms you need a detoxification

  • Fatigue

  • Trouble losing weight

  • Feeling depressed

  • Abdominal bloating

  • Pain or discomfort over the liver (right upper abdominal area under the rib cage)

  • Trouble digesting fatty foods

  • Acid reflux/heart burn

  • Acne, Rosacea or itchy, blotchy skin

  • Unexplained weight gain and inability to lose weight even with exercise and calorie restriction.

  • Insomnia, especially between 1-4 am

What can I do?

Here is a list of healthy habits to keep your body detoxified and to support your liver health.

  1. Consider shopping for foods that do not contain artificial flavors, sweeteners and preservatives.

  2. Purchase items that are BPA free. Many reusable water bottles will state that they are BPA free. Additionally, canned goods are often lined with BPA. Look for those that say “BPA free liner”. Using stainless steel or glass containers will also help reduce your exposure to BPA.

  3. Pamper yourself with this Charcoal Face Mask you can make at home! Activated charcoal helps to draw out toxins and is used if internal poisoning is suspected because of it’s ability to absorb them!

  4. Help your liver by consuming antioxidant rich foods such as berries, onion,s, black & Green tea, dark chocolate (70% or darker), carrots, pumpkin, squash, plantains, spinach and sweet potato.

  5. Reduce your alcohol intake. Alcohol taxes the liver. Consider giving it a break and helping it out by reducing your alcohol consumption.

  6. Consume lots of cruciferous veggies! Broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts and cauliflower all help with liver detoxification.

  7. Drink plenty of fluids! Waters, teas and vegetable juices are all great ways to detoxify. A great baseline is 8 (8oz) glasses a day or half of your body weight in ounces. Sorry, coffee, milk, fruit juices and soda do not count toward this as many are actually dehydrating and overly processed. Try to drink most of your fluids before 7pm to ensure you are not up all night using the bathroom and can get restful sleep!

  8. Supplementation. Consider taking Milk Thistle, Beet Root (or eat beets!), Dandelion root, Turmeric and flaxseed to help decongest and detoxify your liver. Many of these items can be found at Highland Health Foods in Richland.

  9. Go to sleep at 10pm! Your body does the most cellular repair and rejuvenation between the hours of 10pm-2am. This means your body is trying to naturally detoxify between these hours. If you are up and about, it hinders your body’s natural detoxification.

  10. Sweat the toxins out! Exercising regularly, sitting in the sauna or taking a really warm bath are all ways to sweat those toxins out.

  11. Breathing through your nose. Your nose is designed to warm, filter and moisten air before it goes to the lungs. When we breath through our mouth, we miss out on that and pollutants get into the lungs which can lead to high toxicity within the body. Breathing through the nose stops many pollutants by allowing our mucous membranes to carry them to the digestive system where they are broken down.

  12. Clean your tongue. When you brush your teeth, don’t forget your tongue which accumulates toxins overnight.

  13. Get a massage that improves circulation such as Circulatory, Thai, Shiatsu, or Lymphatic massage. This is a great way to promote relaxation and detoxification all at the same time! Lymphatic flow is stimulated with any massage. This is important in detoxification since lymph holds a lot of toxins. For best results, consider weekly or monthly massages.

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