Why detoxing matters
Joy McCarthy, RNCP, CNP
All of us are exposed to toxins every day. Green superfood powders may help with detoxification and cleansing.
Humans are a creative, innovative bunch. We love to make things and we love to improve things. Today, we’re making and “improving” more things than ever before, especially when it comes to chemicals. This has led to some great innovations and scientific advances, as well as a lot of unnecessary (and potentially harmful) chemicals.
These chemicals show up in many different places. About 80 percent of personal care products used by a group of 6,200 surveyed Canadians contained at least one toxic ingredient, according to a report by the David Suzuki Foundation. Meanwhile, Environmental Defence estimates that we use almost 15 personal care products with 100 potentially harmful ingredients every day. Another report by Environmental Defence detected chemicals such as pesticides, insecticides, and heavy metals in Canadian parents and children.
The first step in lowering your toxic load is avoiding exposure to new toxins as much as possible. Eating organic is a great way to start. In a recent meta-analysis of 343 studies, conventionally grown produce was found to be four times more likely to have residue from pesticides than its organic counterparts. The study also found that organic produce contained higher concentrations of antioxidants.
You can also check your personal care and cleaning products for troubling ingredients, including triclosan, phthalates, and parabens. Many common ingredients are thought to be hormone disruptors, reproductive toxins, or carcinogens. Check out resources such as Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database (ewg.org/skindeep) for more comprehensive lists of what to look out for.
It’s thought that some green superfood powders may also help reduce damage from toxins. Green superfood powders can contain algae such as chlorella and spirulina, as well as grasses such as barley, alfalfa, and wheat grass—all of which contain chlorophyll, the compound that makes plants green. Although more research needs to be done, chlorophyll helped protect cells from damage by toxins in some small animal studies. As always, check with your health care practitioner before taking any new supplement to make sure it’s right for you.
Toxin laden or toxin free? It’s up to you!
You have the power to take charge of your own health. The choices you make ultimately decide whether you add to or diminish your toxic load.
Information, research, and technology may have created many of the chemical toxins we’re exposed to, but these same tools can also help us find solutions for decreasing our toxic load. Healthy lifestyle habits such as avoiding pesticides and chemicals will help keep your body running and let you live your boldest, most joyous life possible.