Toxins come in many forms and from many sources. They’re everywhere. It’s hard to avoid them. They’re in our food, water, soil, and air. Toxins are in our pharmaceutical drugs, our bottled drinking water, our children’s school playgrounds, and our shiny new cars.
From the PVC-laden “rubber ducky” floating in the bathtub to the mercury-laced tuna noodle casserole on the dinner table, invisible toxins have infiltrated our homes and all aspects of our daily lives. Toxins have become such a common part of modern life that most of the time we aren’t even aware we’re exposed to them. Fortunately, we can take steps to help reduce the toxic load we’re all undoubtedly carrying within our bodies.
Toxic Overload Leads to Serious Health Problems
Simply put, toxins are poisons. We would never think of drinking a cup of coffee laced with rat poison, yet everyday we eat, drink, breathe, and touch the cumulative toxic equivalent of some of the most poisonous chemicals. Scientific evidence indicates that this total load of toxic exposure reduces our body’s natural ability to detoxify and eliminate toxins. This leads to toxic overload – a steady build-up of accumulated toxins and complex chemical mixtures we are not
A collaborative study conducted by researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, the Environmental Working Group of Oakland, California, and Commonweal Environmental Health and Research Institute in Marin County, California, revealed shocking results. Each person was tested for 210 chemicals commonly found in consumer products and industrial pollution. On average, the test results showed each person tested positive for 50 or more chemicals linked to cancer in humans and lab animals, considered toxic to the brain and nervous systems, or known to interfere with our hormone and reproductive systems.
The range of serious health problems linked by scientific research to toxic chemical compounds includes cancer, neurological disorders, hormone and endocrine disorders, birth defects and abnormal development, reproductive problems, and immune system disorders. Other possible effects of toxic load on human health are poor memory and concentration, connective tissue and joint disorders, chronic fatigue, allergies, obesity, depression, skin disorders, metabolic disorders, and liver malfunction.
Minimize Exposure to Toxins
To decrease the body’s burden of toxins, we must first reduce exposure. With more than 100,000 chemicals in common use in North America, it is a constant challenge to limit our exposure to these harmful substances in their many forms. The first step to minimizing exposure is to raise our toxin awareness level by learning to identify the hidden sources of toxins in food, common household products, and our environment. Read labels closely before buying any consumer goods and, when in doubt, err on the side of caution.
It is advisable to choose food sources that are locally and organically grown whenever possible. This will help to greatly reduce exposure to toxic pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. Purchasing unsprayed, naturally fertilized fruits and vegetables supports sustainable and non-toxic agricultural practices.
Don’t overlook the obvious. Sometimes eliminating common sources of toxins in and around the home can be as simple as taking off our street shoes when we enter our homes. Take your street shoes off at the door and leave them there, suggests the world-renowned Suzuki Foundation, a Vancouver-based environmental health organization. According to the foundation, pesticides and herbicides are commonly tracked into the house on the soles of our shoes.
Eliminating Toxic Load Through Internal Cleansing and Detoxification
Most cultures and religions around the world have practised cleansing, fasting, and detoxification rituals for centuries. In almost all cultures and traditions common aspects of cleansing practices include the elimination or restriction of certain foods and drinks for a designated period of time; the overall reduction of caloric intake; the inclusion of cleansing, healing, and sacred foods, plants, and herbs; regular seasons or times for cleansing; contemplative, religious, or spiritual observance; and a desire and need to heal and restore body, mind, and spirit.
In today’s busy world, many people choose support products from the wide selection of detox and internal cleansing kits lining store shelves. The most practical and effective detox kits include a healthy eating meal plan designed to maximize the natural toxin-eliminating properties of whole foods.
The concept and practice of regular internal cleansing is not new. It has simply become more essential than ever to reduce the body’s toxic load and to get back to the basics of healthy living and eating.
Detoxify While You Eat!
Eating these foods regularly helps reduce your body’s toxic load:
- Fresh fruits: apples, pears, lemons, oranges, berries, figs
- Fresh vegetables: broccoli, onions, kale, all dark leafy greens, red peppers, carrots
- Dried fruits: soaked prunes, black mission figs
- Nuts and seeds: flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, filberts
- Whole grains: brown rice, wild rice, buckwheat, rye, large-flake rolled oats
- Culinary herbs and spices: garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper, parsley, oregano, rosemary
- Beverage teas: green tea, yerba mat?black tea
- Condiments: miso, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
- Medicinal teas: red clover blossoms, dandelion root, burdock root, ginger root
- Beans: pinto, kidney, black turtle, limas, split green peas, split yellow peas, lentils,
soybeans, tofu, tempeh (Indonesian soy protein).