Your own body does all the work!
Joy McCarthy, RNCP, CNP
Is it enough to just leave it to our body to do the work of getting rid of the toxins we encounter every day? Not really. There are foods we can eat and lifestyle habits we can enjoy that support our body’s ability to detox.
Our bodies detox 365 days a year, 24 hours a day to keep us healthy, prevent disease, and help us thrive! They do this by identifying, neutralizing, and eliminating waste and toxins through different channels in the body via the lungs, liver, colon, kidneys, lymphatic system, and skin. When you consider the lotions and potions we slather on our body, co-workers’ designer perfume we breathe in daily, or the food additives we ingest from our fast-food lunches, it’s no wonder our bodies’ natural detox mechanisms are so hard at work. Whether brushing our teeth or cleaning our toilet, we may be unknowingly exposing ourselves to toxic chemicals. Many of the chemicals we’re regularly exposed to have been linked to health issues including hormone disruption, obesity, asthma, and even cancer. Is it enough to just leave it to our body to do the work of getting rid of these toxins? Not really. There are foods we can eat and lifestyle habits we can enjoy that support our body’s ability to detox.
This ancient method of detoxification has apparently been practised for centuries around the world, including India, Russia, and Scandinavia. Your skin is the largest organ of elimination, and dry brushing prior to a bath or a shower is thought to be an effective way to stimulate the lymphatic system, improving the flow of lymph fluid to assist in the removal of waste from the body.
Choose a natural bristle brush, and brush your skin in a light circular motion toward the heart. Spend more time where you have lymph nodes, and avoid sensitive areas and where skin is broken.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, especially beets, dark berries, leafy greens, fermented foods, sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower. Supporting good digestion also means doing everything you can to ensure a healthy and thriving gut microbiome. Prebiotics and probiotics are both essential to keeping a healthy balance of good bacteria to less desirable microbes.
Water is essential for all our detox channels of elimination to work effectively—from your skin to your lungs and your entire digestive system, all rely on adequate hydration. Beyond water, look at the food you eat as a potential source of hydration too.
If the majority of your diet is comprised of baked, roasted, broiled, dried, or dehydrated foods, it’s time to make eating your hydration a priority. Soups, stews, herbal teas, and raw fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of hydration for your body.