Add a Safe Daily Detox

Adopt a gentle daily detox regimen to combat the barrage of modern chemicals and toxins that accumulate in the body.

Photo by Getty Images/Foxys_Forest_Manufacture

We’ve arrived at the first few months of the new year, when the diet and fitness industry revs into overdrive. Instead of savoring the first blushing weeks of the year, we’re bombarded with advertisements and sales tactics, trying to help us burn off holiday guilt. Many people fall into this trap, trying to cleanse or detoxify their bodies without truly understanding how detoxing works or how to do it safely.

Some health professionals find detoxing and cleansing unnecessary, since our bodies have their own detox systems. While I’m constantly in awe of the magnificently intelligent human body, I think detoxification is vital to staying healthy in the modern era. Neither our genetics nor our physiologies have changed much in the past century, but our environment has — quite dramatically. Today, detoxing helps the body rid itself of the highest exposure to manufactured chemicals, viruses, heavy metals, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), radiation, and other toxins seen by any generation.

From the toxic flame retardants sprayed onto our clothes and furniture to the phthalates in our shampoos, it’s impossible to list every potential hazard we’re exposed to daily. Some estimates on the conservative end cite that the average person is exposed to 129 unique chemicals each day, and other estimates on the higher end report chemical numbers above 500. Yes, our bodies have built-in cleansing mechanisms, but for the vast majority of modern humans, those mechanisms are overwhelmed. Our livers are burdened by food additives and toxic medications; our kidneys get clogged up with chemical and synthetic substances; and our lymphatic system, especially with infection and medications, can’t bathe and filter our body tissues, regulate fluid levels, or move white blood cells effectively. These strains can lead to pain, headaches, brain fog, fertility issues, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and more.

Weighing the Pros and Cons

Our bodies simply can’t keep up with the modern onslaught of toxins and pathogens, so it’s important to give them a helping hand to avoid serious consequences down the line. Because of the prevalence of environmental hazards nowadays, I believe in creating a detoxification lifestyle, and maintaining safe and effective processes.

Our bodies use four main elimination channels to rid ourselves of the nutritional and metabolic wastes we create: The colon eliminates fecal waste; the kidneys and bladder eliminate toxins via urine; the lungs eliminate toxins through phlegm and the breath; and the skin releases toxins through sweat. Other organs, such as the liver, work in tandem with these pathways to shuttle out as much toxic waste as possible. But when these routes become blocked or stagnant, our ability to naturally detoxify becomes compromised. When this happens, we need to step in and help get things back on track. Here are some of the most common methods we can use to help our bodies detox more efficiently, as well as the pros and cons for each.

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