Many people like to start out their new year by following a body detoxification program. This can be a prudent time do a body cleanse since we often have reduced elimination of toxins in the winter. There are 5 organs that remove toxins from the body: the bowels, kidneys, liver, lungs, and skin. We can get rid of a wide range of toxins through our skin by sweating, but in the winter we don’t tend to sweat as much so we may hold on to more toxins. There are still options for us to sweat during the winter: exercise, saunas, or hot baths. Combine one or more of these sweating options with nearly any detoxification plan you follow, and make sure to continue it throughout the year. The unfortunate truth is that the levels of toxins around us are so great that to some extent we have to live a detoxifying life and not just rely on periodic cleanses.
Fiber is another important aspect of any cleanse that can also be a yearlong focus. Fiber is found in beans, lentils, fruits, veggies, and whole grains. There are also many supplemental options including psyllium powder, oat bran, acacia powder, apple pectin, or ground flax seeds. Fiber is a great detoxifier as it binds fats, chemicals, metals, and other desirables in the intestines. This helps reduce the intake of new toxins, and it also binds toxins released into the intestines by the liver after neutralization. In a study on Amazonian people who ate a lot of fish, the people who had the most fiber in their diet had markedly lower rates of mercury accumulation in the body compared to the low fiber group. The fiber in their diet was thought to bind most of the mercury from the fish so it couldn’t be absorbed.
To learn more about detoxification strategies, come to my lecture this Saturday January 7th at noon in the Ozark Natural Foods deli seating area.