Toxins and detoxification are the two terms which we commonly hear with regards to general well-being. Toxins are those harmful substances which can damage our bodies with their presence. Although without even our knowledge our bodies keep on detoxifying some of the toxins we interact with. Still we need to consciously make an effort to minimise their presence in our body. Why? Because, our exposure to various chemicals has been growing at an exponential rate and these chemicals are everywhere around us.
There can be various causes of these toxins present inside our bodies. Environmental pollutants, Mercury in fish, Lead contained in old paints, blinds and canned goods, Aluminium contained in antiperspirant, deodorant, antacids; occupational exposure (miners, potters, mechanics, pesticide exposure), contaminated water, food; inhaled smoke; chemicals found in personal care products, household cleaners, UV radiations are few of the many factors which increase toxin build up in our bodies.
Liver, kidneys and gall bladder are the major detoxification organs in our body which help in removing these toxins. However, due to our poor environments, even these organs fail to cleanse our bodies effectively. So as to keep our body free from toxins or to minimise the damage they may cause there are few pointers which can be incorporated in our daily lifestyle.
Minimise exposure to toxins as much as possible
- Get rid of toxic household cleaners and opt for healthier alternatives like salt, baking soda. Few companies do offer cleaners free from harmful chemicals. Opt for them.
- Abhor the use of toxic personal care products.
- Try measures to keep your home well ventilayed. Include plants that improve air quality such as: spider plants, ferns, aloe vera, English ivy, bamboo palm, azalea and striped dracaena to name a few.
- As much as possible include organic produce in your diet. or else try to scrub and soak the fruits and vegetables in water.
Restore health to your natural detox mechanism
- Include probiotic foods like curd, yogurt, idli, dhokla, to improve intestinal health.
- In case you suffer with constipation now and then; increase the intake of fibre in your diet. Constipation can lead to excessive build up of toxins.
- Avoid having medicines unnecessarily. Our liver detoxifies all the medicines we have before excreting them out of the body. Every time it does so, it gets harmed a little bit during the process.
Nourish your detoxification system
- Drink plenty of fluids such as water, green tea, lemon water, fresh vegetable juices. Adequate fluid intake ensures kidney health as it helps in flushing without much effort.
- Eat 5-8 servings of vegetables & fruits daily.
- Consume at least one food from the following mentioned foods daily as they have specific compounds important in detoxification:
- Arugula (rocket), bok choy (Chinese cabbage), broccoli, brussels sprouts (baby cabbage), cabbage, cauliflower, radish, horseradish (sahijan), kohlrabi (gaanth gobhi), mustard greens (sarson ka saag), turnip
- Radish, onion, garlic
- Asparagus (shatavari), beetroot, artichokes (haathichak), celery (ajmud or shalari)
- Cilantro (dhania), endive (gulsuchal), parsley,
- Apples, oranges, lemon
De-stress and detoxify your mind
- Try meditation, relaxation breathing
- Assess your thought patterns – are they positive and conducive to health or are they self-damaging? This is one of the most overlooked and important sources of toxin build up: STRESS.
These four pointers are basic detoxification techniques you can do on a daily basis; safely on your own. Incorporating them not only ensures detoxification, it also ensures building up of habits that can have major impacts on chronic health disease.