We often hear the term "detox" in relation to achieving optimum health and weight loss. Although our bodies have sophisticated ways of getting rid of toxins through the kidneys, liver, digestive system, skin, and lungs, at times they may need help.
"We are constantly exposed to toxins from many sources," Holly Lucille, ND, RN, and author of "Creating and Maintaining Balance," tells Newsmax.
Lucille has appeared on "Dr. Oz," "The Doctors," and several other national television programs promoting her groundbreaking work on detoxification. "Our food, water, environment, and beauty and personal care products — even our own stress and emotions — can lead to toxic overload," she explains.
"This is borne out by research. A recent study found that the umbilical cord blood from newborn babies contains almost 300 chemicals, including mercury, PCBs, and pesticides. These toxins can cause cancer, disrupt the brain and nervous system, and contribute to birth defects."
To aid your natural defenses against toxins, here are some things you can to do to help detoxify your body:
- Take a bath in Epsom salt. Adding Epsom salt to you bath water will help remove toxins and relax muscles. Since almost half the population of the United States is magnesium-deficient because of our overconsumption of sugar and processed foods, bathing in Epsom salt (which is a form of magnesium) can help replenish this important mineral that is crucial for detoxification.
- Extra exercise. "We all know that exercise is important for vibrant life, but by increasing our workouts by a mere five or 10 minutes, we can make a huge difference in our detox program," notes Lucille. Exercise increases circulation and stimulates the lymphatic system to remove waste material from your body. Because one-third of the body's toxins are released through the skin, a little more sweat from a little extra exercise can garner big benefits.
- Hydration. The importance of drinking enough water cannot be overstated, says the expert. "Water carries nutrients into the cells, and waste material out of them. Without adequate hydration, toxins can continue to accumulate in the body," she says.
- Nutrition. Even with a busy schedule, proper nutrition is one area in which we have control over our bodies. Lucille says we can reduce our toxic burden by shopping the periphery of the supermarket, focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables, purchasing organic whenever possible, and boosting fiber intake. "Fiber collects toxins in the intestines and helps drive them from the body," she explains.
Here are Lucille’s top three picks for boosting detoxification:
- Curcumin. This ingredient in the spice turmeric is one of most liver-healthy compounds in the world. And since a healthy liver is critical for detoxification, it tops Lucille's list. Curcumin prevents fat deposits in the liver and enhances certain detoxification enzymes, making it easier for the body to get rid of unhealthy compounds.
- Glutathione. According to Lucille, glutathione is often referred to as "the mother of antioxidants." "It can help regenerate spent antioxidants like vitamins C and E, which means you are getting more bang for your buck when you are buying organic produce," she says. It can also help detoxify "xenobiotics," foreign substances that disrupt the normal hormone balance in the body — such as drugs, food additives, and environmental pollutants.
- Milk Thistle. Liver cells that have been damaged by alcohol and other toxic substances can be repaired by milk thistle. It also protects the outside layer of liver cells to prevent toxins from getting inside, and increases glutathione levels.
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