There are many excellent reasons to engage in a seasonal detox. By supporting the body’s natural detoxification abilities, we can increase energy, rebuild digestion, strengthen immunity, balance hormones and metabolism, and much more. The body has powerful systems to remove toxins – lungs, immune system, skin, kidneys, liver, GI tract – but they can’t always keep up with the toxins that surround us on a daily basis. In addition, many chemicals, heavy metals and fat soluble pollutants resist removal, accumulating in joints, organs, breast tissue, the nervous system and other critical areas.
In fact, researchers are beginning to understand why many people have a harder time dealing with toxin exposure: because their detoxification mechanisms may be slowed down at the genetic level due to what’s known as a “methylation defect.” This is a simplified explanation of a common but largely unrecognized genetic occurrence, in which one of the body’s enzymes that normally converts some of the B vitamins (especially folic acid and B12) into their activated forms, is under-expressed, resulting in a deficiency of this essential enzyme. Methylation defects can affect many pathways and functions in the body.
These people need to use the methylated (i.e. already activated) forms of certain B vitamins, which are essential to the process of methylation for detox and numerous other biochemical actions. The good news is, with the right nutrients, foods and other supportive practices including healthy stress relief, we can help optimize the process of methylation and support successful detoxification — something that can benefit everyone.
The first rule of any detox program is to stop eating pro-inflammatory foods. Eliminate processed foods as much as possible. Switch to organic produce to reduce toxic pesticide exposure.
Alcohol, trans-fats, charred meats and sugar are also highly inflammatory. Try to replace animal protein with high quality plant proteins, such as sprouted legumes/grains, and raw nuts/seeds, as these are much more detoxifying. Drink lots of water: chronic dehydration makes us sluggish, constipated and impairs the body’s ability to flush out toxins. Changing our habits may be the most difficult part of any health regimen.
But that’s exactly what we have to do during a cleanse: blaze a new path at the grocery store. Spring and summer are great times for detoxification because we have better access to a cornucopia of fresh fruits and vegetables. Incorporate brightly colored produce items, as they’re rich in phytonutrients that can reduce inflammation, promote detoxification, and offer numerous other benefits.
Green vegetables like celery, cucumber, cilantro, parsley, arugula, spinach, collards, chard or the ubiquitous spring mix in the salad section help neutralize the acidity that contributes to inflammation. Their high chlorophyll and nutrient contents are also excellent for cleansing the liver and GI tract.
Many vegetables can provide organ-specific benefits. Onions and garlic help cleanse lungs and intestines. Artichokes are good for the liver. Beets enhance blood flow and support the liver’s blood cleansing function. Lemons are good for digestive, lymph, liver and gallbladder health.
Herbs and Other Detox Foods
Many herbs and spices are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients that reduce inflammation, boost immunity, aid digestion, and support detoxification. Ginger, turmeric, thyme, fennel, oregano, mint, cinnamon and rosemary are excellent choices.
We also need to support digestive flora, which keep our gastrointestinal system healthy, help fight off infection, and support health in numerous ways that are only now being discovered. Yogurt and kefir are great choices, as the fermentation process produces a kinder, gentler type of dairy.
Optimize Detox at the Cellular and Genetic Levels
A top recommendation for complete detoxification is the supplement PectaClear®, which contains PectaSol-C® Modified Citrus Pectin and sodium alginates. PectaSol-C® is clinically shown to gently remove heavy metals such as lead, arsenic and mercury from the circulation, without affecting essential minerals as many other heavy metal removal programs do. Alginates are also shown in studies to remove heavy metals and environmental toxins from the digestive tract. This combination of ingredients supports the gentle removal of heavy metals and environmental toxins from the circulation and digestive systems, and importantly, prevents reabsorption through the GI tract. This approach helps support more intense detoxification from organs and tissues, without causing the dreaded “detox crisis.”*
We also need to take key steps to support the liver. One of the many jobs of the liver is to break down toxins and facilitate their elimination. There are a variety of herbs and nutrients that support liver function, such as gingko, milk thistle, dandelion and others. N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) and alpha-lipoic acid also support the liver and help remove pesticides and heavy metals.*
ecoNugenics ecoDetox™ contains these and other detox ingredients, to support not only the liver, but other the organs of elimination including the kidneys, skin and respiratory system. ecoDetox™ contains specific, methylated forms of B vitamins and other nutrients to help optimize detoxification at the cellular and genetic levels. This formula also promotes antioxidant activity and helps boost vital energy, providing broad-spectrum support for successful detoxification.*
Detox is about movement. We’re moving toxins out of the body. So naturally, one of the most important ingredients to a healthy detox is exercise; it boosts metabolism and immunity, giving momentum the body’s natural detoxification processes. It also helps release fat-soluble toxins, boost circulation, lower stress hormones and increase overall vitality.
Use of a sauna, dry skin brushing, massage therapy, acupuncture, and practices such as mediation and Qigong all support the process of letting go and releasing toxins on all levels.
Take it Slow
There is no single recipe for detoxification. Rather, it’s an individualized journey we must modify to meet our specific needs. Most importantly, take it slow. It took a long time for the body to accumulate toxins, and we can’t expect to clean them out in a weekend. Going slowly allows the body time to gently remove toxins at its own pace – a very different approach than the rapid “quick-fix” cleanse programs that can result in uncomfortable symptoms. So give yourself the time to move at a comfortable pace, and enjoy the process of taking your health to greater heights, naturally!