How to Support Your Detox System
There are two kinds of toxins that can accumulate in the body: endogenous toxins (the metabolic processes’ natural waste products) and exogenous toxins (like chemicals and heavy metals we are exposed to via the air, water, and food).
To “work up a good sweat” often (by exercising or using saunas, for example) is one way to get rid of toxins. Dry brushing the skin’s dead cells away helps the lymphatic system and it also helps the liver and kidneys, which are the body’s major detoxification organs.
But is also good to know that if you eat foods that are beneficial to the liver and kidneys (and avoid the foods that aren’t helping), you are participating in the detoxification process a little bit every day too.
Foods That Can Help With Detoxification
If you want to support your detox system, there are certain foods that can help you do that. Here’s a short list:
- Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli (sprouts), cauliflower, cabbage, kale, arugula, collards, as those vegetables have compounds like sulforaphane that aids the liver’s detoxification process.
- The allium foods, like garlic, onions, leeks, chives, scallions, and shallots, which are rich in phytonutrients (including sulfur).
- Spices and herbs as they offer so many antioxidants (good against oxidative stress). They can also have detox properties, like rosemary, turmeric, ginger, etc.
- Pomegranate and berries (with dark pigmented skins).
- Green tea, rooibos tea, burdock tea, dandelion tea, etc.
- Nuts and seeds, like Brazil nuts (for the selenium) and pumpkin seeds (for the zinc and selenium), ground-up black seeds and chia seeds, etc.
- Artichokes, great for detoxification with the fiber they offer (among other things) because when toxins come out they have to be bound up and eliminated through the stool.
Sidenote: Toxins can be eliminated via the stool, urine, and sweat. Dr. Mark Hyman calls it the triple P: “poop, pee, perspire.”
Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” So eat the rainbow! We can benefit from so many nutrients when we eat whole foods every day. A wide array of foods can help with detoxification. Buy organic whenever you can (check the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists)!
Also, visit the EWG (Environmental Working Group) website to see which household cleaning products and personal care products are okay to use. Supporting our body’s detox system the best we can is an important part of maintaining our health and wellness.
Until next time!
Greenfield, Ben. Boundless : Upgrade Your Brain, Optimize Your Body & Defy Aging. Las Vegas, Victory Belt Publishing Inc, 2020, pp. 301-2.
“How To Optimize Your Body’s Detoxification System with Maggie Ward.” Dr. Mark Hyman, 26 Oct. 2020, drhyman.com/blog/2020/10/26/podcast-hc28/. Accessed 14 Nov. 2020.
Lipman, Frank M D. How to Be Well: The 6 Keys to a Happy and Healthy Life. Houghton Mifflin, 2019, p. 178.
Ward, Maggie. “Top 5 Food Picks to Support Liver Detoxification.” UltraWellness Center, 22 July 2016, http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/2016/07/22/top-5-food-picks-to-support-liver-detoxification/. Accessed 14 Nov. 2020.
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