If you answer yes to more than five of the questions below, your body’s detoxification system is likely being overwhelmed. By addressing these symptoms and warning signs now, you can ensure better long-term health.
Why detox? From the moment we wake up in the morning till the moment we go to bed, our bodies are constantly exposed to toxic chemicals—from body soaps to moisturizers, shaving creams to shampoos, and even the toothpastes we use. The cereal on your breakfast table may be packed with pesticides, while the milk you pour over it is probably laced with hormones. In order to cleanse your body of accumulated toxins and give yourself a fresh start, it’s important to minimize toxic exposure, optimize overall health, and improve your body’s energy production. By incorporating one detox tip every day for the next month, you can gradually and comfortably reduce your body’s toxic load, and maybe even create some healthful habits for the coming year and beyond.
READY, SET, DETOX!
DAY 1: Get rid of toxic household cleaners and find natural replacements. Dish soap, laundry detergents, herbicides, pesticides, and oven cleaners all contain chemicals that are circulating in your home and become incorporated into your body. Most health food stores now carry environmentally friendly cleaning products that are void of toxic chemicals.
DAY 2: Reduce the use of toxic beauty products. Start using soaps that are free of chemical additives, antiperspirants that are free of aluminum, and toothpastes and moisturizers with only natural ingredients. Look for them at your local health food store.
DAY 3: Get a good air filter to reduce the amount of toxins that are recirculated throughout your home. Remember the air in your home is full of toxic chemicals, getting rid of them will reduce your overall exposure.
DAY 4: Make sure the water you drink is purified. Add a filtration system to your showerhead to make sure bathing water is clean and toxin free. Remember your skin is an organ and a highly absorbable one at that.
DAY 5: Every day, drink two to three 8-ounce glasses of water, each with the juice of half of a squeezed lemon. This is an excellent way to increase your hydration levels. Not only does the lemon provide flavor, it adds some extra vitamin C.
DAY 6: Body healing can’t progress until the digestive tract is healed. Replenish good bacteria in the intestinal tract with live, active probiotics. When you look for a probiotic, make sure the product has a true delivery system that guarantees that a certain amount of live bugs get to the intestine. The most common bugs are Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium longum; take about 2 billion of these daily to ensure a healthy digestive tract.
DAY 7: Supporting digestive processes with pancreatic enzymes is an effective way to improve digestion. Highly processed, chemical-filled foods, combined with everyday stress, can shut down digestion. But digestive enzymes, especially pancreatic enzymes, closely resemble human enzymes and can greatly facilitate the digestive process.
DAY 8: Produced by mucous cells, mucin is a viscous liquid that not only protects the integrity of the intestinal cells, but also protects them from the acidic environment of the stomach. To improve the quality and quantity of mucin, DGL is probably the best natural ingredient available. Chew two tablets 15 minutes before meals and as needed between meals.
DAY 9: Optimize bowel health by getting enough fiber in your diet. Dietary fiber is essential to normalize bowel transit time, blood sugar levels, and blood cholesterol levels. It also supports detoxification mechanisms. When looking for a fiber supplement, make sure it contains a high-quality combination of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
DAY 10: Get plenty of antioxidants to help combat free radicals and cellular damage. There are a number of supplemental antioxidants that can help. These include milk thistle (Silybum marianum), vitamins C and E, selenium, N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), resveratrol, CoQ10, and pomegranate.
DAY 11: Detoxification is the biggest user of energy outside the brain. Supplementing with 100 to 200 milligrams of CoQ10 per day is beneficial because it will enhance overall energy production.
DAY 12: The liver is the most important organ for detoxification. Support the liver in its daily detoxification work with milk thistle, turmeric, artichoke extract, and dandelion root.
DAY 13: The best way of reducing toxic metals is to ensure optimal glutathione levels in the body. A few ways of ensuring optimum levels of glutathione are through taking milk thistle, NAC, and alpha-lipoic acid.
DAY 14: Incorporate daily exercise into your routine. Exercise helps lymph fluids circulate throughout the body, which removes toxins and other harmful materials. When you go for that long walk, hike, or bike ride; when you lift those weights at the gym or putter in your garden, you are loosening up some toxins. The more intensely you do these activities, the more toxins are released.
DAY 15: Go for smaller portions. Reducing overall body fat helps the body release stored toxins.
DAY 16: Eat at home. What do fast-food restaurants and the processed foods we buy at the supermarket have in common? They all contain added chemicals to preserve the food, enhance its flavor, and make it look better. All the more reason to save some dough and pack a lunch.
DAY 17: Become aware of the foods you consume. Begin eating organic produce that is free of pesticides and herbicides—the cost is not much different. If you can’t get organic, make sure you wash all of your vegetables with natural cleaning solutions and peel your fruit.
DAY 18: If you are going to eat meat, begin shifting to organically grown meat free of hormones and chemical additives. Be aware of the fish you consume and stay away from farm-raised salmon that have high PCB counts.
DAY 19: Avoid the following: alcohol, coffee, soft drinks, hot chocolate, refined carbohydrates (found in cakes, cookies, muffins, doughnuts, and ice cream), sugar, chemical additives, preservatives, processed meats, fried food, trans fats, and artificial sweeteners, dyes, colors, and flavors.
DAY 20: Trans fat is by far the worst type of fat. Read labels and rid your fridge and pantry of trans fat–containing vegetable shortening, margarine, salad dressings, cakes, doughnuts, microwave popcorn, cookies, french fries, chips, and snack crackers. Start using healthful fats instead, such as coconut oil for cooking and olive oil for salads.
DAY 21: Dietary fiber is critical for binding toxin-laden bile and carrying it out of the body. Add more fiber to your diet. Try oats, barley, legumes, fruits, vegetables, wheat, bran, and whole grains.
DAY 22: Include high-quality omega-3 fish oils, specifically EPA and DHA, in your diet. Fish oils benefit heart health, diabetes, depression, and even brain development. When it comes to detoxification, EPA and DHA have the ability to be incorporated into cellular membranes, thus improving cell function.
DAY 23: Reduce your consumption of sugar (substitute stevia, honey, xylitol, or agave nectar) and consume more complex carbohydrates. In addition, you should eat less meat and, when you do, make sure it’s hormone-free, organically grown meat.
DAY 24: Eat ample amounts of fresh, brightly colored fruits and vegetables, which have naturally occurring antioxidants that act as direct antioxidants and support the production of glutathione. These antioxidants include vitamin C (ascorbic acid), carotenes (such as lycopene and lutein), polyphenols, and dozens of other phytochemicals
DAY 25: Eat ½ cup per day of cruciferous vegetables, which include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, collard greens, and rapini. These vegetables contain a number of important nutrients, making them extremely beneficial for general health. They are high in vitamin C and soluble fiber, but, more impressively, they contain multiple nutrients with well-known anticancer properties. These include diindolylmethane, sulforaphane, and selenium.
DAY 26: Eat one clove of garlic per day and handful of cooked onions. Onions and garlic are rich in a variety of organic sulfur compounds. Studies show both of these vegetables help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, regulate blood sugar, and provide antibiotic effects.
DAY 27: An orange a day keeps the doctor away. Lemons, oranges, and limes have had a long history of use for internal cleansing, and are high in vitamin C and bioflavonoids, phytochemicals with powerful antioxidant effects. These compounds can quench free radicals and thus support the body’s detoxification pathways.
DAY 28: Eat red fruits. Pomegranate, raspberries, and strawberries contain ellagic acid, a phenolic compound that has some excellent detoxification properties. Ellagic acid not only acts as an antioxidant, it also has liver-protective effects. Some research suggests that ellagic acid may help prevent cancer.
DAY 29: Eat ½ cup (combined) of liver-friendly foods. Artichokes, dandelions, and beets have all been shown to help move bile more efficiently. Bile is produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. One of the important functions of bile is to move toxins from the liver to the gallbladder and eventually into the duodenum. Artichokes contain cynarin, which not only improves the flow of bile in the liver, but also helps lower cholesterol. Dandelion has a long history of use in liver conditions and has been shown to enhance the movement of bile from both the liver and the gallbladder. Animal studies have also shown dandelion to significantly increase the clearance of toxins. Beets also improve detoxification processes
DAY 30: Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of purified water daily. Science tells us that the human body is anywhere from 55 to 75 percent water, depending on body size. To function properly, you need to replace the water lost through sweat and urination on a daily basis. Although our recommendation is for eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, the precise amount depends on the level of activity, temperature, humidity, and other factors.
DAY 31: Get your beauty sleep. It turns out that not getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night can have some serious health consequences. In a landmark study at the University of Chicago, researchers found that people that slept 6.5 hours or less had a 50 percent increase in the insulin blood levels compared to those that slept 7.5 to 8.5 hours per night. Make sure that you get your eight hours of sleep each night to ensure optimally functioning physiology and improved detoxification.
Paradise Herbs Alpha Omega-3 Fish Oils: This is the only fish oil in a vegetarian capsule, making it ideal for pesco-vegetarians.
ReNew Life Diet Start Cleanse: This 14-day program helps the body utilize fat for energy by naturally supporting blood sugar health and triggering the release of stored fat and toxins. Also included is a colon cleanse with rhubarb and cape aloe.
Carlson Labs ACES: With vitamins A, C, and E, plus selenium, ACES gives your body antioxidant power to zap free radicals from pollution, tobacco, and any toxins in the diet.
Nature’s Way Thisilyn: Milk thistle extract like that found in Thisilyn has been shown to promote normal liver function and flush the liver of toxins built up from alcohol, tobacco, and other pollutants.
Wakunaga Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract Detox & Anti-Aging Formula 105: With vitamins A, C, and E, plus herbal antioxidants to neutralize free radicals, this odorless, organically grown garlic is formulated to aid in detoxification and antiaging.
Jarrow Formulas QH-Absorb: Studies show that with QH-absorb, CoQ10 levels increase up to 400 percent. This formula combines Q-absorb, the most bioavailable and active form of CoQ10.
Genesis Today Liquid Super Cleanse: This internal cleansing product helps to stimulate and detoxify organs, cells, and tissues in the body through all seven channels of elimination (colon, liver, kidneys, lungs, lymphatic system, skin, and the bloodstream).
North American Herb & Spice Total Body Purge: This raw-food formula contains live enzymes, a blend of certified-wild spice oils, extracts of raw wild greens, and raw cranberries.
Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Effervescent: This water soluble drink mix is so tasty you won’t even realize you’re drinking cod liver oil. Now you can get all the benefits of omega-3 fish oil, plus vitamin D3 in a fruity, fizzy drink.
Nature’s Secret Probiotic Cleanse and Replenisher Kit: Cleanse for two weeks, then replenish good bacteria for two weeks with this two-in-one kit. You’ll say good-bye to toxins and support your digestive system with quality probiotics.