It's a basic, natural part of the process of being alive: You take in what you need, and get rid of what you don't.
You take in oxygen and get rid of carbon monoxide. You take in food and get rid of feces. You take in water
and get rid of urine. For the most part, what you get rid of are toxins, useless waste products that can cause disease and damage cells if they hang around too long.
Toxins include formerly good stuff (such as hormones) that has done its job and is ready for disposal, and bad stuff (such as pollutants) that doesn't belong in your body in the first place.
So how can you support your body in its process of eliminating toxins? Here are a few simple ways to do just that:
Various aspects of liver detoxification require specific nutrients to do their work. For example, glutathione-a protein-like antioxidant-is a must for detoxifying various drugs, pollutants, alcohol, and fungus found in food. To make glutathione, your body needs three key amino acids: glycine, cysteine, and glutamine, along with vitamin C. [Editors' note: Enzymatic Therapy Energy Revitalization System is an example of a product that supplies those amino acids, vitamin C, and many other nutrients that support detoxification.]
Water plays a key role in daily detox. In fact, drinking enough water is probably the best thing you can do to support your kidneys as they clean your blood.
It's good to remember that water is a key part of daily nutrition that's as important as essential fatty acids, essential amino acids, and other basics that your body doesn't make on its own.
There's an easy way to make sure you're drinking enough water: just check your lips and mouth. If they're dry, you need more water. It's that simple! You can also take a look at the color of your urine. If it's dull yellow, there's not enough water diluting it. Also, when you feel tired, try drinking a glass of water and see if your energy improves after a couple minutes. If it does, you were dehydrated.
Sweat It Out
Regular "sweat therapy" is a great way to aid detoxification. Recent studies have shown that sweating therapy can be helpful for those with type 2 diabetes, heart failure, high blood pressure, peripheral artery disease, rheumatoid arthritis, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
It's as simple as using the sauna at a local health club, gym, or Y. If you don't have easy access to a sauna, look for any activity that makes you sweat, such as a brisk walk or any other type of body-heating workout. If you do build up a sweat, however, it's important to rinse off soon after-this washes the toxins in your sweat off your skin and down the drain.
For home use, I favor the Thermal Life far infrared sauna from High Tech Health (hightechhealth.com).
Speed Up Transit Time
A healthy transit time (the time it takes a meal to move from mouth to rectum) is about a day, although conventional doctors assert that three days is fine. Faster than 12 hours, and your body doesn't have enough time to pull all the nutrients out of the food. Slower than 24 hours, and the digesting food starts to turn toxic-those loitering toxins are reabsorbed into your system, causing and contributing to disease.
To discover your personal transit time, eat some corn-on-the-cob or a can of corn. The yellow outer hulls are indigestible and will show up in your stool. The time from eating the corn to a hull-containing bowel movement is your transit time. If it's slower than a day, here are a few tips to help you speed it up.
Eat more fiber. Eating more whole grains-rich in the fiber that bulks up stool-is probably the easiest way to speed up transit time.
Take magnesium. Magnesium is a must for healthy muscles and nerves, including those responsible for peristalsis, the rhythmic muscle contractions that move food through the digestive tract. Magnesium-rich foods include black beans, pumpkin seeds, cooked spinach, and halibut.
Drink more water. Without enough water, your stools tend to be small and hard, slowing transit time.
*Editors' note: This article is excerpted from Real Cause, Real Cure by Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, and Bill Gottlieb.
7 Health Food Store Finds for Detox
Anyone-or a mix-of these products can help cleanse your body of stored toxins safely and naturally.
1. Function Drinks:Urban Detox
N-acetyl cysteine and prickly pear make a potent detox duo in this refreshing drink.
5. ABRA TherapeuticsCellular Detox Bath Grapefruit & Juniper
Natural minerals and essentials oils nourish the body and promote healing. A healthy indulgence!
2. HerbalixRestoratives Detox Deodorant
A blend of herbs helps eliminate toxins while you sleep; also helps reduce body odor and night sweats.
6. Maple ValleyOrganic Grade B Maple Syrup
This 100% pure sweetener is suggested for those following the Master Cleanser program (mastercleanser.com).
3. Earth TherapeuticsNatural Body Brush
The long handle makes it easy to use; perfect for detoxifying and rejuvenating the skin.
7. Only NaturalEasy Colon Cleaner
Fiber, herbs, probiotics, minerals, and bentonite clay are combined for a highly effective colon cleanse.
4. Herbs Etc.Essiac Tonic Softgels
Helps eliminate deep-seated wastes with burdock root, sheep sorrel, slippery elm, and Chinese rhubarb.