Detox is hot these days, and not just the celebrity kind. People are using everything from sweat lodges to raw food diets as a way to jumpstart a healthier lifestyle and better eating habits.
The thinking behind this is that toxins can build up in our bodies and cause damage. We’re exposed to toxins all the time—in exhaust fumes and sidestream smoke, phthalates in plastics, from pesticides and herbicides found in the foods we eat, even from the drugs we take and the junk we eat and drink. Toxins make us age faster and increase our risk for cancer, autoimmune diseases, inflammation, liver and kidney problems, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and all sorts of other neurological problems.
A detox program is designed to remove accumulated toxins by helping your body to break them down and excrete them. Our liver is the main organ for detoxification. It produces enzymes that break down toxins so that they can be removed. But it can get overwhelmed if it has too much work to do.
Here are some of the very best things you can do every day for natural detox. These tips can help you stay on top of toxins so that you don’t need to go through a strenuous detox program.
1. Drink plenty of clean water.
Green tea is fine, too. Get about 8 glasses a day of water that, at a minimum, has been run through an activated charcoal filter.
2. Get plenty of soluble fiber.
It binds up toxin-loaded bile so it can’t be reabsorbed. Instead, it moves through your bowels. Most people need to double the amount of fiber they are getting. If need be, use psyllium to add soluble fiber to your diet.
3. Take 100 mg of alpha lipoic acid daily.
Alpha lipoic acid is a versatile, liver-friendly antioxidant.
4. Eat 3-5 servings a week of cruciferous vegetables.
These include veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale. Compounds in these plants stimulate the activity of detoxifying enzymes. If you aren’t eating enough, supplement your diet with a green foods powder.
Compounds in these vegetables signal genes to produce two protective enzymes, glutathione-S-transferase and superoxide dismutase, both powerful antioxidants involved in the body’s main detox pathways.
6. Take a high antioxidant multivitamin.
Trace minerals such selenium, zinc, and manganese are needed to produce detoxifying liver enzymes. Antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E protect DNA from toxin-related damage that can lead to cancer. And B vitamins like folic acid, B12 and B6 help drive metabolic pathways that reduce levels of toxic metabolic byproducts like homocysteine.
7. Consider taking grape seed extract.
It’s a powerful stimulant of detoxifying liver enzymes. Grape seed extract helps break down and clear out caffeine, nicotine, acetaminophen and a number of other drugs.
Help your body resist aging and disease with a daily detox program that includes a healthy diet and the right supplements.