It’s that time of the year when the media is full of detox diet plans. They all tell you how to detox your body with the use of a special detox diet but rarely do they mention what you must do to avoid toxins while you are detoxing.
It’s vital that you avoid loading your body up with toxins while you detox and afterwards or what’s the point?
Detox diet plans usually tell you to avoid certain foods that contain toxins such as preservatives, artificial sweeteners, colorings and bromated vegetable oils but although it’s good to avoid them they are not the toxins I am talking about.
The ones I am talking about are the ones in our environment. We are bombarded with chemical toxins on a daily basis and there’s a learning curve as you begin to uncover all of the various toxic elements in your world.
In this article I am going to focus on understanding and avoiding environmental toxins, because adopting a detox lifestyle for a temporary amount of time isn’t enough. If you want to stay in the best of health you have to continually try to protect your body.
The process of detoxing your body isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes more than a 1, 2, 3 or 7 day detox to even start to get rid of the pollutants from your body. In fact, it’s an ongoing process because it’s unlikely that you can ever get rid of them all.
I have to laugh at the special concoctions I see posted to some Facebook and Pinterest pages that they say can rid your body of all toxins in a couple of days. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Related reading: Is A One Day Detox Worth It?
Are You Breathing in Toxins?
All through the night, and as soon as you open your eyes in the morning, your lungs are filling with the air around you. You can’t see them, but there may be chemicals and pollutants flooding into your body through your airways. Materials used for your mattress and bedding may be full of chemicals like fire retardants, toxic dyes, bleaches, formaldehyde, pesticides, mold spores and chlorine.
The best way to avoid this is to use an organic mattress and bedding. The problem is that it is often hard to find and expensive. A mattress made from natural latex is the next best thing. Washing new bedding several times before use can help to remove the toxic chemical.
Furniture may emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) some of which are harmful to health. One way around this is to use a quality air filter or open your windows as often as possible.
In order to analyze your air, you have to inspect the place where you live, work and frequent. Is your town or city heavily industrialized? Do you see factories spewing chemicals into the air or a foggy haze over the city as you drive into work or home each day?
In the USA the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) gives you information about the quality of your air on their website here: http://www.epa.gov/airdata. If you want current information, go to http://www.airnow.gov and see what the air in your area is like right this second. If you live in the UK go here: https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/
You’ll also be able to look at a forecast for the entire week and plan your outdoor activities based on air quality. Green is when the air quality is good. You should plan to be outdoors on green days.
Related reading: Detox Your Body From Environmental Pollutants With Broccoli Sprouts
How polluted is the interior of your car?
You might think you’re safe in your car driving to work or to go shopping, but the interior of a relatively new car can be as toxic if not more so than the pollution outside.
The various materials used in the car off-gas chemicals which you then breathe in. They get into your blood stream and are circulated to your liver where they can be made into less toxic substances and eliminated.
If your liver is already overwhelmed with toxins to process or lacking in the nutrients needed to function efficiently this may not happen and the toxins are then stored in your body.
So, the detox debunkers who say detoxing is not necessary as we have perfectly good detox system in our livers and kidneys are wrong. Some people have slow or under functioning liver detox pathways due to genetics or lack of nutrients needed for optimum detox function.
As you are driving you may smell exhaust fumes from other cars. Or if you’re at a stoplight, you might smell cigarette smoke from someone smoking in the car in front of you.
It’s best to avoid heavily trafficked areas where you’re prone to breathing in pollutants whenever possible. You breathe in a lot of toxins with care exhaust, including nitrogen dioxide, which is harmful to your lungs.
Toxins in your home
Even in your home, you want to have a safety net available. Make sure you have smoke detectors – as well as carbon monoxide detectors, too. If you live in an old home with old paint, have it tested for lead.
Sometimes you’ll be breathing toxins in your home for different reasons, such as getting your carpet cleaned, cleaning your house, repainting the walls, and more. It’s not just an inside issue, either.
Related reading: Toxic Chemicals In Your Home May Double Risk Of Breast Cancer
Toxins in your garden or yard
Analyze what you’re doing outside your house. If you’re using chemicals on your lawn or in the garden to keep pests out, then you could be breathing in the same poison you’re using to kill off bugs and repel vermin.
Because you’re going to be exposed to toxic air, the best you can do is filter it before you breathe it in whenever possible. How do you do that? First, avoid outdoors on bad air quality days.
If you’re going to be outside, look for areas with plenty of clean air away from the middle of the city. Get out in the countryside but make sure farmers are not spraying pesticides at the time.
Stop using toxic household cleaners, candles and air fresheners that don’t do anything more than mask the toxins with a specific chemical scent. It’s best to look for organic, healthy cleaners to use in your home.
Stay on top of the air conditioner filters in your home. They will become riddled with dust and other toxins but they can only hold so much. Replace them twice a year or more so that you’re breathing clean air.
You can also buy standalone air filtering systems for your home. Make sure they’re HEPA quality. That stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air.
All of these toxins are floating around you every day. If you become paranoid about them, you’ll never get through a single day without stress chemicals – another toxin to your body that’s naturally produced inside of you.
The best you can do is become aware and take steps to reduce and limit your exposure. You’ve probably already endured some damage from these toxins – at a cellular level.
Related reading: Do You Need To Detox Your Body?
Chemical toxins hiding in your fat cells interfere with the weight control system which contributes to weight gain. Your body is defenseless as long as you keep pouring toxins into it and not giving it a chance to fight back. Some of these may come from products you apply to your skin but that’s another story.
You can throw your body and your mind a lifeline by embarking on a good detox diet plan that freshens your body at a cellular level, so that it functions properly and you enjoy the benefits of better health from your efforts while also taking steps to reduce the environmental toxins you are exposed to.