By Walter J Crinnion, ND
Department Chair, Environmental Medicine, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine
Many people make resolutions for the New Year and some of them are actually kept. Being healthier is a common resolution and quite often that means eating better and taking dietary supplements. A lot of people think that becoming healthier means adding healthy things to the body, but it also requires removing toxic substances from the body. We all carry a burden of toxic compounds in our bodies (courtesy of our bad habits of daily eating, drinking and breathing), and for a huge number of us these compounds cause us to have less health and vitality than we should. We tend to think of these toxic effects as “just getting older”, but it is really that we are becoming more toxic. If we can reduce the toxic burden we can regain and retain our health. Want to feel younger? Just reduce your toxic load.
It can begin very easily – by reducing the intake of toxic compounds (for more, refer to my book: Clean, Green and Lean from Wiley publishers). Check out the Environmental Working Group’s guide to the most toxic foods and choose organic varieties for those fruits and vegetables to reduce your exposure to organophosphate pesticides. Choose Alaskan instead of Atlantic salmon to reduce your exposure to PCBs. To reduce your mercury exposure, use canned Alaskan salmon to make fish spread instead of canned tuna and choose scallops or tilapia for a main course instead of orange roughy and Chilean sea bass: see Green America’s Safe Seafood wallet list for more. Inside your house stop wearing shoes indoors, get chlorine filters for your shower and use high quality pleated air filters for your furnace.
The toxins that build up in our bodies are there because they have a hard time leaving. To assist their exit some very simple things can help including consuming certain foods or taking dietary supplements. The top four cleansing foods are: broccoli, chlorophyll, rice bran (or brown rice) and green tea. Eating foods that are very green –the darker green, the better– will also help eliminate toxins. And even though green tea is not really a dark green color, drinking it (or taking Green Tea Leaf liquid herbal extract or Green Tea Liquid Phyto-caps- will also reduce the amount of time that these persistent toxins stay in the body. While some people may choose to add these things to the diet for a short-term cleanse, the best results will occur for those who make these foods permanent to their diets’. Adding these compounds into a daily diet for two years will dramatically lower toxic load and increase vitality.