On any given day, you may be exposed to any number of the 80,000-plus industrial chemicals in use today. Another 1,000 chemicals or so are introduced every year, according to Brenda Watson, a certified nutritional consultant and author of “The Detox Strategy.” These toxic substances lurk everywhere—in the air, water, household cleaners, perfumes, food and children’s toys. While the process of detox has its critics, natural health professionals extol its benefits for helping your body to expel toxins.
Reduce the amount of toxins you take in on a daily basis. It’s self-defeating to do a detox if you’re still taking in a significant amount of toxins, points out Peter Bennett, a naturopathic doctor and author of “The Purification Plan.” Switch to organic foods and beverages and drink filtered or distilled water. Avoid using products that contain toxins, such as household cleaners, inorganic cosmetics and perfumes, and avoid exposure to cigarette smoke or other airborne chemicals.
Eat about 30 to 40 grams of fiber daily. As Ann Louise Gittleman puts it in her book “The Fast Track One-Day Detox Diet,” "The colon is the garbage dump in your system, but fiber acts as a garbage truck hauling away the toxic waste." Organic vegetables, fruits and whole grains are good sources.
Drink a glass of cranberry juice combined with orange juice daily. Both juices are loaded with antioxidants that fight free radicals. Cranberry juice also enables the liver to break down fat more efficiently and contains a key ingredient, arbutin, which acts as a diuretic and draws out toxins to be excreted, according to Gittleman.
Drink at least eight 8 oz. glasses of purified water each day to increase kidney activity and speed up the removal of toxins. Water will also prevent constipation from your increased fiber intake.
Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. When you don’t exercise, the lymphatic system—which keeps your immune system working at peak condition—becomes stagnant, causing waste to spill over into your body, Bennett explains. Exercise also increases sweating, which also effectively removes toxins.
Treat yourself to a full-body rub down with an organic sea salt scrub. According to Bennett, salts have detoxifying qualities and increase perspiration. They also exfoliate your skin to remove dead skin cells and dirt that may be blocking pores on your skin, another powerful detoxification organ in your body.
- Brenda Watson’s Detox Strategy: Our Toxic Environment
- Harvard Health Publications: The Dubious Practice of Detox
- “The Purification Plan”; Peter Bennett; 2005
- “The Fast Track One-Day Detox Diet”; Ann Louise Gittleman; 2005