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9 Ways to Detox Naturally

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9 Ways to Detox Naturally

I have had a few people ask me recently about detox diets and I wanted to share some of my more educated answers. Here’s the skinny (not pun intended):

  • First of all let’s identify the two main types of toxins in the body. One type is endotoxins-molecules that are made in the body as byproducts of regular metabolism, like lactic acid, urea waste and gut microbes. The second is exotoxins- come from outside the body and are introduced to the system by eating, drinking, breathing or are absorbed through the skin, like mercury in seafood or toxic cosmetics.
  • Each person's ability to detoxify varies and the environment, diet, lifestyle, health status and genetic factors can influence this. Some people could require more detoxification support than others, basically. If toxins coming in exceed toxins going out, the toxins can be stored in fat cells, bone and soft tissues. Basically- everyone’s needs are different, and it may be unnecessary for some to detox beyond the body’s natural ability.
  • It’s okay to follow a program that includes whole foods and removes fast food and high sugar, sodium and saturated/trans fats but fasting can hinder your body’s natural detox processes. The kind of diet you should be on to “detox” is typically the kind of diet a nutritionist would recommend anyway, as a standard long-term change.
  • Not everyone is qualified to help you find your right fit for detox and it can be dangerous to go it alone (without the help of a professional). If you think you want to detox, find someone to help you create a plan.
  • Follow these guidelines from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:
  1. Maintain adequate hydration with clean water.
  2. Eat five to nine servings of fruit and vegetables per day.
  3. Consume enough fiber each day from vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
  4. Eat cruciferous vegetables, berries, artichokes, garlic, onions, leeks, turmeric and milk thistle, and drink green tea. These foods support detoxification pathways.
  5. Consume adequate protein, which is critical to maintaining optimum levels of glutathione, the body's master detoxification enzyme.
  6. Consider taking a multivitamin/multimineral to fill any gaps in a healthy diet, since certain vitamins and minerals enable the body's detoxification processes to function.
  7. Eat naturally fermented foods such as kefir, yogurt, kimchi and sauerkraut — or take a high-quality probiotic — to help the body manage toxins from microbes that live in the gut.
  8. N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a precursor to glutathione, often is recommended to support the body's natural detoxification activity.
  9. Maintain bowel regularity.

Practitioners trained in integrative and functional nutrition and medicine are well-trained in safe detoxification protocols and can be a wealth of information.

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