The holidays have just ended, and most of us are guilty of over-indulging; what with gifts, parties, food and alcohol. Combined with stress, lack of sleep, and exposure to cold and crowds, the holidays are a perfect recipe for disaster, leaving the body’s natural defenses and elimination processes working less efficiently. Toxins are allowed to accumulate and can contribute to a range of symptoms and diseases.
Our health is like a bank account. We can bolster or deplete nutrients with our lifestyle choices. Most of us are depleted this time of year, and dealing with toxin accumulation. We put on the pounds and struggle with a variety of aches, pains and irritations.
Like many Americans, your New Year’s resolutions include weight loss and other lifestyle improvements. However, dieting is not the only mechanism to lose weight. Detoxifying also helps lose weight naturally and reduces inflammation. "Detox" is a process in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances. But shedding toxins is no easy process.
Detox means cleaning up both our internal and external toxins.
External toxins come in many forms: food, air, water, hygiene products, cosmetics, and cleaning agents. Regarding food, detox entails reducing processed, high sugar, and chemical-laden foods. Fresh food is best, but avoid overcooking or charring. Clean air and water are also ideal, so consider air/water purifiers. Make sure your personal and household cleansers (soap, body wash, face cleansers, shampoo, detergents, etc.) do not contain toxic chemicals. Choose products with naturally-derived substances.
Even if we eliminated most toxins from our air, water, diet, household and personal hygiene products and avoided the "bad" holiday stuff, our bodies would be hard put to rid of the stored-up toxins. Some of us do it better than others. Nevertheless, natural detoxification is a slow process that requires a number of nutrients. Supplementing with certain vitamins, herbs and probiotics can help.
Supplements Recommended to Assist with Detoxification
B-complex Vitamins - needed to fuel the cleansing process; depleted by toxic substances
Milk Thistle - a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory herb that protects the liver
Dandelion, Burdock & Berberine - help detox and protect your liver
Sulforaphane - a broccoli extract that boosts the liver's own detoxifying enzymes
NAC, Taurine & Alpha Lipoic Acid - antioxidant and heavy metal detoxifiers; boost glutathione
Magnesium - increases frequency of bowel movements; found deficient in toxic overload
Selenium - boosts glutathione; plays vital role in detoxifying red blood cells
Zinc - produces metallothionein, which ties up heavy metals in gut and several body organs
Cilantro - helps rid dangerous toxic metals that accumulate in organ tissues.
Stinging Nettle - resists growth of microorganisms and other foreign agents
Grape Seed Extract - enhances bile production, which helps liver remove toxins
Probiotics - our gut bacteria play a leading role in neutralizing toxic metabolites
Black Walnut & Wormwood - help fight against harmful organisms; aid in digestion.
To clean up the toxins in your life, post-holidays or otherwise, it is wise to add specific vitamins, minerals and herbs to your regimen to assist natural elimination processes.
Please come into Metro Integrative Pharmacy and speak to our qualified practitioners who can create a specialized detox program designed specifically for your needs.
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This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition. The information in this article is for educational purposes only.