Photo courtesy of B4BC Team Rider Malia Manuel
2016 is here and we’re all about getting off to a good start. Detox is a very popular word this time of year but what does “detox” actually even mean? Most people think of fasting, dieting, or some crazy cleanse. Although all these do involve some sort of detox, they tend to be a temporary fix for a much larger problem. Detoxing is all about removing nasty, often cancer-causing toxins from our bodies in order to help live an overall healthier life!
So what exactly does detox mean? Detoxification is actually a natural process of the liver, the largest internal organ. It transforms toxic substances into compounds that our kidneys can remove from the body.
Unfortunately, our liver has a lot of work to do, as environmental toxins are all around us — in our air, soil, water, food, homes, and offices — and they quickly exhaust our body’s ability to detoxify. The problem? A weakened detoxifying system allows chronic conditions including cancer, heart disease, obesity, and autoimmune diseases to develop.
To prevent toxic accumulation, we need to eat healthful foods that support our natural detoxification system. There are two things we can do to improve detoxification in the body: (1) reduce your exposure to toxins and (2) support the detoxification and immune systems.
How exactly do we do this? Through diet and lifestyle choices of course! Here are some easy tips to start detoxing today:
EAT FRUITS + CRUCIFEROUS VEGGIES TO BOOST DETOXIFYING ENZYMES
Broccoli and broccoli sprouts contain sulforaphane, which is thought to increase detox enzymes as well as help prevent cancer. Other detoxifying foods you should incorporate in your diet are:
- Black raspberries
- Swiss chard
- Bok choy
SPICE THINGS UP
Add herbs and spices like rosemary, cilantro, and garlic to your diet. This is a simple way to add flavor to your meals and raise your body’s detoxification defenses. Allicin (garlic), apigenin (cilantro), and carnosol (rosemary) are compounds that induce detoxification enzymes.
BE GOOD TO YOUR GUT
To increase detoxification, we need to support gut health and promote the growth of healthy bacteria like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus. Eat foods that are rich in probiotics like yogurt, chickpea, miso, kombucha, and kimchi
AVOID CHLORINE-BASED CLEANSERS
Choose non-toxic, green products to clean your home, DUH!
KNOW WHAT YOU’RE BREATHING
Every home should have a carbon monoxide detector and fire alarm. But you should also invest in a radon kit. Long-term exposure to this chemical, which seeps into your home from the soil, can assist in the development of cancer over time.
EXERCISE AT LEAST 3 TIMES A WEEK
Physical activity increases your heart rate and gets your blood moving — this helps to carry nutrients to organs and remove waste from them. Studies show that being active 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week can significantly reduce your risk of breast cancer, not to mention do wonders for your overall health. Exercise has also been shown to trigger healthful changes at the level of our DNA.
Berries play a vital role in ridding the body of toxins. For example, cranberries possess many phytonutrients that are helpful for reducing cancer risk, preventing urinary tract infections, and improving cardiovascular health. Strawberries, cranberries, blackberries, blueberries, and boysenberries are powerful antioxidants that aid in maintaining liver health and increasing your bodies cancer-fighting abilities. Oranges and tangerines contain high amounts of vitamin C, one of many antioxidants that helps clear up toxins and free radicals in the body.
CRUSH TOXINS WITH GARLIC
Garlic breath is sooo worth it now that we know just how amazing this stinky little ingredient is for us. Garlic activates liver enzymes that are responsible for removing toxins. It also contains compounds that play a role in decreasing the risk of nitrosation, the process in which nitrates found in foods such as meat are converted to nitrites using high cooking heat. (These nitrites can become carcinogenic nitrosamine compounds.) Allicin and selenium, which are also found in garlic, can also prevent liver damage.
There you have it, simple steps to seriously help out your body. We bet you already do some of these things so now it’s time to ramp it up and keep pumping those toxins out of your body!
Source: Mind Body Green