Simple Ways to Spring Clean You

Despite what the EPA is telling you, we are living in a very toxic world. In fact according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s report on human exposure to environmental chemicals, 212 different chemicals have been found in our blood and urine. These include chemicals such as arsenic, volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) found in cleaning products, and bisphenol A (BPA) found in food packaging. Besides many of these substances being known to disrupt our endocrine system and in many cases to cause cancers, they are also now referred as “obesogens.” These are substances that accumulate in our fat cells, which some studies have suggested, to have a major impact on metabolism predisposing some people to weight gain. Besides avoiding these substances as much as possible it is also important to facilitate their elimination. Here are some ways you might want to try today.

1. Sweat it out! Some studies have shown that sweating appears to be a potential method for elimination of the endocrine disruptor BPA. A trip to the Russian Turkish Baths anyone?

2. Don’t be afraid of garlic breath! In rat studies, garlic has been shown to reduce lead concentrations in liver, kidney, brain and bone as well as remove oxidant species generated by mercury.

3. Give Cilantro a Go! Even if you are among the 11.5% of the population who thinks it tastes like soap, you might want to add it to your detox routine. This is because some substances in cilantro have shown to be chelators of lead.

4. Cut out the Simple Carbs Excessive consumption of simple carbohydrates and sugar increases fatty acid synthesis in liver cells leading to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Remember our liver is important for eliminating toxins so let’s keep it healthy.

5. Yum Blue Algae Don’t let its bright bluish green color scare you as spirulina has been shown to absorb cadmium and mercury. It also tastes great in coconut water.

6. You want me to stick Coffee Where? Believe it or not coffee enemas have been shown to facilitate bile excretion, which aids in detoxification. If you have never done this before, I would consult with a trained colon hydrotherapist first.

7. Make Milk Thistle your Liver Herb Our liver works hard to rid our body of toxins so it needs the protective action of milk thistle. This herb has been shown to have the ability to inhibit free radicals produced from the metabolism of toxic substances such as alcohol and carbon tetrachloride as well as enhance hepatic glutathione.

8. Orange you Glad I said Tangerines? These fruits contain limonene a strong inducer of both phase I and phase II liver detoxification. But remember not all citrus fruits are created equal. Grapefruit actual inhibits phase I detoxification.

9. Load up on Fiber Some studies have concluded that dietary fibers can effectively bind mercury, cadmium and lead metal ions to prevent the body from being affected by their toxicity. As I tell most of my patients, try to get at least 25-35 g of fiber per day.

10. Eat your Brussels Sprouts! And other cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage contain indole-3-carbinol which is an active stimulant of detoxifying enzymes (glutathione S-transferase and quinone oxidoreductase) in the liver and digestive tract. This is especially beneficial for women with estrogen dominance.