Heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium and arsenic from manmade activities have contaminated crops and marine life. Mercury has been found in seafood, lead has been detected in drinking water, cadmium has been detected in industrial workplaces, tobacco and certain foods. Heavy metal interferes with the formation of healthy red blood cells. The kidneys can also be damaged when exposed to heavy metals. Other sources of contaminants in food and water result from farming and industrial activities where pesticides and chemicals are used indiscriminately and consistently.
Our bodies produce by-products (metabolic toxins) as a result of metabolic processes which include digestion, liver detoxification, filtering of blood by the kidneys, release of carbon dioxide from the burning of food for fuel/energy. Bile, sweat, urine and feces are the modes of elimination of these toxins.
Ways in which the body naturally deals with toxins
Detoxification occurs all the time several times a day. The liver plays a major role in neutralizing toxins so that they can be carried by the blood to the large intestines and kidneys for elimination. Wastes from what we eat, including insoluble fiber, are removed as feces when we defecate. Coughing and sneezing are natural reflexes to expel foreign irritants from the respiratory tract. Good kidney function keeps the blood free of toxins; conversely, when there is a kidney disease which interferes with kidney function, dialysis can be a life-saving treatment.
Benefits of a Fast and Detox
The main benefits of detoxification and fasting are:
Fasting reduces the burden on the digestive system. During this period, the body eliminates built-up toxins
Improved liver function to neutralize toxins for elimination in the large bowels
Elimination of toxins via the kidneys which is enhanced by increasing water intake
Boosting the efficiency of the general circulation
Nourishing the body with essential nutrients which are found in herbs and supplements
There are a variety of detox programs that people can do. At the end of these programs people have experienced weight loss, have more energy, improved mood, noticed healthier hair, skin and nails.
Techniques to help detoxify the body
Detox diets with high fiber, water and herbs
Detox supplements which contain mild laxatives and diuretics
Sauna treatment which promote sweating
Massage to increase circulation
Herbal wrap to enhance elimination of toxins via the skin
Chelation to bind heavy metals in the blood for elimination
Tips to minimize toxin build-up in the body
Be careful about what you eat and drink. To reduce exposure to chemicals and heavy metals do the following:
Wash fruits and vegetables to remove pests and residual pesticides
Ensure meats and seafood are sufficiently cooked to eliminate parasites
Reduce use of processed food with preservatives. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables
Whenever possible buy and use environmentally friendly household cleaners. Personal protective gloves and masks will reduce direct contact with chemicals
Include high fiber vegetables and fruits in the diet.
Drink at least to 6-8 glasses daily throughout the day. Green tea, hot or cold, is a good choice for a detox drink. It is recommended to do a fast and detox every 6 months to rejuvenate and revitalize energy and health.