1. Toxic chemicals are everywhere nowadays. They’re in the water we drink, the food we eat, the soils we farm and the air we breathe ! Although it is difficult to eliminate them all from our environment, it’s worthwhile trying to minimise them in order to reduce the overall load that toxins place upon the body as a whole and each of the individual systems. If you see a label on any product that you use with an ingredient that you can’t pronounce, think twice about bringing it into your home or putting it in or on your body.
  2. Our bodies have several organs and systems whose roles are to locate, process and remove any toxins from the body. For example, your lungs and skin are used to eliminate the toxins out of the body whilst the kidneys and liver tend to cleanse the blood and package the toxins ready for their removal. Indicators that someone is highly toxic and has ‘dirty blood’ include dark circles under their eyes, irregular bowel movements (often constipation) and headaches. Improve detoxification by drinking lots of pure filtered water, minimise alcohol consumption and practice healthy lifestyle habits that promote good digestive health.
  3. The liver in particular takes the brunt of the work of keeping the body clean. It works tirelessly to nullify the effects of toxins from the moment you’re born until you die. Your liver is amazing and can even regenerate so look after it and it will look after you. Eating garlic, onions and dark green vegetables like broccoli support the liver function.
  4. However, if your liver becomes overwhelmed and has too much to do there tends to be a build up of toxins in the body which can cause a stress on all the other organs and systems. When your liver becomes overworked your body tends to store the majority of the toxins in fat cells away from the vital organs. This fat is particularly stubborn and hard to get rid of because the body is reluctant to release these toxins back into the circulation.
  5. Watch out for toxins in the food you eat. Processed foods often contain chemicals or additives used to flavour, colour or preserve. Stick to real foods i.e. wholefoods that have not been processed in a factory or laboratory. Also try and avoid genetically modified foods and products that come in plastic packaging organic certification
  6. Toxic chemicals made to kill pests, fungus and weeds are commonly used in commercial farming techniques and sprayed directly onto crops in order to increase yield. Also toxic fertilisers are often used too so always wash your vegetables and fruits before eating them. Eat organic produce as much as possible to minimise your exposure to these highly toxic chemicals.
  7. Tap water contains all sorts of toxic chemicals that disrupt the function and delicate bacterial balance of your digestive system thus jeopardising the function of every other system that relies on vital nutrients from your food being absorbed into the body. The levels of chlorine in tap water in particular have been identified as one of the causes of gut dysbiosis and gut bacterial imbalance. Drink bottled pure mineral water.
  8. The levels of emissions and pollution in our atmosphere and heavy metals such as mercury and lead found in the water we use are also major contributors to excessive overall toxicity in our bodies. Try and get some fresh air everyday and use filtered water to drink and wash in. Remember, what you put on your skin is also absorbed into the body so be cautious with certain make-ups, soaps, deodorants and skincare products too.
  9. Be aware that the air in your home or at the office you work in is likely to be more polluted than the air outside. Air fresheners, cleaning products, certain building materials, fresh paint and new synthetic carpets are just some of the contributors to contaminated air supplies
  10. It is currently being proposed that certain chemicals commonly found in our environment are largely responsible for causing increased unwanted endocrine (hormone) effects which could lead to breast cancer in women, testicular and prostate cancer in men, fertility issues, abnormal development, thyroid problems and immune suppression, not to mention the dreaded man-boob ! Instead of going on a ‘detox’ binge, try implementing as many of these tips into your daily routine as possible – your body will thank you for it.

Duncan Edwards BSc (hons) Director, Bodyguards Health & Fitness, Jesmond, Newcastle

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