We are constantly surrounded by toxins: in the air, in the foods we choose, in the things we put on our bodies. Making the right choices in our daily lives can greatly reduce the toxins that are inhaled, eaten, or leached into our bodies. Read on to learn 10 simple ways to detox our bodies:
1. Eat More Whole Foods
If you consume the majority of your food out of a box or plastic package, then you are allowing for chemicals to leach onto the food and into your body. While you contaminate the environment by choosing foods in packaging, you also contaminate your body: plastic containers alone leach “leftover monomer building blocks,” bisphenol A (BPA), and structural chemicals, among others. These chemicals can be carcinogenic, but they can be avoided by consuming whole foods rather than packaged foods. Instead of buying packaged apple slices, buy whole organic apples. Instead of buying canned green beans, buy fresh. If you minimize your purchasing of packaged foods, you will also minimize the amount of dangerous food additives you consume, and you won’t contribute so much to the landfill.
2. Buy Body Supplies with Care
Rather than reading every last ingredient on product packages, you can purchase all your bathroom necessities from an online store that’s guaranteed to have perfectly safe products. Melaleuca is an online retailer that has a variety of natural products including: soaps, fluoride-free toothpaste, laundry detergents, candles, and cosmetics. The Orange Owl is also an online retailer of chemical-free body products.They offer organic vegan soaps, body scrubs, and salts, and lip balms that are all chemical free and vegan-friendly. This company is Vermont-based and aims to produce products that are healthy for the environment and your body. You can find Orange Owl products in some health food stores as well as online. If you don’t want to buy online, Dr. Bronner’s soap is absolutely chemical-free and healthy for your body. His products are available at many grocery stores like Target and Trader Joe’s.
3. Practice Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is an antiquated Ayurvedic practice that involves swishing around a tiny bit of pure oil (coconut oil is preferred) in your mouth immediately after you wake up for 15-20 minutes. It sounds weird, but it has been proven to thoroughly cleanse your mouth without having to use chemically-laden mouthwash. This practice helps to stop bacterial growth and dental fluorosis, but, overall, it is most helpful to the gums.
4. Choose Glass Over Plastic
As aforementioned, plastic leaches chemicals onto your food, so if you have a beautifully prepared kale salad and you eat it in a plastic container, you’re not getting maximum nutrition. The kale has been contaminated by the chemicals from the container. However, if that kale salad was in a glass container, chemical contamination goes way down. Glass has a low leachability and is generally “inert as packaging can be.” So, put away your plastic container, whether BPA-free or not it doesn’t matter, and grab your mason jars.
5. Ditch the Fragrances
Fragrances aren’t just in perfumes, they can be in your bathroom products as well. They serve no purpose other than to smell nice, but since they are toxic, you’re better off without them. If you don’t want to give up your fragrances, swap them for whole essential oils and herb oils. Aromatherapy is a good thing, but commercial fragrances are not.
6. Sweat it Out
Exercise is paramount to avoiding toxin accumulation. Sweating is a homeostatic mechanism that your body needs to release toxins from connective or fatty tissues. Movement is key to eliminating toxins as toxins build up in fat deposits. Movement counteracts this, and detoxifies the body, especially the lungs and kidneys. Exercise helps the body perform at its optimal level, aiding in its natural elimination process.
7. Drink your Greens
Dark leafy greens are packed with nutrients and antioxidants that help the body rid itself of harmful toxins or chemicals. The carotenoids in these vegetables have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, and are all around stellar from a nutritional standpoint. With that being said, getting these greens is paramount. An easy and tasty way to consume more leafy greens is by making green smoothies which have been known for their healthfulness and detox benefits.
8. Get Fresh Air
This may seem like an odd tip, but breathing in fresh, unadulterated air serves a purpose in detoxification. Indoor air can be polluted by paint, fragrances, mold and mildew, volatile organic compounds, and other pollutants. Typically spending 90% of the day inside, humans are well exposed to these pollutants, breathing them in constantly. Therefore, it is important that you take the time to breathe in fresh air, giving your lungs a break and letting free air into your body.
9. Wear the Right Clothes
Low price and “fast” fashion comes at a cost: manufacturers use hazardous chemicals to keep up. Greenpeace has a whole expose on the wrongs of the fashion industry – how their practices of using these chemicals damages the environment and the health of the wearer. The bottom line is that if you find a clothing article that stinks of chemicals or that is made of synthetic materials, like rayon and nylon, don’t buy it. Look for clothes that are 100% cotton or hemp instead of synthetic-based.
10. Grow some Plants
Certain plants have been linked to eliminating airborne toxins: aloe veras, Boston ferns, dragon trees, English ivys, and other plants help reduce pollutants in the air. While aloe vera releases oxygen at night, Boston ferns add humidity to the air and drastically reduce formaldehyde levels in it. Dragon trees take xylene and trichloroethylene from the air, and English ivys also reduce formaldehyde in the air. By eliminating these airborne pollutants, these plants, in turn, help you detox, and breathe with greater ease.
Image Source: David K/Flickr