by Dr. Victoria Nguyen
Spring is here! Commonly, spring is the signal of new beginnings as flowers start to bloom and spring cleaning is on people’s minds. Not only does spring cleaning evoke thoughts of clearing physical space but a lot of Naturopathic Doctors think about clearing the physical body. Cleanses and detox programs are methods to clearing our bodies because we are constantly exposed to toxins. These various toxins are found in the products that we use, the foods that we consume, the clothes that we wear, and even the water that we drink. A number of these toxins have been found to increase our aging mechanisms and increase our risk of cancers. As Chanda and I developed our detox program, we explored different ideas of where to start and both agreed that the gut plays a major role in detoxification.
Our gut is not only responsible for breaking down our foods and absorbing nutrients but also is responsible for eliminating waste and toxins. If we are not eliminating regularly or completely, these toxins have the potential to be reabsorbed and recirculated throughout the body. So if there are so many toxins in our environment, what can we do?
The first step we can take is to avoid or minimize our exposure to toxins. A great resource to take a look at is the Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org). They have a variety of different resources to help you be a more knowledgeable consumer whether your curious about food, skin care, or cleaning products. The EWG analyzed pesticide residue data from the US Department of Agriculture and FDA. They’ve taken that data on 48 fruits and vegetables and ranked them as foods with the most and least amount of pesticides. You may have heard of the Dirty Dozen, the 12 fruits and vegetables with the highest amounts of pesticides.
They are listed below:
- Sweet bell peppers
These foods might be foods that you eat weekly, or even daily. When shopping for these foods, opt for the organic option. We can avoid toxins in our foods by choosing to buy organic over conventionally grown produce. Another way we can can avoid toxins or minimize our exposure is by not warming up our foods in plastic, as heating plastic can leach toxins into our foods.
Another step of detoxification is to promote regular elimination. Regular bowel movements increase the likelihood of regular removal of toxins and decreases the likelihood that toxins have a chance of being reabsorbed. Things to promote regular bowel movements include adequate intake of water and fiber. As a standard recommendation, aim for at least 8 glasses of water a day, adding a glass of water for every cup of coffee, soda or caffeinated beverage and for every 30 minutes of exercise. Another important factor to regular bowel movements to physical activity. Getting our bodies moving helps to encourage movement in the digestive tract. Aim for 30 minutes a day of movement whether it is vigorous exercise or just getting out for a quick walk during your lunch break.
For a more regimented program, sign up for our detox program. Our one month detox program is personalized per patient’s history and toxin exposure. Commit to our one month program to get coaching and support through the different phases and side effects that can come with detox. Call our front desk to schedule an appointment to start your detox, today.
You can read more about the program HERE.