What kind of (toxic) burden is your body under

What kind of (toxic) burden is your body under

Every day your body encounters toxins. On average, you are exposed to more than 700,000 different toxic chemicals on a daily basis. That’s a $h!t ton of toxins! Toxins are chemicals or poisons that have a negative or harmful effect on the body. Most toxins come from the external environment like pollutants, pesticides/herbicides, and other manufactured chemicals. There are also toxins that can be created within the body, these are most commonly referred to as endotoxins.

While some of the exposure to these toxins are outside of your control, you can still take steps to help reduce exposure and support your body’s natural detoxification process.

First let’s go over where you are encountering these toxins on a daily basis. {Just be warned, that this is the part where you feel like everything is killing you and you are doomed. Hang in there, I’ll bring some good news soon!}

  • Air
  • Water
  • Food
  • Personal Care Products
  • Makeup
  • Clothes
  • Furniture
  • Cars/transportation

So, essentially everywhere right! I know, kind of doom and gloom right now; but trust me there is A LOT you can do to help support your body.

However, let’s touch upon your detoxification system for a moment. You have 4 main pathways that your body detoxes all these toxins. Remember, your body is always working to protect you, and getting rid of toxins efficiently and effectively is one of the big ways that your body maintains balance in the body.

Those 4 pathways are:

  1. Pee – this is the main way that your kidneys assist with detoxifying the body by pushing out excess toxins through the urine. Support your kidneys by staying HYDRATED! Things like apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, dandelion, basil, and watermelon can help support the kidneys as well; however, nothing beats good quality water (which I’ll touch upon more!)
  2. Poop – you need to have AT LEAST one bowel movement a day. This is so important! Your liver is going to work really hard to break down these toxins and get them ready to be excreted, so if you are not having bowel movements regularly, you are putting your body under a lot of stress. What happens when those toxins are excreted in a timely fashion? They get reabsorbed! Now, your liver has to go through all that work AGAIN, while also trying to breakdown NEW toxins. Please, do not put your liver under that kind of stress! Get those bowel movements consistent!
  3. Sweat – your skin is your largest organ, so when you work up a sweat, that opens up a lot of surface area for toxins to be excreted. Whether you do this actively through working out or passively through a sauna session, it’s important to work up a good sweat on a consistent basis to help remove excess toxins.
  4. Breath – your breath is responsible for cleansing 70% of the toxins from your body. If you are not breathing deeply and fully, then you again are asking a lot from your body. Practice taking deep breaths all the way into your belly, work on making your exhale longer than your inhale. You want that exhale to fully release all carbon monoxide that is within the body.

How to reduce the toxic burden:

  • Filter the air in your home. Whether you do this by getting an air filter like AirDoctor or the Molekule (I personally use this one) or by getting lots of air cleaning house plants, it’s critical that you clean the air within your home. This is the air that you are breathing the majority of the time, so it’s an area that you can improve. Also, open up your windows! While yes there are chemicals in the air outside, the air inside a home can be up to 4x more toxic than the air outside.
  • Filter your water. A quality water filter is going to be well worth the investment. At the very least getting a water filter for the water you drink is a great first step. There are also shower filters and bath filters on the market to help reduce exposure even more. Berkey Water Filters are some of the best on the market.
  • Buy Quality food. This is a BIG one. The quality of your food matters. If you are buying a lot of conventional produce or poor-quality protein, then all the agricultural toxins and GMO feed are going right into your body, creating a lot of stress on your body because now your kidneys and liver need to work to process all those chemicals. The Environmental Working Group is an incredible resource when it comes to assessing the quality of food (and even cleaning and personal care products as well). Every year they come out with a list for the Clean Fifteen – the 15 produce items that have the least amount of pesticides, and the Dirty Dozen – the 12 produce items that have the most pesticides and need to be organic or not purchased at all (in my opinion). Remember that pesticides/herbicides are not chemicals that can be washed off.
  • Change up your cleaning products. You know when you walk down the cleaning isle and you can smell all those fragrances? What you are actually smelling are chemicals, very strong chemicals that are able to emit a smell even through a sealed container. Honestly, I try to not even go down this isle when shopping unless I absolutely have to. A better option would be to utilize essential oils such as DoTerra (especially their OnGuard products) or Branch Basics that uses an unscented concentrate that can be used for almost every cleaning need.
  • Make safer swaps with personal care products and make-up. If you have been following me for a little bit of time, then you know this is an area that I am really passionate about. As someone who used to get her makeup from the Dollar Store, this was a big shift in my wellness journey. I had no idea that I was putting over 400 different harmful chemicals on my body every single morning as I got ready. Many of these chemicals have been found to be endocrine disrupting and even cancer causing. (I will be sharing more about this topic soon!) When I switched to safer products, I not only saw a difference in my skin, but I also felt a difference within my body since I was no longer burdening my body with these added toxins. For the most part, I exclusively use Beautycounter products for my skincare and makeup. {I am a consultant for Beautycounter since I truly love their products and mission, so if you need assistance with picking products, please message me at shannon@3leafhealth.com} I also have been using Primally Pure deodorant for the last year!

Support your body’s detoxification:
Since reducing all exposure is not possible, here are ways to help support your body’s detoxification ability so that you are able to remove toxins quickly from your body and keep your toxic load low.

  1. Food is one of the best ways to support detoxification by providing your liver the key nutrients it needs to preform phase I and phase II detoxification. First and foremost, eating quality food is going to be the best thing you can do so that you are not adding the toxic load as discussed above. Sulfur rich vegetables like onions, garlic, leeks, leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower all support the liver. Dandelion, cilantro, and parsley are all great herbs to add to help support detoxification as well. The liver also needs amino acids (protein) to help with conjugation (phase II). The most bioavailable amino acids are found in high quality animal protein. This is an understanding that most “detoxes” and “cleanses” on the market miss. Most of them take out animal protein which actual does a disservice to the liver, the main organ involved in detoxification!!
  2. DRINK WATER!! Water helps to flush toxins out of the body by supporting the kidneys and liver. Water is essential to the health of your entire body. So make sure to be drinking an abundance of QUALITY water.
  3. Ensure that you are having at least ONE bowel movement a day. Again, you do not want your liver to do all the work of breaking down and conjugating toxins just to have them reabsorbed into the body because of constipation. The toxins will become MORE toxic this way. If you are struggling with bowel movements despite adequate fluid and fiber intake, please reach out to me. This is an area of health and nutrition that I oddly love! Come tell me about your poop!
  4. Move your body! Moving the body helps with those bowel movements! In addition, you want to sweat and open up that detoxification pathway. Movement also helps to move your lymphatic system which plays a role in detoxification and immunity.
  5. Remember that breathing is a major player in your body’s detoxification capabilities. Make time to deep breathe daily, multiple times a day would be best. This not only helps with detoxifying, but it also helps to activate your parasympathetic nervous system (your rest and digest, calming nervous system).

I will be sharing soon the role that toxins play in fat storage and fat loss. For many, toxins are a missing link to why they are not able to lose weight! Stay tuned! Or if you can’t wait and think that toxins are creating problems for your health, reach out to me today!

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