Monday, July 8, 2013

5 Simple Ways to Detoxify Your Body

While we cannot eliminate our exposure to toxins completely, we can support our body’s natural process of detoxification to promote optimal health.

Water splashing
Drinking plenty of water helps your kidneys flush out toxins.

It is nearly impossible to avoid toxins in our modern world. We encounter them through industrial pollutants, pesticides, sewage, medications and a slew of other chemicals we come contact in the course of our daily lives. Exposure can come from the air we breathe or the food and water we consume.

The good news is that our bodies have built-in detoxification systems. We can help them work better by fueling them with key nutrients and taking a few simple actions.

  1. Eat organic fruit and vegetables to reduce pesticide accumulation. If it's difficult to eat entirely organic, see the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen list of produce that accumulates the most harmful amounts of pesticides.
  2. Eat cruciferous vegetables! Cruciferous vegetables are those in the brassica family, such as broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. These veggies contain sulfur, which assists the liver in getting rid of toxic waste products.
  3. Consume foods high in methionine, a type of amino acid. Methionine is found in eggs, sesame seeds, Brazil nuts and fish. It assists the liver and other cells in removing unwanted substances.
  4. Drink plenty of water. Water helps hydrate as well as flush waste through the kidneys and out of the body.
  5. Sweat every day. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and sweating can help toxins leave the body.

While we cannot eliminate our exposure to toxins completely, we can support our body's natural process of detoxification to promote optimal health.

— By Meghan Boucher, dietetic intern, and Debra Boutin, MS, RD, chair and dietetic internship director, Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr University.

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