The word ‘toxin’ gets bandied about a lot these days, cropping up more and more frequently as something to actively avoid in order to support longevity and prevent illness.
Toxins are tricky. They’re stealthy, broad, often invisible, or worse yet, integrated into daily life as a seemingly benign player in many of our go-to products.
Toxins can range from air pollution to harmful substances in perfume. They have the potential to disrupt hormone balance, metabolism, gut health, and increase oxidative stress and inflammation, leading to susceptibility to illness and disease.
The good news is that once you know what you’re looking for, toxins are much easier to avoid (even if we can't see them!) by minimising our exposures and therefore reducing toxic burden on all systems- including our precious microbiome.
7 Ways to Remove Toxins From Your Life
1. Eat Organic or rinse!
One of the most common places for toxins to sit is on the food that we eat. Pesticides, herbicides, and fuel residues (oh my!) are found on most of our favourite fresh produce as a result of conventional cultivation, transport and storage.
Local & organic fruit and veggies are generally lighter on the chemical residues, and ‘The Clean 15 & The Dirty Dozen’ is a great resource to counterbalance the ‘all or nothing’ organic mentality.
If you are not buying organic remember to wash your fruit and veg to remove residues, dirt and bad bugs. Adding a dash of apple cider vinegar to your rinse water can help to keep your market fresh goodies squeaky clean and residue-reduced.
2. Filter Your H20
Our water supply is incredible (how good is running water?!). However with municipal water supply comes potential for - you guessed it! Toxins like PFAS and water-born infections. With this in mind, our water supply is treated with chemicals to prevent infections in the consumer which can provide a degree of toxic ‘ick’ for our bodies to neutralize- both from treatment chemicals like chlorine, but also from heavy metals used in our plumbing. These can collectively increase toxic burden on various hormone systems, detox pathways and of course, the gut. Filtered water is your friend! Read more about filtered water in this blog: Why Filter Tap Water?
3 Detoxify Your Indoor Environment
We spend a huge amount of our time indoors - in the house, office, in the car.
Even in metropolitan environments, the indoor air quality can be considerably worse than outdoor! We’re talking toxic mould and chemical off-gassing from furnishings. So- Ventilate regularly by opening windows, use that HEPA vacuum cleaner daily, add a beautiful new indoor plant and please, for the love of all that is toxin-free, break up with air-fresheners and ‘fragrances’!. Yes, candles, reeds, ‘scented’ oils etc. Switch these nasties out for pure essential oils.
4. Get Picky with Personal Care
Yes. Toxins may be hiding in sanitary products (is nothing sacred?!), skincare, makeup, hair care and styling products. These can vary from heavy metals in makeup, to endocrine disruptors in perfumes, and ‘forever chemicals’ in period pants and tampons.
Be wary of alternatives which ‘greenwash’ their packaging and advertising- these are buzz words which make something sound healthy whilst the ingredients list says otherwise. Opt for options that are certified organic!
Want more info? The Environmental Working Group has a nifty little database to assist the navigation of these sometimes tricky waters.
5. Fire Generic Household Cleaning Products
Much like personal care, household cleaners can be a minefield to negotiate, loaded with synthetics and toxic chemicals.
Start simple with simple things like switching over to natural based detergents, washing powders and surface cleaners, or even look into what you can DIY using Castile soap, vinegar and essential oils.
6. Support Your Internal Detox Mechanisms
By this point it’s probably glaringly obvious that at some stage we all come into contact with toxins in our modern-day world.
Boosting our capacity to neutralise and eliminate toxins through the kidneys, liver and bowel are ways to get rid of the toxins that we can’t avoid.
Support liver and kidneys while also providing antioxidants
- For those of us falling short on our daily veg, fibre and antioxidants, CLEANSE has your back. Functional foods such as broccoli sprouts and medicinal mushrooms as well as herbs revered for their detoxification qualities (think St Mary’s Thistle, Globe Artichoke, Cleavers, and Rosemary) feature in our bespoke CLEANSE formula, all chosen for their ability to detoxify the liver and kidneys and supplying all the nutrients needed for optimum health and the ability to renew cells. Pomegranate husk and Green tea function as selective antimicrobials to help clear the gut from bad bug invaders while prebiotics will help the good bacteria to thrive.
Keep your bowels moving
Increased Bowel Movements: Prebiotics like PHGG are soluble fibers that can attract water and form a gel-like substance in the intestines. This can soften the stool and increase its bulk, making it easier to pass and reducing the likelihood of constipation. FEED contains prebiotic fibre that will add bulk but also help improve the overall microbiome environment. It also contains probiotics that may help regulate gut motility, which refers to the movement of food and waste through the digestive tract. It can help prevent both diarrhea and constipation by promoting a healthy pace of digestion and reducing transit time. Adding fibre to your diet always requires you to add more water so to make sure the fibre can do its work.
Include Protein in your diet
- Protein is needed for detoxification for various reasons, one being the importance of having amino acids (from protein) available for glutathione production.
Rickard BP, Rizvi I, Fenton SE. Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and female reproductive outcomes: PFAS elimination, endocrine-mediated effects, and disease. Toxicology. 2022 Jan 15;465:153031. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2021.153031. Epub 2021 Nov 10. PMID: 34774661; PMCID: PMC8743032.
Jaishankar M, Tseten T, Anbalagan N, Mathew BB, Beeregowda KN. Toxicity, mechanism and health effects of some heavy metals. Interdiscip Toxicol. 2014;7(2):60-72. doi:10.2478/intox-2014-0009
Goodman, Nigel B., Anne Steinemann, Amanda J. Wheeler, Phillip J. Paevere, Min Cheng, and Stephen K. Brown. "Volatile organic compounds within indoor environments in Australia." Building and Environment 122 (2017): 116-125.
Hodges RE, Minich DM. Modulation of Metabolic Detoxification Pathways Using Foods and Food-Derived Components: A Scientific Review with Clinical Application. J Nutr Metab. 2015;2015:760689. doi:10.1155/2015/760689
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