We are exposed to high levels of toxins every day. Toxins include, but are not limited to smoke, radiation, auto-exhaust, chemicals, drugs and other carcinogens. Whether your toxin exposure is high, low, or variable, over-time, it can have an impact on your body by wearing down the efficiency of your body systems. If these are not running optimally, it will wear you down and speed the rate at which you age. Luckily, there are simple things you can do to support your body’s natural detox mechanisms.
1. Drink Matcha Tea
Matcha is a powder made from tea leaves. All tea comes from leaves of the plant Camellia Sinensis. The difference is how they are grown and harvested. Plants used for Matcha tea are grown in the shade (away from the sun). When you are drinking matcha tea, you are consuming the whole leaf (it is a whole food, yay!). Because you aren’t simply steeping the leaves and then discarding them like you would do with green tea, you get more antioxidants. A really important one is called EGCG. This antioxidant has been shown in several studies to improve metabolic and cardiovascular health. The liver, the most important detoxification organ, has many metabolic roles, so this antioxidant helps it function optimally. If the liver works as it should, it is more efficient at neutralizing toxins.
2. Sip on lemon water
Lemon water contains vitamin C, which is needed to support liver detoxification. It also cleanses the blood stream and reduces inflammation. In addition, the water will help dilute and flush toxins from your system. Drinking the water will cause an increase in your sweat when you exercise. Sweating is good for detoxing because you are shedding toxins through your skin. I like mixing 2 cups of water with the juice of 3 lemons, and 1/2 teaspoon of blackstrap molasses. Sometimes I even add a few blueberries and it gives the water a nice color and a yummy taste. You can drink lemon water 30 minutes before meals to stimulate gastric juice production and improve digestion. When your digestion is working optimally, you are able to absorb more nutrients from the foods you eat that can assist in your body’s detoxification processes.
3. Eat Sardines
Sardines are a wonderful food. They contain amino acids, such as L-methionine that are important in the detoxification process. They also contain selenium, a mineral that functions as an antioxidant in the body. As a matter of fact, it helps to prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease. In the body, it works with an enzyme called glutathione peroxidase that protects our cells from metals. Because of industrial, domestic, agricultural, medical and technological applications of metals, they have spread in the environment and pose a threat to our health. Selenium is a simple mean of protection. While sardines are not a really appealing food (who wants to eat tiny fish squeezed together in a tin can?), there are ways to make them more palatable. I eat them when I’m really hungry. I find lots of foods are more appealing when you are hungry. You can also warm them up in a frying pan with hot sauce, garlic, onion, shallot, and some coriander. Or what about on a salad with avocado, tomato, cucumber and an apple-cider vinegar and olive oil dressing. That doesn’t sound too bad to me.
Movement helps your body detox by stimulating the proper function of organs. Our bodies are designed to be moving a lot of the time. If you’re like me, you can’t stand going to the gym. How can you incorporate movement into your daily life? Easy. Start by ditching some of the modern conveniences that cause you to move less. You could walk instead of taking the car. You could use a push mower instead of a lawn mower. You could shovel the driveway instead of using a snow blower. How about parking at the back of the lot when you go to the store to get more steps in? Movement also helps you to stay lean. A lot of toxins get trapped in our fat stores and generate free-radicals. The less fat you have, the fewer the toxins wreaking havoc in your body.
5. Turn on the Night Shift Setting on your Device
Remember the detoxifying enzyme glutathione peroxidase I mentioned earlier? Melatonin, a hormone that is highest at night, boosts its activity. Melatonin is secreted by your brain at night to make you feel drowsy and help you fall asleep. However, exposure to blue light before bed suppresses its release. When you are browsing on your tablet, checking your smart phone, or watching a show on your television before bedtime, you are exposing tiny light receptors all over your body to blue light and preventing melatonin from being released. Less melatonin means the enzyme glutathione peroxidase will be less efficient at doing its’ job of detoxification while you sleep. Luckily, most smart phones and tablets have a setting that will change the light being emitted from your device to a melatonin friendly orange light. I always turn the Night Shift setting on if I’m watching Netflix on my tablet before bedtime.
That’s all I have for today. See you soon.