How to Remove Hidden Toxins From Your Life
In this article Dr Rochelle Hammond (TCM) guides us through a process to remove unnecessary toxins and live a cleaner and healthier life.
Last month we spoke about preparing your mind and body for the healing journey by practicing skills that promote rest, deep relaxation and establishing a strong mind-body connection (Preparing Mind and Body for the Healing Journey).
This month’s focus is on making simple dietary and environmental changes to remove toxins from your food, home and environment. The upside of living cleaner and greener means thinking more clearly, having more energy and living a longer and more vital life.
We live in a sea of toxins!
Since the late 1800s, more than 80,000 NEW chemicals have been introduced into our environment and only about six percent of them have been tested for their long-term effects on human health. The outcomes of these tests do not bode well for what the rest of the untested NEW chemicals are doing to our bodies and our brains.
Toxins are everywhere: from household cleaners to plastics in kitchenware. They are in our water and air supply, in our cosmetics, and even in our food.
Dr Joe Pizzorno ND, a Naturopathic Doctor was interviewed in the ground breaking docuseries The Broken Brain, by Dr Mark Hyman. He commented that “People are becoming sick because of what’s in the environment around them. Since the 1970’s we started using a lot more pesticides in our foods, metals in our manufacturing, using water from contaminated sources, health and beauty aids containing phthalates, storing our food in plastic, mercury fillings..”. The list goes on…
The damage caused by these toxins are through a variety of mechanisms. Phthalates in beauty products and sunscreens bind to cell receptor sites, blocking the movement of sugar into cells that can eventually lead to diabetes. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as commonly used organophosphate pesticides build up in the body causing oxidative stress in neurons leading to neurodegeneration, estimated by Harvard professor Dr David Bellinger to have depleted our collective IQ by 16.9 million points across the entire American population.
In a recent SMH interview with Sarah Berry, Dr Pizzorno stated, “I have become convinced that the toxic load in modern civilisation is now probably even more important than nutritional deficiencies in terms of causing diseases in our patients”. These comments highlight the devastating role toxins play in the rise of chronic disease.
The key is giving our body a chance to heal. We can do that by getting in the nutrients we need and getting out the toxins we don’t need. “If you get the nutrients in, you get the toxins out, you’ll have a dramatically better quality of life, less disease and much more longevity.”2
There are two steps you need to take to follow reduce your toxic burden:
- Identify the toxins in your environment and reduce your exposure.
- Enhance your body’s own detoxification system.
I’ve outlined below 2 basic plans to help you reduce your exposure to toxins and to help enhance your body’s ability to detoxify.
Basic plan to help you reduce your exposure to toxins
Reduce toxic exposure by eliminating as many toxins from your environment as possible by living a ‘clean and green’ lifestyle.
The list below identifies the most important changes you can make at home to reduce toxin exposure. Use it as a checklist and tick each one off when done!
|Avoid using plastic containers, especially for drinking water or heating food and store foods in glass NOT in plastic
|Avoid chemicals eg. gardening, car cleaning, dry cleaning, sprays, smoke
|Avoid microwaving food and storing food in plastic containers
|Reduce heavy metal exposure eg. high mercury fish inc (big fish such as tuna), lead paint, mercury amalgam fillings (contain 55% mercury), water supplies
|Have plenty of houseplants to detoxify the air
|Clean air filters in heaters and air conditioners: install an air filter in your bedroom to clean the air while you sleep
|Use low toxin household and personal care products that do not contain Phthalates eg. creams, cosmetics, soaps containing phthalates, fragrances, deodorant
|Consult the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Guide (www.ewg.org/skindeep) before purchasing cosmetics. Their database rates the toxicity levels of thousands of different products.
|Reduce fluorescent light exposure: Use candlelight and natural incandescent light bulbs
|Buy organic when possible. Conventionally grown foods are high in pesticides and are low in important trace minerals. This means our food doesn’t have adequate nutrients to make enzymes to remove toxins.
Basic plan to enhance your ability to detoxify
- Eat foods that enhance your body’s natural ability to detoxify such as:
- Cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, collards, kale, brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, bok choy, arugula, radish, wasabi, watercress, kohlrabi, mustard greens, rutabaga, turnips). Eat one to two cups cooked daily
- Curcuminiods (turmeric, curry)
- Green tea (one to two cups a day)
- High quality, sulfur-containing protein—eggs, garlic, onions
- Eat more dietary fibre as this is a main mechanism for eliminating toxic chemicals and metals. Especially good sources are oat bran, ground flax seeds, beans and lentils.
- Drink Clean Filtered Water: You should drink 6 to 8 glasses of clean, filtered water every day. Drinking water helps with detoxification and keeps your body properly hydrated. For a simple and reliable countertop solution for filtered water look up Alkaway, an innovative Australian company with high quality products.
- Exercise: We all know exercise is good for the body but did you know it can be as effective as taking antidepressant medication for the brain. A quality exercise regimen strengthens your cardiovascular system, corrects insulin resistance, reduces inflammation and enhances your body’s detoxification processes. Commit to starting with 7 mins of exercise every day, that’s it! Interval training is ideal.
The final piece of advice. See your healthcare practitioner who may recommend supplementation to promote detoxification and only use dietary supplements which have been tested for quality and contamination. In medically supervised detoxification programs, many other herbs, nutrients and phytonutrients may be used along with specialized testing.
To find out how we can help you with specific nutritional supplements and our practitioner assisted detoxification program call the West Street Wellbeing Natural Health Clinic on 9922 7874 to discuss your options.
I hope these plans will assist your progress on your healing journey!
 Hyman, M. MD, 2017 “Broken Brain UltraMind Workbook”, p.41
 Pizzzorno, J. ND, 2017 “Broken Brain Transcripts – Expert Interviews”, p. 256
 Hamblin, J. Mar 18 2014, “The Toxins That Threaten Our Brain”, The Atlantic, 2nd March 2018, “https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/03/the-toxins-that-threaten-our-brains/284466/?utm_source=SFFB”
 Berry, S. 15th April 2015, “Health food expert Joseph E. Pizzorno on toxins and modern diet”, SMH, 28th Feb 2018, “https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/health-and-wellness/health-food-expert-joseph-e-pizzorno-on-toxins-and-modern-diet-20150415-1mlmna.html”
 Hyman, M. Dr, 2017 “Broken Brain UltraMind Workbook”, p.44