Support Your Immune System with Body Detoxification

Detoxification is something your body does naturally, if you are in good health and not being overwhelmed with toxins.

Fact: The typical American diet contains ever-increasing levels of pesticides, herbicides, and other industrial chemicals.

Fact: Research suggests a link between body toxins and some forms of cancer.

Fact: Many of us have parasites that secrete toxins into our bodies.

Sources: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Herb Research Foundation, National Academy of Sciences

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With a new season a little over a month away, you might be planning the "spring cleaning" of your home or work environment.

But there's another type of cleaning you may rarely consider: detoxifying your body.

Detoxification is the way your body "cleans house" to get rid of the toxins that accumulate in cell tissue. And make no mistake about it -- everyone has body toxins.


Because toxins are naturally produced through your body's everyday functions; cellular activity generates substances that need to be eliminated.

Additionally, you're exposed to environmental toxins on a daily basis in the form of air and water pollution, food additives, caffeine, cigarette smoke, pesticides, and a number of other environmental chemicals.

Studies at the National Academy of Sciences suggest that the cumulative effect of such toxins pose a great health risk.

Then there are the microbes that live in your body -- intestinal bacteria, yeast, and parasites -- that produce metabolic waste products. And if thinking about so many toxins stresses you out, remember that emotional stress itself generates increased biochemical toxicity.

If you're in good health, you generally can handle exposure to a normal level of everyday toxins; your body is built to handle it. The liver, lungs, kidneys, and bowels constantly work together to detoxify every cell, organ and system in your body -- the liver reduces your toxic load by changing toxins into compounds that then are eliminated through the lungs (as expelled air), skin (as sweat), kidneys (as urine) and bowels (as feces). That's why it's essential to keep these organs in top shape.

But problems arise when you take in more toxins than your body is able to eliminate. This toxic overload can lead to a wide range of health problems, such as:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Aches and pains
  • Digestive problems
  • Allergy-like symptoms >LI?Coughs
  • Depressed immunity
  • Nervousness
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Skin rashes
  • Mood changes
  • Sinus congestion
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
Where do you start?

Basic detoxification usually begins with a change in diet. Drinking filtered water, -- plenty of water each day -- is a good start, as is eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Foods that are best to avoid when you are cleaning house include red meats, cured meats, organ meats, canned foods, refined sugar, saturated fats, coffee and other caffeine drinks, and alcohol.

A more wide-ranging detox however, includes nutritional supplementation.

Taking antioxidant vitamins (A, E, and C) is essential for detoxification because antioxidants help cells to neutralize the free radicals that can cause cellular damage.

Herbals also help to detoxify the body, particularly burdock, milk thistle, turmeric, pumpkin, garlic and slippery elm. These herbals help stimulate and cleanse the detoxifying organs, and assist with toxin elimination. Supplements with a combination of these herbs are often the easiest way to ensure you get the right amount for detoxification.

For the story on ridding your body of parasites and detoxification of the poisons they produce, read this. Simple lifestyle changes, too, can help with the ongoing detoxification of your body. Work to reduce stress and emphasize positive emotions. Get plenty of sleep.

And get regular exercise -- it's a great way to help your body release toxins. You don't have to do anything fancy; walking, jogging, jumping rope, or practicing yoga all can help you in your detox efforts. Even something as simple as taking deep breaths to help oxygen circulate more completely through your system can make a difference.

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