Body Toxins: Some Facts

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foot patchesAre you like me, who often hear statements like “My detox diet will start this week”, “I have ordered detox foot patches” or “I want to rid myself of toxins – need a good detox” and keep wondering, what this all buzz is about? Only lately actress Gwyneth Paltrow too discussed about her detox diet experience, based on Dr. Junger’s book, ‘Clean’, in her GOOP newsletter. And I kept thinking why a perfectly healthy-looking person like Paltrow might have needed to detox. Do you too think like me, that you are healthy and wonder why you should need to detox or whether body toxins are real? If so, it is interesting to tell you what I found.

What are Body Toxins?

Though we consider ourselves perfectly healthy and think that ‘toxins’ are some mythical substances or just a fad, it is a reality that toxins are real!

The definition of toxins by Nemours Foundation is ‘A toxin is a poison known to cause harmful effects to the body. They can come to us from water, food or from chemicals which are used to grow or prepare food and also from air which we breathe. Our body has a toxin-processing mechanism in form of kidneys and liver, and they are eliminated from our body in form of urine, feces and sweat.’

So, by far, toxins can be divided into four classes, like from water, food, chemicals and air.

Toxins from Water

water toxinNumerous toxins have been found out in water like chlorine, ammonia, bleach and even medicines, OTC or prescribed. They have been found to cause anything from depression to disease and even cancer.

Toxins from Food

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Obese man eats fast foodRemember that, here toxins from food are not poisonous pesticides and insecticides – they are chemical toxins, the other category. Toxins from food are additives, highly-processed foods, and also chemicals added to food like dyes and flavors. Doctors believe that modern day diet containing white flour and refined sugar is actually toxic. Dr. Robert Lutsig from the University of California San Francisco, in Nature Clinical Practice: Endocrinology and Metabolism, has blamed the big food manufacturers for manufacturing food loaded with sugars that change body’s hormonal structure, thus creating a ‘toxic environment’ and addiction to food.

Toxins from Chemicals

chemical toxinsThe reason to be keen about organic produce is the toxins offered to us by non-organic produce even if they are freshly picked. They are dusted with pesticides which come to us. Non-organic apples, peaches, strawberries, bell peppers, cherries, pears, lettuce and many others include high pesticides in their production. Also prescription, OTC and even recreational drugs are all chemical toxins. The latest toxin came into limelight is mercury in our food. Its high level in the body can lead to diseases and eventually death.

Toxins from Air

air toxinsToxic gases and gaseous chemicals like carbon monoxide and methane are regularly inhaled by us and also exhaled out. Emissions from vehicles, factories and other sources are their producers. Cigarettes are also a major source of air toxins. Passive or second-hand smokers too are at high risk of tobacco toxins released into air by smokers.

Why should We Undergo Active Detox?

Modern day life puts so much stress and exposure to toxins to our body, that our natural detoxification system just falls short of demand. Therefore active detox is really necessary.

What is Assisted Detox?

food for DetoxingDetox diets like ultra-high intake of fibers which indeed brush and sweep our colon clean off toxins are assisted detox. Another method is fasting. It takes off the stress from our digestive system and in turn, gives our natural detoxifying system a chance to do its work.

Care to be Taken

A rather sad thing is there are many false claims in the market about respective detox diets and products. Even they can be harmful to certain individuals, because their bodies are not suitable for that. This is particularly true about fasting. Therefore, before taking up any detox diet or product, you should necessarily consult your doctor.

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