How Toxic Are You?

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You work out, eat right and get plenty of sleep. So why the fatigue, headaches and serious mood swings? Your environment may be making you toxic.

How can you tell if you’re toxic? From where you live to what you buy, your everyday choices often dictate your risk. You may be thinking, "Is being "toxic" really an issue that needs my time and attention?" and "Isn’t my body already built to eliminate what is doesn’t need?"

While it’s true that your body comes equipped with a built–in cleansing system, that delicate orchestra of organs runs the risk of becoming overextended when bombarded with too many nasty substances. And it’s easy to overload.

There are plenty of toxins that can infiltrate your system and leave you feeling sluggish and sore. They surround us–from pesticides in food and cigarette fumes to chemicals in cosmetics and car emissions. Though we often take these toxins as a fact of life, they can have a real adverse effect on our health and well–being.

There are telltale signs of toxicity. Have you ever felt fatigued for no reason? Have you gone to the doctor without feeling well, and the doctor’s tests reveal nothing is wrong? Are you less alert and more irritable? Angry and edgy? Is your stress resistance low? These all point to the possibility of being taken over by toxins. Other physical signs include brittle hair and nails, unexplained weight gain, and abnormal body odor or bad breath.

What do you do if you’re toxic? Your first action would be to limit the amount of "poisons" you take in. Simply cutting back on caffeine, alcohol, processed foods and salts can jumpstart your whole body cleanse.

But what about those toxins you can’t protect yourself against? Emissions in our air? Cleaning chemicals? There’s no need to live in a bubble, but there are things you can do to compensate for the ’hits.’" One is a simple detoxification routine. A good detox can help reduce the effects of these cruddy environmental culprits and get you started down the path to overall health and wellness.

Detoxification involves cleansing the foreign substances that have accumulated throughout your body. Typically, it’s the job of the liver to process and eliminate impurities, with the kidneys, intestines, skin and lungs pitching in. When the body is out of balance, however, your internal cleansing system fails to do its job effectively. That’s when a detoxification of the entire body can be beneficial.

A good detoxification routine boosts your body’s natural cleansing process and purges your system of impurities. This ultra–cleansing act will, in turn, give you more energy, a stronger immune system, a healthier appearance, and fewer aches and pains. Detoxing can also minimize the effects of stress.

Where do you start? The best detox regimens are done naturally and gently, especially when you are a first–timer. There are a variety of options, so it is best to consider what will suit your individual needs. Here are some purification options:

  • Drink two quarters of water daily.
  • Take a detox bath weekly: put 1/2 cup of baking soda or sea salt into bath water, soak for 15 minutes, then scrub your skin gently with natural soap or a fiber cloth.
  • Exercise regularly to sweat out toxins but refrain from strenuous activity if you are detoxing in other ways. Walking, yoga and jump roping are all gentle ways to exercise. If you have any medical conditions, get your doctor’s approval before starting an exercise routine.
  • Replace packaged and fast foods with whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Buy organic whenever possible.

Whether you sweat or soak, fast or flush, any detox program is better than none. Lightening your load of toxins can help you restore, refresh and rejuvenate your body. All it takes are a few, simple lifestyle changes.

Click to listen an interview about this topic.


0 none 2008-06-20 16:40
What does it mean to "Drink two quarters of water daily"?
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