10 Foods to Fight Toxins
It seems like the conversations around “toxins,” are popping up everywhere and I figured it’s about time to explain their role in metabolism. Our body is constantly detoxing everything from the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the emotions we experience. By supporting our body’s defense mechanisms and reducing toxic buildup we have the ability to boost our metabolism to start thriving.
What are toxins specifically in the body?
Straight forward, toxins are poisonous substances that can cause havoc in the body by disrupting our body’s natural flux and flow of homeostasis. Everything from chemical and environmental pollutants (food additives, processed ingredients, synthetic products, cleaning supplies, heavy metals), to bacteria in our air and soil, and even emotional toxins (stress, anxiety, guilt or shame), can cause problems. Our body’s immune system begins to fight back against these disruptors and does this specifically through our lymphatic system, our intestines (colon), and our liver.
Let’s turn on the Haylie Science a bit more… Here’s what’s actually going on:
A toxin is presented in the body. The body puts up its first means of defense for removal – saliva, perspiration, earwax, draining of sinuses, feces, and urine. You may not have guessed this, but when you start to get the sniffles, your immune system is starting to remove unwanted toxins. If the toxin was strong enough to push past defense number one, it then enters the body’s second defense mechanism, which is generally some sort of inflammatory response (think colitis, psoriasis, eczema, joint pain, etc.). If the toxin is still unable to diffuse, the body creates spaces to store toxins (think enlarged fat cells, swelling, and benign tumors). If the body still can’t break down those toxins, it could eventually result in DNA and cell damage leading to malfunctioning body processes.
What are toxin’s effects on the metabolism, mood, and overall health?
As you can see, a lot is going on metabolically. When these natural processes are unsuccessful, the lingering toxins build up and can interfere with hormones and hormone production; hormone receptor sites estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone, and the body’s ability to utilize the hormones we produce, like thyroid hormones. They can even interfere with our neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. Some symptoms of toxins effects you might notice are:
- Difficulty losing weight
- Nutrient deficiencies and digestive upset
- Decreased immunity and inability to fight back common colds
- Joint pain
- Mental stress, anxiety, and fatigue
- Hypersensitivities to allergies
- Tiredness and lethargy (with the inability to sleep)
- Hives, skin rashes, eczema
Does everyone have them? Are you stuck or can we get rid of them?
The short answer is YES. Everyone has toxins, but the good news is we CAN help reduce their presence. The goal is to create an environment where our immune system has the tools necessary to fight back. We have the power to create a thriving ecosystem, and we can do that through food!
What to Eat About It?
The three main organ systems we’ll focus on feeding and supporting are the lymphatic system, the digestive tract (our intestines/colon), and the liver. By cleaning these gas pipes, we’re able to fire up your metabolic engine and provide the raw materials for repair.
- Water. Water. Water. You should always be getting half of your body weight in ounces of water (for example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you need 100 oz. of water every day). Water helps to flush out the kidneys, drain the lymphatic system, and keep the process of detoxification moving along.
- Choose whole, organic foods with no chemicals, hormones, colors, or additives. Avoiding all the chemical additives like food dyes and colorings are vital for reducing toxic burden. Organic is ideal, which is why I love the Environmental Working Group’s Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen to help in choosing the most important organic produce to purchase.
- Try my FMD Detox Cleanse. This is an easy way to flush out the junk and rev up your metabolism. My FMD program has helped thousands of my clients get kick-started with a strategic plan to bring their body back to balance, rid excess toxins, and start to feel amazing (many of them lose up to 10 pounds in just 10 days). You’ll get a combination of metabolism boosting shakes and delicious meals that are easy to execute in your daily life.
- Cruciferous Vegetables. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and brussels sprouts are amazing liver detoxifying foods. They contain phytochemicals that when released break down into sulforaphane which supports natural detoxification systems. Try my easy-peasy Chicken & Broccoli Bowl or delicious Savory Stuffed Cabbage.
- Fresh Herbs & Spices. Fresh parsley, cilantro, ginger, and turmeric are especially good for supporting the digestive tract and liver detoxification mechanisms. Add them to your chili’s, stews, salads, and smoothies.
- Beans & Legumes. Black beans, kidney beans, lentils, and legumes, are rich in fiber and recognized as “toxin neutralizers” in Chinese medicine. Toss them in a salad or soup, make hummus for snacks, or try my White Bean Wrap for lunch.
- Garlic & Onions. These have powerful antiviral, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties and contain sulfur compounds essential for reducing toxic buildup. Their aroma and flavor add a simple complexity that is perfect for any vegetable/protein sauté, marinade, or dressing. Try this Quick Garlic Shrimp for dinner.
- Detox Teas. My I-Burn tea is excellent for supporting overall detoxification. Some other teas or blends to look for are dandelion, parsley, lemon, ginger, fennel, fenugreek, and licorice root which are excellent formulas for boosting the body’s defense against toxins.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. Mix 1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) with 1/3 cup of water as this can be an excellent tincture to support whole body detoxification. ACV can also help improve insulin sensitivity, lower cholesterol and encourage weight loss.
- Chlorophyll-rich foods. Dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard, collards), sprouts, sea vegetables, wheatgrass, fresh herbs, green vegetables (asparagus, peas, celery) counteract toxins and are very helpful remedies for supporting the body’s natural defense mechanisms.
Remember, no matter how careful we are, our planet is inherently loaded with toxins so don’t let it stress you out! Do what you can and start with small changes in the environment where you have control – your home! Our body is constantly draining and detoxifying, and using food will only make the process easier.
Here are some great tips on further means to make some changes in your environment to reduce your toxic burden.