Spring Cleansing Foods
Since the early 1900’s the chemical industry has developed and released roughly 78,000 substances into the environment. The list includes but is not limited to pollution, pesticides, household items like non-stick pots, shower curtains, cosmetics, personal care products, dental amalgams, furniture laden with flame retardant chemicals, and cleaning compounds.
Most of these chemicals were initially considered safe but are now recognized as hazardous to human health and the environment. Poly-systemic health conditions are more common than ever and can be attributed to these toxins. It is so important to be aware of these chemical hazards and how to safeguard yourself from their exposure. Although this article will not focus on specific compounds, it will highlight essential ingredients that will help you naturally eliminate toxins from your body and restore balance.
Supporting your detoxification pathways
Alliums — A diet rich in sulphur-containing foods such as alliums have been demonstrated to increase toxic elimination. Ingredients including garlic, onion, brassicas (broccoli and kale) are included in this group.
Seaweeds — Alginates are cell-wall constituents of brown algae, Phaeophyceae, and have demonstrated an ability to chelate heavy metals, such as mercury, lead, copper, cadmium, and zinc. It is a soluble fibre pectin and part of a group of complex polysaccharide compounds. Alginates are able to bind of heavy metals and isolate them in an alginate biomass. The body is then able to pass these toxins during the excretory process. Alginates have been used to treat radiation poisoning, polluted water and as a biological absorbent for toxic site clean ups.
Seaweeds are highly nutritious, mineral-rich and have been used for centuries. Kelp is a variety of brown algae and can be sprinkled on salads, added to smoothies, or eaten as a salty snack. It can be purchased at most health food stores or Asian super markets. If you do not enjoy the taste of seaweed, purchase it in a supplemental form.
Pectins — Pectin is a gelatinous soluble fibre present in fruits and vegetables. It is often used as a setting agent in jams and jellies. Pectin is present in all plants but the content and composition will vary. High levels of pectin can be found in citrus fruit (peel), apples, grapefruit, orange, bananas, beets, cabbage and carrots. Pectin has received much praise for chelating heavy metals from the body.
Arguably all fiber will act as an intestinal scrubber and draw toxins from the body. It is worth mentioning that scientific trials have proven that modified citrus pectin (MCP) is even more efficient at chelating heavy metals from the body. MCP can be purchased as a dietary supplement and is derived from the inner white pulp of citrus fruit. The reason for this is because natural citrus pectin is non-digestible. MCP is composed of citrus pectin that has been broken down so that the pectin can be absorbed into the blood stream during digestion.
All these forms of natural chelation will not disturb any essential minerals in healthy people.
For more information on how to reduce your toxic load and improve your detoxification pathways, visit a Naturopathic doctor or other health-care practitioner, trained in natural detoxification.