Detoxify For Health

Rachel Oppitz, ND
From INC Newsletter #3  March 2008

Spring is just around the corner; this change of season is the perfect time to address the importance of detoxification, also known as cleansing.  I recommend that everyone detoxify their bodies at least twice a year, ideally in the spring and fall.  Detoxification is used to stimulate and support all the body's means of processing and eliminating chemicals and other daily toxic substance exposures.  The systems involved include the skin, kidneys, lungs, liver, intestines, and lymphatic system. 
Toxic overload often contributes to illnesses such as allergies, chemical sensitivity, fibromyalgia, IBS, PMS, perimenopause, acne, eczema, and psoriasis to name just a few. You do not need to suffer from any particular illness to do a detox.  It is beneficial for anyone who wants to optimize their health.  In our modern world, it is not a question as to whether you've been exposed to toxins; the question is whether or not these exposures are significantly impacting your health.  A detoxification program is one way to help determine if this is the case.
Numerous detox teas, supplements, and kits flood the market; determining the quality and efficacy is difficult for the consumer.  The most important thing to realize about detoxification is that it is not as simple as merely taking a supplement or drinking tea--a thorough detox must involve a period of dietary modification, not necessarily fasting, and detox pathway support in the form of supplements, saunas, teas, massage, etc. 
It is of the utmost importance that anyone taking prescription medication have medical supervision to determine the appropriate detox program in order to avoid adverse drug interaction.  Lastly, detox is contraindicated (i.e. a BAD idea) for those who do not have daily bowel movements.  Slow transit of the toxins from the bowels is likely to cause reabsorption in a more toxic form.
If you are interested in learning more about detoxification or in how a naturopath can guide you through the process, sign-up for one of our upcoming classes
Editors Note:  Detox classes are offered several times each year in both the Bemidji as well as Park Rapids areas.  If you do not see Detox class listed under "Upcoming Classes", please check back again.  Also, these classes fill quickly so sign up well in advance.  Interested in being notified of upcoming classes, join our mailing list (link on our homepage).  We hate SPAM as much as anyone; we never share our mailing list with anybody.

Toxins in Our Food

The Dirty Dozen:  the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables (in this order) are--strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, cherries (US), peaches, cantaloupe, celery, apples, apricots, green beans, grapes (Chile), and cucumbers.  Wondering which foods are most important to buy organically grown?  This list, along with all dairy products, is a great place to start.
The 12 least contaminated fruits and vegetables (also in order) are--avocados, corn, onion, sweet potato, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, grapes (US), bananas, plums, green onions, watermelon, and broccoli.
Tuna from a can contains less mercury than fresh tuna; smaller fish usually have less mercury.  Fish from the Great Lakes all have more mercury than either kind of tuna--as much as twice the amount.

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