Toxic! Warning!

Toxins in our environment often contribute to weight issues and to the increasing obesity epidemic in our society. Obesity is not just controlled by calories in vs. calories out.In order to have a healthy metabolism, we need to eliminate toxins and heavy metals from our diets and boost the natural detoxification system in our bodies.

Toxins, which are broadly described as substances that don’t agree with us, are commonly viewed as poisons and contaminants.  They are present both internally and externally. Even the healthiest among us are surrounded by toxins and have toxins in their bodies. Some toxins come from the environment and include chemicals and heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium, etc). Toxins are also internal byproducts of metabolism and normal bodily functions. All toxins are processed in the body by the liver and kidneys.

High levels of toxins can lead to increased inflammation in the body and cause oxidative stress. Since toxins are stored in body tissues, people with more body fat carry more toxins in their bodies. This may affect their liver and kidneys as well as damage the mitochondria, which are responsible for burning energy.  Additionally, toxins in the body lead to lower thyroid hormone levels, which affects metabolism.   Toxic metals can also block leptin, which is the hormone that tells your body that it is full.

Since it is impossible to avoid toxins completely, it is important to try and limit exposure as much as possible. Drinking clean, filtered water and eating organic foods are two important ways to reduce toxins.  Engaging in regular exercise and drinking plenty of water help to naturally detoxify our bodies.   Certain foods can also help the detoxifying process. Glutathione is the most important antioxidant and detoxifier in the body. It is important to get adequate glutathione, which comes from proteins, such as fish, poultry and meat. Other foods known to help the process are garlic, artichokes, green tea, cruciferous vegetables, cilantro and pomegranate.  There are many supplements on the market that help with detoxification as well, such as NAC, alpha-lipoic acid, pycnogenol, quercitin, and probiotics. Detoxification cleanses also help to reboot your liver, kidney, and metabolism, leading to a less toxic body.

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