By Dr. Allison Apfelbaum
How many of you include detox as a regular part of your health routine? I think it should be.
Think about how much our bodies and minds are exposed to on a daily basis. Chemicals are found in our food, our environment and there is oxidation damage going on in our brains all day. By supporting our body’s natural detox process we can help clean up these damaging free oxidation radicals, slow down the aging process and prevent chronic disease.
Did you know that a good amount of the population actually has trouble activating and utilizing their B-vitamins? This can have an effect on detox pathways in the body as well as cause imbalance in mood, energy and even increase risk for certain diseases. The solution to this is to take B-vitamins in the active methylated form and also to make sure dark leafy greens are part of an everyday diet. Dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, Swiss chard and other greens can help support your body’s detox process to get rid of chemicals and toxins.
The liver is the main organ responsible for cleaning up your body. Processed foods, alcohol and drugs, and medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol) stress the liver. Sugar is also very inflammatory for the body and can cause symptoms like brain fog. I challenge you to take out sugar and alcohol for 30 days to see how you feel. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
It is also important to include antioxidants in a daily nutrition plan. Eating vitamin C as well as vitamins E, A and zinc are good for combating “oxidative” radicals which age us faster. You can find these in bright colored foods like fruit, squash and dark chocolate for example (yay). Green tea is also a great antioxidant as well as turmeric. Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, artichoke and cauliflower also support the liver.
Try supporting your detox pathways through getting a good sweat on. Think exercise or Epsom salt baths, as well as a weekly sauna/steam. These activities help increase circulation and stimulate sweat, which is a form of toxin release for the body. Make sure to drink plenty of water to combat the loss of hydration through sweating.
Make sure to also get plenty of rest. Sleep is the time when your body is repairing itself, especially if it is working harder to get rid of stored toxins in the body. Aim for about six to eight hours per night of good quality sleep.
The last thing I would want to mention is to declutter your mind. Think about any negative thoughts that are crowding your brain and release them to the universe. Try not to spend time around people who you feel drag down your energy. Imagine a protective bubble is around you at all times, and only good thoughts come in and out. If you can actively keep your thoughts positive about yourself and others, think of all the positive energy you will attract.
I hope you keep enjoying the wonderful fall weather and can use these techniques to keep a clear mind and body.
Dr. Allison Apfelbaum is a naturopathic primary care doctor in Woodinville. To learn more go to www.treeofhealthmedicine.com or call 425-408-0040.