A recent study from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York found that he average person has over 90 toxic chemicals in their body, including industrial compounds, pollutants and other chemicals. The least toxic person in the study had 77 pollutants in their body. The people tested in this study did not work with chemicals on the job and do not live near an industrial facility or manufacturing plant; they lived in the city, in the suburbs and even in the country – like most of us.
How Toxic Are We?
Here are the results – the people in this study carried an average toxic burden of:
- 53 chemicals linked to cancer
- 62 chemicals that are toxic to the brain and nervous system
- 58 chemicals that interfere with the hormone system
- 55 chemicals associated with birth defects or abnormal development
- 55 chemicals toxic to the reproductive system
- 53 chemicals toxic to the immune system
The laboratory also found 48 different PCBs in the subjects even though PCBs were banned in the United States over 25 years ago.
The upshot is that no matter how diligent we are with a clean diet and/or clean living, we cannot escape the toxins in our environment.
The question isn’t whether we are toxic or not – we are; the question is ‘what can we do about it’?
There are many ways that a person can reduce their toxic burden. By far and away the most effective is to reduce the toxic load of your diet. It’s been estimated that the average American consumes about 10 pounds of chemical food additives per year. To put a visual to this – every ten years your liver has to process over 100 pounds of chemicals. Getting your diet cleaned up can substantially reduce this burden.
Here are some basic tips to substantially reduce the toxins in your diet:
- Eat organic – this one goes without saying. However, even if you can’t go completely organic, eat foods that are on the “Dirty Dozen” organic or don’t eat them at all. The Dirty Dozen are the foods that contain the most pesticide residues; eating them organically can help you avoid the majority of the toxic chemicals coming in on your food.
- Eat real food. You should recognize everything you put into your mouth as food. If it comes in a package, flip it over and read the ingredient list. If there is anything on there that you don’t recognize as food (i.e., something that grows in the ground) put it back.
- Eat foods to support proper detoxification, including most dark colored vegetables, fruits and legumes.
- In particular, eat more cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kale, cauliflower and cabbage; these foods contain many compounds that can help the liver process and eliminate toxins more effectively. Eating them steamed or slightly cooked can help you break these foods down easier (as well as help reduce/eliminate gas).
- Drink filtered water – often. Many chemicals come in via the things we drink, including tap and bottled water. Try to drink only water (i.e, replace any soda, coffee, black tea, energy drinks, etc. with water), and choose the cleanest water you can find: distilled, reverse osmosis and/or purified water would be best. Drink about 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water daily, but drink only about 4 ounces of water every half hour to give your body time to utilize it.
- Reduce meat consumption. Any chemicals, hormones or drugs used on or fed to the meat you are eating winds up in you. Try to reduce meat consumption to less than 3-4 meals/week and get it organic if you can.
The next most beneficial thing you can do is to perform periodic detoxification protocols. The most effective detoxification programs have you follow a simple diet while providing all the additional nutrients necessary for proper detoxification. We have found the Clear Change 10-Day Detoxification Program to be an efficient and effective way for anyone to jump start the detoxification process and assist the body in quickly removing toxins safely. Once more, there are fantastic support materials that come along with this program (click on the Resources tab). Most people find that performing a Clear Change 10-Day Detox at least once every quarter (more often if possible) to be an easy and effective method to substantially reduce their overall toxic burden.
We may not be able to eliminate all the toxins in our world, but we can certainly minimize their impact on our health. Eating a diet low in toxins and that supports toxin removal along with periodic detoxification programs can go a long way to improving your health and minimizing your toxic burden.