Viral Hits

You might be surprised where germs lurk. While bowing to paranoia isn’t the right approach — after all, bugs are everywhere — be aware of microbial hotspots you might not have thought about.

  • Shopping: Debit keypads and pens are swarming with microscopic buggers. Ditto for shopping carts, which not only harbor cold and flu viruses, but ugly bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli. Take advantage of the disinfectant wipes stationed at most store entrances to wipe down cart handles and child seats, use your own pen for writing checks, and whip out the bottle of alcohol–based sanitizer after entering information.
  • Grooming: Because they’re used so close to your body’s entrance points — like eyes, nose, and nicks in the skin — razor blades and makeup are transmission tools for bacteria and viruses. Replace makeup every 3 months and wash application brushes/sponges weekly; sterilize razor blades in alcohol after each use and replace them after 3–7 uses. Never borrow makeup or razors, which could contain blood–borne illnesses.
  • Surfing: Computer keyboards and entertainment remotes are rife with microbial dwellers. Swipe down the devices before and after each use to avoid sharing them with family or coworkers.

9 Ways To Help Your Body Detox

 

What are toxins?

Toxins are harmful to our body but we cannot avoid them. They can be found in the following:

  • The air that we breathe (through pollution).
  • The foods we eat (through the type of food, ie. if it has additives, flavourings, trans fats or even from chemicals used on food such as pesticides).
  • In what we drink (alcohol main be your first guess but water has also been found to contain toxins).
  • Through products we use i.e shampoo, deodorant, moisturisers, cleaning products, hair dye etc –  all these products contain chemicals (unless you only use natural products).
  • Our body also produces toxins through normal cell activity and are known as waste products such as ammonia and lactic acid.

If our body detoxifies naturally why should I do anything?

Our body may remove these toxins naturally daily but with the increase in pollution, processed foods, chemicals that are going in to our body and with our lifestyle added on top e.g. stress, illnesses, lack of exercise or unhealthy eating habits etc these interfere with our body’s ability to cleanse itself and it doesn’t work as efficiently in eliminating all of the toxins so it is a good idea to lend a helping hand.

If you are feeling run down, lacking in energy, a little under the weather, maybe your skin is lacking lustre or you are suffering from breakouts, maybe you want to lose some weight (your body needs to be working properly in order to be able to burn fat, a poor digestive system due to a build up of toxins can be slowing down your metabolism and preventing you from losing weight) or maybe you just want to help cleanse your body and keep it working at its best. If you answer yes to any of these then it may be a good idea for you to do something to help rid your body of those toxins.

Here are a 9 easy ways you can help your body eliminate toxins:

1. Exercise

By exercising you accelerate the detoxification process by increasing your blood and lymph circulation which in turn increases the removal of waste products in your cells. Toxins are also stored in fat deposits so the greater amount fat deposits in your body the more areas for toxins to accumulate, by exercising you will be reducing your body fat and the toxins will be released into your body and be able to be removed. Other benefits of exercise include sweating which is another way for the body to remove toxins.

2. Drink Green Tea

Green tea is a potent antioxidant and has become well known for its cleansing ability over recent years. Drink 2 -3 cups per day.

3. Drink lemon in hot water

Add a lemon wedge to a cup of hot water and drink, this will help cleanse your liver. Lemon also contains vitamin C which is an antioxidant and helps rid the body of toxins.

4. Reduce or eliminate processed foods

Processed foods are generally high in sugar, salt, additives and saturated fats (including trans fats). These foods increase the amount of toxins in your body and provide no natural antioxidants, vitamins or minerals. Your liver’s performance can be affected by these types of food and if it is not working properly it will not be able to detoxify as fast as it should be.

5. Dry skin brushing

By dry brushing your skin you will be increasing lymphatic circulation which helps eliminate toxins through the skin. Use a dry brush  and brush in the direction towards your heart.

6. Eat foods known for their antioxidants

Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals and nutrients that protect and repair cells from free radicals. So eat more foods that contain one of these vitamins:

  • beta-carotene
  • vitamin C and
  • vitamin E

Foods such as asparagus, broccoli, carrots, grapefruit, oranges, cauliflower, spinach, peppers, pumpkin, papaya, mangoes  – some of these foods contain all 3 of the above vitamins.

7. Drink water

Water is needed to keep your body functioning properly. By drinking 8 glasses per day you will be keeping your kidneys working to their best ability and helping flush out toxins and waste products from your body.

8. Perspire

We can eliminate toxins through sweating and nothing gets you more hot and sweaty than a sauna. Alternatively you could do a hot yoga session.

9. Reduce Stress

Stress reduces the body’s ability to fight toxins. Take some time off if necessary, maybe try meditation, yoga, read a good book, have a massage. Do anything that helps you relax.

You could also follow a detox programme once a year. This is where you follow a strict programme for a set period of time, usually 3-7 days although this can vary and will depend on what type you decide to follow. Some programmes involve eliminating particular things, such as saturated fats, caffeine, alcohol, sugar where others may involve fasting and just drinking water, fruit and vegetable juices. Full detox programmes are not suitable for everyone, especially children, pregnant women or if you are hypoglycaemic, always do some research and if you are in any doubt speak to your doctor or nutritionist.

Do Not Sweat It

Do long stretches of summer weather make you a little hot under the collar? Sitting in front of a fan or cranking up the air conditioning aren’t your only options for getting comfortable when it’s hot, dry, or humid. Beat the heat and keep your cool with these fun and frosty ideas:

  • Frozen berries are a refreshing snack that won’t hit you in the waistline — and frozen grapes are a fun alternative to ice cubes.
  • Make a smoothie with 1 cup of low-fat vanilla soy milk and 1/2 to 3/4 cup of frozen fruit or berries — no sweetener necessary, and it’s packed with fiber and nutrients. Freeze your glass ahead of time for a glacial accent.
  • Enjoy a cold summer soup like gazpacho, tomato, or zucchini.

When it’s beastly hot, you may not feel like moving. But getting up and about can help you cool off — and gain a fresh perspective:

  • Head to the public library for some air–conditioned bliss and reading fun
  • Burn off some energy at an indoor ice rink or swimming pool
  • Run through your sprinkler for as long as it takes to feel better
  • Go to a movie or visit an art gallery.

How Eating Clean Supports Liver Function

 Eat-Clean Principle: Consume high-quality lean protein.

Effect on the liver: Amino acids (including taurine and methionine) contained in lean protein from animal sources are crucial for efficient liver function and avoiding gallstones.

Eat-Clean Principle: Drink plenty of water – about two to three liters daily.

Effect on the liver: The liver needs plenty of water to perform its hundreds of tasks. Without water, the body begins to prioritize water needs by shutting or slowing down select bodily functions.

Eat-Clean Principle: Avoid all sugar and processed foods.

Effect on the liver: Excess sugar contributes to gallstones.

Tips for a Healthy Liver

How much does the liver really do? And why is this organ so important to your health?

Liver gets a substantial workout having to process and purify all the blood in the body while performing over 500 tasks daily, including the storage of vitamins and minerals, and metabolizing proteins.

The second-largest organ in your body, your liver is the garbage and recycling center, and any problem with the liver will impact other organ systems. Look at your face in the mirror to see if your liver is healthy. Do you see sallow, pale skin, dark circles under your eyes or perhaps a yellowish coating on your tongue? Are you irritable, arthritic or do you have trouble digesting fats? Even PMS symptoms can become more severe, as the liver becomes less efficient at detoxifying hormones when it’s in an unhealthy state.

Is it necessary to detox my liver?

Not in an “extreme-cleansing-kit-that-comes-in-a-box” kind of way. The body doesn’t want to keep toxins around for long, and the liver continually breaks them down for recycling or elimination. A clean-eating lifestyle gives your liver all the help it needs, because fresh, organic food with minimal processing means your liver has less sludge to filter out in the first place.

If you feel the urge to detox, however, experts recommend a quarterly homemade cleanse. Begin each season with a high-intensity, clean, liver-boosting diet. To start, make sure you’re in good health – no congestion or digestive issues, and even your sweat glands need to be in top form. Next, load up on bitter greens such as dandelion, beet and cabbage greens. They’re among the best liver tonics you can eat, along with endives, celery, onions, sprouts, garlic, nuts, seeds, sesame oil, wheat germ and fruit. Some nutritional supplements can also boost liver function – try milk thistle, black currant seed, coenzyme Q10 or MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane). Do this for seven days, and then get back to clean-eating basics.

Eating and Drinking Against Oxidative Stress

How do you protect yourself against oxidative stress! Because oxidative stress is a side effect of the body’s detoxification efforts, you can minimize drug, chemical, and toxin exposure in general and in the diet using the strategies: avoid consuming rancid oils (including all partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, commercial chemically processed oils, oils that have been heated too high, and fats in most packaged and processed foods), and seek out sources of antioxidants in your diet. Many of the seasonal foods of summer are very high in antioxidants, in part because plants use antioxidants to protect their flowers and fruits (and their DNA) from oxidative damage, which occurs more in the long, sunny days of summer. What are the best food sources of antioxidants? Berries are a well-known source, particularly strawberries and blueberries, but the less glamorous plum is an even richer source of antioxidants, and so are apples and dried beans, especially those that are dark in color. Most herbs and spices are extremely high in antioxidants, and the category of culinary herbs ranks behind only medicinal herbs in antioxidant power. Culinary amounts of herbs and spices – that is, one half to one teaspoon of many common seasonings – have been found to have a greater amount of antioxidants that average servings of fruits and vegetables.

Other year-round foods that confer antioxidant protection include those rich in vitamin E, the premier antioxidant of the oils, found in fresh nuts and seeds and their cold-pressed oils, freshly ground wheat, and animal products from animals fed their whole lives on grass. While black, white, and green teas have received much press for their high antioxidant content and health value, coffee is the number one source of antioxidants in the American diet. Tea, chocolate, and red wine all make significant contributions, too. If you drink coffee and tea, be sure to choose organic to avoid pesticide exposure, and grind coffee fresh to maximize the antioxidant content. Red wine has received a lot of press for its high antioxidant content, which varies by variety. Moderate alcohol consumption seems to confer protection from heart disease. Why not just take your antioxidants in supplement form? The preponderance of research on the topic has shown that the antioxidants are best obtained from whole foods, not supplements, and that supplemental antioxidants actually increase incidence in some cases.