In prior articles, I’ve talked about the benefits of regular detoxing from toxins that you’re exposed to from multiple sources. These include the water you drink, air you breathe, the food you eat, chemicals you may come in contact with, medications you take, etc. Reducing the toxic load on your liver – your body’s main toxin filter – of one of the most damaging heavy metals – mercury – will not only help you get and stay healthier, but you’ll have more energy, and look and feel better. Here’s how…
I. Re-Energize Your Immune System with Internal Cleansing
You know how important it is to keep your outer self clean and free from bacteria, viruses, and other microbes that can get into your body through your skin. It’s just as important to keep your inner self just as clean so that all your internal organs can function optimally to fight disease. Why? The heart of your immune system resides in your intestines. If your intestines are blocked by undigested food and mucus, proper nutrients cannot be absorbed by your food, and infection and inflammation of your entire digestive system can set in.
Internal cleansing also helps your liver get rid of everyday toxins and heavy metals that can build up in your system and cause inflammation. Inflammation is the major building block of most diseases so ridding/preventing it is key to staying healthy.
The following are some easy-to-do, gentle internal cleansing/immune system boosting detox aids, most which can be done every day, or 2-3 times a week.
a. Hot lemon juice. Squeeze juice of ½ fresh lemon into a mug of hot water every morning. Let the lemon half also steep in the water. Add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. If you need to sweeten a little, use 1tsp of Stevia. Drink this first thing in the morning before eating. Core out the white pith part of the rind and eat it. Lemon juice stimulates liver function, the pectin in the rind helps bind heavy metals and move them out of your intestines through elimination. I don’t recommend eating the entire lemon rind as they can contain pesticides, dyes and edible waxes which can irritate lips and oral tissues.
b. Fiber/Pectin. You know you should be eating more fiber every day, 25-30 grams. Get this from high fiber/pectin vegetables like cabbage, okra, carrots, celery, beets and fruits like lemons, oranges, grapefruit, grapes, bananas and green apples. Practitioners of Indian and Traditional Chinese Medicine have always used apples to remove heavy metals like mercury, copper, lead, arsenic from the body. Recent research also shows that eating 1 medium-large apple a day prevents hardened fatty plaques from developing in arteries. Pectin binds fats and metals which are then removed through elimination. Powdered apple and citrus pectin are also available in health food stores, 5 gram capsule x 2 daily. Liquid pectin is also found at grocery stores, 1 packet in 16 ounces of water.
c. Probiotics. By the time you reach age 30, a good deal of your digestive enzymes is deficient. Food can stay undigested in your system for longer than it should resulting in bacterial, viral, and fungal infections with resultant inflammation of the stomach and bowel. In addition, you don’t get any nutritional benefit from undigested, unabsorbed food. Taking a high-count probiotic (1-2 billion live cultures) a day helps completely digest your food and optimizes digestion.
d. Water. One of the most important things you can do for your immune system is drink adequate water. Water helps flush digested food from your bowel and aids in nutrient absorption. Water helps reduce inflammation by flushing out irritants in your blood and helping your detox organs (liver, kidneys, skin) work better.
e. FIR Sauna. Far infrared sauna use 2-3 times a week, 10-15 minutes at a time, helps remove heavy metals and other toxins. It does this by heating up and liquefying subcutaneous fat (also good for losing weight) where toxins tend to store, then releasing it through sweat. Most toxins are released in the first several minutes of sauna use. You need to take a shower immediately after and rehydrate internally with a good electrolyte/mineral-replenishing sports drink. After 24 hours, toxins redistribute from deeper fat into superficial fat and you can repeat the sauna process in another day or two. FIR saunas are more comfortable and tolerable than wet, steam saunas.
f. Exercise. Regular aerobic exercise helps decrease toxic heavy metal loads through sweat and increasing metabolic rate. The best form of exercise is intense intervals of 2 minutes of vigorous running, treadmill, elliptical, rebounding, swimming, then 3 minutes rest. Repeat for 6-8 sets.
II. Decrease Heavy Metals Load with 3-Day Detox Every 3 Months
In addition to the above daily/weekly detoxing suggestions, every 3 months you should also intensify your body’s heavy metals detoxing capability by doing the following:
a. Make Your Own 3-Day Juice Fast: In a blender, juicer, or food processor, combine many of the fruits and vegetables listed in Part I with 24 ounces of filtered water. Drink this mixture throughout the day without any solid food. Make more as you will need it. Tea can also be taken.
b. Heavy Metals/Toxin Neutralizers: Take 200 mcg of selenium in pill form, or eat 2 large Brazil nuts daily; multivitamin containing 9-11 mg of zinc, 100 mg alpha lipoic acid, milk thistle 150 mg x 2/day, garlic (naturally detoxes nicotine), 600 mg x 2/day freeze-dried.
Heavy metals and other toxins are, sadly, part of our modern life. Yet, you don’t need to suffer the consequences of exposure to them. If you incorporate the daily, detoxing regimens noted above, you can decrease/prevent toxic build-up on a regular basis. Then, ramp up your efforts every 3-4 months with a juice fast and supplements to supercharge your immune system. You’ll love the renewed energy, healthy glow, and that youthful sparkle in your eyes!
Mark Rosenberg, M.D.