The environment we live in is full of toxins. We inhale them in the air we breathe, ingest them with our food and water, and absorb them through the pores in our skin. Even the personal care products and cleaning supplies that we take for granted are full of poisons that are harmful to our bodies.

While we are surrounded by pollutants from the environment, the human body produces its own toxins. Our metabolic processes result in chemical wastes that can compromise our health.

The accumulation of these harmful substances in the body is known as “toxic load” – sometimes referred to as “body burden.” Over time, the buildup of environmental toxins in our systems can lead to chronic or severe health problems.

Some medical researchers estimate that nearly 75% of the diseases that afflict us are largely due to the toxicity of our systems. Headaches, chronic respiratory illness, and even cancer have been linked to the accumulation of unsafe chemicals in the body.

The good news is that, although it is impossible to completely isolate ourselves from these harmful substances, we can reduce our exposure to them and decrease their impact through a simple detoxification program. By following these 10 easy steps, you will rid your body of many harmful chemicals, putting yourself on the path to a healthful lifestyle and a greater sense of well-being.

1. Get plenty of restorative sleep. Adequate rest is critical to your body’s ability to heal itself and perform its many biological functions properly.

2. Plan your meals with good nutrition in mind. Be sure to eat plenty of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables; avoid processed and pre-packaged foods, refined flour and sugar products, trans-fats, and red meats. Proper nutritional balance is important for maintaining healthy organ function, especially the excretion of toxic elements through the liver.

* A cleansing diet designed to flush toxic matter from your digestive system may be incorporated into your detox program. Keep in mind that these diets are meant for the short term only, and people who are being treated for a medical condition should not undertake a restrictive diet without the approval of their physician.

3. Adopt a stress management technique that suits your lifestyle, such as yoga, meditation, or another soothing activity that you enjoy. Stress is responsible for the production of hormones which can be harmful, leading to heart disease and other severe illness; stress management reduces levels of these hormones and boosts your ability to cope with the challenges of life.

4. Physical activity heightens your body’s ability to excrete toxins, as well as providing an overall health benefit. Exercise is important to the success of your detoxification efforts, in addition to being necessary for a healthy lifestyle.

5. Avoid behaviors that are detrimental to your health, like smoking, drinking alcohol in excess, and recreational drug use; stay away from artificial stimulants like caffeine. These substances will inevitably slow down your detoxification progress.

6. Taking herbal detoxification supplements can strengthen liver detoxification pathways. There are several detoxifying herbs that are available in either tea or capsule form. These include dandelion, milk thistle, burdock, and red clover. Ginger root and the popular acai berry are also known for their detoxifying properties, as is Vitamin C. Used in conjunction with a modified elimination diet, Opti-Tox targets patients in need of gastrointestinal, hepatic, and anti-inflammatory support.

7. Purchase a body cleanse or liver and colon cleanse kit. These consist of natural detox products that flush toxins from your liver and colon, restoring optimal function.

8. Drink plenty of water. Adequate hydration is needed to remove toxic elements from your body.

8. Massage therapy is not only relaxing and restorative; it allows your body to excrete toxins up to 200 times faster than on its own.

9. Take a sauna or a hot bath regularly. The skin is a major excretory organ, and the heat of a sauna or bath opens the pores and increases your body’s rate of natural detoxification.

10. Reduce exposure to toxic elements. An air filter in your home will drastically improve the quality of the air you breathe; use natural cleaners and personal care products whenever possible to prevent the absorption of toxins through your skin. Sticking to organic foods lowers your risk of ingesting dangerous pesticides. Watch out for foods wrapped in plastic wrap; plastic contains chemicals called phthalates which are known to cause cancer and developmental problems, including early-onset puberty.

While it is impossible to completely eliminate your exposure to dangerous chemicals in the environment, by following these steps you can greatly diminish their harmful impact on your health.

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