We've all heard of detoxing as a method to support optimal health. Let's look at why it's important to detox and dig into research on how it impacts our overall wellbeing.
Why detoxing is important
While a detox may not cure or prevent disease, it supports a healthier body. A consistent detoxing practice arms the body with a stronger chance to promote the healing necessary to manage disease. Imagine your body's ability to heal like a muscle - detoxing makes that muscle stronger.
How does detoxing work?
Detoxing unveils the body's natural ability to heal. One of the key ways to do this is by keeping inflammation down. You can do this by eating foods that are less processed as well as increasing your consumption of more seasonal fruits and vegetables. And of course (we can't help it), sprinkling a few of our raw seed PowerBlends onto and into any food throughout the day. We love them in our salads, shakes and soup and they help keep your blood sugar levels stable and inflammation down by adding omega 3 rich seeds. Whole food Omega 3's are big inflammation tamers.
Equally important to keeping toxins at bay is incorporating a calming, mind body technique into your lifestyle. Yoga, meditation, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, long walks and any time in nature helps to keep us grounded and balanced (homeostasis). Breathe in peace and calm.
What is inflammation anyway?
There's acute and chronic Inflammation. An example of acute inflammation is the kind of swelling that occurs with an injury. This is a good thing because it's your body's way of sending extra healing cells to that spot. Chronic inflammation is not good. Its the kind that is invisible to the eye, yet you can feel it, things like achy joints or headaches. There are specific tests that can look for chronic inflammation like C-Reactive Protein tests (CRP).
Over time, chronic inflammation can cause DNA damage and may eventually lead to cancer or autoimmune disorders. For example, people with chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, have an increased risk of colon cancer.
We think it's a really important topic when looking at optimal health.
Dr. George Piligian, MD, MPH Assistant Clinical Professor at the Selloff Centre for Occupational & Environmental Medicine gave a talk about Possible Environmental Triggers Associated with Autoimmune Disease
"The first part of protecting one’s body from triggers in the environment is also being protective of what you feed your body. Good nutrition is important - specifically anti-inflammatory foods, which are found in nature. Overly processed foods may add unhealthy ingredients or strip away nutrients that are naturally present.
Inflammatory disease statistics:
In 2017, the ACS estimated 1,688,780 new cancer cases would be diagnosed and close to 700,00 cancer deaths will happen in the US alone.
Cutting edge research suggests that 95% of cancers are diet and lifestyle related. Putting toxins in the #1 spot for cancer and the #1 reason to detox in our book of thought.
Is there a solution? What about doing a DETOX with the seasons:
According to Epigenetics and the research findings from the human genome project, our genes have been set up since the dawn of time to turn on and off to produce the cell protein that is required for a given situation. Our genes express themselves as needed to cope with the present environment and climate, hence evolution. In a healthy body, every season different genes are automatically turned on while others are turned off in a perfect sequence to tolerate specific foods for the weather, sunlight and climate. Different detoxification pathways become more prevalent at different times. That’s why eating with the season and capitalizing on the season’s naturally detoxifying foods on a daily basis is the best way to continually detox.
That being said, if we don’t follow an anti-inflammatory and detoxifying lifestyle, we find ourselves dealing with chronic inflammation and toxicity as our bodies are constantly trying to get into a place of homeostasis. If left unchecked and un-helped for long enough, many of us can hold on to excess weight, develop food allergies or sensitivities, depression, or even develop the inflammatory diseases mentioned above.
Also, because the environment is more toxic than ever, our bodies could use a little help every now and then. The optimal time for a 2 – 4 week detox (when our bodies are primed for it) is in the spring and in the autumn according to Ayurveda. But a short 4 day detox is also prescribed mid-winter and mid-summer.