■ site map
Detoxify your dietWhat you see on your plate is a good, tasty food; what you can't see, nor taste, are food toxins and contaminants that come with it. Not all foods are created equal in this respect: some of them come with little or no toxins, while others have enough of a toxic punch to consider minimizing, or even eliminating them from your diet.
Some food toxins are naturally occurring in foods. Others are result of environmental pollution, industrial food processing, packaging and preparation. The only way to minimize intake of these toxins is to avoid foods containing them. And for that you need to know what food toxins are out there, and where they are likely to be found.
Let's glance over the potential offenders.
Amongnaturally occurring food toxins, most important ones are bio-active amines (mostly in fermented foods, also caffeine) and glycoalkaloids (all nightshades: potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cayenne, chili, curry, MSG and tobacco). It may feel odd to think of caffeine, or a substance in foods as common as potato or tomato as potentially toxic, but remember
it is all about the dosage and individual sensitivity.
If a substance can cause state of anxiety, insomnia and panic attacks, as caffeine does, or crippling arthritic pain and swelling (nightshades), it is in fact a toxin.
There is also a number of man-made toxins that either find their way to the food chain or are purposely added to the food. They include: dioxins, phthalates, number of food additives, toxic metals, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, hydrocarbons, synthetic antibiotics and hormones.● Dioxins, among the most potent poisons known to man, are wide-scale environmental pollutants that have penetrated the food chain. Highest concentration of dioxins is in fish, meats and dairy. ● Phthalates, or plasticizers, contaminate foods mostly through their direct contact with plastic, or plastic-containing food packaging. These xenobiotics can mimic estrogen, suppress testosterone, interfere with body functions in various ways, and cause or contribute to serious health conditions longer-term. And it can start as early as in mother's womb, when we are most vulnerable to toxic substances of any kind.
A recent study - Environmental phthalate exposure in relation to reproductive outcomes and other health endpoints in humans, Swan, Environmental Research 10/2008 - has found that baby boys can be permanently affected by phthalates in mother's womb (smaller penis, undescended testicles and, following the parallel with animal studies, lower sperm count likely later in life), due to their interference with male hormones functions.
One of the consequences of body phthalates accumulation is low DHA essential fatty acid (with elevated levels of some other fatty acids, such as saturated arachidic acid).
Helping your detox system with supplements like Indoplex (indoles are natural compounds from cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, etc.), Calcium D-glucarate, and others, should make elimination of phthalates more efficient, but the best way to get them out of your system is far infrared sauna12.● Toxic metals like mercury, aluminum and lead are environmental contaminants also present in our food; highest concentrations of mercury is in predatory fish (trout, pike, bass).
● Most food additives, and especially colors and preservatives, have potentially toxic effect; good reason to glance at food labels and keep them out of your diet as much as possible.● Pesticides are impossible to avoid entirely these days, but choosing non-sprayed produce will minimize your exposure. Washing sprayed produce with wax and pesticide removing agents, or removing the skin will reduce the amount of pesticides you ingest, but keep in mind that often there is as much or more of them inside the produce. And, of course, you can't remove or reduce pesticides contained in foods of animal origins - meat, fish and dairy - so the only option here is to go organic.
● Foods contaminated with antibiotics and synthetic hormones - rather common with meats and dairy - are undesirable not only because they can have toxic effect on your body, but also because they may foster antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the kind you definitely don't want around. The solution are, again, organic and naturally-grown foods.
Accumulation of food toxins in human tissues can cause literally any symptom or a disease. Other than minimizing your exposure, it is wise to make sure your body's detox system works efficiently, and to regularly detoxify your body in order to reduce the level of accumulated toxins.