Take a moment to think about if you can relate to this situation: have you ever unexpectedly fell ill or developed a serious infection without knowing exactly where it came from? Sometimes when things like this happen, most people believe they caught it from someone else, which is definitely a possibility. However, this is not always the case, especially when an illness that unexpectedly develops becomes chronic. Some patients may develop conditions such as leaky gut, autoimmune disease, and inflammation without knowing the cause or where it was contracted from, however the answer is not always right in front of our eyes. As a matter of fact, sometimes the answer is hidden right under our noses as an invisible enemy. This invisible enemy is called environmental toxins.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a report showed that there was an 8% increase in air pollution levels from 2011 to 2016¹. When we breathe in this air, sometimes the pollution has a way of seeping into our bodies and over long periods of time can cause serious bacterial infections. Other ways that people are exposed to toxins are:
- Consuming processed foods.
- Using products (such as hairspray) that contain high levels of chemicals.
- Being exposed to mold.
- Drinking water that might be chemically treated or contains high levels of mercury and metals.
Those who smoke are further adding toxins into their system which can cause a plethora of health problems in the future. If one truly thinks about it, our bodies are contaminated with environmental toxins, and without a strong immune system, it can be very difficult for the body to fight off all these serious bacterial infections. That is why at LifeWorks Wellness Center, we encourage our patients to consider detoxification.
When people are instructed to begin a full-body detoxification, one of the very first steps to cleanse the body is to take on a new dietary lifestyle. Sadly, grocery stores have an assortment of unhealthy products that are full of processed sugars and unhealthy fats, therefore it can be difficult to know what to eat to help detox the body. Listed below are what we would recommend to our patients.
The Paleo Diet
This diet is one of the most common in our clinic and has proven to have amazing results in weight loss and high energy levels. Its purpose is to reintroduce foods that were harvested and eaten during the Paleolithic Era; prior to when farming emerged as a form of growing crops. The diet consists of lean meats that are grass-fed, freshly caught fish, naturally grown fruits, vegetables, nuts (minus peanuts), seeds and any other edibles that could have been hunted and gathered about 2.5 million years ago. This is a good diet to start with because it subtracts all foods that contain processed chemicals that are typically sold in stores today. This diet also excludes all dairy products such as cheese and milk. Acceptable substitutes can be coconut milk and goat cheese. Other foods that should be avoided are legumes, grains, and nightshade vegetables as these can trigger inflammation and be counterproductive.
The Ketogenic Diet
The Ketogenic Diet (Keto for short) focuses on low carbohydrates and high fat foods with adequate proteins that can change the overall metabolism of the body, improve cancer survival, promote weight loss, and improve the control of blood sugar levels. It is also recommended to patients with neurological disorders such as autism, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. The diet restricts carbohydrates to no more than 20-50 grams per day and forces the body to burn fats as its source of fuel. It encourages organic and unprocessed foods and supports several detox mechanisms such as improving gut barrier integrity and activating antioxidant pathways that increases cell detoxification processes².
A popular method of dieting is intermittent fasting, and this is actually a very effective way to help detox the body of unnecessary toxins and chemicals. There are three different ways to fast:
- The Alternate Day Fast – In which people fast from food for 2-3 days a week or every other day.
- 5:2 – In which people can eat normally for five days but cut down to only 600 calories (500 for women) the two other days of the week.
- Time Restricted Eating or Feeding – An example of this would be if someone were to restrict themselves to eating for only 8 hours a day and stop eating for the remainder of the day.
Fasting allows the body to rest from digesting new foods and allows it to break down the leftover foods in your system which will eventually lead to detoxification and reduce inflammation. Short-term fasting will also increase metabolism, insulin levels, and force the body to use stored energy to function throughout the day.
For those who are interested in flushing out the environmental toxins in their body, the first step is making those proper dietary changes. LifeWorks will always recommend these three dietary lifestyles to our patients. Before starting on any of the diets, it is best to speak to your practitioner so that one can understand the risks and side effects in order to understand which one is best for them.
To schedule an appointment with one of our practitioners to find out the best way to detox the body please call LifeWorks Wellness Center at 727-466-6789.