These days, it’s difficult to keep one’s toxin load low. After all, we are confronted on a daily basis with contaminants in our food, water, and air. This is a short list of potential action steps that you can take to help reduce your toxin load through food, cooking, and eating.
1) PLANT-BASED FOODS: Eat at least 7 servings of colorful fruits and vegetables daily. Plant foods are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, which can protect against chemical stressors.
2) MINERALS: Eat mineral-rich (calcium, magnesium, iron, selenium) foods or with the help of a health practitioner, take a quality mineral supplement. Essential minerals and heavy metals compete with one another. Researchers have suggested that when essential minerals are at adequate levels in the body, there is less uptake of toxic metals.
3) BERRIES: Eat plants containing polyphenolic compounds (raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, grape, etc.) for their ability to protect genetic material from ionizing radiation
4) BROCCOLI: Add powdered mustard seeds to cooked broccoli to increase formation of one of the major detox compounds from cruciferous vegetables, sulforaphane
5) CILANTRO: Cook cilantro in soup rather than eating it raw to optimize its ability to bind toxins
6) SPICES: Use spices, especially turmeric and rosemary, when cooking to offset the formation of unhealthy compounds (e.g., heterocyclic amines) that form with heat
7) HONEY: Choose organic honey as it has been shown to help reduce DNA damage from pesticides
8) GREENS: Eat greens rich in chlorophyll to bind toxins
9) STORAGE: Maximize detox compounds in kale and cabbage by keeping them out of the fridge and in the cycling of day and night rhythm
10) COOKING: Use slow, low, and moist methods of cooking instead of dry heat methods to decrease the formation of inflammatory compounds
11) CONTAINERS: Avoid cans and plastic and replace with glass containers whenever possible
12) VITAMIN C: Talk with your health practitioner whether you might need a vitamin C supplement. Vitamin C may help reduce persistent organic pollutant levels and buffer the body from oxidative stress caused by toxins, not to mention bolster glutathione
As always, when in doubt, or if you have a health condition, consult with your health practitioner on what is best for you.