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Detoxification – spring cleaning for your body

Spring is a time of renewal, new growth and, of course, cleaning. With that in mind, this seems the perfect time to talk detoxification.

While it’s become a bit of a fad in recent years, in naturopathic medicine “detoxification” doesn’t mean fasting and/or drinking kale smoothies all day. What it’s really about is supporting the organs of elimination to carry out their natural roles of ridding the body of built-up toxins and chemicals.

The liver is your “detox superstar.” It neutralizes and excretes toxins, with bile, into your stool. The gastro-intestinal tract, kidneys and lungs are also major players in eliminating waste, and it’s equally important to keep all these organs working as efficiently as possible.

Unfor-

tunately, our elimination organs are taxed by things like nutritional deficiencies, antibiotics, alcohol consumption and ongoing exposure to environmental toxins, be they pesticides on our food or chemicals in our sunscreen. Fortunately, there are several ways we can support detoxification.

First, avoid exposure to toxins whenever possible. Look for organic, natural (not processed) foods. Use natural health and personal care products and seek out natural cleaning products as well.

Second, support your body’s natural elimination efforts. Drink plenty of water, eat nutritiously and don’t fast—fasting weakens your muscles and elimination organs. Eat bitter foods that stimulate the production of bile, such as asparagus, artichokes and radishes. Foods that contain sulphur (onions, garlic, leeks, chives), as well as the B vitamin betaine (beets, spinach), are also beneficial to the liver. Third, get your body moving. Exercise helps your lymphatic system and promotes sweating, another way we eliminate toxins.”

 

Dr. Erika Kneeland is a Naturopathic physician and owner of Braidwood Naturopathic Clinic in Courtenay. For appointments, call 250-334-0655 or visit www.braidwoodnaturopathic.com.

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