Today’s world is a far cry from the world our grandparents, or even our parents, inhabited. We have made many technological and social advancements, yet the one area we seem to lack meaningful progress in is eliminating toxin exposure. We are exposed to countless pesticides, heavy metals, and toxins in our food and other products because of the unmonitored use of chemicals in agriculture, personal care products, and cleaning supplies.
We can link the accumulation of heavy metals and toxins to increased rates of autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue, reduced metabolic power, and decreased immunity. Even at lower levels, these toxins could leave the body feeling run down and sluggish.
Let’s look at the role glutathione plays in health and longevity and go over the best ways to avoid toxins and heavy metals, as well as boost the body’s detox capabilities.
The Body’s Natural Detoxifying System
The good news is that our bodies come equipped with a system to detox and remove toxins and heavy metals. This system is made up of three main organs: the liver, colon, and kidneys.
- The liver works hard to filter toxins out of the foods we eat before they reach the bloodstream.
- The colon works to flush these toxins out through solid waste.
- The kidneys constantly work to filter the blood for any toxins and excrete them through urine.
One of the key chemical components used by the body to detoxify itself is the nutrient glutathione, produced naturally by the liver. The bad news is, large and ever-present toxic loads, as well as the high stress of modern lifestyles inhibit the body’s ability to detoxify itself effectively. It ends up being overwhelmed and eventually hindered, producing less and less glutathione or even halting production entirely.
How Glutathione Supports Detox
Glutathione is a powerful nutrient vital to the body’s natural detox process. Here’s how it works:
- It flushes stored toxins out of the body, and helps transport mercury out of the brain.
- It breaks down free radicals to reduce oxidative stress and prevent cell damage.
- It helps increase energy production by ridding the cells of toxins that inhibit proper energy metabolism.
- It boosts immune function by increasing the body’s white blood cell count.
Without adequate glutathione levels, the body cannot correctly expel toxins, which means they accumulate in the bloodstream and end up stored in fat tissue. This accumulation then manifests into health complications. Although you can find glutathione in food sources such as garlic, onions, and most cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage, it is difficult to get adequate amounts from food sources alone to rectify a toxic overload. Supplementing with glutathione is an effective way to support your body’s return to balance, alongside other lifestyle changes.
What Else Can I Do to Detox My Body?
In addition to getting adequate glutathione, it’s important to limit your exposure to heavy metals and toxins in the first place.
I recommend eating organic foods whenever possible. Look up the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Dirty Dozen™ fruits and vegetables, and make sure to buy these items from organic sources. Produce in the Dirty Dozen contains the highest levels of pesticides. Here are a few items that are on the list: strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, and potatoes. It is well worth the extra spend at the grocery store to buy organic options for these foods. Many grains are also highly sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, and you would do well to buy all organic.
Clean up your diet, buy organic, and stay away from processed foods.
Avoid Processed Foods
It’s best to eat as many wholefoods as possible. The less processing food goes through, the fewer the chemicals and toxins that will be present. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “Did my grandmother eat this?”
Limit Large-Fish Consumption
Larger fish, such as tuna and halibut, contain higher levels of mercury accumulation. Smaller fish, such as sardines, anchovies, and mackerel have the lowest levels of mercury.
Assess Personal Care Items, Cosmetics, and Household Cleaners
What you put on your skin, clothes, and surfaces around you makes a difference. We absorb toxins through the skin and the air we breathe, as well as through digestion. Take the time to look up your cosmetics and household products, and find products that will lower your body’s toxic load. For more information, visit ewg.org
Clean up your diet, buy organic, and stay away from processed foods. I guarantee that you’ll feel better, healthier, and more energetic by changing your diet and adding a glutathione supplement to help eliminate toxins and heavy metals.