Let’s talk about toxins today! What are these harmful substances that build up in my body?
A toxin is defined as any element that is toxic to the body which means it has harmful effects on the body. The environment today and normal cellular metabolism exposes the body to toxins. In order to maintain health, is it very important that the body is able to handle the toxins and adequately eliminate them.
Toxins can come from food or water, from chemicals, and even from the air that we breathe. Our bodies process those toxins through organs like the liver and kidneys and eliminate them in different forms.
The elimination of toxins allows the body to rid itself of waste and unnecessary harmful compounds. If toxins are left in the body they begin to accumulate and overtime disrupt the body’s natural physiological functioning and lead to different diseases.
The systems of the body are designed to handle some naturally occurring metabolic and
environmental toxins. The body however, is not prepared to handle the excess toxins that are
present in today’s world. The need to support and encourage removal of toxins on an ongoing basis
is necessary due to the increased number of toxins that each person is now exposed to in food,
water, personal care products and our environment.
You can divide toxins into four main categories: toxins from the air, water, food and chemicals in our environments.
Air pollutions usually refers to the toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, methane, etc, that are released into the atmosphere. Flame retardants and paint fumes – another example. It mixes with the air we breath in and exhale out. But do we exhale them completely? Unfortunately not! Chronic exposure to air pollutions can cause problems with the breathing due to increased mucus production from the nasal cavity. Chronic nasal discharge over time disrupts the ability of the nose to capture and eliminate inhaled toxins on a regular basis, which in turn decreases the integrity and protective function of the mucous membranes, so it becomes a vicious circle! Pollution toxins can come from vehicle and factory emissions as well as other sources for example cigarettes. Inhaled tobacco products contain a number of highly toxic ingredients that can have a very negative effect on your body. Smoke can also be inhaled from other smokers, so even non-smokers should be aware of the harmful effect of tobacco.
Water. Lots of toxins have been found in water. Chemicals such as chlorine, fluoride, bleach, ammonia and even prescription medications have been reported to be found in excess in drinking water and have been said to cause lots of symptoms from depression to even cancer.
Food. Examples are food additives, highly processed or genetically modified foods and even chemical ingredients in food recipes such as food colourings and chemical flavours such as MSG and aspartame ( for example in Coca-Cola). Today’s processed food is loaded with sugars that alter the body’s hormonal balance, creating a toxic environment and an addiction to harmful food. Another common food toxin is alcohol. Most of the wines for example contain toxic sulphites, which some people are allergic to.
Chemicals. The most common chemicals we come across are pesticides on non-organic fruits and vegetables, that’s why we need to try to buy organic whenever possible! Medical drugs are also referred to as chemical toxins that can build up in your body over time. They might be helpful in small doses, but poisonous when used in large amounts and for prolonged period of time. Ingredients used in most skin and beauty products are very toxic, they come into our skin, but they do not come out! Skin is our largest organ and what we put on our skin gets absorbed into our bodies. Add here cleaning products, sprays, sunscreen, etc. We put more things on our skin than we actually realise. Using natural, chemical free personal care products can greatly decrease exposure and not overburden the routes of elimination.
So, is detox necessary, relevant, important and effective in humans? Here at Amrita we believe that a properly constructed and conducted detox programme does have a positive effect in helping your body reduce the burden of unwanted chemicals from 21st century living, giving you back energy and, with ongoing support and information can help you make healthier choices in your life leading to long term better health.