Toxins – where are you getting yours?

Toxins abound. They're in our food, our water, and the air. For those who like to be savvy about their health, detoxing is often on the agenda at the start of the New Year. But according to Ayurveda (India's ancient medical system for promoting health and longevity) January is not the best time for setting out on a detox regime. It's too cold and our bodies are happier to be nourished by good rest, warm easy to digest foods, and soothing herbal teas than going through a detox routine.

So while we wait for spring, which is the best time for a clean out, here's a quick guide to reducing your toxic intake in 2007. If we put less toxins in our system - then there's less to worry about getting out...

Toxins we Eat

In our foods are both natural and unnatural toxins. The natural ones include some moulds, green potatoes, alcohol (hence the term intoxicated). Unnatural sources of toxins that end up in our stomach are pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, gases used to ripen fruit, and artificial ingredients such as: sweeteners, flavour enhancers etc.

Toxins we Make

The digestive system is the host to a variety or yeasts and bacteria, some of which make toxic by-products. When the body converts and uses protein, it produces ammonia and urea.

Protein is essential in many bodily functions, including the building and repair of tissues. But, when we eat too much, and many Westerners do; we are causing the body to produce excess ammonia. When we combine that with sugary drinks and not enough fresh water, we create an unnecessarily toxic environment in the body.

Two easy lifestyle improvements to prevent acquired toxicity are:

1. Reducing intake of dense proteins (i.e. meat) and 2. Increasing water intake.