The Down and Dirty on Detoxing

By Mila McManus M.D.

Your body normally performs detoxification functions every day. There are five primary exit pathways for removal of toxins. They are:

  1. 1. Sweating through the skin
  2. 2. Urination
  3. 3. Bowel movements
  4. 4. Mucus formation to then blow, cough, or swallow
  5. 5. Exhaling from the lungs.

Internal organs that also play a critical role in the removal of toxins include the liver, kidneys, and lungs.  Any activities that promote sweating, urination, bowel movement, thinning of mucous, or deep breathing will assist in promoting detoxification.  Also, hydration is essential for detoxification.

Intentional promotion of detoxification has become a necessary lifestyle habit as a result of our increasingly toxic world where our food, water, air, chemical, and heavy metal exposures have exponentially increased over the last 60-80 years. The toxic burden on the body is significant and contributes to chronic inflammation, congestion, and disease.

The FIRST and BEST line of protection is to avoid as many toxins as possible in the first place!

Trying to detoxify by overcompensating with excess sweating and over-supplementation can be harmful. Improve what goes in by:

  • Eating organic food
  • Filtering the water you drink and in which you bathe
  • Filtering air and circulating fresh air in the home
  • Using chemical free personal care and laundry products
  • Using chemical free household products (cleaners, candles, fragrances, pesticides) 
  • Turning off Wi-Fi and electrical circuits in the bedroom at night while sleeping (electropollution)
  • Eliminating the use of as much plastic as possible, especially as it relates to food storage and preparation. (plastic water bottles, straws, microwave containers, storage containers, clingwrap)

It is also wise to intentionally and regularly employ lifestyle choices that promote detoxification.

Each of these options promote and encourage gentle detoxification:

  • IR Sauna  
  • Quality detoxification dietary plans such as Black Box Detox, Designs for Health 14- and 21-day programs, Core Restore 7- and 14-day programs and Prolon. (All available at TWIHW)
  • Fasting
  • Dry Brushing
    • Short instructional you-tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJfFe18L7pQ
  • Supplementation as recommended by your functional medicine specialist. Some possible choices include glutathione, N-acetyl cysteine, sulfur, chlorella, charcoal, and protease.

An increasingly useful approach is to test the body to determine what toxins are present so that optimal detoxification protocols can be precisely implemented.

  • Heavy metal testing
  • Environmental toxin tests

Both of these urine collection tests are available at TWIHW.

 

By |2020-04-12T09:48:51-05:00April 14th, 2020|General|

Arugula and Cucumbers

Healthy and detoxifying Fall crops!

by Nancy Mehlert

As we roll into September, October and November in Texas, you will begin to see local farmers’ markets and grocery store produce sections offering locally grown arugula and cucumbers.

Of all the foods we eat, few would disagree that vegetables are the most nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory, detoxifying and hydrating food you can eat.  It is also worth noting that they carry no risk to speak of – no one has ever eaten too many!   So let’s take a closer look at arugula and cucumbers since they are now in season and excellent choices for reducing inflammation and detoxifying the body.

arugulaArugula has been cultivated in the Mediterranean since time has been recorded and thus very much a part of the Mediterranean diet.  The French call arugula “rocket” lettuce.  The younger, paler leaves are mild in flavor while the more mature, darker leaves are described as peppery.  Arugula makes a wonderful salad base by itself or pairs nicely with other greens and lettuces. It is an excellent addition to pesto or soup and brings an eye-appeal to a slaw.

Nutritionally, arugula is in the cruciferous family and offers antioxidant benefits, detoxifying enzymes, an excellent source of fiber and vitamins A, C and K, as well as folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and manganese. You’ll be surprised to know that a serving even offers 3 grams of protein and critical B vitamins that help to support good HDL cholesterol while lowering the bad cholesterol.   Arugula is especially beneficial in preventing cholesterol from sticking to arteries, lowering blood pressure and increasing blood flow and improving blood vessel function so it’s a great choice for heart and circulation health, all because of the flavonoid content in it and its ability to increase nitric oxide levels in the body.

Studies conducted on arugula suggest that it may help to heal gastrointestinal ulcers and psoriasis as well as protect against lung, skin and mouth cancers.  Research is also pointing to arugula as an excellent detoxifier with the ability to remove both heavy metals as well as pesticides and herbicides from the body. Apparently, there are even ancient Roman writings suggesting arugula is an aphrodisiac especially when combined with chicory, dill, lettuce or lavender.

cucumberCucumbers also originated in the Mediterranean and are 90% water, which makes them an excellent hydrator.  There are over a dozen varieties, and they thrive in both cool and warm climates.  They are one of the most widely cultivated vegetables in the world. Varieties are usually identified as either a good choice for slicing or most suitable for pickling.  My favorite choice is the longer and thinner English cucumber also known as a gourmet or “burpless” cucumber.  These have such small seeds they virtually go unnoticed. I like to slice them, freeze them and add them to my water for flavor or make a salad like the recipe provided in today’s newsletter. They can also be sliced very thinly, lengthwise, to get a wonderful wrap for other veggies, hummus, cream cheeses, chicken salad or paté.  Finally, cucumbers are one of the best choices for juicing or blending a green drink.

Cucumbers have been used traditionally in India to treat headaches while the seeds have been found to be an effective diuretic.  They are an excellent source of vitamin K, C and B5 and also have a compliment of minerals including manganese, potassium, and magnesium.  Recent studies have shown that cucumbers contain powerful lignans that can reduce the estrogen burden in the body, thereby reducing the risk of several cancers including breast, uterine, ovarian and prostate cancers.  Another phytonutrient called cucurbitacins, are known to strongly inhibit cancer development.  Cucumbers are very alkaline, soothing to the stomach and gut and can help relieve nausea.

Cucumbers remain fresh the longest when stored at room temperature and away from any other fruits or vegetables that give off ethylene, a natural plant substance, as it will initiate a rapid ripening/rotting process.  Ethylene is especially ubiquitous in bananas, melons and tomatoes.

 

References:
https://draxe.com/top-10-bible-foods-that-heal
http://foodfacts.mercola.com/arugula.html
http://foodfacts.mercola.com/cucumber.html
http://bembu.com/alkaline-foods.html
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
By |2016-09-07T05:28:37-05:00August 25th, 2016|Articles, General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|

Toxin Blocks and Tackles

It is football season, so as I watch the players on the field blocking and tackling I cannot help but think about how that should be our attitude toward our toxic world. We need to block our exposure to as many toxins as possible and then tackle those that have already gained entrance to our body.

Fortunately, our body does have natural detoxification pathways which, when supported nutritionally and with supplements, are designed to detoxify routinely. In fact, every time you exhale, every time you sweat or use the bathroom or blow your nose, you are witnessing your body busy at the work with waste elimination. Yeah, I know, cleaning is never a pretty topic! Some chemicals have a very short half-life and are out of the body within 24 hours, while others hang around in your body for several decades!

So what are specifics? Where should you start? Well, let’s get the game started, kick off with some ways to Block, and then some ways to Tackle!

Block – Avoiding Toxins 

Buy Organic – A USDA certification ensures that produce or any ingredient has been grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones.¹ While it would be optimal to eat organic 100% of the time, this may not be realistic for most or affordable for many, but any effort you can make to increase organic choices and avoid the most toxic (e.g., an apple) is a good step toward blocking incoming toxins and supporting the body’s natural detoxification process. A good resource is www.ewg.org to determine, for example, which fruits and vegetables are most commonly genetically modified and heavily covered in pesticides and which are not so you can make wise choices.

Avoid Plastics – avoid foods and beverages packaged in plastic, especially if you plan to heat them in the package. This especially applies to drinks, including water packaged in plastic as well as plastic storage and lunch type containers used to reheat food.  Most plastics made in America are made from natural gas²and are a source of many chemicals known as endocrine disrupters, substances which when taken into our body alter normal hormonal function. Every time these plastics are heated, whether in a hot car or in a microwave, they release more of the toxic chemicals. Better options include glass, ceramic dishware with lead-free glaze, stainless steel, cast iron, and food-grade silicone, all of which do not leach chemicals into your food. ³

Choose Body and Household products carefully –from toothpaste to deodorant, and household cleaners to laundry detergent, make every effort to choose clean products free of parabens, phthalates, perchloroethylene (PERC), triclosan, quarternary ammonium compounds (Quats), 2-Butoxyethanol, ammonia, chlorine, sodium hydroxide, triclocarban, retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, retinoic acid, retinol, retinyl palmitate, aerosol sprays, SPF above 50, Oxybenzone, added insect repellant, permanent hair dyes, formaldehyde, formalin toluene, dibutyl phthalate, petroleum distillates, fragrance, BHA, boric acid, sodium borate, PEG’s, polyethylene compounds, diethyl phthalate, coal tar, hydroquinone, lead, and toluene⁴,⁵. For a more complete list, see www.ewg.orgor shop in a health food store, or online with a reputable health oriented site. Our staff would be happy to offer name brands, stores, and website suggestions.

Filter Water – unfortunately, every year a surprising number of contaminants are found in our water supply. Many bottled and alkalized waters are tap water. There can be toxic chemical disinfection byproducts from the chlorine in water, as well as many pesticides, herbicides and pharmaceuticals found in the water supply. It is very important to choose a quality filtering system for the water you drink and if possible for the entire household for cleaning and bathing. Two good sources for information to consider when choosing filters can be found at www.mercola.com, or www.greenamerica.org.

Tackle – Helping Your Body Detoxify

Eat Real Whole Food, especially your Vegetables! -While the fats and proteins we eat help to create our cellular structure and build and repair the human body, carbohydrates, namely our plant foods are purposed to clean and detoxify the human body. Green vegetables (wheatgrass, kale, spinach, spirulina, chlorella, chard, arugula etc.), green teas, herbs, seaweed, fruits in general, lemons, oranges and limes, garlic, broccoli sprouts, mung beans, seeds, nuts and omega 3 oils from hemp, avocado, and olive oil all serve as natural detoxifiers, helping to provide antioxidants and water as well as stimulating production of enzymatic activity in the digestive tract. We are designed and wired for plant and animal food, not chemically laden, preserved and processed food product.

A Note on Two Specific Foods from Dr. McManus:

SALMON: It’s very important to distinguish the different species of salmon because Pacific (Alaskan) salmon is acceptable, whereas Atlantic (farmed) salmon is ONE OF THE MOST TOXIC FOODS YOU CAN EAT! Atlantic salmon is hearty and, therefore, easily farmed. Pacific salmon, however, is a different genus with 3 different species known as king salmon (aka Chinook), silver salmon (aka coho), and red salmon (aka sock-eye). The great majority of salmon at markets and restaurants is farmed Atlantic salmon. This is HIGHLY toxic due to the salmon being fed pesticide-laden grains. Don’t be fooled by fancy names.   “Scottish Salmon” may be Atlantic salmon farmed in Scotland. “Norwegian Salmon” may be Atlantic salmon farmed in Norway.

BUTTER: Butter is ubiquitous in the diet, so I felt that this is another food to be addressed. Toxins are stored in fat cells. Butter is cow fat extracted from the cows’ milk. When you eat butter, you are eating a heavy load of toxins (e.g. pesticides sprayed on the grains they are fed). The only butter that’s fit for human consumption, in my opinion, is butter, preferably organic, that’s made from grass fed cattle. You can find this at most grocery stores. A decent brand is KerryGold. Other available brands in this area (Whole Foods, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s) or online include Organic Valley Pastured Butter, Kalona Super Natural Organic Butter, Anchor Pure New Zealand Butter, or Purity Farms Organic Ghee.

Promote and Support your Detoxification Pathways- using exercise, massage, and infra-red sauna, as well as proper hydration serves to promote sweating, elimination and mucus formation. It is important that whatever detoxification efforts are made, it is best to start with cleaning up the diet, water, living environment and avoiding toxins. When you are ill is not the best time to try a detoxification program.

For more assistance with choosing cleansing foods, juicing, and detoxification programs, call or office to schedule an appointment to design a clean diet and program that is right for you. Also see our Supplement of the Month (PaleoCleanse) for some specific detoxification programs designed to meet your needs.

¹www.organic.org/home/faq

²http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=34&t=6

³ http://mightynest.com/learn/getting-started/healthy-living-guides/12-ways-to-avoid-toxins-in-the-kitchen

https://experiencelife.com/article/8-hidden-toxins-whats-lurking-in-your-cleaning-products/

http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/top-tips-for-safer-products/

By |2015-12-02T16:26:26-06:00November 30th, 2015|Articles, Ask Dr McManus, General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|
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