10 ways to drain your body of heavy metals and other toxins without resorting to a juice or liver cleanse
This amazing guest post was written by Mary Grace, a freelance writer! We encourage you to follow her on Twitter!
If you’ve ever taken the plunge on a full detox, juicing, cleanses, and that crazy liver cleanse that makes people discharge green rocks, then you’ve also probably sworn off detoxes for life. However, things like dry brushing, steaming it out in the sauna, and deep breathing exercises are ways to detox your body, and sweat, scrub, and breath out all sorts of negative energy.
While nothing will beat out eating well and regularly moving around, these are some full body detoxes that won’t make you want to choke out anyone in your path, and they don’t require ten pounds of lemons.
1. Dry brushing
Your skin is an organ, moving it around can help circulation, remove dead skin cells, and detox your body of some harmful toxins. Dry brushing is the process of rubbing down your whole body, starting at the ankles, with a natural brush. You always rub towards the heart and might be a little pink after finishing, but it shouldn’t be painful. Lay off the pressure if you are rubbing yourself raw. It helps with your circulation, which can also help the lymph nodes, makes your skin smooth, and since it’s promoting circulation, can even reduce some pesky cellulite.
Our skin is our largest organ, sloughing off dead cells and returning circulation to it can help maintain peak performance.
Sweating it out is another great way to get rid of whatever is plaguing you at the moment. Popping your pores open in either the dry heat of a sauna or the moist heat of a steam room will help your body sweat out whatever toxins are sitting in your largest organ (skin) and can help with respiratory issues like colds or bronchitis.
Forget the juices, cashew milk, and fasts. Eating a healthy, vibrant, and varied diet is some of the best ways to stay healthy. It can prevent or help a variety of ailments like helping diabetics stay in the best condition they can, preventing cancer, or lowering your risk of heart disease, a big killer in America.
Eat Some Fiber
Eating fiber is important for people of all ages. Eating a healthy, more fibrous diet is an important part of detoxing the colon and bowels. It can even help prevent colorectal cancer. There’s some in most fruits and vegetables (mushrooms and tomatoes have some of the lowest levels, but still outpace most processed foods). Fiber will help your body ‘detox’ itself naturally.
Eat Food. Not Too Much. And Mostly Plants.
These words are taken from Michael Pollan’s documentary and talks. Eating food that is real, that can’t survive a nuclear apocalypse (Twinkies, Spam, Jello, etc…), and that your great-great-grandmother would recognize will cut out a lot of ‘bad’ foods. Of course, you might still go out and enjoy pizza or macaroni and cheese, but if the bulk of your diet is real foods, then you’re eating well enough for your body to detox itself. Especially if you’re not cramming in the junk, and if the stuff you do cram in is mostly plants.
Plants are great for your body. Eating your fruits and vegetables is a wonderful way to get in everything your body needs to push out everything it doesn’t. That means being able to process excessive calcium by eating vitamin D, getting rid of heavy metals by eating some Omega-3s and staying away from canned foods. A healthy, varied diet, of mostly plants, will help or prevent a large array of ailments, from helping little things like varicose veins, to straight up preventing cancer. Let your body detox itself by providing it with the necessary components to do so.
4. Move your body
You can return circulation to your largest organ through dry brushing and can sweat out every pore in the sauna, but exercising your whole body can move a whole lot more. Sweating is one side effect that will detox your body, but so will the stretches, muscle movement, and increased circulation. Exercise is great for you, and while your main detoxifying organs (kidneys and colon) will take care of a majority of the detoxifying that your body does, small improvements to your cardiovascular system and the lymphatic system will help those major organs push out toxins at a higher rate.
5. Treat yourself to a massage
Massages feel amazing. Who doesn’t love having their muscles pulled and pushed like a piece of dough until every knot is worked out? While it won’t push out toxins and detox your body like regularly eating healthy food or exercising, it will help your muscles push out a few more toxins and help surface level circulation, which is very important.
6. Try chelation
If you’re a quick win sort of detoxer, you could try chelation. It’s the process of removing heavy metals from your body with an IV solution.
Get Rid of Lead
It sounds a little extreme, but considering the amount of lead in most people’s blood, and the effects of lead poisoning and other heavy metals, chelation is a quick fix with big impacts. Using intravenous injections, it helps your body detox a little more of that heavy metal that your body has trouble getting rid of.
There’s still plenty of lead hanging around (mostly in dirt), but since America removed lead from gasoline, (completely removed in 1995), the eighty percent drop in American intravascular lead levels have correlated with a six-point IQ jump. Lead is a big deal, and chelation is just one quick way to help get rid of it.
Other Heavy Metals
Chelation can also help get rid of Mercury, Lewisite, and Arsenic. It’s a great way to get rid of those heavy metals in your body that build up over time that can accrue naturally (like through eating fish). Mercury introduced to your body from fish, for example, can take up to a year to completely leave your body. There’s a lot of heavy metals that are difficult to detox through traditional methods.
Acupuncture is largely regarded as a pseudoscience. Meaning that there is very little medical evidence for most of its claims. But there people who it works for incredibly well. They believe that it opens that pathways for chi to flow in their body and helps their energy run more freely. It could open up your natural body’s energy, and it might just be a little bit of circulation for sore areas that are hard to get blood to (like the lower back). It might help you detox, but it hasn’t been proven to.
Sleep is great for you. You may not get it enough, but it’ll help your body do what it does best, get rid of what it no longer needs, and reset all systems to go. Your brain needs sleep to reset itself, get rid of the neurotoxins that build up and completely change its chemical structure as it trips out for about 8 hours a night. Sleep is like a tiny detox for your brain, and getting enough of it could even reduce degenerative diseases later in life. Getting sleep is good for detoxing your brain and general physical health. It sounds so simple, but prioritizing sleep can be hard and is very important to do.
9. Get out of high toxin zones
There are areas that have higher than usual levels of toxins. You can check your daily air quality at airnow.gov, see how close you are to a Superfund site ( a big deal if the EPA closes), and you can apply for a free test to see what your water is like with your local health department. There are lots of places where the air can be rough during certain times of the year (woodstoves in rural areas, forest fires in the summer) and where your drinking water might have issues that you aren’t aware of. Knowing where these places are and getting out of there will help you reduce the amount of toxins you are introducing to your body.
10. Deep breathing
Your whole body uses oxygen to survive. Every cell runs on it, and tries to push out carbon dioxide. It’s a natural in and out a rhythm that your body runs every 10 or so seconds. Deep breathing is a great way to push out any additional carbon dioxide hanging out in your lungs and take in, even more, oxygen. Detox some CO2 out of your system by doing some breathing exercises and taking a deep exhale. Oxygen fuels your cells, carbon dioxide does not. Bring some of that fuel to your cells.
Detoxing can be hard if you go full throttle and dive into the crazy with the juices, lemonade, or sun-gazing. Natural detoxing, like moving your body, eat healthily, sleeping, sweating, dry brushing, or just straight up staying away from heavy metals and toxic zones are much more effective (and easier). Detoxing doesn’t have to be a chore. It can be a healthy way of life.