January seems to be the month of diets and detoxes. The truth is, many of the popular detox products and programmes available are at best pointless and at worst harmful to health. So how can we help our body’s detoxification processes?

 

The first thing to remember is that our body is very efficient at eliminating potentially harmful waste products – if we take care of it. One thing that we can all do to reduce our toxic load it to stop taking in so many harmful substances in the first place. It sounds so obvious and yet this is so often overlooked.

 

You may well be aware that things like caffeine, tobbacco and alcohol feature high on the list of things to cut down / eliminate. However there are a number of other ways that we expose our body to harmful chemicals that we might not be so aware of.

 

The truth is, we live in a toxic world. Household cleaning products, environmental pollutants, pesticide residues on our food… these all contribute to our toxic load. The more we can reduce our exposure to these things, the more we can help our body help itself.

 

Here are a few ways that you can reduce your daily exposure:

 

– SWITCH TO NON TOXIC HOUSEHOLD CLEANERS

Natural based dishwasher tablets, washing up liquid and surface cleaners are all a good idea. Most supermarkets now offer a selection. Ecover offer a great selection of products. Think twice about the type of air fresheners you’re using too.

 

– OPT FOR COSMETICS FREE FROM NASTIES

Remember – what we put on our skin is absorbed into our system. The Environmental Working Group’s cosmetic database Skin Deep┬áis a fantastic way to check whether cosmetic products contain harmful chemicals.

 

– GO ORGANIC

It’s worth the investment! If you aren’t ready to go 100% organic, there are some foods to prioritise. I always advise choosing organic meat and dairy products (if you eat them). As for fruit and veg, it’s worth checking out The Environmental Working Group’s ‘Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen‘.

 

– THINK TWICE BEFORE TAKING NON ESSENTIAL MEDICATION

I am not for a moment advising that you stop any essential medication or discontinue a prescription without speaking to your doctor. What I am saying is that many of us pop painkillers and other non essential medication without giving it a second thought. Consider whether you really need it. Is there a natural alternative? Maybe tiredness, stress, alcohol or dehydration has made your symptoms worse? Whilst I don’t want you to suffer, it really is worth asking yourself twice before taking a medicine you might not really need.

 

I appreciate that it’s impossible to eliminate all harmful chemicals from our world. I live under the Heathrow flight path and have daily, 6am reminders of the toxic pollutants raining down upon me!! However once you start to question those things you can control, you will realise there are a lot of ways that you can help reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals.

 

So this new year, help your to body detox by simply giving it less to detox in the first place…