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Spring Detox: Part 1

cherry blossomSpring is an optimal time to detox.  It’s the season of the Liver and Gallbladder and doing a detox specific to those organs will minimize seasonal allergies, inflammation and digestive disturbances.

Regardless of what the calendar says, take your detoxing cues from mother nature. When it feels more like winter than spring outside, it isn’t quite time to detox.

If you aren’t sure why detoxing in winter and cold weather is dangerous, read this article.

Your liver is a filter for most of the chemicals which come into the body. One of the functions of the liver is to filter and detoxify these chemicals.

Avoiding unnecessary chemical exposure is an effective means for supporting liver function.

If you are having difficulty losing weight, for example, your liver function may be compromised and disrupting normal metabolism.

Your body may be holding onto weight because it is overwhelmed trying to process chemicals and can’t function optimally to promote and regulate fat metabolism.

Even if an all-out detox isn’t in order because old man winter just won’t quit, here is what you can do right now to help your body prepare for spring without shocking your system.

Avoid Toxins!

The average adult is exposed to a whopping 126 chemicals everyday. The source of these chemicals is primarily in personal care products.

Your workplace and household contribute roughly 62 additional toxins.

Of these toxins, known carcinogens (cancer causing agents) like phthalates, plastics including BPA (bisphenol A), and parabens are some of the biggest offenders.

I was shocked to discover a major source of BPA is in credit card and thermal printed receipts. Don’t take a receipt if you don’t need one.

BPA is a hormone disruptor that mimics estrogen.  BPA is especially dangerous for anyone who has a family history of hormone-related breast cancer or any other type of endocrine based cancer.

Canned foods also have high levels of BPA because the cans are plastic-lined on the inside. Plastic from the liner is leaching into the food as it sits on the shelf.

Avoid plastics contacting food as much as possible.  Look out for containers made from Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC (usually recycling code #3) and shatterproof or clear plastic, again high in BPA (#7).

Use glass, stainless steel or ceramic instead.

Don’t microwave in plastic.  Plastic is leached into your food when heated, even when the container says “microwave safe”.

BPA is found in plastic water bottles so use either BPA-free plastics or get your own stainless steel or glass water bottles.

Fragrance is a huge source of phthalates, also known hormone disruptors, and dozens of other chemicals.  These chemicals are absorbed by our skin and go directly into the blood stream.

Fragrance contains dozens of chemicals. It is added to laundry detergent, fabric softener, household cleaners, air fresheners, shampoos, soap, lotion and cosmetics.

Buy fragrance-free or those scented with essential oils.

Parabens are hormone disruptors linked to early puberty.  They are found in cosmetics, lotions, sunscreens, shaving gels, hair products, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioners.

Read the labels of these products to make sure you are buying paraben-free.

Avoid dry cleaning which uses perchloroethylene, formaldehyde, napthaline, and benzene.  Source dry cleaners using the CO2 process.

Cleaning products are another major contributor to chemical exposure.

Make your own cleaning products or buy natural products which don’t contain ammonia or sudsing agents like diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA).

Stay tuned for part 2 next week where you can find more easy ways to get your body ready for spring.

Where you surprised to find cancer-causing agents in products you use every day? What changes will you make? Let me know in the comments below!