by Dr. Leo Galland
Are Toxins Making You Sick and Overweight?
It's not surprising that toxins are all around us-in the air, water and in many commercial products. You probably know that these toxins can make you sick. Dust, mold and chemicals can lead to asthma, allergies and other chronic conditions.
But did you know that these toxins can also cause you to gain extra weight and make losing it almost impossible?
Researchers at the University of Quebec have demonstrated a link between environmental pollution and a decrease in metabolism. In addition, toxins cause inflammation throughout the body that can lead to leptin resistance. Leptin is a naturally occurring hormone in the body that helps regulate body fat. When leptin stops functioning, leptin resistance occurs, leading to weight gain and retention of excess weight.
Detoxification is the way your body rids itself of toxins, a natural process that occurs 24 hours a day. You can support your body's ability to detoxify through positive lifestyle choices such as enhanced nutrition, limiting toxic exposures, and exercise and stress reduction.
Do you ever experience lack of concentration, irritability, mood swings, foggy headedness, or inability to lose weight?
Exposure to toxins at home, the office, and school or in a store can trigger these problems. Everyday items such as paint, printers, magic markers, and copiers can produce the problems listed above.
Simple Steps to Reduce Exposure to Common Toxins
1) Paint. For your home or office, look for low VOC paint which is less toxic.
2) Laser Printers and Copy Machines. Use a DeskJet printer or copier instead.
3) Household Cleaning Products: Use all natural and non-toxic cleaning products. We use baking soda and water for most cleaning, and vinegar diluted with water for windows.
4) New Clothing and Laundry. Wash new clothes well before wearing to soak out some of the formaldehyde used to stiffen new fabric. Avoid heavily scented laundry detergent and fabric softener; these increase your exposure to chemicals.
5) Stale Indoor Air. Indoor air pollution is recognized as a common problem. With airtight buildings and homes, toxins can build up. Get outside for some fresh air during lunchtime.
6) Tobacco Smoke. Do not smoke and make your home, car and office a smoke-free zone.
Detoxify with More Nutrition-Not Less
When we talk about detoxification we do not mean fasting, purging or other procedures, and do not recommend these. Fasting can be dangerous and undermines the body's ability to detoxify naturally by depriving the body of adequate nutrition.
The point of detoxification is to help your body process toxins by giving it more nutrition. The liver is the major organ for detoxification. For the liver to function well in its job of detoxification, it requires nutrition: adequate protein is essential to this effort, and many vegetables and herbs can help.
Foods to Help Detoxify
There are special foods you can eat that help the liver function well to process toxins, such as these listed below.
Cruciferous Vegetables: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower
Sea Vegetables: hijiki, dulse, wakame (which are from Japanese cuisine)
Dark Greens: kale, collard greens, swiss chard
This article is provided for general educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice or counseling, the practice of medicine or the provision of health care diagnosis or treatment, the creation of a physician-patient relationship, or an endorsement, recommendation, or sponsorship of any third party product or service by the sender or the sender's affiliates, agents, employees, or service providers. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your doctor promptly.
Director of the Foundation for Integrated Medicine, Leo Galland M.D. is an award-winning lecturer and author of over 30 scientific articles and several chapters for medical textbooks. Jonathan Galland is a health writer for newspapers and magazines. Their book The Fat Resistance Diet has been featured on the cover of Fitness and Glamour. For a free one-day meal plan and recipes, visit http://www.fatresistancediet.com .