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Detoxification is the process of clearing toxins from our body by neutralizing or transforming them so they can be eliminated. Detoxification involves dietary and lifestyle changes that include the reduced intake of toxins and improved elimination. Normally our body creates toxins on a biochemical and cellular level. If these substances/molecules/toxins are not eliminated, they can cause irritation or inflammation in the cells and tissues, blocking normal function. This is when symptoms start to occur. Our body is well equipped to handle a certain level of toxins. Toxicity occurs when we take in more than we can eliminate. The effects that toxins have on our body depend on the dosage, frequency, or potency of the toxin. For example, a toxin may produce an immediate effect to a certain drug or pesticide, but more commonly, the negative effects are long term, for example long time asbestos exposure leading to lung cancer.

A Toxin is any substance that creates irritating and/or harmful effects in the body, undermining our health or stressing our biochemical and organ functions. We acquire toxins all the time from our environment either by ingesting them, breathing them in, or through direct physical contact. Microbes such as intestinal bacteria, foreign bacteria, yeasts and parasites all release metabolic waste products and are examples of toxins that our body must handle.

OUR GOAL is to enhance the elimination of toxins and to prevent their build up by assisting our body in detoxification day to day.

Our General Detoxification Systems

Respiratory– lungs, bronchial tubes, throat, nose, and sinuses

Mucous is the body’s way of trapping invaders.

Gastrointestinal– liver, gallbladder, colon and entire GI tract

The liver helps transform many toxic substances into harmless agents. It releases waste through the gallbladder and into the intestines, where it is eliminated. The liver is the main filter that neutralizes our toxic environment.

Urinary– kidneys, bladder, and urethra

The kidneys help make toxins water soluble and allow for excretion through the urine.

Skin– sweat, sebaceous glands and tears

Our body eliminates toxins through sweating. The skin helps to excrete fat-soluble toxins such as the pesticide DDT and heavy metals such as lead.

Lymphatic– lymphatic channels and nodes

Swollen lymph nodes can indicate excess toxin build up.

Repair and Enhance Detoxification

Here’s how to repair and enhance detoxification:

Increase your intake of fiber.

Increase slowly and aim for 25 to 50 grams of fiber daily. Ground flaxseeds are an excellent source.  Use these stool guidelines to adjust your fiber intake for the desired results:

  • Frequently: at least one and up to three formed movements a day (fewer than one a day is considered constipation and increases your risk for cancer).
  • Texture: bulky, soft, and easy to pass
  • Tendency to float (indicating a high-fiber content).
  • Medium to light brown in colour

Increase your intake of clean, filtered water

Water intake needs to be at least 64 ounces per day (8 cups). This bare minimum intake represents the amount of water lost by an average-sized person in a single day.  Your daily intake of water should equal ½ your body weight (lbs) in ounces. Ex. a 160 lb person needs 80 ounces of water. Make sure to meet the following guideline.

  • Normal urine output should be two to three liters a day (admittedly, few of us actually measure)
  • Urine should be mostly clear or with only a slight tinge of yellow (although for those taking vitamins, riboflavin – vitamin B2 – causes bright yellow urine).
  • Urine should have only a slight to mild odour (unless you eat asparagus, which can impart a pungent odour in people who have a common variation in liver detoxification enzymes).

Sweat on a regular basis

We recommend exercise for at least thirty minutes four days per week to a level that causes sweating. In addition to exercise, boost your skin’s detoxification capability by using a steam bath or sauna an additional two to three times weekly. YOGA is an excellent method to detoxify.

Increase your intake of foods that boost the liver’s detoxification capabilities

These foods provide the liver with the nutrients it needs to process and detoxify unwanted chemicals.

  • Increase your consumption of Seasonal, Local and Organic Foods
  • Eat at least one cup of cruciferous vegetables daily (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, bok choy).
  • Include as much garlic as possible in your diet – or take it as a supplement.
  • Eat high-quality sulfur-containing proteins: garlic and onions.
  • Try fresh vegetable juices, including carrot, celery, beet, parsley, and ginger.
  • Season food with rosemary, which contains carnosol, a potent booster of detoxification enzymes.
  • Eat organic grapes, berries, and citrus fruits, which contain helpful bio-flavonoids.
  • Try dandelion greens, which help liver detoxification, improve the flow of bile, and increase urine flow.
  • Add cilantro to meals; it can help remove heavy metals. Add dark green leafy vegetables, which contain chlorophyll, a helpful detoxifier.
  • Get curcuminoids from spices such as turmeric.
  • Try herbal detoxification teas containing mixtures of burdock root, dandelion root, ginger root, licorice root, sarsaparilla root, cardamom seed, cinnamon bark, and other herbs.

See your Naturopathic Doctor for a customized protocol

February 17, 2010 adminNaturopathic Advice0

Ice Cream, almost

750 g of plain organic yogurt

6 scoops of your favourite flavoured protein powder like Proteins plus or Ultrameal

½ cup of ground raw almonds

2 mashed bananas

1 cup of pecan halves

Serve with fruit sauce: 1 orange, 5 strawberries and shaved 100% dark chocolate

Chips, almost

6 Brown Rice or Ezekiel tortillas

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon Herbamare or spices of your choice

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Cut the tortillas into quarters and spread them onto the baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, and Herbamare, to taste. Drizzle this mixture over the tortilla pieces and toss them together with your hands to coat them evenly. Bake them until golden brown and crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let cool.

Bread, almost

250mg (2 cups) of spelt or gluten free flour (Bob’s Mill)

250 mg (2 cups) oatmeal or quinoa flakes

120g (almost 1 cup) of roasted sesame seeds

50g (heaped ½ cup) sunflower or pumpkin seeds

50mg grated almonds or hazelnuts

20g flaxseeds

6 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp of sea salt

375ml cold water

Add spices or herbs if desired

Mix flour with all dry ingredients. Add oil, water and mix together to make thick dough. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough out thinly on baking paper- there should be enough to fill 2 cookie sheets (you can put parchment paper on top for easier rolling). Cut the rolled out dough into squares (no need to cut right through). Preheat oven to 475F and bake for 7 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F and bake for another 20-25 minutes. Remove crispbread immediately from cookie sheet and allow to cool. To keep fresh store in cookie tin.

Cookies, almost

1 cup Rolled Oats or Spelt Flakes or Quinoa Flakes

½ Agave Syrup or Date Syrup (dates blended with water)

½ cup Almond Butter or organic peanut butter

¼ cup Carob Powder

Mix it up and you’re done.

Creamy pasta sauce, almost

Brown Rice pasta (your choice of shape and quantity)

1 can of canned navy beans; rinsed

2-3 tbsp of nutritional yeast

½ cup of olive oil

2 tbsp of pesto

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook desired amount of brown rice pasta according to package instructions.

In a blender or food processor puree navy beans, olive oil, pesto and salt and pepper. Toss cooked pasta with mixture. Warm on low heat for a few minutes. The yeast gives the pasta a cheese-like taste.

Fries, almost

2 medium yams

2 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp of pumpkin seeds (ground)

1 tbsp of dried rosemary

1 ½ tbsp of coconut oil or grape seed oil

½ tbsp of basil

Sea salt to taste

Cut yams in wedges or chunks. In bowl, combine garlic, pumpkin seeds, oregano, coconut oil, rosemary, basil and sea salt. Add yams, stirring with your hands to make sure all pieces are covered with the mixture. Spread yams on a baking tray lightly oiled with coconut oil or grape seed oil; bake for 35 minutes. Leave in longer if you prefer them crispier.

Candy, almost

3 dates

3 raw almonds, walnuts or pecans

6 chocolate or carob chips

Stuff the dates with one nut and two chocolate chips.

Proactive Health Care for your Breasts

It is common in a Naturopathic practice to see a new patient who has been diagnosed with breast cancer and wants to use natural therapies to avoid surgery or chemotherapy. It is unfortunate that it is often too late once a malignant tumor has formed in the breast tissue to rely solely on natural therapies. At this point, reversing a change in structure (when a lump has already formed and become malignant) is only rarely successful without surgery or chemotherapy. We need to be thinking about our breast health from our teen years until our senior years, before breast cancer and after breast cancer.

Breast tissue contains cells that respond to hormones and fatty tissue that stores fat-soluble toxins like synthetic hormones and pesticides. These factors make breast tissue particularly vulnerable to the cellular damage that leads to cancer. The most effective use of natural therapies is to improve cellular function and prevent cancer by promoting the normal, healthy activity of breast tissue. Preventive strategies must start early when the body is still capable of reversing abnormalities.

Promoting Breast Health

The known risk factors for breast cancer development (including family history, genetics, and prolonged exposure to estrogen) account for only 30% of women diagnosed with breast cancer. The factors affecting the rest appear to be related to lifestyle choices that we individually have the power to change. Reducing the negative effects of chronic stress and optimizing immune function are powerful tools in minimizing the changes of developing cancer.

  • Sleep in complete darkness to optimize melatonin production, a hormone considered to be protective in breast cancer. Night shift workers are 60% more likely to get diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • Increase your vegetable intake to 5-8 servings a day. Include green, red, yellow and orange ones to increase your consumption of anti-oxidant compounds. Try to eat seasonally, locally and organically to optimize nutritional value. You can also try Greens powders for extra nutrients.
  • Eat more Broccoli and Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Kale, and Collard Greens. These are high in a plant compound that makes estrogen less toxic to breast tissue.
  • Consume fiber rich foods like raw nuts and seeds, legumes, whole grains and fruits and veggies to maintain a healthy gut microflora. This is a key component of a healthy immune system.
  • Choose Organic Foods -herbicides and pesticides on produce as well as hormones found in conventional meats and dairy have been implicated in breast cancer. The most important foods to purchase organic are milk cheese, yogurt, eggs, meat, strawberries, corn based products, spinach, bell peppers, apples, peaches, celery and grapes.
  • Eliminate Hydrogenated Fats and Trans fats – these cause cellular damage. Choose organic butter or organic coconut butter instead of margarine, use extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil at low heat for stir frying and try flax, hemp , walnut , sesame, and almond  on salads instead of refined oils.
  • Avoid sugar and all artificial sweeteners -sugar suppresses the immune system and can feed cancer cells. Insulin resistance caused by poor eating habits can promote cancer cells. Artificial sweeteners such as Spenda and Aspartame cause hormone imbalances.
  • Exercise – 4 hours per week can result in a 37% reduction in risk for breast cancer. Yoga is an excellent form of exercise for breast health.
  • Improve Lymphatic Circulation – dry skin brushing, lymphatic massage and rebounder exercises (a small trampoline sold as a special tool for exercise) help your body to eliminate toxins by improving lymphatic flow.
  • Take off your Bra – wearing a bra for more than 12 hours a day increases breast cancer risk by a factor of 6. Stretchy, cotton bras without underwire allow more movement of the breasts, allowing better removal of toxins from the breasts by the lymphatic system.
  • Stop Smoking- this increases your risk of breast cancer as well as most other cancers
  • Do not use the birth control pill unless it is strictly for contraception. The pill is a source of synthetic estrogen and depletes your body of folic acid, B12, B6, magnesium, Vitamin C and zinc. Folic acid is especially important in cancer prevention. If you suffer from cramps, acne or other menstrual conditions, seek out a Naturopathic Doctor who will help you treat the cause of our health concerns by helping to balance your hormones.
  • Know your breasts – get to know your breasts with gentle massage when you apply natural body lotion after a daily bath or shower. (Even better is applying castor oil externally on the breasts to increase lymphatic circulation, break down adhesions and increase immune cell activity in the tissues.) Being familiar with the feel of your breast tissue will help you be more comfortable and effective when you perform breast self-exams.
  • Limit Radiation Exposure – repeated x-ray exposure may increase the risk of breast cancer. Using infrared Thermography as a screening tool is particularly useful for women in their 20’s to 40’s since mammography is not seen as being accurate in detecting breast cancer in this age group. Visit for more information.
  • Limit exposure to chemicals in cleaning products and all beauty care products. Women tend to use a lot of synthetic lotions, anti-perspirants, and perfumes that enter the blood stream and can be stored in the breast tissue or promote abnormal breast cells. It is well known that we are exposed to more toxins in the home that outdoors. Seek out natural versions of these products. For more information on healthy alternatives, check out or
  • Avoid Bisphenol A whenever possible. BPA is a chemical molecule that mimics estrogen in the body. This chemical is an endocrine (hormone) disruptor that may increase the risk for developing hormonally based cancers, including breast, prostate and endometrial cancers, and may lead to infertility or affect the onset of puberty. BPA is primarily used in the manufacturing of rigid plastic products but is also found in canned foods and beverages; especially acidic fruits and vegetables where it stops the contents from eroding the metal container.  Many (but not all) plastics containing BPA can be identified by a triangle symbol with the number 7 inside. BPA leaches into the contents of the container, even without the addition of heat, and then makes its way into the consumer’s body.  BPA creates long term health risks for everyone, however, infants, children, pregnant or breastfeeding women, those with chemical or environmental sensitivities, and the immune-compromised are especially vulnerable. Eliminate the use of BPA-containing products by choosing fresh produce, and foods stored in glass or cardboard. Eden organics produces canned products whose lining does not contain BPA. Store, cook and reheat food in glass or ceramic containers and cookware. Avoid beverages in plastic bottles & avoid freezing beverages in plastic bottles which accelerates the leaching of plastic into the beverage. Opt for glass bottles, or take beverages with you in stainless steel containers. At home and work avoid plastic and Styrofoam cups, choosing a glass and pitcher or stainless steel or ceramic mug instead. Do not use plastic of ANY KIND (container, TV dinner, plastic wrap cover, etc) in the microwave – use tempered glass. Read labels and ask retailers about alternative products such as:  Klean Kanteens, Born Free baby products, or a stainless steel Thermos
  • Practice Self-Nurturance – the breasts symbolize nurturance. Many times women are so busy taking care of others that they forget to listen to their own needs.
  • See a Naturopathic Doctor- In addition to these general guidelines, a Naturopathic Doctor can offer more specific recommendations like detoxification and immune support and assessments based on your individual needs. Remember that it can take ten years for breast cancer to grow to a detectable size. Proactive Naturopathic strategies encourage healthy breast function. There is no time like the present to take charge of your life, for the sake of you and your breasts.

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Inside Jackson Park Health Centre
Windsor, ON N8X 3N9

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