How to Detox Your Body

Twelve ways to remove and avoid toxins in your home and in your body.


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Every day we put potential toxins into our mouths, breathe them into our lungs, and track them into our homes without ever really knowing where theyll end up—or how much damage theyll do when they get there. In fact, if you could peek inside your body youd find fire-retardant chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, plastic particles, and dozens of other residues of modern life.

The time has come to fight back! Our 12 simple steps will help you detoxify everything from your food to your feet, from your bedroom to your breasts. Purifying your life wont happen overnight, despite what those detox foot-pad makers promise on late-night television. (PS: They dont work!) But if you begin today youll definitely be a little healthier by the time you get into bed. Here's how to get started:

1. Protect against pesticides
Washing fruit and veggies is a must-do every time you bring them home. Why? An overload of pesticides in air, food, or water may set the stage for Parkinsons disease, breast cancer, and possibly Alzheimers disease decades down the road, according to research. Apparently the chemicals in pesticides—which find a home on the surface of produce—can damage the energy-producing parts of brain cells. Theres also a pesticide-and-arthritis link. Protect your brain and body by washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly, especially if you arent eating organic. (You dont need to use fancy detergent; plain water should do the trick.)

Also watch out for pesticides in your own yard and garden, because anything you spray outside will likely end up in your home. Defend your greenery, instead, with insects (such as ladybugs) or a natural, safe repellent like neem oil (1 quart, $22.50).

2. Its curtains for plastic
You know that strong odor emanating from some new plastic shower curtains and mattress covers? Blame the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) used to manufacture them—which releases toxic chemicals that can make you dizzy and drowsy with just a few deep whiffs. Retailers like Target sell curtains made with materials like cotton, polyester, or hemp, which are safer to use and easier to clean.
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Chris Woolston
Last Updated: March 15, 2009

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