Reprogram Your Genes For Health, Happiness And Vitality
Part 3: Guard Against Damage
We are constantly exposing our bodies and brains to environmental toxins and insults, and they have a number of elaborate mechanisms to both prevent damage and repair any damage that does occur.
It’s important to realise that our capacity to guard against damage is limited and if you want long term physical and mental health, it is important to both reduce our exposure to damage and increase our defensive capabilities.
We now know that sleep is important for memory consolidation and both physiological and psychological repair. Recent research has shown that when we sleep the brain removes toxins, while lack of sleep causes damage. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep, four times a week.
Don’t smoke, reduce your exposure to plastics (bottles, containers, etc.), eat organic food where possible, and wash non-organic fruit and vegetables to minimise exposure to toxic herbicides and pesticides.
Choose wild fish rather than farmed, grass fed meats, and minimise your intake of canned and processed foods. Also, be aware that anything you put on your skin or hair can raise toxins, so go for organic soap, deodorant, toothpaste and natural personal care products and cleaning products where possible. When making home improvements, choose non-toxic paints, carpets and sofas and buy a good water filter – and drink from a glass, ceramic or metal water bottle. See www.ewg.org for additional tips about avoiding toxins.
Some things that have been scientifically proven to help you detoxify are sweating (through exercise and/or sauna), drinking plenty of water, and eating lots of dietary fibre and vegetables, as these support the liver to detox. Examples include the broccoli family, onions, garlic, beets, the spice turmeric, as well as citrus fruits and grapes. Avoid alcohol, sugar and processed foods when detoxifying. Some useful supplements include high quality fish oil, chlorella and glutathione.
If you suspect heavy metal contamination, consult a qualified health professional (ideally an integrative doctor) to get a toxicology test and advice on appropriate metal chelation therapy.
Click the links below to read the previously published articles in this series: