First I want to get the terminology straight, so I’ve included brief definitions of what toxins are, including environmental toxins as well as the definition of poison. I think it helps to specifiy exactly what we are trying to neutralize or get rid of. “Toxin” is such a broad and mainstream term these days, we forget what it really is. In order to detox your brain naturally, you need to know what you’re dealing with. Then it becomes less important than getting rid of it.
Part of my goal here is an education of how things work and how to make them work better. Toxins do affect your brain as well as the rest of your body and can affect how you think and feel. This information is extremely important for brain health.
My approach is more of a lifestyle than cleaning up what we’ve been doing. Although, we have to start somewhere, right?
It matters if you’re feeling sluggish, have unexplained fatigue, have allergies, puffy eyes or bags under your eyes, bloated, have irritated skin or have mental confusion. Then you know it’s time to pay attention and try some detox strategies.
Let’s get to it!
The scientific definitions of Toxins and Poisons from Merriam-Webster dictionary online:
[ tŏk′sĭn ]
noun : A poisonous substance, especially one produced by a living organism.
Toxins can be products or byproducts of ordinary metabolisms, such as lactic acid, and they must be broken down or excreted before building up to dangerous levels. Toxins can facilitate survival of the one giving it, as with snake venom that kills or immobilizes prey, or cyanide produced by some plants as a defense against being eaten. Bacterial toxins can sometimes be neutralized with antitoxins.
The point is, it’s usually a natural substance that interacts with our bodies in a not so positive way, either directly or by transforming into another substance altogether! So something someone else can eat with no problem could be toxic to you. It’s all about the chemistry!
But there is another definition that many of us think of as toxins:
noun : a small amount of poison found in air, water, food, etc.
poi·son | \ ˈpȯi-zᵊn
noun : a substance that through its chemical action usually kills, injures, or impairs an organism
Poisons are often man-made. This is a little bit of a distinction between the terms toxin and poison. But there seems to be a grayed out line between them and the terms are sometimes used interchangeably.
For the purposes of our discussion, I’m just going to use the word ‘toxin’ to encompass all of the above.
Okay, enough about that. Let’s move on to detoxing!
How It Works – Detox Your Brain Naturally
The truth is, the body has its own detox system via the lymph system, liver, kidneys, lungs, intestines, and skin. Even the brain has its own detox mechanism. We’ll get to that in a bit.
There aren’t any diets that actually do the detox work for your body. Certain habits, supplements, and activities can help your body do it more efficiently though. That is what we’re going to talk about.
According to Dave Asprey (The Bulletproof Diet, 2014), the brain detoxifies when you are sleeping. He states that scientists discovered the glymphatic system in 2012 which removes cellular waste from the brain. This process uses the in the brain to “turbocharge your brain’s maintenance system” so it can work overtime while you sleep. Getting enough and good sleep is a huge step toward detoxing your brain and your body. Here are some tips for getting to sleep easier: Sleep Easier
Cut Down or Eliminate Sugars
Sugar is just empty calories. Sure, it gives you energy (for a while) and then you crash. Sugars are often in processed foods too, and I don’t need to tell you how the additives and processing affect the nutrients in your food. And the chemistry in your body. Nutrients are ‘dumbed down’ or non-existent.
Some other great choices for snacking are granola, nuts or if you really want some sugar, eat a little bit of dark chocolate. You’ll get the brain benefit of the dark chocolate too. Almond butter on celery sticks is another great option (from The Bulletproof Diet).
Not only that, sugary beverages (juice beverages as well as soda) can cause fatty liver. Vegetable juice, water or coffee (especially organic or Bulletproof coffee) are much better choices.
Look for Toxins in Your Home
Check your home for mold and other toxins. Mold is Extremely bad for your health.
Water helps your body to get rid of toxins so make sure you’re drinking a good two quarts of water per day. I can’t really say enough about this. Shape Magazine’s article on detoxing recommends adding the juice of half a lemon to a glass of water which can help digestion and nudge the liver into detox mode.
Even a 12 to 16-hour overnight fasting from food can have great health benefits. It resets your internal chemistry and rests your organs so they can function properly again. It’s pretty easy. Simply don’t eat after supper or dinner until morning. Then you can have a healthy late breakfast to get your system working great again! And you’ll feel pretty good too.
Fasting also resets your hunger-meter so you’ll find you don’t get hungry as much or as often.
Try to transform negative thoughts into positive ones and avoid negative or toxic situations for you. If you can’t, try meditation and being ‘thankful’ for the positives in your life.
The reason I’m including this is that stress produces hormones like Cortisol in our bodies. Cortisol is okay once in a while. It’s natural. But high levels over the long haul are not so good for you. It raises glucose levels, which makes more energy available for your brain, but it can also lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, foul moods, and lowered energy levels. Healthline (2017) says it can also contribute to diabetes.
So, reducing your stress and staying positive is good for you too.
Organic Foods and Products
Choose organic wherever possible. Nonorganic foods and beverages can have residual pesticides or herbicides in them. Obviously, we don’t want to introduce more toxins or poisons in our system.
Supplements That Can Help Detox
- Prebiotics (fiber)
- Turmeric with Curcumin and Piperine ( Properties)
- Vitamin C
- Lion’s Mane (Anti-Inflammatory Properties)
Exercise revs up your and circulation, parts of your natural detox systems. Plus you eliminate toxins through perspiration.
Click on the link to read the Exercise article.
Test for Food Sensitivities
Some of what you eat could actually be ‘toxic’ to you, as we discussed above. Allergies and sensitivities could have symptoms that don’t lead you to a food allergy. Test Now to see if there is something you need to avoid or that’s causing you to not feel well.
Different than food allergies, food sensitivities occur when the GI tract begins to break down and poorly digested food particles trigger an immune response. This can often lead to symptoms like migraines, gas/bloating, heartburn, fatigue, rashes, joint pain, IBS, and focus issues. This food sensitivity testing kit can identify 180 potential sensitive foods, so you can react to and minimize these symptoms. Not available in New York or Maryland.
Seems Easy Right?
So there are some easy ways to detox your brain naturally. Just following these simple steps can keep your body ‘cleaner’ so it can run better. It’s like getting an oil change for your car. Be mindful of what you put in so you can be your best. I hope you enjoyed this article and found some tips you can put into place today. Please look through the website for many more easy tips and articles about how to improve memory and brain function.
Thank you for visiting Mywellbrain. Please leave any comments, experience or questions below. I appreciate it!
Asprey, D. (2017). The Bulletproof Diet
Merriam-Webster Dictionary online. (n.d.). https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poison#learn-more
Smith, D. (n.d.) 10 Ways to Detoxify Your Body. https://www.gaiam.com/blogs/discover/10-ways-to-detoxify-your-body
Thorpe, M. (2017). 11 Natural Ways to Lower Your Cortisol Levels. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ways-to-lower-cortisol
Usigan, Y. and Ahlberg, A. (2019). 10 Simple, Healthy Ways to Detox Your Body. https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/simple-ways-detox-your-body?slide=42e74ff4-0e9a-4148-a9ed-4a2232a7642f#42e74ff4-0e9a-4148-a9ed-4a2232a7642f
Van De Walle, G. (2019) Full Body Detox: 9 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Body. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-detox-your-body