The human body is designed to continuously and naturally remove unwanted toxins, but if the digestive system, liver, and kidneys are not functioning optimally, these toxins will have a sneaky way of embedding themselves in fat cells (as well as the brain and blood), where they can be stored for years.
Why Does Your Body Store Toxins In Fat?
In the 1980s, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), conducted a program called the National Human Adipose Tissue Survey (NHATS).
They found that all human fat samples contained traces of four industrial solvents and one dioxin. Nine more chemicals, including three more dioxins and one fur were found in more than 90 percent of the fat samples, and on average, 83 percent of the samples had PCBs (1, 2).
Dioxins are a group of toxic chemical compounds that include chlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (CDDs), chlorinated dibenzofurans (CDFs) and certain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). They are formed during combustion processes such as waste incineration, forest fires, chlorine bleaching of pulp and paper, smoking, and herbicide manufacturing (3). They can also get into drinking water.
Two Type of Toxins
There are two types of toxins that can enter the body:
• Water-Soluble Toxins: toxins that are easily flushed out of the body via the blood, lungs and kidneys.
• Fat-Soluble Toxins: toxins that must be converted by the liver to become water soluble, prior to being eliminated.
Fat-soluble toxins include heavy metals, environmental pollutants, pesticides, plastics, preservatives, food additives and other environmental chemicals.
The Liver and Toxin Removal
If our digestive and detox pathways are not functioning optimally, these toxins find their way from the liver to the blood, fat cells and brain, where they can store for years.
With a healthy-functioning liver, it produces bile that is later stored in the gallbladder. Every time you consume fats, bile from the gallbladder is used to help digest them. Bile is also used for eliminating worn-out red blood cells and certain toxins from your body.
When you’re digesting food, both nutritional and toxic fats get transferred from the stomach into the small intestines, where bile is secreted from the liver and gallbladder.
In the small intestine, there are millions of small villi and lacteals, finger-like “hairs” that simultaneously sweep the gut, emulsify fat and send toxic fats to the liver for processing. If this pathway malfunctions at any time in a persons life, the body stores toxic fats instead of removing them.
Gut Associated Lymphatic Tissue
The Gut Associated Lymphatic Tissue (GALT), which surrounds the entire intestinal tract, is the very beginning of the body’s lymphatic system. It is here that these small micro-villi and lacteals absorb and process both nutritional and toxic fats (good fats are used to make energy, cholesterol, hormones and brain cells, while toxic fats are processed for elimination).
If the lymphatic system becomes congested, and when the detoxification pathways in the liver and large intestine are not functioning properly (such as when someone is not consuming enough plant fibre), the body starts to store toxic fats rather than remove them.
Toxic fats are then re-circulated in the blood, and eventually get absorbed into fat cells throughout the body. These toxins can be stored for many years, causing free radical damage and cellular degeneration. They can affect metabolism, and can lead to abdominal weight gain.
Signs of a congested GALT include:
– Holding extra weight around the belly
– Skin irritations or itching
– Joint stiffness
– Swollen hands and feet
– Elimination concerns (constipation or diarrhea)
– Occasional headaches
How To Rid The Body of Toxins
Food allergies, excessive body weight, poor diet, and high stress levels all contribute to poor toxin removal. There are many small changes you can implement on your own to make big differences. Try out the following suggestions to help your body flush out toxins naturally.
Detoxifying your liver periodically can help it from becoming too congested. You can take a variety of different herbs like dandelion root and milk thistle, or go on a juice cleanse, integrating liver-supportive juices.
Additionally, you should always try your best to opt for organic over conventional, and clean your home with natural products. The more toxins you exposure yourself to, the harder your body needs to work to eliminate them.
2. Eat Well
Eating well is another major component of keeping your body toxin-free. Eat a wide variety of plant-based foods to up the fibre content in your diet. You want enough dietary fibre in your diet to absorb your bile.
Eliminate any processed, pre-packaged, and boxed foods as well as alcohol and caffeine. Eliminate refined sugars, additives, sweeteners, preservatives, artificial flavouring, food colouring and dyes. Respect sensitivities to foods like gluten and dairy, which have the ability to cause even more inflammation.
Fruit, cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens and herbs, as well as nuts and seeds are all great choices and are full of important nutrients.
3. Get Fit
Keeping active is another great way to prevent toxic overload. Sweating will help your body expel toxins through your skin. If you have access to a sauna, this is even better, as it facilitates a heavy sweating body response, which eliminates toxins at a faster rate.
The more you move, the more you stimulate the lymphatic system, as well as your cardiovascular system. So not only will moving benefit toxin removal, but it will keep you young and healthy. Consider activities like walking, swimming, rebounding, yoga, jogging, dancing, or anything else you love doing to keep active.
Stress is the leading cause of inflammation in the body. Stress releases the hormone cortisol, which temporarily shuts down our digestion. This interferes with the exchange of fats and nutrients in your GALT. Practice different calming techniques like art therapy, mindfulness breathing, meditation, yoga, or listening to this song.