7 Questions to Identify and Get Rid of Toxins in Your Body

Many of the substances on our foods have been so genetically modified or artificially altered in labs that our cells cannot recognize them.

When our cells can’t recognize food, they are treated like foreign invaders — toxins and chemicals — and your system goes into overdrive to neutralize them and get them out of your body.

This creates something called nutritional stress – feeding our cells what they don’t need, which harms them and impairs their normal functioning.  (I have an entire chapter on nutritional stress in my book starting on page 145).

“Anytime we eat nonfood, our bodies are stressed. But we are strong and can adapt to almost anything – for awhile (SuperLife, 153).” That’s the problem. While our bodies can handle the nutritional stress for awhile, it is taxing work and takes its toll. Often this toll is paid in the form of chronic diseases. Your long-term health depends on you taking an active role in removing sources of toxins and chemical exposure for your body.

Dyes, flavoring, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, larvicides, antibiotics, petrochemicals in our clothes, cars, and gadgets (plus the ones that leach into our food from cheap plastic or metal containers), genetically modified organisms (GMOs) — the list of nonfood items that cause nutritional stress gets longer every day.

This takes a tremendous amount of energy and work for your cells, your already tired kidneys ,and your liver to get these “foreign invaders” out.

We’re polluted and our bodies are working overtime before we’re even born. Did you know a report by the Environmental Working Group found an average of 287 contaminants in unborn babies’ blood, including mercury, fire retardants, pesticides and the Teflon chemical PFOA?[1] And considering that we emit more than 70,000 new and mostly untested chemical toxins in our atmosphere every year, we are getting hammered!

Yes, your body is made to naturally detox and get rid of toxins in your body, but when your detox systems are taxed too far, your body throws up a white flag and tries to hide the toxins in your fat. Yes, that’s right. There’s another reason to dislike any excess fat your body may be carrying around. It is a hiding place for substances that should be OUT of your body!


The FDA is not doing a good job regulating toxins and chemicals.

The FDA tests only 0.00002% of the fruits and vegetables available for sale. But that’s not the scary part. It’s really only testing for a small amount of the toxic pesticides used on produce – it’s not testing for them all. It last updated its Q&A page on pesticides in 2013 – and cites studies on food safety from the 1980s and 1990s!

The FDA and other government bodies both at the federal and state level won’t protect you. It is up to you to identify and remove sources of toxins and chemicals in your food.


Don’t believe the argument that trace amounts of toxins and chemicals won’t matter. It’s the cocktail effect (all of them in your body all together) and the extended long-term battle over years that does all the damage. The food choices you make today have a huge impact on your health in the future.

“As science has shown us, chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer begin developing when we’re young.” (SuperLife, 178) The road to chronic diseases, which are the cause of more than 60 percent of deaths around the world, are built on one trace toxin and chemical at a time.


Start eliminating toxins and stress on your body by asking these seven simple questions:

  • Is this food clean?
  • Does it contain pesticides, herbicides, and other industrial chemicals?

Avoid these by choosing organic foods or if you cannot afford 100% organic choices at a minimum avoid “The Dirty Dozen,” the 12 foods that test with the highest levels of pesticides. This list is updated yearly by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Its counterpart, the “Clean Fifteen,” is a list of the 15 foods with the least amount of pesticides on them. Find out more about both lists in this blog.

Studies have shown that people who eat organic food can have up to 90% lower levels of pesticide in their bodies than people who eat normal, non-organic, pesticide-treated food.[2] If the organic products are grown locally, even better. They are fresher, other with higher nutritional density because they don’t have to be picked early to leave time to ship them to you.

  • Does it contain natural toxins I should be aware of?

Did you know that plants contain essential nutrients necessary for human growth and health, yet plants can also contain certain harmful or toxic substances? Your body can absolutely handle trace amounts of natural toxins in foods, BUT if you eat the same thing over and over again, day after day, it will build up and create a toxic load. Bonus: When you include a wide variety of foods in your diet not only do you limit toxin exposure and allow time for your body to naturally get rid of trace levels of toxins, you also load up your body with an equally wide variety of nutrients!

  • Was it made in a kitchen or a factory?

Start carving our time to make your own fresh, plant-based meals and smoothies. The facts about the food production industry are overwhelmingly dismal and end up adding a whole slew of toxins, chemicals, and unintended side effects.

  • Is this really “fresh” food?

According to the Food and Drug Administration, fresh food is in a raw state and has not been frozen or subjected to any form of thermal processing or preservation. However, it CAN INCLUDE:

  1. The addition of approved waxes or coatings;
  2. Post-harvest use of approved pesticides;
  3. A mild chlorine wash or mild acid wash on produce (yes, they do that!)
  4. Treatment of raw foods with ionizing radiation

Does the above list sound all that “fresh” to you? It is more important than ever to eat organic, and buy from people you know.

  • Is there a healthier, cleaner version I can eat?

If you have a staple food you aren’t willing to give up, at least start by “SuperLife-ing” it into a cleaner, healthier version. For example, if you aren’t willing to give up coffee yet, a few simple tweaks will decrease coffee’s stress on the body, starting with making it organic!

  • fully recognize it

For more on reading labels, check out the series, “The Food Label Maze.” If it’s a long name you cannot pronounce, do you think your body will?

The Short Version: Daily choices have long-term effects! Have a relationship with your food and know what you are eating! Take control of what goes in your body and eliminate toxin and chemical exposure every single chance you get. It has a lasting effect on your long-term health.




About SuperLife:



Darin Olien’s health and wellness company, SuperLife, headquartered in Malibu, CA, shares resources and breaking research that demystify health, fitness, nutrition, and longevity into simple daily actions. Olien’s fad-free, super simple rules of healthy eating and living create life-long wellness and the opportunity to live a SuperLife – the greatest expression of life possible!


About Darin Olien:

Nicknamed “The Indiana Jones of Superfoods,” Darin Olien is a widely recognized exotic superfoods hunter, supplement formulator, and environmental activist who travels the planet discovering new and underutilized medicinal plants. He works closely with thousands of international farmers, growers, and manufacturers to get high-quality, fair-trade superfood and herbal commodities out to market. Since 2005 he has sourced more than 300 foods and ingredients from around the world, working directly with the people of Peru, Bhutan, the Amazon region, the Himalayas, the South Pacific, and many other countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

Olien is a renowned authority on nutrition, hydration, and the potency of foods and herbs, which he writes about in his new book, SuperLife: The 5 Forces That Will Make You Healthy, Fit, and Eternally Awesome. The book offers resources for simple lifestyle changes that create long term-health. It is a fad-free, myth-busting, individualized approach to health developed from Olien’s 20+ years of travel and research around the world.


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