As the warmer weather comes along you may find yourself wanting to give your system a little support to clear out those cold-weather cobwebs...
The question is if you are what you eat, why do you need to detox?
With chemicals and environmental pollutants in our air, food, and water, many toxins we accumulate are beyond our control. Although our bodies are designed to naturally detoxify, a build-up of toxins can still accumulate and over time may contribute to chronic health complaints.
A Simple Refresh Detox
The good news is, a detox doesn’t have to be intense or extreme to be effective, often a few simple changes can result in increased energy and vitality. To gently refresh the liver and lighten the load you could try some of the following tricks:
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice in water first thing in the morning
- Lowering fat, sugar, and caffeine intake
- Massaging the liver area to help remove congestion
- Try not eating too late at night or when you are not hungry
- Regular exercise can support improved lymphatic flow
Digging a Bit Deeper
If you feel the need to up the intensity of your detox, then specific nutrients, herbs, and food can help improve the body’s ability to process toxins and support detoxification.
Protein is often overlooked during a detox but it is essential for phase II detoxification to effectively bind to a toxin and safely eliminate it through the kidneys and bowel. Vegan and vegetarian protein powders are available to support this process.
Antioxidants can support your cells from any free radicals generated as you detox. Vitamins A, C and E, zinc, selenium, N-acetyl-cysteine, alpha-lipoic acid, green tea, grape seed extract, resveratrol, and berries have good antioxidant qualities. Increasing organic fruit and vegetables will also support this process. Glutathione is considered the mother of all antioxidants. Required by every cell in the body with the liver having the highest demand for it. The good news is your body naturally makes it from amino acids cysteine, glycine, and glutamine, but it is easily depleted with poor diet, pollution, toxins, medications, stress, trauma, aging, infections, and radiation.
Chlorella, a green algae that grows in freshwater is naturally high in chlorophyll and well known for its potent internal detoxing and chelating properties, helping support the body eliminate toxins. Green leafy veggies are also a good source of chlorophyll but if you’re not a lover of green smoothies or struggle to get enough greens in your diet, a chlorophyll supplement or green powder will be a powerful addition to your detox.
Don’t forget the simplicity of water. Sipping on room temperature or warm water is not only deeply hydrating but will help flush your lymphatic system increasing circulation and encouraging waste removal. The average person needs at least two liters of water a day.
The liver is an amazing organ and carries out more than 300 functions. It stores vitamins and minerals, filters the blood, creates bile to emulsify fat, eliminates excess hormones, produces enzymes to deactivate toxins and of course, is important for detoxification and digestion.
When the liver is functioning well we feel energized and in good spirits but when the liver is overworked and under stress, you may feel irritable, aggressive and short-tempered. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has long associated anger with the liver and gallbladder.
Liver tonics are available to cleanse, and support the liver, gallbladder function and digestion as well as to support your regulating detoxification pathways.
Headaches, fatigue, nausea, changes in bowel motions and fogginess can occur during detoxing and is referred to as a healing crisis. Absorbing circulating toxins with Zeolite/Clinoptilite or bentonite clay can reduce these side effects because these mineral detoxifiers have an amazing capacity to attract and bind to toxic substances in the body.
Your colon is a major elimination channel for dumping toxic waste with up to 70% of toxins passing through the gastrointestinal tract. Increasing fibre with psyllium, flaxseeds and chia seeds will support regular bowel movements and toxin removal as it functions like an internal brush sweeping through the digestive tract removing toxins and build up.
Lastly, if you like the idea of feeling more energized, clear-headed and revitalized but struggle with the concept of going through a physical detox then flower essences can support an emotional detox to address underlying emotions that prevent us from letting go of negative patterns and behaviours.
Detoxing is not recommended for everyone and should be avoided if you are pregnant, have a medical condition or are unwell. If you are taking medication you should also consult with your health practitioner first.