26 Feb Detox
So why detox?
The liver is the kindest organ in the body, it is involved in so many processes and therefore when its function is compromised the impact on the body can be tremendous.
- Are you feeling tired all the time?
- Do you have sugar cravings?
- Weight gain? Toxins have to be stored somewhere and if the liver is overloaded, fat cells are created.
- High Cholesterol.
- Food intolerances.
- Skin complaints/PMS.
- Increased infections.
- Inflammatory disease- IBS, Arthritis, affect liver function.
- Dark circles under the eyes.
- Blocked nose on waking.
- Poor sleep, un-refreshing sleep.
So why is liver function affected?
Whether it is the constant bombardment of toxins, both from internal and external sources or the breaking down and elimination of hormones, the liver battles on.
Balancing blood sugar is key and due to the increase in processed and refined foods, fizzy drinks and caffeine consumption, this becomes an increasingly challenging task for the liver, due to this constant yo-yo. The liver becomes involved in a hormonal dance releasing sugar when the blood sugar drops. This is extra work for the liver and so balancing blood sugar is key.
The liver also breaks down fats by producing bile and is involved in the elimination of excess cholesterol.
The body’s natural time for detox is early morning, until 10am. Starting your day drinking hot lemon and water in the morning supports a gentle detox, the liver also needs time to regenerate. Avoiding alcohol for at least two consecutive days a week gives the liver time to cleanse.
So if not proposing embarking on a weeks detox applying these simple measures does give some liver benefit.
To begin a week’s detox apply the basic rules given below:
The Six Basics to avoid on a detox:
- Caffeine: tea, coffee and soft drinks.
- Saturated fats and damaged fats (deep fried foods/rancid oils/margarine).
- Wheat – gliadin the gluten in wheat is a digestive irritant (increasing toxins in the blood stream).
- Milk –high in hormones, potential sensitivity to the protein and sugar in milk. Your body will treat it like the wheat protein, as a toxic invader causing increased work for the liver to detoxify.
- No meat re saturated fats, excess hormones and digestive load.
Liver Detox foods
- Drink 8 glasses of water every day preferably mineral or filtered.
- Eat raw nuts and seeds – a tablespoon of ground seeds a day, (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, flaxseed and chia). High in essential fats they also provide vitamin E, protein, fibre and minerals. Essential fats help heal the damaged cell membrane.
- Eat more greens, make a super greens pesto. Blend watercress, spinach, parsley, basil and coriander. Add cold pressed olive oil oils garlic to taste avocado/artichoke hearts/pine nuts are optional and blend until the consistency of a pesto add more oil as required. Packed with B vitamins this mix increases the detoxification pathways. Serve over quinoa, salmon or salad.
- Have a serving of cruciferous vegetables a day (broccoli, cauliflower brussel sprouts and kale).
- Eat more superfoods, salmon, oats, quinoa, brown rice, berries, citrus (makes the body more alkaline).
- Eat sulphur rich foods to support detox, garlic onion spring onions.
- Juice up your life! Or smoothies, use berries to support detox, watermelon, carrots, ginger and citrus.
- Increase anti-oxidants (think colour!) and also eat plenty of raw!
- Get your protein from nut, seeds, oily fish, beans and pulses.
- Exercise-detox exercises/breathing exercise and yoga stretches.
Good multi – Probiotic – digestive support
Essential Fats – Glutamine powder
Vitamin C – Milk Thistle (Silymarin liver tonic)
Detox may often cause feelings of flu –like symptoms, aches, pains, headaches (especially if addicted to caffeine). Taking hot baths or having a steam/sauna can help process these toxins and alleviate symptoms. Keep drinking water as helps and get adequate rest. Never embark on a detox during a stressful time, or when work demands are high. Springtime is the best time for detox.
Reintroduction of foods
If you find that your energy has returned, digestion better, skin and eyes brighter, sleep improved it may be advisable to keep wheat and dairy to a minimum, applying the simple rule of “no whites”, that is omitting all white refined carbohydrates, choosing whole grain instead. This in turn supports your blood sugar and assists in good weight management.
It is very important to give continued support to the liver, ensuring you’re well hydrated, boosting essential fat consumption and consuming at least one portion of dark green leafy greens per day. These steps will support the vital detoxification pathways and hence your long term health.
Before embarking on a detox it may be advisable to seek nutritional advise, so you can be properly supported.
Recommended reading Patrick Holfords 9 day liver Detox.