Our modern lifestyles now rely on an increasingly high amount of chemicals to meet our needs, these include food additives, pharmaceuticals, cleaning products, hygiene products, cosmetics, plastics, petrochemicals, industrial pollutants, heavy metals and pollutants. Our body systems are susceptible to damage by these toxins, our body’s where not designed to handle these artificial compunds and our diet and lifestyle’s (for some of us, our genetics too!), are hindering our detox pathways in getting rid of them! We need to be particularly careful with our children, whose body’s are still growing and are far more susceptible to exposures, a liver detox can be a good idea.
What Is Detoxification?
The liver is the main organ involved in the detoxification, everything goes through the liver for processing, the liver acts like the “cutoms officer” of the body, detoxification in the liver works in two steps, phase 1 and phase 2. When a toxic molecule enters the body, it is sent to the liver and enters these phases, and then returned to circulation to leave via the kidneys (urine) or via the digestive tract (faeces), and to a lesser degree via lungs, lymphatic system or skin. If there are any problems with this process the products will be retained by the body.
Warning Signs of Toxicity!
It can become difficult to relate symptoms, back to toxicity or poor liver detoxification, unless you know what to look for and what to test for, a health professional may want to rule out other causes, regardless, detoxification should always be considered, with any of the following symptoms:
*Allergies *Food sensitivities *Hives * Nausea *Vomiting *Sinusitis *Generalised body aches *Headaches *Mood disorders & irritability *Tiredness *Fertility issues *Sleep issues *Poor concentration *Menstrual issues *Immune issues *Constipation/diarrhoea *Skin issues *Puffy eyes
Diet & Lifestyles Which Promote Detoxification
The following foods and nutrients promote healthy detoxification:
Pure Water & Exercise- Leafy greens – Broccoli sprouts – Chlorella – Spirulina – Wheatgrass – Barleygrass – Nettle – Alfalfa – Antioxidants – Mangosteen – Acai – Kale – Lucuma – Kakadu plum – Nopal cactus
Cysteine – Glycine – Glutamine – Methionine – Taurine – Choline – Folic Acid – Vitamins C, A, E, B’s – Zinc
How Do I test?
Testing for toxicity is not straight forward, as the usual tests done through your GP can still look normal, its not an area orthodox medicine focuses on. Naturopathic medicine takes very seriously the body’s ability to detoxify, clues can be found in general chemistry and a urinanalysis. Blood tests for heavy metals (mercury, lead, cadmium etc) may be useful for current exposure, otherwise hair mineral analysis or urine provocation testing will be required – most of these tests will attract an out of pocket expense.
Because of the expense in testing and the safety in the below detox plan, it can be just as useful to take the 7 to 14 day challenge and see how you feel!
A Detox Plan
Green juices are a fantastic way to improve detoxification, you will need a juicer. You could kick off the process with a 7 to 14 day cleanse, drinking green juices for breakfast and eating leafy green salads for lunch and dinner with some light protein, such as fish, organic chicken/turkey/eggs, you can throw in some chiaseeds to those salads for extra fibre (you may not need it!). Ideal snacks can be herbal teas, seasonal fruit or veggie sticks. Drink 34 mills of water for each kilo you weigh!
If you drink coffee, weaning off the week prior will avoid the headaches!
Green juices, provide a huge amount of nutrients to assist detox pathways, these juices need to contain mostly green vegetables, such as; celery, parsley, lettuces, nettle etc, you can throw in one piece of fruit (no more) as its very easy to go top heavy on fruit and forget the greens! Adding spirulina, chlorella will also help. Your salads should be dressed with one or more of the following; extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon, sea salt, pepper, garlic, apple cider vinegar with mother. The idea is to get your bowels moving a couple of times per day, to clear and clean out your system 🙂
You may feel sick the first few days, to a week before you turn a corner (advise your health professional immediately, if it just dosen’t feel right).
PS – A SIDE EFFECT IS WEIGHT LOSS!!
It’s Not Just In Our FOOD!
Many toxic compounds find their way into our cleaning products, hygeine and cosmetic products. Whilst you may not be willing to give up all of these, you may want to change over to as many natural products as you are happy to. Something we may want to take very seriously are the products we are putting on our newborns and children – consider starting their lives with no chemicals, there are so many wonderful alternatives which do the job a lot better than the expensive toxic well known products. The skin is an organ and yes it does absorb what you place on it!