At this time of year, many of us are feeling the effects of overindulgence and the idea of “detoxing” and “cleansing” becomes very appealing! While it’s essential for your health, energy and appearance to regularly give your liver a break, you don’t have to launch into a strict juice diet or harsh regime to do so. Once you’ve eased back or eliminated alcohol and “festive foods”, loving your liver is a year-round habit.
Here is my five-step approach to constant detoxing for optimal health:
Step 1: Limit your exposure to toxins
Choose organic and non-genetically modified foods. Wash all your fruit and vegetables to remove residual pesticides and other pathogens. I have used Enviro Wash now for some years. Filter your drinking water. Get plastic containers and non-stick cookware out of your kitchen as the chemicals from these can leach into your food. Stop using your microwave. Choose organic or natural, non-toxic products for your skin care. Avoid unnecessary pharmaceuticals drugs.
Step 2: Support your pathways of elimination
Make sure you’re getting enough fibre (plenty of fruit and vegetables, small amounts of wholegrains) to ensure that waste moves through your intestines efficiently, and increase your intake of water. A good rule of thumb is to consume at least half your body weight in fluid ounces of filtered water every day.
Step 3: Stay active
Many toxins are carried to the lungs to be eliminated in respiration. In addition, any type of sweating facilitates the release of toxins through the skin. For these reasons, regular exercise is essential – I suggest vigorous bursts of 12 to 18 minutes after warming up to expand the lungs. Non-active sweating in a sauna or steam bath can also be beneficial. A body scrub with loofa, body brush or similar twice a week helps the elimination process via the skin.
Step 4: Consume detox-promoting foods
Many phytonutrients, found in plants, beans, nuts, wholegrains and seeds, enhance the operation of the body’s natural detoxification systems. It’s also important to eat enough protein as the liver uses protein to obtain the amino acids it needs to synthesise the master antioxidant compound, glutathione.
Step 5: My gentle approach to detoxing
Breakthrough research suggests that certain natural compounds can help support your body’s natural ability to detoxify. For example, glutathione and milk thistle extract work together to support healthy, complete detoxification and optimal liver function. These two are my favourites, but there are several others that work great too! Dr Sandra Cabot has some great liver tonics, including LivaTone Classic in a capsule or powder. I find a one-to-two month block of time works well, rather than trying to rush detoxification in a few days.
Are you feeling the need to detox after the holidays? What is your typical regime?
Here’s to better health and living!
Judy & LCA team