How to detox naturally
By Chantelle Colalancia, Clinical Nutritionist
New Year, new you…right? 2017 is the year you’re finally going to get serious about your health and invest in detoxifying your body. But how?
A growing number of ‘health coaches’ are throwing around grandeur messages about detoxing for ultimate happiness. And yet all of the protocols and messages are different. The pressure to know which detox approach to try can be overwhelming. This often leads newly committed ‘detox-ers’ to put undue pressure on themselves. It’s no surprise then that old habits creep back in.
So, is there another way? Yes. Believe it or not we all already have the two most important components of a detoxification — kidneys and a liver. By eating a liver-friendly wholefoods, you’ll be surprised at how effectively your body is able to naturally detoxify and gently heal itself.
Many factors determine whether the liver performs its critical functions well. Too much pressure on the liver leads to a decreased ability to clear toxins and hormones and manufacture bile. Pressure can be caused by a combination of emotional stress, overworking, overeating rich (or poor-quality food) and environmental factors. However, it is possible to support the liver.
Foods that contain high levels of antioxidants help to protect the liver, while other foods help cleanse the liver. Several amino acids, B vitamins, vitamin A and C, and minerals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium and selenium are all important for supporting detoxification. Naturally, these components are found in good-quality fresh fruit and vegetables. After all, food is medicine.
In contrast to using food as medicine, there is very little clinical evidence to support the use of detox industry supplements. Despite support from health coaches and other detox bloggers, I would recommend avoiding ‘the latest detox program’. Instead, I would recommend consuming foods that help aid the biological process that already happens in the body.
Here is a list of the top liver-friendly foods that will help maintain and support the body’s natural detoxification process.
Top liver cleansers
Carrots: High in beta-carotene, they help regulate blood-sugar levels, while reducing inflammation in the body and are a good energy food.
Milk thistle: Contains an antioxidant that acts as a toxin blocker. Capsules can be taken daily for an extended period to repair the liver. Also can be purchased in the form of tea.
Walnuts: Help to eliminate toxins.
Lemons: Cleanse not only the liver, but also the gallbladder, kidneys, digestive tract and lungs.
Garlic: Helps strengthen and cleanse the blood, while giving the liver and kidneys a spring clean.
Dandelion tea: Dandelion has been used for centuries. It is a blood purifier and antioxidant and is recommended for those with liver complaints.
Beetroot juice: Contains a chemical called betaine that stimulates the liver cells and protects the liver and bile ducts.
Spirulina/Chlorophyll: Contains approx. 60% protein, containing complete essential amino acids and a wide range of vitamins/minerals required for healthy liver function.
Turmeric: The most powerful antioxidant on the market. Simply add the herb to your soups, on top of roasted veggies, or on your salad.
Brown Rice: High antioxidant components helping decrease inflammation.
Barley Grass: Loaded with all the supporting nutrients mentioned above, this wonder plant is also a rich provider of powerful antioxidants and essential amino acids and beneficial enzymes and supplies the valuable fiber to the body and does not offer any harmful cholesterol.
Ginger: Potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
Water: Get plenty of sleep, have infrared saunas, indulge in lymphatic massages and drink lots of filtered water.
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