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  • Writer's pictureZina Turner

Holistic Detoxification

Do you know how to safely detox your body? The goal of detoxification is NOT to rid the body completely of toxins. Toxins are present in everything that we touch, everything that we eat, everything that we drink, and even the air that we breathe. Our bodies produce them naturally. It is impossible to live a life completely free of them. When it becomes a problematic is when they are allowed to accumulate overtime to unhealthy levels. In which case they can really take a toll on our bodies.

If we can't avoid toxins, what can we do?

When we think about detox, the first thing that generally comes to mind is juice cleanse. This is only one type of detoxification, and you don't need to cut food out completely to detoxify your body. Plus, our bodies are frequently working on detoxing. Our bodies are designed to process toxins and remove them. As long as your body is functioning optimally, it can cleanse itself of most of the toxins it comes into contact with. The goal of detoxification is to help the body function optimally, so it can detoxify.

The major way that detoxification happens, is through the liver. It even has its own circulation system, separate from the rest of the circulation in the body. It's called the portal system and it's made up of the portal vein and it's own system of blood vessels. The GI tract, the spleen, and the pancreas drain into this portal system. It can be thought of as the body's filtration system. Everything we eat and drink, as well as many of the things we inhale and absorb through our skin passes through the liver to be detoxified. The liver filters the blood removing harmful substances such as bacteria, drugs, toxins, and foreign proteins. After food is broken down in the GI tract, the food particles enter the portal blood stream from the intestine and are routed directly to the liver to be filtered. Once there, your liver separates beneficial nutrients from any waste chemicals that need to be removed from circulation, and then processes out the waste chemicals and the toxins.

In order for the liver to break down toxins it must have enough amino acids, otherwise the toxins aren't broken down. Signs and symptoms the liver isn't working adequately:

fatigue and feeling like you need and afternoon nap

disrupted sleep, especially between 2-4 am

asthma or allergies

skin disorders, including acne or rosacea

unexplained weight gain

blood sugar disorders

nutrient malabsorption

indigestion and acid reflux

chronic infections

mood swings, poor mental functioning

PMS symptoms

If the liver is having toxic overload, and is unable to process the toxins, they just float around in the bloodstream until it is able to break them down. If it is unable to break them down in any phase of detoxification, then these toxins become free radicals. These can be very harmful to the cells in the body. In fact they can be even more harmful than the actual toxins themselves. Glutathione is one of the most important antioxidants in the body. It acts like a vacuum for the free radicals. It works hard in the liver too, acting as antioxidant and also as a detoxification pathway. As we age, it is harder to produce enough glutathione to keep up with our toxic load. If this happens it's likely to develop:

systemic inflammation

weight gain

poor thyroid function

leaky gut

Build up glutathione naturally by eating foods high in vitamin C and E, which contain some glutathione, but will help your body manufacture more. Eat these foods raw, as cooking destroys glutathione. 100 g of raw grapefruit has 70 mg of glutathione, while cooked grapefruit has none. Cooked tomatoes also have no glutathione, but 100g of raw tomatoes have 166 mg. Almonds, avocados, berries, cherries, oranges, peppers, sunflower seeds, and tomatoes are great choices. You can choose to take a vitamin C supplement which may increase blood glutathione levels by 50 percent in healthy individuals. Further, increase your melatonin intake. Melatonin raises glutathione levels in the tissues of your muscles, brain and liver. Eat tart cherries, which contain significant amounts of melatonin. Also, adding milk thistle, also known as silymarin, can help your liver regenerate cells and heal itself. The liver has the highest concentration of glutathione because it's the main organ of detoxification.

Liver Cleanse Protocol

Eat foods that can help detox the body

apples, avocados, beets, and carrots

cooked cruciferous veggies, such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, and brussels sprouts

green tea

protein such as eggs, fish, and bone broth

Reduce your toxic load

Eat an organic whole foods diet

Eat antibiotic-and hormone-free meats, fish, and dairy

Use a whole-house water filtration system

Use a high quality air purifier

Open windows as often as possible

Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and illegal drugs

Avoid plastics

Swap out chemical household cleaners, soaps, and antibacterial products, for all natural brands

Use chemical-free beauty and skincare products

Support the liver through diet

Decrease intake of refined carbohydrates to help heal fatty liver

Eat liver supporting foods

Consume high quality protein and bone broth

Support the emptying of the GI tract by eating fiber

Support and improve the health of the gut microbiome

Break a sweat regularly

Manage stress to decrease cortisol overproduction

Use herbs that support the liver including chlorophyll, cilantro, turmeric, dandelion root, burdock root, milk thistle, and artichoke extract

Take supplements that support liver function, including vitamin B complex, Vitamin A, C, D, and E, along with acetyl-cysteine.


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