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
indigestion and acid reflux
mood swings, poor mental functioning
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:
poor thyroid function
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
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
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.