To detox or not that is the question we ask and if you live in this modern world then there’s a pretty high chance that the answer will be yes!
While there is lots of conflicting opinions about this topic, we are of the firm belief (with many other wise folks in the natural medicine arena) that a detox protocol done twice a year can make such a difference to ones wellbeing, happiness and life overall.
if you think for a second of the world we are now living in with all of it's extra toxins, pollutants, processed & unhealthy foods, conventionally-grown produce that contain harmful sprays, geo-engineering chemicals in the sky and on an on an on!
Our livers have never been so burdened and I hadn't even mentioned drugs, medications,, cigarettes, alcohol or stress yet...
To help you decide, we’ve complied a list of signs to tell if your body may be in need of some TLC in the form of a detox...
- Bad breath
- Chemical sensitivity
- Coated tongue (white or yellow)
- Fluid retention
- Sinus congestion
- Increased belly fat
- Bloated belly
- Food cravings
- Blood sugar issues
- Overheating or excessive sweating
- Resistance to weight loss
- Acne, breakouts, itchy skin (or all)
- Gall bladder issues (maybe you’ve had yours removed?)
So if you’ve looked at this list and can relate to at least 4 symptoms then there’s a good chance you may need to detox but it’s always best before undergoing one to see your natural health specialist (most doctors tend to turn their noses up at detoxing). There are more doctors these days practicing both alternative/complimentary medicine and modern medicine.
Why Should Detox if over the age of 40
If you like a drink (as most of us Aussies do) and you’re over the age of 40 you may notice that you can no longer handle alcohol the way you used to, the way you could in your younger years. 😓
Because naturally when we reach a certain age we become more sensitive to alcohol. This is because as we age, our body composition changes and we tend to bess less lean and put on body fat more easily. The alcohol doesn’t distribute in your fat therefore you get a higher concentration in your blood. Also, after the age of 40 your liver reserves go down and it struggles more to detoxify alcohol from the body.
You can be sure science is involved when it comes to detoxing and FYI it happens in 2 phases; phase 1 (oxidation) and phase 2 (conjugation) through the 2 key detox pathways.
Phase 1 = Liver Utilising oxygen to remove toxins
Phase 2 = Removes Metabolites
It is imperative that you give up alcohol for at least 3 weeks if you want to clear your liver and detox effectively!
But what if I experience side effects?
As you’re detoxing, there’s a chance you’ll encounter some negative symptoms. This happens when the detox pathways are not open
You can help your liver and reduce unfavourable effects by doing the following:
- Increase your antioxidants naturally to help fight free radicals: You can get more natural antioxidants into your body through eating/drinking acai berry*, other berries* (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, mulberries, goji berries), black tea, beetroot, citrus, carrots, pumpkin, spinach and sweet potato. Take natural supplements that contain high levels of antioxidants such as a high quality resveratrol supplement. Antioxidants are especially important in phase 1 because more free radicals are created during this time.
- Pimp your coffee with cardamom: Cardamom works by increasing phase 1 enzyme that metabolises caffeine. #winning!
- Eat broccoli sprouts: these can be expensive to buy and may be a little mucking around to grow but if you can get your hands on these then that’s awesome. Broccoli sprouts can help with phase 2 and that’s because they are known to be potent anti-cancer ninjas, due to the sulforaphane they contain. Sulfarophane = enzyme-boosting catalyst.
- Eat cruciferous veggies: Incorporate more broccoli, brussels, cabbage and cauliflower into your diet. This helps to reduce oestrogen dominance and support both phases of the detox.
- Eat/drink turmeric: If you haven’t already realised the super powers of this amazing golden spice then it’s possible you’ve been hibernating with yogi bear hehe. But I’m sure you have so I’m gonna remind you of it’s incredulicious (incredible + delicious) health benefits. For the sole purpose of the format of this blog I’ve put the turmeric benefits down the bottom of the blog.
- Don’t skip the citrus: Now it’s pretty common knowledge these days that having a warm lemon water in the morning is the best way to wake up the system and get everything going and flowing. By adding a good squeeze (I recommend 1/2 for 1 glass of water) of either lemon or lime juice you get a very powerful detox effect and once you start you won’t be able to stop because you’ll feel that good! The most powerful detoxifier of the citrus family is the humble grapefruit. Never underestimate it’s super powers because it’s pretty amazeballs. Grapefruit is also especially great for the lymphatic system and if you cut it in half it actually looks the way a breast would look on the inside (all the little lymphatic channels of the breast). Nature is so rad!
- Scare a vampire and eat lots of garlic! Who cares if it gives you smelly breath (chew on some fresh mint or parsley if it bothers you) garlic is wonderful for activating liver enzymes and is most powerful when eaten raw.
- Eat beetroot and carrots: These both contain a high amount of plant flavonoids and beta-carotene that help to improve liver function.
- Green Tea: This type of tea is a wonderful liver assistant and toner but just be mindful that it does contain caffeine and caffeine is best avoided if you want to detox properly. I actually considered leaving this section out all together because it kind of contradicts what I am saying. However I am giving you the info. so that when you’re not detoxing you’ll remember how good green tea is for the liver. Best option when it comes to green tea is organic matcha tea, as it contains more of the good polyphenols and catechins, it’s way greener (more fun to drink!) and tastes amazing!
- Leafy Greens: Well hello captain obvious! This one is kind of a no-brainer but leafy green veggies are your best weapon against disease (provided they’re free from harmful chemicals like pesticides, herbicides and fungicides). They’re important for liver health because they contain chlorophyl. This natural substance helps to suck up environmental toxins from the blood like a Dyson vacuum cleaner. Leafy greens have the ability to neutralise heavy metals and other chemicals but it’s still always better to choose organic where possible – this will help protect the liver. Go for leafy veg like kale, collard, spinach, rocket, mustard greens, romaine lettuce and dandelion.
- An Apple a day… You’ve heard the old saying ‘an apple a day, keeps the doctor away’, well this may be because apples are high in pectin (a complex carb, soluble fibre found in the walls of plant cells). Pectin has a regulating effect on the digestive system, may help to lower blood pressure and glucose and bad cholesterol levels.
- Olive Oil: Add olive oil to your diet to help love your liver. Oils such as hemp, olive and flax oil help provide a base that absorbs toxins, toxins that may otherwise cause harm.
- Go alternative with your grains: Wheat and other glutenous grains can often contain lots of toxins and can be harder on the digestion so opting for alternate grains such as buckwheat, millet and quinoa (see image below) can have a positive effect.
- Walnuts: Did you know that walnuts are high in the amino acid arginine? They also aid in liver detox. These brain-shaped nuts contain high levels of gluathione and omega 3 fatty acids that help to support normal cleansing actions. Walnuts are high in the amino acid arginine
- Liver herbs, berries and tonics: Use herbs such as milk thistle, coriander, shizandra berry, artichoke, broccoli sprouts and organic chlorella (one of world’s best heavy metal detoxifiers!). You can use any of these on their own or you can increase powers to super hero status by taking them in one convenient and simple capsule. The blend is one of the Perfect Supplements and it’s called Perfect Liver Detox Support and it supports both phase 1 and 2 of the detox process, so it’s an absolute must for anyone embarking on a detox. Get it here.
- Fights inflammation
- Great liver detoxifier (because it assists enzymes to help flush out dietary carcinogens (cancer-causing things in foods we eat)
- Cancer preventer (brain, leukaemia, multiple myeloma, prostate and skin)
- May also prevent metastasis and cachexia
- Shown to prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease due to incredible effect on the brain
- Improves eye health and degeneration
- Helpful for weight loss
- May help MS (multiple sclerosis)
- Psoriasis, depression, sleep and bacterial infections
Keep in mind that detoxing is not a luxury but a necessity when it comes to good health and prevention.
*remember to try to choose organic where possible for maximum results and vibrant health.
Before You Detox
Before you detox, it's important to know that your detox pathways should be open - allowing the proper flow of toxins so that they don't accumulate and you get what is is known as a "healing crisis" or "detox reaction". Please read our other blog called 'How to Unblock Detox Pathways for Effective Detoxification".
Disclaimer: this is not health advice just information from my own experiences. It’s always advised to seek expert health advice before embarking on any kind of wellness program/protocol.