In my previous blog, I made the point that our digestive, detoxification and elimination systems are the corner stones of our health and that their proper function quite literally makes or breaks our health. Let’s review in this blog the nutritional support necessary for our body’s 3-phased detoxification.
The knowledge shared below was imparted to me by Dr. Libby Weaver, PhD during an excellent lecture I attended at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I graduated from.
There’s no doubt about it: Reducing your exposure to toxins and supporting your body in getting rid of them is an important formula for health. Before toxins can be removed via urine, stool, or sweat, they must be transformed from fat-soluble compounds (more likely to be stored in the body) into water-soluble compounds (which can be more easily excreted). This transformation occurs primarily in the liver via a multiple-phase, nutrient-dependent detoxification process requiring several amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds. This makes having a nutrient-dense eating approach one of the most crucial factors for supporting detoxification in the body.
What Happens: In the initial detoxification phase, enzymes carry out reactions that break down toxins into less harmful by-products.
Secondary Food Support: Nutrients essential for the first detoxification phase include B vitamins; vitamin C; and the amino acids cysteine, methionine, and choline. Antioxidants (glutathione and resveratrol), cruciferous vegetables (broccoli and cauliflower), and certain herbs (milk thistle, caraway, dill, and sassafras) are also supportive. Having sufficient nutrients available in the body ensures this phase works optimally and the body can transition to the next phase. Try citrus fruits, blueberries, leafy greens, or dark chocolate for a nutritional boost.
What Happens: In the second detoxification phase, the liver attaches a molecule to each less harmful by-product created in the first phase, enhancing its water solubility and helping promote excretion from the body.
Secondary Food Support: Essential nutrients for supporting the second phase of detoxification include vitamin B12; folic acid; vitamin C; magnesium; and the amino acids choline, glutamine, glycine, and taurine. Eating proteins like fish, eggs, meat, beans, and dairy, as well as garlic and onions, can increase supportive amino acid intake. Leafy greens, mushrooms, avocado, and cabbage help increase B-vitamin and magnesium levels.
What Happens: During the final detoxification phase (known as transportation), the body sends the second-phase by-products to the kidneys or small intestine for excretion.
Secondary Food Support: The final phase of detoxification requires adequate dietary fiber and hydration for efficiency. Beans, broccoli, berries, popcorn, whole grains, apples, dried fruits, and potatoes are all sources of fiber that can support detoxification; hydrating with water, most herbal teas, juice, fruits, and vegetables can support the excretory system in removing by-products from the body.
As you can see eating a diverse, wholesome diet rich in colorful fruit and vegetables and drinking ample amounts of water daily will go a long way to support your detoxification pathways as long as you avoid, for a few days a week at least, liver loaders. Liver Loaders are exogenous substances that interrupt the liver detoxification processes above and begin to wreak havoc your body as a result. I covered the liver loaders in my prior blog.
May I recommend you embark on a weekly Hormonize Cleanse to give space and time for your body to catch up on its cleaning job or at the very least 1-3 days a month eating the very best, more colorful foods and abstaining from as many liver loaders as possible? I share a new 1-Day Hormonize Cleanse Meal Plan once monthly. You can receive the recipes by adding your name to my distribution list HERE. Next one will be emailed out tomorrow on November 19th and I plan to get on it on Monday, before Thanksgiving and maybe after the Holidays.
Have a wonderful day,