Our body is carefully detoxing daily! Ideally, we should be supporting this process continually. I believe it is better to support detoxification with small, good habits day to day then to burden liver and then undertake an intensive cleanse. Signs and symptoms of a sluggish liver can vary but some may include feeling tired upon waking in the morming or struggling to wake, waking between 1am-2am, general ongoing fatigue, frequent nausea, digestive upset, skin sensitivity, excess body odour, headaches, sensitivity to alcohol and/or medications.
Below, you will find some small tips to help you maximise gentle, daily detoxificaiton.
- Minimise exposure to environmental toxins. For instance:
—> Swap plastic tupperware for glass to reduce xenoestrogens
—> Avoid synthetic fragrance
—> Use only plant based cleaning products
—> Avoid consuming conventional produce sprayed with herbicides and pesticides
—> Try to consume mostly filtered drinking water
- Focus on incorporating bioflavonoids in your diet. Bioflavonoids can be found in colourful fruit and vegetables. It is also a favourite supplement of mine as it can help with allergies, hay fever, reactive skin when taken at a therapeutic dose. Make sure to consult a practitioner before suplpementing.
- Maintain good oral hygiene. A build up of bad bacteria can start in the mouth and burden other organs. Try tongue scraping in the morning and rinse regularly with sea salt and warm water. I highly recommend incorporating the Living Libations Happy Gum Drops. You can put a drop on your tongue scraper or toothbrush or make your own gargle. This potent blend of oils is incredibly anti inflammatory and anti bacterial.
- The gut plays a huge role in helping to protect the body from intestinal toxins. Support gut health with fermented foods such as sauerkraut and yoghurt and spices such garlic, onion, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, sage, rosemary.
- Fibre from oats, nuts and seeds will help keep bowel movements regular along with adequate hydration. Passing a stool daily is essential as it is one of the main ways our body removes waste product.
- Minimise use of drugs and medications particularly antacids, aspirin, ibuprofen, antibiotics.
- Pay attention to household hygiene. Use plant based detergents or essential oil solutions which help maintain the bacteria balance. Most antibacterial washes kill all bacteria, good and bad. Always make sure to wash your hands before cooking and eating.
- Reduce and minimise alcohol consumption. Alcohol and most medications will get priority clearance through the liver which means your hormones have to wait! In other words, it has a flow on effect for detoxification.
- If travelling, I usually recommend taking Saccharomyces boulardii. This can help reduce the incidence of upset bowels.
- Top nutrients for our liver include zinc, glutathione, N-Acetyl Cysteine, cruciferous vegetables and Milk Thistle. I recommend speaking to a naturopath for gudiance around which foods include these specific nutrients or therapeutic supplemention. Cysteine and methionine are the most important amino acids for Phase Two detoxification pathways. They are found in meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy. Zinc sources include pumpkin seeds, liver, turkey, beef, shellfish, sunflower seeds.
- If you only do one thing to help protect yourself from environmental toxins, make sure to consume a wide variety of antioxidant rich foods. Foods that are richest in these include colourful vegetables (red, yellow and green vegetables), raw nuts and seeds and fish. Sea vegetables such as wakame, kelp, dulse and nori are also especially rich in carotenoids (a type of antioxidant).