Wednesday, 20 September 2017
Like I talked about in the past, I love detoxes. Not the no food, extra laxative kinds, but more a nutritional detox. Giving your body all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and nutrients it needs to do the job it was made to do- eliminate waste. The best way to do this is through diet and food. This is a great time to add supplements for an extra boost and support. This kind of a detox I like to do twice a year- generally Spring and Fall- as a way to get back on track. It's also good to do a 'mini' version after splurges (think vacations (especially all-inclusive) and holidays). I talk more about why everyone should consider doing a detox and what the benefits are in one of our Wellness Wednesdays from this past Spring.
However, between these two focused detoxes, there are ways you can boost your detox pathways and organs of detoxification on a regular basis. Try to incorporate some of these easy boosters into your daily routine.
Your body runs it's detox pathways on vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and your best source of all of these are through fruits and vegetables, which means, the easiest way to give yourself a detox boost is to load up on these. In fact, the antioxidant level of foods are rated by the ORAC score (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) and is based on a 100g serving. The foods that top the list (minus spices like cloves- which is actually the highest- because who eats 100g of cloves?!) are fruits and veggies. An added bonus is that, fruits and veggies are also an amazing source of fibre which your colon needs to stay healthy. Also, don't forget those more bitter greens- think collards, kale, dandelion, arugula, etc.- bitter tastes help stimulate digestive enzymes and stomach acid production which in turn helps ensure our food is being broken down and absorbed effectively and helps ensure healthy digestion.
Your colon and digestive system is a major pathway of elimination and detoxification. Upping the fibre not only helps improve bowel movements, it helps bind toxins/waste to carry it out of the body and it feeds healthy bacteria, which are responsible for helping with nutrient absorption and even some production as well as keeping your immune system healthy, newer research is even showing a link between gut flora and mental health! Many people immediately think grains, like oatmeal, when they think fibre, but grains are actually quite low in fibre when compared nutritionally to things like seeds, vegetables and even some fruits. Chia seeds and flaxseeds are my two favourite easily added foods that really help to boost not just your fibre but also nutrition. These relatively tasteless seeds can be easily added to smoothies, salads or even water to give you a boost. For example, just 2 tbsp of chia seeds pack 4 grams of protein, 11 grams of fibre, 17% of your DRA calcium, 12% DRA iron and 23% DRA Magnesium! Mix some chia seeds into your water with a bit of lemon to make a simple Chia Fresca- the seeds will form a gelatinous coat after sitting in the water for a few minutes, so you don't even notice they are there!
When it comes to processing toxins, your liver is definitely your power house, this is why most 'detox supplements' tend to focus on Liver support and herbs. However, you don't have to take a capsule to get a little boost. Adding herbal teas like milk thistle or dandelion will both support your liver. Milk thistle is hepatoprotective meaning it helps to heal and protect the liver from damage from the toxins it's processing. Dandelion is more stimulating which means it will increase liver function and bile out put but isn't as protective. Which herbs you use will depend on what your goals are (it's good to speak with your ND to make sure it's the right herb or product for you). Even adding lemon water into your diet can help give your liver a boost- the lemon helps stimulate digestion as well as bile acid production and output.
However, when it comes to doing a fully planned detox, I still prefer to use a professional quality supplement to ensure that the proper dosage, concentration and herbal constituents are there to get the benefits we are after, but adding a little nutritional boost to your everyday routine is a great way to support your body and a healthy lifestyle!
Disclaimer: The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. This information shouldn’t take the place of seeing a Naturopathic Doctor or your primary care provider for individualized health recommendations.