Christmas is always such a fun and festive time; it means friends and family, sitting around the Christmas tree, the giving of gifts and eating of delicious foods.
The overindulgence of food and drinks can take a toll on our digestive systems, especially our liver, leaving us feeling bloated, sluggish, tired, low in energy and some of us maybe even getting breakouts and irregular bowel habits.
It's not only Christmas that puts a strain on our bodies, but also everyday toxins we are exposed to in the environment, the food we eat, the medicines we take, the products we use on our skin and to clean our homes. Toxins are substances that can negatively affect our health.
The new year is a fresh beginning, for many that means starting the year on a good foot, and wanting to feel good. So I thought it would be only fitting to share some beneficial tips that can assist with detox.
When we detox, it is essential that we take the burden off the body by reducing our exposure to toxins, making it easier for us to heal and repair. To do this, we need to look at dietary and lifestyle changes as well as herbs and nutrients that can assist our bodies natural detox processes.
Please not that it is not advisable to detox whilst pregnant or breastfeeding and you need to be careful with certain health conditions also whilst on medication, so please consult with your healthcare professional before starting a detox regime.
It is important to follow a wholefood, predominantly plant based diet, eating organic where possible and avoiding processed foods. Doing this can take the burden off the digestive system, allowing for a more successful cleanse.
Note: Start your morning with freshly squeezed lemon in warm water 20 minutes before breakfast. This kick starts your liver and digestion.
Foods to eat
• Fresh fruit; no more than 3 pieces per day
• Vegetables: eat as many brightly colored vegetables as you can
• Brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat and millet
• Organic yoghurt- plain (coconut, sheep's, goat, not cow's)
• Raw nuts and seeds
• Nut butters (unsalted)
• Nut Milks (unsweetened)
• Apple cider vinegar
• Legumes; chickpeas, lentils, beans
• Fish (3-4 times per week)
• Olive, sesame, flaxseed, sesame and macadamia oil
• Herbal teas
• Juices from fresh fruit and vegetables
• Sparkling water
• Almond meal
• Coconut flour
• Organic tamari
• Herbs and spices
• Himalayan salt
Another essential part of detox is making changes to our lifestyle, this further takes off the toxic load.
• Drink 2-3 litres of water per day: this can help flush toxins out of our body.
• Dry skin brushing: Stimulates the flow of lymphatic fluid, which helps to carry toxins out of the body. Get a brush that is firm bristled and massage circular motions over your body towards the heart for 5 minutes before you shower. Our skin is the largest organ of the body and is a pathway of elimination, we need to ensure we are removing dead skin cells that can build up and prevent detoxification.
• Encourage sweating via exercise and going to saunas, to promote waste removal through the skin. Exercise is important as it assists with detoxification via its role in stimulating lymph and blood flow. Try and aim for 30 minutes of exercise per day.
• Practice mediation and take time out for relaxation: this can help you to feel more relaxed and focused. Detoxing is a taxing time and we need to ensure we are looking after ourselves.
Try and use chemical free/natural cleaning products and body care products, e.g. natural deodorants that are aluminum free. Try and avoid plastics; heating and storing, plastic water bottles. A lot of these products, including make up and fragrances contain harmful chemicals known as phthalates that disrupt hormones in men and women.
Herbal and Nutritional Medicine
Everyone experiences symptoms differently. For example some may have trouble with their bowel, whilst others have leaky gut or skin conditions. A naturopath can give you the right guidance and treatment protocol that is specific to your needs, so you can gain the greatest results.
Whatever your reasons may be for undergoing a detox, it is crucial to support liver function as it is where toxins are metabolized. These include; chemicals and hormones found in our food, drinks, medications, skin care, cleaning products and the environment. We need to ensure our liver is well supported to optimally support our bodies through this process. Due to the extensive nature of detox, we will only be looking at liver support at this time.
Toxins are mostly fat soluble, they get stored in our fat cells. In order for them to be excreted, the liver needs to change them into water soluble molecules. The liver does this in 2 phases and different herbs, vitamins, minerals, foods, antioxidants and other nutrients are needed for this process to be successful. Some of these essential nutrients are:
• Antioxidants: Protect the liver, enhance detoxification processes and are anti-inflammatory. Good examples include; turmeric, grapeseed, green tea and rosemary
• Garlic and onions: enhance phase 2 detoxification
• Cruciferous family vegetables: Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, collards and mustard greens: They contain a compound called indole-3-carbonal, which assists in the detoxification of hormones, especially oestrogen. They are beneficial for people suffering with endometriosis, PMS, polycystic ovarian syndrome and oestrogen dominant cancers.
• B Vitamins: Required for the first part of the liver detoxification process.
• Milk thistle: Protective of liver cells, essential for fatty liver, used in phase 1 detoxification.
• Schisandra: Phase 2 detoxification, also good for stress
• Probiotics: Probiotics produce enzymes, vitamins, essential fatty acids and other nutrients that feed our gut and promote its optimal function. Before we detox, our gut can have an overpopulation of bad bacteria, which can cause bloating, indigestion, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea and wind. We need to make sure we are putting good bacteria back in our gut to restore the balance and get rid of some of those unwanted symptoms. Probiotics can be found in yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchee and miso.
To ensure a successful detox, we need to make beneficial changes to our diet and lifestyle as well as taking the right herbs, vitamins and supplements, which will assist our bodies own healing mechanism. If you do have any further questions about detox, please come in store and have a chat to me, so we can find the best solution for you.
If you have any questions or need further support please feel free to come in store and have a chat with me or book in for a free consultation.
Chantal our Naturopath is instore at :
Eastern Creek on Monday
North Kellyville on Tuesday
Colebee on Wednesday
Thursday at Spring Farm.
To book an appointment online click here