Every day we are surrounded by an increasing amount of toxic exposure from the air we breathe, water we drink and products we consume. Our lifestyles are exposing us to an accumulation of toxins. Consequently, it becomes essential to think about detox as a lifestyle.
When we think of detox – it doesn’t have to be a one time ritual. It’s living a life that helps our body to do what its meant to do. That is to detoxify 24/7. Therefore, we need to be living and eating in a way that enables our body to do its own self-cleaning in a sustainable way.
The cleanup from the outside in – and this is where the role of the liver and liver detox comes in.
The Liver Has Three Key Functional Roles
- It filters blood
- It disassembles all chemical compounds in two phases for elimination
- It synthesizes and secretes bile – which helps digest and absorb fats
In addition, other Important functions of the LIVER include storing and releasing vitamins, stabilizing body’s blood sugar levels, producing enzyme, regulating fat storage, manufacturing new body proteins and maintaining hormone balance.
What Harms the Liver
- Excess sugar and simple carbohydrates in the diet. The body actually converts excess sugars into triglycerides, which are stored in the liver as fat.
- Enzyme deficient food
- Drug residues
- Too many toxins, heavy metals, or pesticides
- Lack of exercise
- Diseases of the liver, like chronic hepatitis C
In conclusion, the symptoms from impaired liver function can lead to: digestive troubles, constipation, low energy, allergies, hay fever, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and infertility. This is why liver detox is so important.
The Detoxification Process
There are three different phase pathways.
This Phase is all about breaking down the chemical compounds into water-soluble molecules so they can be flushed from the system. When we don’t have enough antioxidants in our diet or have excessive stress to our immune system and toxic exposure – then this phase can get impaired.
What we need to avoid to reduce the load of this phase and make detox more efficient:
- Food Additives
- Plastics – high amounts of estrogen
- Industrial by-products
- Charbroiled meats
- Excessive processed fats
- Excessive alcohol
The breakdown – a molecule like cysteine or glycine or sulphur molecule is added to the residue in the liver to make it less harmful and to allow it to be excreted from the body in the bile, the urine or the stool.
This phase is all about excretion of what’s not needed for recirculation out of the body such as excess hormones, medications
Supplements, Nutrients, Food and Herbs for the 3 phases
Iron, vitamin A, B vitamins to detox estrogen, histamine and heavy metal, selenium, magnesium, curcumin and glutathione. Antioxidants like vitamin C, E, and carotenoids found in vegetable and fruits. Choline to activate the methylation pathways. Choline is in eggs, liver, seafood, sunflower lecithin and to some extent from avocados as well.
Herbs like Dandelion root, ginger, cloves, burdock root, horsetail, milk thistle, wormwood, black walnut and garlic
Cruciferous vegetable like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, bokchoy, radishes, turnips, kale, cabbage, arugula, garlic, onions, lemons, grapefruit juice.
High sulphur foods and nutrients needed for phase 3 from egg yolks, veggies from cruciferous family, MSM, Vitamin A, niacin and vitamin C.
What can we do to reduce the exposure to environment toxins that can add to the load on the liver ?
- Reduce plastics,
- Bring in water and air filters,
- Reduce electromagnetic field exposure
Emotions and Liver
In Chinese Medicine, the liver is responsible for the flow of emotions. It is correlated to the emotions of depression and anger.
Similarily, anger is related to the impaired liver – Reduce and manage this with deep breathing exercises/meditation/yoga
Do These Daily to Detox Your Body
1. Avoid late-night snacking.
The liver’s regenerative cycle is between 11pm and 3 am. Being asleep by 10 is going to be your best sleep for regeneration. The liver regenerates in that circadian cycle.
2. Relieve the liver of having to process any extra toxins.
First off, use filtered water, eat organic vegetables and fruits and good fiber to bind those toxins and get them moving out.
Then try good fats and avoiding fried, over cooked foods and oxidized oils; Include good, clean fats, particularly those essential fats our systems need to support liver health. Like Avocados, clarified butter (ghee), grass-fed butter.
3. Avoid excess proteins; as it puts extra strain on the liver.
Include high-quality protein, and what that looks like in terms of amount and form is dependent on the individual, their health conditions, their age, etc. Include proteins that are in the form of essential fats, like hemp seeds if those work for you.
4. It’s important to eat nutrient-dense whole foods for the health of the liver in a balanced diet.
Greens, particularly bitter greens like mustard; fruits and veggies, especially citrus fruits and the peel; choline from eggs, avocado, and liver; include medicinal mushrooms like shiitake, reishi, and maitake (if you don’t have a food sensitivity to mushrooms); radishes, beets, and artichokes are all great liver supportive foods; certainly the cruciferous veggies for the sulfation pathway, and for the detox of excess estrogens; vitamin C and vitamin E; all B vitamins; turmeric and curry powder are actually really helpful for phase 2 detoxification
5. Consider some superfoods that are helpful for the liver.
These include spirulina, chlorella, and the chlorophyll that we get from our greens and green matcha tea. That chlorophyll helps us to clear chemical toxins from the body.
Additionally, the best herb to support the liver is milk thistle.
The body is continuously ridding itself of harmful substances as part of normal metabolism. Therefore, the liver plays a critical part in this process.
6. Self care lifestyle practices
- Castor oil pack– Helps open up detoxification pathways. Rub the oil around liver area or as needed and lay a heating pad over a cloth and relax for 20 mins.
- Dry brushing
- Metta Meditation
- Infra red sauna
- Sensory Deprivation
7. Regulate your nervous system.
Only when the body’s autonomous system is in the parasympathetic state can the body detox.
8. Practice Yoga / Letting go meditation to release stuck patterns/anger to facilitate detoxification.
PS: Want to learn more about what is keeping you from staying energized, vitalized and high performing, schedule a complimentary session with me.
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