Spring Detox: Where to Start
After the Snowpocolyse in Texas, we are celebrating the sunshine filled days and looking forward to the bluebonnets and warmer weather proving that winter is behind us. In the spirit of Spring, our April newsletter offers a Spring Cleaning of sorts as we focus on insight and tips for detoxing your body.
The best way to detox is to AVOID the TOXIN. Clean food, air, water and non toxic relationships are paramount for your overall health.
How does your body detox?
From water issues in Flint Michigan and all around the country, to food that is sprayed with pesticides and toxins and loaded with sugar and preservatives to Teflon coated pans to chemical based cleaning and cosmetic products, we are inundated with toxins that can stress our entire body. The buildup of toxins can make us sluggish, gain weight, cause hormone and thyroid issues as well as mood issues (depression and anxiety) and literally make us sick.
The good news is that it is truly remarkable how our bodies have a built in detox system to clean up toxins. When a toxin enters your body and is not water soluble and rapidly excreted, your liver takes center stage and is responsible for helping to capture and neutralize the toxin in basically two phases.
Phase I detoxification utilizes over 50 enzymes to help capture a toxin (including alcohol, environmental toxins and drugs, bacteria and metabolism end products) and creates a reactive intermediate. Keep in mind that though the toxin has been captured, it is still highly reactive and potentially even more toxic than when it originally entered your body. It will need to go thru further processing to be neutralized and eliminated from your body.
The highly reactive intermediate produced from Phase I is then ready for Phase II detoxification which makes it water soluble and ready for elimination thru urine, sweat or bile/stool.
What can you do to support Phase I and Phase II detoxification?
If your Phase I and II pathways are functioning sub-optimally or are overwhelmed, excess toxins will be deposited in tissue, most often in fat tissue. To optimize your detoxification pathways, make sure to have ample B vitamins, amino acids, glutathione, flavonoids (think colorful fruits and vegetables) and good fats. Cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, onions, garlic and green tea all contain wonderful nutrients and antioxidants that are essential to detoxifying. Some of our favorite cruciferous vegetables include arugula, broccoli, broccoli sprouts, cauliflower, bok choy, brussels sprouts, kale and watercress. We recommend up to 9 cups of vegetables and fruits a day with the majority being cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, onions, garlic and other non starchy vegetables.
Keep in mind that your body is detoxing on a continuous basis with substantial detoxification happening while you sleep. Start your day with a glass of water (with squeezed lemon if possible) and drink plenty of clean water throughout the day. Add significant soluble fiber daily (think flax, chia, apple pectin) which will become gelatinous in your digestive tract and help bind toxic bile. Make sure to have daily bowel movements and sweat (if possible) to excrete the toxins that have been made water soluble by Phase I and Phase II detoxification.
Exercise and lymph brushing can help move the lymph system as the lymph system is a major route to move toxins and has no pump. Exercise can improve circulation and start to mobilize toxins from fat tissue. Regular use of an infrared sauna (starting at 10 - 15 minutes and working up to 30 minutes) combined with taking Liposomal glutathione within 2 hours of using the sauna can help mobilize toxins and eliminate them.