Why does the liver need a detox?
The reason behind detoxifying the liver emanates from a concern that over a period of time toxins are accumulating inside our bodies. Some toxins are pretty obvious; things like pesticides and other impurities in the atmosphere; some are by-products of processed foods, whilst other toxins are ones that are produced by our own bodies that have not been properly expelled.
As these various toxins build up over time, they can begin to make you feel unwell, but often so gradually that it is difficult to define.
How detox diets work
Detoxification diets have been designed to rid your body of these accumulating unwanted toxins. The problem, however, is that the nature of detox diets requires that you give up particular types of foods and once you’ve finished the detox diet, you then gradually begin to introduce them again, trying to avoid those that are not particularly healthy.
Does detoxing really work?
Although detox diets do tend to make people feel better, there is no actual proof that this is because the toxins have been expelled. It could be that the improvements are the result of what is no longer being consumed.
The truth of the matter is that the majority of liver detox diets do not have any scientific facts behind them. The reduction in weight that is sometimes experienced is loss of fluid and/or muscle tone rather than fat, and is only a temporary. Once the diet is over, the weight usually begins to pile back on. It is also now being suggested that some long-term detox diets can actually cause harm, because you are denying your body certain nutritious foods and essential minerals.
Don’t detox – create a natural detox diet
Thinking is now beginning to turn to the fact that eating a proper well balanced, healthy, nutritious diet is a better alternative to forced, crash detoxing. Let your liver do the job it is designed to do; i.e. filter all the toxins out of your bloodstream, and separate them from the food and drink that you consume through the production of bile and your natural digestive function; a wholly crucial part of any holistic health lifestyle.
Great foods to include in your constant detox diet
Eating the right foods is key, so here is a list of foods you can include in a diet that will promote a wholly natural, and perpetual cleanse of your liver.
Apples contain high levels of pectin, plus other natural chemicals which actually support your liver and facilitate the cleansing operation.
Asparagus is an excellent diuretic. A diuretic is a substance that helps to promote the production of urine, and as urine is the way that you body naturals evacuates itself of any excess toxins, asparagus actively helps to support detoxification.
Alternative grains can lighten the work that your liver has to do. Ordinary grains such as wheat, and flour made from wheat, contain gluten, which can be difficult to digest and is an allergen for many people. Substituting different grains, the likes of buckwheat, millet, and quinoa can make a significant difference.
Avocados are fantastically good for you as a source of nutrition. This renowned super-food also contains a compound known as glutathione, which is essential in helping your liver to extract toxins.
Beetroot (Beets) and carrots are another good source of glutathione that aids your liver to detox. They are also rich in flavonoids and beta-carotene, which both support healthy liver function.
Brussels sprouts are a rich source of the mineral sulfur, and the antioxidant glucosinolate. Both of these substances encourage your liver in producing certain enzymes that can prevent damage caused by both dietary and environmental toxins.
Cabbage facilitates your body’s production of ITCs (Isothiocyanates), another important substance that promotes the manufacture of detox enzymes.
Citrus fruits, and particularly lemons and limes, contain boatloads of vitamin C. This boosts liver function and helps to transform toxins into substances that are them more easily mopped up by water.
Cruciferous veggies such as broccoli and cauliflower also contain the antioxidant glucosinolate, the antioxidant that promotes the production of toxin busting enzymes.
Dandelion root makes a great tea which helps the liver to break down fat. It also boosts the manufacture of amino acids, another substance essential to the detox process.
Garlic s a rich source of Sulfur, (a great detox support agent), plus Allicin and Selenium, both of which are an important aid in helping to cleanse your liver.
Grapefruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, glutathione, and antioxidants, all of which combine to boost the manufacture of specific enzymes that can rid your body of various toxins including certain carcinogens.
Green tea contains a particular type of antioxidant known as catechins which are well known as substances that support healthy liver function.
Leafy green veggies contain certain chlorophylls that have the ability to absorb toxins that contaminate your body from the environment. They also help to deal with various chemicals, heavy metals and pesticides that find their way into your body system.
Olive oil and other cold pressed natural oils such as flax seed and hemp, also support healthy liver function, helping to produce a lipid base that assists with the absorption of toxins.
Spinach is another excellent source of glutathione.
Tomatoes are yet another great source of glutathione, but they also contain a substance known as Lycopene which can help to protect you against certain types of cancer including breast, lung, and skin cancer.
Turmeric is a spice that not only adds bags of flavor to soups stews and casseroles, but that also promotes the manufacture of detox enzymes.
Walnuts are packed with Omega 3 fatty acids, glutathione, and the amino acid, Arginine; all of which enhance the liver’s cleansing powers, and in particular help to rid your body of excess ammonia.
Don’t force it – go with the (natural) flow
What it all boils down to is that eating the right foods that will help your body to detox in a wholly natural way, the way Mother Nature intended; not forcing your body into an unnatural emergency cleanse, whereby you stop eating nutritionally rich food. It’s a much healthier way of ridding your body of unwanted toxins, and one which fits in perfectly with a holistic, health lifestyle.
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About the Author
Michelle Toole is the founder and head editor of Healthy Holistic Living. This roll spawned from a health crisis over 14 years ago. Michelle went from marathon runner to bed ridden in what felt like overnight. Out of crisis came change, which at the time felt life ending but in retrospect was life fulfilling. Through this experience came the creation of healthy-holistic-living.com a site designed to share her experience and passion for holistic living and to support others who desire to create a shift in their lives. Learn all about her life’s inspiration and journey to health and wellness.
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