With the silly season on its way, learning to protect your body from the inside will go a long way to preventing a sluggish liver, as well as helping to keep your weight, skin, immune system and energy levels healthy.
You may have heard the term detoxification thrown around, especially in summer months.
Detoxification is basically the process that cleanses toxins out of your body.
The liver is the primary detoxification organ along with the intestines, kidneys, skin and bowel.
Why do you need to cleanse?
It is undeniable that we exist in an environment that contains environmental contaminants and this is rising each year:
- pesticides sprayed on fruit and vegetables,
- phthalates exposure in plastics and cosmetics,
- chemicals in household cleaners,
- PCBs and heavy metals in farm-raised fish,
- antibiotics and dioxins in commercially produced animal products
are just a few examples of toxins that are in most people’s environment every day, along with containments in the air we breathe and the water we drink.
On top of this every day contamination, indulging in fatty food and alcohol during holiday season can put added pressure on our liver function.
How can you cleanse healthily?
For an ideal cleanse, it is best to consult your healthcare practitioner to guide you through a detoxification program.
To support your cleanse and ensure you maintain a complete vitamin and mineral profile, your practitioner may recommend an ideal formulated supplementary food such as a high-quality rice protein with nutrient-packed spirulina.
Without adequate protein, the body cannot cleanse efficiently. Proteins are made up of amino acids, and it is these amino acids that play a specific role in helping the body to process toxins.1 Key amino acids make toxins water-soluble, and they can then be harmlessly excreted from the body.
Whole brown rice protein is a leading choice among healthcare professionals as it is gluten, dairy and soy free; three food sources that some people have difficulty digesting. An ideal rice protein formula is low-allergenic, suitable for vegetarians and vegans, has a complete amino acid profile, and contains digestive enzymes that help with its absorption in the body.
One of nature’s original superfoods, Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) is a nutritional algae that has been consumed by humans for hundreds of years.2 Its high protein level, coupled with its abundance of vitamins and minerals, makes spirulina a vital ingredient to maintain an all-round nutritional profile during cleansing.
A favourite among healthcare practitioners for its cleansing action, Dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale) assists with fluid retention and helps to improve digestion, particularly of fatty foods by increasing bile flow, and acts as a liver and gallbladder tonic.3,4
Popular in the Mediterranean kitchen, Globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus) has also been used medicinally for hundreds of years. It can improve liver function and help with symptoms such as constipation, flatulence, belching, bloating and stomach discomfort.5,6 Globe artichoke contains antioxidants and helps to protect the liver from damage that may occur through toxin exposure.
Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is the most well-researched plant in the treatment of liver disease. It’s an antioxidant herb that has been used to protect the liver and supports its function for more than 2000 years. As a supporter of phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification pathways in the liver, your healthcare practitioner will explain how important this ingredient is in any detox program.
Another key supplement to look out for when cleansing is Glutathione, the most potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger, glutathione is often referred to as the ‘master antioxidant’.
Curcumin, the active constituent of turmeric (Curcuma longa), zinc, selenium as well as green tea and even coffee consumption have also shown antioxidant activity and are supportive nutrients when undertaking a liver cleanse.7,8
They may be small in size but Broccoli sprouts pack a punch when it comes to their nutritional value. These nutrient-packed sprouts are high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.9 Broccoli sprouts also contain a high amount of special compounds that help fight disease and improve general wellbeing.10
Chlorella (Chlorella pyrenoidosa) is a nutritious microalgae with a rich green hue and an abundance of vitamins, minerals and high-quality protein.11 It’s important to choose a cleansing formula that contains cracked chlorella, where the indigestible cell wall of the chlorella has been cracked open, allowing the nutrients of chlorella to be quickly absorbed by the body.
Most of you know that fibre is good for you. It is required for healthy bowel function and assists in increasing elimination of toxins from the body. However, some of you may not know that fibre also feeds and encourages the growth of good gut bacteria. Inulin is a soluble fibre found in many fruits, vegetables and herbs. It has a prebiotic effect, meaning it is not digested or absorbed, and it promotes the growth of specific types of bacteria in the large intestine, preferentially bifidobacteria.
Lifestyle tips during cleansing
To get the most out of any body cleanse that you undertake, there are a few lifestyle tips that you can follow both now and post-cleanse to ensure your body stays at its toxin-fighting best.
Our environment has the potential to be laden with toxins. While not all of them are avoidable, our exposure to them can be minimised through smart choices.
- Avoid pollution where possible, including cigarette smoke
- Limit exposure to chemicals in the workplace (e.g. hairdressers, painters, cleaners). Wear a mask or gloves if necessary
- Avoid xenoestrogens which are harmful compounds found in plastics, pesticides and preservatives. Xenoestrogens have the potential to play havoc with hormones
- Gentle exercise during a cleanse is a fantastic way to boost circulation
and get the blood pumping around the body. Exercise has the benefit of stimulating the lymphatic system which assists with boosting immunity and reducing fluid retention
- Walking, yoga, swimming and pilates are all examples of gentle exercises that can be done on a daily basis
- Dry skin brushing can boost circulation and improve lymphatic drainage.
- Saunas are a fantastic way of improving circulation and toxin removal through the skin.
Speak to your healthcare practitioner for more information about cleansing and liver care. Make sure to always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare practitioner.
Mr Vitamins recommends
Bioceuticals Liver Care Products together with PhytoOrganic Essentials
Bioceuticals is a Practitioner only brand so please ‘ask a Naturopath’ to help you