In the modern world you are constantly exposed to tens of thousands of toxic chemicals and heavy metals such as mercury. Your ability to rid your body of these toxins depends upon a variety of factors, including your genetic makeup. If your body is unable to release all the toxins, you begin to gain weight and your health progressively suffers.
The foundation of detoxification, and protecting yourself from further damage, is your diet.
Your basic detoxification diet should consist of high-quality protein, preferably organic, healthy fats, and non-starchy vegetables that do not stimulate spikes of insulin. These foods support the release of toxins in your body, and they also reset your metabolism, reduce inflammation, and help you feel satisfied.
The largest percentage of your diet should consist of plants. Through evolution, plants have developed protective defenses called phytonutrients that guard against pests and infection. Higher concentrations of detoxifying, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory compounds are readily most available in organically grown plant foods.
For maximum health, include these foods in your diet often, once a day if possible:
1. Cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, collards, kale, Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, bok choy, arugula, radishes, wasabi, watercress, kohlrabi, mustard greens, rutabaga, turnips). Eat one or two cups or more, cooked, daily.
2. Anti-inflammatory and detoxifying herbs and spices, such as turmeric, cayenne pepper, thyme, rosemary, chili powder, cumin, sage, oregano, onion powder, cinnamon, coriander, cilantro, paprika, and parsley. A cup or two daily of green tea stimulates liver detoxification by increasing GST, or glutathione enzymes.
3. Beneficial sulfur-containing proteins or foods, including eggs, garlic (several cloves a day), and onions.
4. Nutrients to Support Detoxification – The detoxification pathways of your body require helpers such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids and phytonutrients from the foods listed above. Glutathione is the primary detoxifier in the body, as well as an antioxidant and immune booster. Your body needs to constantly regenerate glutathione. To support the production of glutathione, include zinc and selenium in your basic supplement program, along with a multivitamin and fish oil.
Other important supplements are:
– N-Acetyl-l-Cysteine or NAC, 500 mg twice a day – this is an amino acid that dramatically increases glutathione. It is often used employed in emergency rooms to treat liver failure from Tylenol overdose.
– Buffered ascorbic acid (vitamin C), 1,000 mg twice a day along with whatever C in your basic multivitamin; During periods of intense detoxification, use buffered vitamin C with mineral ascorbates in powder, capsule, or tablets. Too much vitamin C may cause diarrhea or gas; reduce the dose (this is often called reaching “bowel tolerance.”
-Milk thistle (silymarin), 140 mg twice a day of a standardized herbal extract. Milk thistle has traditionally been used to treat liver disease and helps boost glutathione levels. Some herbal formulas combine milk thistle with other nutrients beneficial to the liver.
Drinking plenty of water, soaking in Epsom Salts, and cardiovascular exercise are also useful in detoxifying your body, but remember: Diet is the foundation.