Do you need to detox after Christmas?
Do you need to improve your health habits after the many festive indulgences? Here’s a tip!
Detoxification is a biochemical process that occurs within every cell in our body and in multiple organs on a continual basis, not just during the quick-fix diets or by removing specific food groups. It should be a part of your daily routine and an integral part of life, 365 days a year rather than a post-christmas habit!
Today’s world with the increasing total toxic burden makes detoxification less optimal, but at the same time, of higher need. Alcohol, drugs, medications, pesticides, food contaminants, and environmental pollution to name a few of the external toxic hazards that we come across daily. Did you know that we also produce internal toxins? Dysbiosis (bad gut bugs), free radicals (due to ageing, breathing, exercising...), sugar toxicity, maldigestion, stress also pose a risk to our health.
Common signs and symptoms of suboptimal detoxification include but are not restricted to:
- bitter taste
- intolerance to fatty foods
- tender swollen liver
- food allergies
- skin issues
- asthma, stress
- premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- inability to lose weight
- poor memory and concentration
- chronic fatigue and lethargy
- recurrent colds and flus
With the help of an expert, you can find ways to reduce toxic exposure and find the right nutritional programme for you. By learning how to detoxify properly, you vastly reduce the risk of disease and fight inflammation, which is associated to a number of health conditions.
Detoxification also refers to the process of transforming the toxin from a harmful state to harmless. Some easy habits that you can adopt to optimise day-to-day detoxification processes within your body are as follow:
- Increase your intake of dark green leafy and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, rocket, Brussel sprouts, mustard greens, cabbage, kale, rubataga, turnip, kohlrabi) steadily to reach 300 grams per day - they are rich in glucosinolates which boost glutathione levels, a detoxifying enzyme and optimises phase two liver detoxification.
- Eat more berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries) and opt for 100 grams per day. If you can’t find fresh organic get frozen - very rich in antioxidants.
- Eat more red/purple/black fruits, garlic, onions, watercress, tomatoes, green tea, dark chocolate, red wine. Always choose brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, as compared to paler/beige produce e.g. choose bright red apples over pears - rich in flavonoids.
- Increase your intake of citrus fruit - D-limonene activates several of the phase one and two liver enzymes.
- Increase your water intake, drink at least two and a half litres daily between meals to get rid of toxins.
- Eliminate toxic food exposure (chargrilled food, burnt food, caffeine, non-stick pans).
- Increase your fibre intake to optimise toxin elimination and clearance (fruits, vegetables, oats, barley, brown rice, beans/legumes, whole-grains).
- Rosemary and turmeric are particularly important in liver detoxification.
- Eat more omega-3 fats (cold water oily fish, flaxseed, walnuts, omega-3 enriched eggs).
- Try milk thistle tea - contains a compound called silymarin that is known to increase glutathione production.
- Limit your intake of alcohol, ready-meals, processed foods, nicotine. Swap coffee for herbal Pukka or Yogi Teas.
- Regular exercise.
- Several supplements can be helpful, depending on the individual case - always ask your therapist before taking a nutritional supplement.
It’s always advisable to contact your healthcare practitioner when you want to incorporate healthy detoxing in your life, as a harsh and quick detox can eliminate too many toxins in your system (healing crisis) what can be equally harmful. Toxin release should always be accompanied by adequate toxin clearance, so you should opt for a gentle detoxification, with the help of your nutritional therapist or naturopath.
About the author
Olianna Gourli is a qualified naturopath and nutritional therapist with a background in science and research. She has great expertise in gastrointestinal issues, such as IBS, hormonal imbalances and women's health, stress and anxiety. She sees clients in her clinics in Central and Northwest London and through Skype.
Nutritionist Resource is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.
Top recent articles
Andrea Davis - Cancer NutritionOctober 9th, 2017
Mairi Wilcock- HCPC Registered DietitianOctober 6th, 2017
Dr Lisa Gatenby RNutr PhD MMedSci BSc (hons) FHEAOctober 4th, 2017
Most viewed articles
Andrea Davis - Cancer NutritionOctober 9th, 2017
Claire Hargreaves BSc Hons (NutriKind Nutrition)September 6th, 2013
Megan B Grover BSc, MMedSci, ANutrMay 16th, 2013