Do you really need to detox?
Some people argue no; your body is built to detoxify on it’s own.
However, there is evidence to support that often people’s detoxification pathways become backed up due to diet, lifestyle and toxin exposure.
The organs of detoxification are the liver, intestines, kidneys and skin.
If any of these detoxifications pathways become dysfunctional, the others will compensate, which is why, for instance, in those with liver congestion, they may experience acne.
Signs that you need to detox:
– frequent headaches or migraines
– digestion issues
– chronic aches & pains
– brain fog
– chronic fatigue
– chronic skin issues: acne, eczema, rashes, hives
– blood work: elevated liver enzymes, CRP, anemia
People who need detoxification support:
– those taking daily medications and over the counter drugs
– those with pre-existing health conditions: fatty liver, gallbladder disease/removal
– those with sedentary lifestyles
– those with chronic constipation
– those with workplace exposure to chemicals including solvents and noxious fumes
(ie those in construction, mechanics, hairdressers and estheticians)
– those who regularly use scented personal care products (hair products, perfumes, deodorants)
– those who are regularly exposed to conventional household cleaning products and air fresheners
– those regularly eating processed foods and minimal fresh foods
How does detoxification work?
Detoxification protocols focus on supporting the detoxification organs so they can function optimally.
It’s important to work with a health care practitioner, especially if you have any health conditions or take any medications.
Many herbs and supplements used for detoxification can interact with medications. Your practitioner will check for interactions and choose supplements that are safe for you.
Your prescribed detox protocol will depend on both your health history and your current symptoms.
Our practitioners use a detoxification questionnaire to get a better idea of what areas need to be focused on.
Your practitioner will likely prescribe a combination of dietary changes, supplements and lifestyle changes.
There are three phases of detoxification that need to be supported.
Phase 1: in the liver: the generation of water-soluble intermediaries
- B vitamins
- glutathione: the master antioxidant that requires sulfur to be produced
- flavonoids: antioxidants found in fruits, cocoa, vegetables and tea
Phase 2: in the liver: the neutralization of toxic water-soluble intermediaries
- B vitamins
- vitamin C
- amino acids (from protein) including methionine, cysteine
Phase 3: other detox organs
Flushing out metabolized toxins: through detox organs: gallbladder (bile), stool and urine (kidneys), lymphatic system and skin (sweating).
Check out our Verdure Spring Detox protocol on Fullscript, including our top two detox supplements!
Please note: always speak with your doctor before starting a new supplement, especially if you’re currently taking any medications or have any health conditions.
If you’re struggling with making consistent healthy food choices, feeling overwhelmed by nutrition information or would like to try a deeper detox, book a Clear Change Consultation with nutritionist Melanie Thomas, CNP, RNCP, ROHP.
Nutrition Tips for Detoxification:
Food is medicine: it’s important to support your body with healthy (organic), and home cooked, whole food meals, in order to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to support detoxification.
1. Liver supportive foods
These foods provide nutrients including vitamin C, sulfur compounds and other antioxidants that support the production of glutathione – the master antioxidant for the liver.
- brassica vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts
- beets, artichoke, dandelion greens
- lemon water
- green tea
2. Reduce processed foods
- processed foods are extremely inflammatory due to poor quality fats/oils, chemicals including preservatives, artificial colours and flavours, excess salt and sugar
- they create inflammation in the body by feeding harmful gut bacteria and putting a strain on the liver to detoxify the chemical ingredients
3. Reduce excess sugars
- sugars feed inflammatory gut bacteria that release toxins creating inflammation and putting a strain on the liver
- chronic excess sugar intake and imbalance blood sugar may also contribute to the development of fatty liver which can impede detoxification processes
4. Reduce alcohol intake
- like other toxins, alcohol is processed by the liver, which places additional burden on the liver
- it’s recommended to avoid alcohol completely while doing a detoxification protocol with your practitioner