Detoxification is all the rage. Its seems like everyone wants to cleanse.
We’ve written a few different articles on this. Our article Detoxification: Keeping It Sane is a must read for anyone considering a cleanse.
Over and over again we hear from people who are about to embark on a cleanse that they read about somewhere. When they describe it to us, we often cringe.
While there is nothing wrong with implementing a safe and healthy plan to detoxify, many plans out there are just far too aggressive. Perhaps medical supervision could help make them less destructive, but there a few problems that we find with most programs.
Its our hope that this post will help people approach this topic in a safer and more effective manner. Here are a few things to consider.
Your Body Needs Energy & Nutrients To Cleanse
The organs that support detoxification need energy and nutrients to run. Many times, toxicity is a function of these organs – mostly the liver, kidneys, colon, and lymph system (not an organ but a body system) – being overwhelmed and/or sluggish.
So many of the programs that are out there have you engage in extreme caloric restriction for too long. This cuts off energy and nutrients to the organs that we are trying to stimulate. This is a big mistake in our opinion.
While controlled fasting can be useful in giving the body an opportunity to turn inward and clear toxins, going too far with this type of strategy for too long can do far more damage than good.
Your Brain Needs Sugar To Function
Our brains use glucose as a primary fuel. If our body doesn’t get a constant flow of carbohydrates that can be converted into fuel, it will break down its own tissue to create it. In other words, it will cannibalize itself.
When we don’t get enough energy from food, the body destroys itself. And it eats muscle first. That’s the last thing we want.
Severe Caloric Restriction Destroys Metabolism
Metabolism is the general term given to the sum total of our body’s processes and the energy it takes to run them all. The more active we are and the more we feed ourselves high nutrient density foods, the more aggressive our body’s processes become.
This raises metabolism.
Conversely, low activity and low nutrient intake equates to an overall slow down of processes as the body tries to conserve energy. It does this because it thinks it is starving. This is a survival mechanism that we can’t turn off.
And when we enter this state and start breaking down muscle tissue, there is an elevated level of toxins in our system. The exact opposite of what we are trying to achieve with a detoxification program.
Extreme Detoxification Should Be A Rare Event
If a protocol calls for restriction and/or intense measures, the duration should be relatively brief, and should occur no more than once per year.
Do not underestimate the toll that is taken on the body when put into extreme conditions. You can do a great job keeping your body detoxified by living a clean lifestyle supported by good nutrition and herbs.
Many Foods Promote Detoxification
Eating the right foods can go a long way toward keeping our bodies clean and clear. Below is a general summary of a diet that promotes healthy cleansing 24x7x365 without starving yourself for long periods of time or driving yourself insane.
During the day consume:
Cruciferous vegetables – ie, broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.
Dark green, high ORAC vegetables – kale, chard, dandelion greens (very potent), collard greens, etc.
Additional vegetables of all colors – celery, carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers
Seaweeds – nori, kelp, bladderwrack
Water based proteins – ie, eggs, whey protein (a clean, pure, cold pressed whey) shakes, yogurt (if you handle dairy well)
Healthy fats – fish oil capsules, salmon (wild caught Alaskan is best), healthy oils such as extra virgin olive oil, flax seed oil, etc.
Fruits – apples, oranges, papaya, pineapple, etc all support healthy digestion and detoxification. Avoid more sugary fruits that are low in fiber like green grapes.
Then at night when your body has more energy to digest:
All of the above PLUS
Whole Grains (in moderation and proportionate to physical activity levels) – quinoa, amaranth, long grain brown rice
Nuts – walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts, variety is best!
Heavier proteins (if you are a meat eater) – grass fed beef, free range chicken, bison, etc.
If eating all raw makes you sluggish, and it lasts for more than a couple weeks, you aren’t just detoxifying. That may be a sign that your constitution requires that you eat more cooked food.
Raw food is great, but going 100% raw isn’t right for everyone. It is no personal failure of your own if it doesn’t work for you.
As you implement a diet to help with cleansing remember not to restrict your calories too far. Your body still needs that energy to clean house. Just like you or I do when we do our own literal house cleaning, yard work, etc. Makes sense right?
Top 5 Chakra 4 Dishes For Detoxification Support
These are the top 5 dishes at Chakra 4 that we like for detoxification support.
Johnny Apple Wrap in Chard (sans the brie)
Zucchini Linguini Marinara
Herbs For Detoxification
Herbs make great allies in many situations. And detoxification is no exception. Introduction To Herbs For Detoxification
This is a great primer on how to use herbs to support your body’s ability to detoxify.
A more complete step by step protocol will be made available in the near future! If this is something you are interested in, leave your e-mail in the box below. And remember, we’re herbalists…not spammers. Your e-mail is always safe with us.