In today’s video we’ll be talking about detoxification! This is one of my favorite subjects because I believe that toxins for many are at the root of inflammatory diseases. As a pharmacist, I study how the body removes toxins, and as a nutritionist I an interested in how removing toxins may improve health.
For most people, the word “cleanse” brings to mind an image of a bottle of pills, powder, or drink that smells terrible and is meant to send you running to the bathroom to “clear out” your intestinal tract. Not a very pleasant visual is it?
A cleanse does not have to be so intense. In fact, some of the cleanses you find at the drug or health food store can sometimes be dangerous because they can cause dehydration, disruption of the natural GI flora, and nutrient loss.
Fortunately, there are safe and effective ways to detoxify! The trick lies in knowing what is appropriate for your body, your level of toxicity, and your lifestyle. That’s where a little coaching comes in handy. Working with someone who is experienced in the field can not only be helpful in navigating the dozens of various options, but can also ensure you achieve the best results with minimum discomfort.
A cleanse, when conducted correctly, can work. By following a detoxifying diet, people have corrected conditions like hypoglycemia, arthritis, irritable bowel disease. They’ve even cleared infections and put autoimmune disease in remission. Toxicity is at the root of many of these conditions (and among others), and reducing inflammation can have tremendous benefits.
The good news? You don’t have to starve in order to do a cleanse. There are various options (learn more about them in this post). So let’s focus on foods that promote natural detoxification:
• Cayenne pepper: along with a couple of cousins like jalapeño and habanero, have shown detoxifying and liver cleansing properties
• Lemons and limes: have antiseptic properties, loads of vitamin C (antioxidant) and properties that stimulate the liver to cleanse more efficiently (this is the premise behind the famous Master Cleanse)
• Cruciferous vegetables: due to the amount and quality of phytochemicals/antioxidants, vitamins and minerals contained in these veggies, they have been used to help repair DNA damage and therefore block cancer cell production.
• Spirulina: I can write an entire article on the benefits of this single super food. Aside from its super nutritional benefits, its antioxidant qualities make spirulina a potent free radical scavenger. It also has been shown to increase immune system function, making it able to fight cancer, infections and viruses including the flu and even HIV.
• Wheat grass: one of the highest antioxidant activity of any plant organism. Also, its abundance of chlorophyll has been exploited to support diseases including Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS), cancer as well as side effects of chemo from traditional cancer therapy.
Think you’re ready for a cleanse?
Join me Sunday, January 11th at Yoga in the Heights. We’ll be holding a workshop on detox and learning exactly how to do one the safest and most effective way. Plus you’ll walk away with tips and tricks to avoid toxins daily!