It is common for us to spring clean our homes, apparently in spring, but when did you last spring clean your body? Imagine what your home would look like if you tried Hoovering every day but never emptied or changed the Hoover bag……I think you get the picture.
Just as dust and grime builds up in our homes if it is not cleaned properly, toxins build up in our bodies if we do not clear out our system. Our internal ‘Hoover bag’ (the liver) needs a clear out every now and then, in order to keep it doing it’s job properly.
Our body is detoxifying every minute of the day – in fact it uses 80% of the energy that it produces for detoxifying. This is why we need to keep the body’s detoxification channels (liver, kidneys, skin, bowels) constantly open and working optimally. There are many factors that influence detoxification activity, but probably the most important are diet and lifestyle.
The liver is perhaps the largest and most important detoxification organ therefore is most beneficial to our body’s detoxification process if working optimally. But how do you know if your liver under-functioning?
There are a number of symptoms that indicate that the liver is under strain. Use the checklist below to help determine your liver’s condition. Each symptom scores one point – the higher the score, the more important this Liver Detox is for you:
LIVER HEALTH CHECKLIST
Pale coloured stools
Poor memory and concentration
Reduced tolerance to alcohol
Increased side effects from medical drugs
High blood pressure
Easy weight gain
Difficulty losing weight
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Unusual body heat or flushing
Intolerance of fat-rich foods
Gray shadows under the eyes
If your total score is between 17 and 25 you should seriously consider detoxifying – over 25 suggests very serious consideration.
THE DETOX DIET
Your liver’s ability to function and to rebuild itself is dependent on the quality of the food and nutrients you give it. What you eat and the supplements you take are of paramount importance to the optimal functioning of the liver. You will be surprised how quickly your skin improves with this detoxification programme, and how many of the symptoms in the Liver Health Checklist will disappear – I have seen this with hundreds of patients over the years. This detox diet is not designed to be gourmet cuisine, but it is only for 15 days and the rewards to health will be worth every minute. It is powerful detoxification programme so do not underestimate it!
Continue the following detox foods for 15 days:
1. Fresh fruit and vegetables: steamed, roasted, salads, grilled etc. Eat plenty of onions and garlic as they contain sulphur compounds, which are helpful in detoxification. Avoid avocados, olives and eat minimal bananas. Also add fresh alfalfa sprouts to your salads, and eat plenty of broccoli, cabbage and artichoke.
2. Fresh herbs and spices: use as many fresh herbs as you can, including spices such as peppercorns, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, mace and turmeric.
3. Grains: Brown rice, preferably organic.
4. Fish: eat only fresh fish and grill it with a little olive oil with plenty of lemon juice. Avoid tinned, smoked fish and shellfish.
5. Oil: Small amount of virgin olive oil or cold-pressed linseed oil.
6. Salt: use herbal salt or sea salt preferably organic but only use as little as possible.
7. Drinks: Roasted dandelion root (coffee) – (available in good health food shops).
* Still mineral water with some sparkling water occasionally.
* Organic herbal teas e.g. chamomile, dill, lemongrass, lemon balm, nettle, peppermint, sage and thyme with no added sweeteners/sugars.
* Drink at least 2-3 glasses of carrot and beetroot juice daily (can be mixed together), as this is excellent for detoxifying the liver and blood.
8. Specials: Linseeds (best ground and sprinkled on salads or other foods – refrigerate these to preserve the fatty acids they contain)
* Ground psyllium hulls (mix with water and drink followed by another glass of water. They absorb water and add bulk to clean the intestine and helps constipation – if constipated, can also take ‘Constipation Tincture’ which contains Senna and Cascara herbs).
* Aloe vera juice. (add to water or fresh fruit juice)
STARTING THE DETOX DIET
Each morning, have one or two large glasses of Lemon Water (Soak sliced lemons, preferably organic, in water).
This can be followed by the carrot and beetroot juice and then by fruits of your choice or fruit salad, with plenty of herbal teas.
Lunch & dinner could be a small piece of fish or roasted vegetables with a little rice and a large organic salad with plenty of lemon or lime juice and a little, cold-pressed virgin olive oil.
There are many herbs and vitamins that can facilitate the liver’s detoxification pathways. These would include milk thistle, N-Acetyl Cysteine, methionine, taurine, glutathione, glucoronic acid, vitamins B6, B9 and B12, as well as minerals such as selenium and magnesium. These supplements can be found in capsule formulas that are easily available – see www.seeknatural.co.uk.
It is very beneficial to add a little extra vitamin C in powder form, as well as a good multivitamin/mineral formula. Also beneficial is a good probiotic that contains the friendly bacteria that populate the gut, as well as a good digestive enzyme to optimize your breakdown of food. These supplements should be taken for 2-3 months for optimal results. The supplements I recommend to my patients that I have seen to work successfully every time are:
1. Hepatogen – liver formula – take 2 caps x 3 daily
2. Optimum 6 – multivitamin/mineral formula – take 2 caps x 3 daily
3. BalanCe – alkaline-form of vitamin C in powder form – 1 g x 2 daily.
4. Digezyme – digestive enzymes – 2 caps with every meal.
5. Culturelle – probiotic – one cap every morning.
Be kind to your liver – detox at least once a year and you will have improved health and well-being. Good luck!