8 Tips for Natural Detoxification
Detox diets are born, bred and branded at break neck speed. There is no doubt that “detox” is a hot topic for consumers searching for natural ways to ward off disease, reduce toxins, achieve healthy weight, and treat inflammatory conditions. Here are a few key steps that outline how to support a safe, sound, science-based detoxification:
1.) Optimize calories and macronutrients to support detox.
The detoxification pathways are dependent on fuel in the form of high-quality, nutrient-dense, whole foods. Extreme calorie restriction, often promoted in popularized fasts or cleanses, can impair both phase 1 & 2 detoxification, the steps your body takes to “bio-transform” toxins into water-soluble substances that can be eliminated from your system.
2.) Eliminate toxic ingredients and harmful cooking methods.
There are numerous chemicals in our food supply (ex. BPA, organochlorine compounds, parabens, etc.) that increase the amount of toxins in our bodies and disrupt our endocrine systems. To minimize toxins, use cookware (stainless steel, cast iron) and cooking methods that are safe to use. For information on which types of cookware make the grade, visit www.ewg.org.
3.) Eliminate food allergens and intolerances.
Adverse food reactions including both food allergens (ex. egg, shellfish, etc.) and intolerances (gluten, dairy, fructose, etc.) contribute to a host of systemic disruptions. Compromised intestinal permeability, also known as “leaky gut,” impairs digestive integrity, which in turn, hinders detoxification.
4.) Focus on fiber and fluids.
Fiber has multiple functions and is essential for digestive health. Adequate fluids partnered with fiber aids in elimination, an important exit route for toxins. Fiber also nourishes the gut flora, those resident bugs that help keep you healthy.
5.) Boost antioxidant and micronutrient defense.
Clean up your diet by eliminating refined and processed foods, unhealthy fats and excess animal protein to promote healthy detoxification.
6.) Include the “detoxicants.”
A squad of nutrients, dubbed “detoxicants,” provide the co-factors necessary to drive the detoxification process. A colorful, plant-centric plate should include: dark greens (dandelion, spinach, broccoli raab etc.); yellow/orange (sweet potatoes, carrots, peaches, etc.); red/pink (grapefruit, radicchio, vine-ripened tomatoes, etc.); white/green (garlic, onions, fennel); blue/purple (blueberries, blackberries, eggplant, etc.); along with the phytonutrients (phyto = plant) found in herbs and spices (turmeric, ginger, rosemary, etc.). By diversifying plant foods in your diet, the full range of plant compounds benefit your ability to detoxify.
7.) Supplement strategically.
A personalized supplement program may be helpful. It might include nutrients such as amino acids, B-vitamins, omega 3-fatty acids and probiotics, etc. Testing can uncover imbalances such as excess oxidative stress, inflammation, etc. Consider consulting with a nutritionist trained in the science of detoxification. Check out www.IntegrativeRD.org to find one in your area or contact me at kathieswift.com
8.) Integrate complementary healing modalities.
Your body, mind and spirit should be integrated in a natural detoxification program. Meditation, mindfulness, movement, tai chi, qigong, guided imagery, prayer and other modalities can be transformative experiences in a healing journey.
For more thoughts on how to detox your life, you can order my latest book, The Swift Diet: 4 Weeks to Mend the Belly, Lose the Weight and Get Rid of the Bloat. To order, visit these online retailers or your local bookstore – and I look forward to hearing how The Swift Diet works for you!