Given the time of the year, I am sure that detox is the last thing on your mind right now. However, it soon feels that January comes at a too fast speed. December is the time for; parties, socialising and overindulging. And of course, it’s just as it should be! This can leave you feeling sluggish and tired once January kicks in and you head back to the ‘real world’. Beside Christmas celebration, it is also very normal to think about (and do) a detox few times a year.
While the idea is to ‘reset’ the body, many use this approach with the sole purpose to lose weight for an event or holiday. This blog post aims to share some thoughts on a seemingly natural and healthy process and how the media and peer pressure has created some diets that are not just unhealthy, but borderline dangerous.
What are toxins:
Every drug, artificial chemical, pesticide and hormone, is broken down (metabolised) by enzyme pathways inside the liver cells. Many of the toxic chemicals that enter the body are fat-soluble. This makes them difficult for the body to excrete. In fatty parts of the body, toxins may be stored for years, being released during times of exercise, stress or fasting.
What does detox mean?
In short, a detox indicates the removal of toxic and/or foreign compounds from the body via the detoxification system. The word has become synonymous with diets, juices, supplements and intricate beauty treatment protocols which all have their various claims and yet the body actually already has a pretty intricate system to do this. The detoxification system is comprised of five organs: the liver, the kidneys, the skin, the lungs and the intestines. But in actual fact, it is the liver that does the bulk of the work, 75% of it to be exact. The liver is an incredible organ that performs over 500 metabolic functions using approx 27% of your body’s total energy.
How does your body detox?
The lungs: Waste is eliminated in the exhale
The kidneys: Filter waste out in urea
Skin: Eliminate toxins via sweat
Intestines: Referred to as phase 3 detoxification whereby your intestines eliminate any food that is not absorbed via the faeces.
The liver: The liver filters toxins and foreign bodies in three ways.
The Blood: All nutrients enter the bloodstream by crossing the barrier in the small intestine, once digestion completes. As it enters the blood, it all gets channelled to the liver for screening because remember, the digestive tract is technically one long tube that takes in foreign objects (food). Therefore it is key that the right protective barriers are in place to prevent anything getting in that shouldn’t. About 2 litres of blood passes through the liver every minute. A healthy liver will screen 99% of toxins out of the blood.
Bile: Your liver produces bile daily to help with the digestive breakdown of certain foods and the eliminiation of others such as cholesterol.
Phase i, Phase ii: This is the main process of detoxification whereby your liver converts fat soluble toxins into water soluble ones that can be eliminated. All heavy metals, food additives, pesticides, chemicals from all the beauty products, food bacterial toxins, gut toxins, medicinal drugs, recreational drugs, smoking, alcohol, caffeine, air pollution & water pollution have to go through phase I and then go through specific pathways in phase II to be eliminated from the body via the other organs mentioned.
Foods to support detoxification:
There are certain foods that can support or inhibit all of the above from working optimally. Perhaps the most obvious inhibitor is eating processed foods that contain a lot of additives to begin with. Furthermore, it is important to consider the following:
Protein: certain amino acids are used at every stage of phase ii detoxification so it is important to eat protein to support the various pathways.
Fruits and vegetables: it goes without saying that a great way to support detoxification is by taking in more phytonutrients and antioxidants (more below). Plenty of Berries (cherry, blackberry, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, black currant, etc), pomegranate, grape, orange, plum, pineapple, kiwi and vegetables like kale, cabbage, chili pepper, red cabbage, bell peppers, parsley, garlic, artichoke, Brussels sprouts, spinach, lemon, ginger, beetroot
20 to 50 percent of the diet should consist of raw fruits and vegetables (depending on season, weather, biochemical individuality etc).
Turmeric helps to support bile production
Include salads in your diet – made with fresh raw vegetables such as tomatoes, shallots, sliced red onion, cucumbers, broccoli, lettuce, endives, radicchio, celery, red radish, avocado, shredded cabbage, carrots and beets and grated horseradish, ginger etc
You can use a dressing of cold-pressed oil, apple cider vinegar and/or lemon and lime juice & raw garlic/ ginger
Raw vegetable and fruit juices regularly, two to three times a week. Juices contain high levels of micronutrients (difficult to obtain the equivalent nutrients from whole veg). They are a concentrated source of many antioxidant phytonutrient. They can elicit a faster elimination of toxins from the cells and the body when necessary.
Antioxidants to the rescue:
Fruits and vegetables provide phytonutrients but also antioxidants to help fight free radicals and other toxic compounds in the body. These molecules donate an electron to a free radical atom, thereby neutralizing or ‘quenching’ it so it cannot cause further damage. The antioxidant donates an electron without becoming a free radical itself. The main antioxidant vitamins are the eight forms of vitamin E (full-spectrum), beta-carotene, vitamin C and some of the B vitamins. The main mineral antioxidants are zinc, manganese, selenium and copper.
Let Yuuga do the work for you:
Yuuga is excited to reveal that we are planning exciting Detox focused cooking classes for January. Visit our website for more information and or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a space for our Early Bird price 44
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