We all want to start a new year with fresh ideas and ways to rejuvenate our bodies and minds. Though many people do not make changes past the second week of the new year, here are some easy ways to add detoxification strategies to your daily life.
Reasons why you may want to do a detox? Millions of us suffer from annoying little symptoms, some of which can be indications of serious problems.
- Achy joints or muscles
- Brain fog
- Autoimmune diseases
- Irritable bowel
- Acid reflux
Three areas of your body to consider with detoxing:
Our guts are a complex ecosystem that has as many as 500 bacterial species live and thrive. During digestion, they help make important vitamins, send signals to the immune system to help regulate it, and even make peptides that support healthy mood and cognition. Having the correct forms of bacteria are a critical part of us and essential to our health. We have more bacteria in and on us than we do cells.
Our gut flora, when balanced help prevent harmful bacteria from rapidly growing. However when our gut bacteria is out of balance, harmful bacteria can take over which can affect our digestive, urinary, immune, nervous and most other systems of our bodies. They release ‘endotoxin’, which can increase intestinal permeability, thus causing leaky gut.
Endotoxin leads to inflammation, and inflammation increases oxidative stress, which depletes our most potent internal antioxidant, glutathione. Without sufficient glutathione, toxins are not efficiently neutralized and transported out of cells. Endotoxin, and the cascade of inflammatory chemicals it triggers, also inhibits important liver enzymes that detoxify harmful compounds.
A next generation type of bacteria named Akkermansia Muciniphila that is found in the intestine has many health benefits such as weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, better glucose metabolism, reduced cholesterol and many others. This bacteria is low in many people as they age and the more you have the better your chances of losing weight. We now have ways of testing to see if this and many other types of bacteria are low and the good news is we have nutritional approaches to increasing this healthy bacteria which means you have better chances of losing weight and keeping it off.
Bile has been called liquid gold—because it is so important to many functions in the body. Bile helps us digest fat by emulsifying it. Bile acids are antibacterial. Bile helps regulate inflammation, thyroid hormone, and cholesterol. Bile salts promote normal gastrointestinal movement. Bile also helps move toxins out of the liver and into the gut, where they can be safely excreted. When we do not have enough bile our liver can not detoxify our bodies well and we can get a detox reaction. This may be where you feel sicker, more tired, with increased headaches and a slew of other symptoms.
3. Glutathione (found in the cells)
Nicknamed the “mother” of all antioxidants, a master detoxifier, it is the master defense against toxins. The glutathione supersystem also includes specialized enzymes and proteins that that assist glutathione in its universal mission to bind toxins of all kinds. These enzymes and transport proteins move toxins that are bound to glutathione from the blood into the liver, GI tract and kidneys for safe excretion. Unfortunately, glutathione can become chronically depleted in settings of high toxicity. Glutathione support is thus a cornerstone of detoxification protocols.
Glutathione deficiency is present in most illnesses—from autoimmune diseases to arthritis, asthma, and even Alzheimer’s disease. Signs your glutathione is low include respiratory issues such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, and excess mucus. The fluid in the lining of your lungs has 140 times more glutathione than your blood. Any chronic lung condition leads to oxidative stress that will deplete glutathione. Chronic inflammation, present in many autoimmune conditions, will deplete glutathione.
Four basic rules to create a good detox diet:
- Give up drinking alcohol and coffee
- Drink 40-50% of your body weight in ounces of alkaline water with a pH of 7 or greater.
- Eat more fermented foods such as sauerkraut, pickles or pickled types of foods.
- Make 50% of the foods that you eat raw vegetables and fruits
I hope these ideas give you some help with why and how to better do a detox this year.
*If you are interested and want to come to a seminar on detoxification and weight loss. We are hosting a guest speaker at 12:30 this Wednesday on January 8th*