Contemplating a good cleanse after a fun filled summer? Many of us consider detoxification a couple times a year and usually for good reason. It is now common knowledge we are taking in more toxins than we can handle. Toxic related diseases are plaguing modern times. Heavy metals, pesticides and household chemicals have all been linked to chronic diseases. Yes, a good cleanse may be helpful once a year, but keep in mind that nutrition from food and herbs can also aid in the purification. Preparation involves tossing out harmful food and drink to set the body up for cleansing.
Consume a healthy diet first and foremost to set your body up for detoxification.
Eating organic and local foods help with lessening the harmful environmental toxins. Organic fruits and vegetables have antioxidants that protect cells from damaging toxins. Flush out toxins with pure, filtered water and fiber. Achieve 30 grams of fiber daily and drink plenty of water to speed removal of wastes and toxins. Treat yourself to a quality probiotic tablet that primes the gut with friendly bacteria, pushing out the bad that has been invading the stomach. Yogurt, kefir and sauerkraut also are rich in probiotics.
Now is the perfect time to rid the body of sugar, alcohol, caffeine and refined foods. Pack the refrigerator with cruciferous veggies like onions, cabbage, kale and watercress. Watercress contains high levels of glucosinolates which can block chemically induced cancers in animals and excrete carcinogens in humans. Artichokes protect the liver and provides potent antioxidant protection. Vitamin B12, folate and choline all support detoxification, according to DeAnn Liska, Ph.D and author of “The Role of Detoxification in the Prevention of Chronic Diseases.” If there isn’t enough choline in the body, then there is a cause for liver problems. Ellagic acid from pomegranates help protect against toxin liver damage. It can excrete certain metals as well.
Opt for Cleansing Herbs
There are also several herbs that support the natural pathway to detoxification.
Cayenne, a spicy herb, has the ability to excrete mucus and can perk up circulation. Cayenne is easy to throw into salads or casseroles and widely available in the spice section of most grocers. Dandelion root also is a blood cleanser. Find dandelion root in the produce area of local markets or purchase in capsule form. Always follow instructions on dosage. Milk thistle protects the liver. The silymarin in milk thistle improves liver function. Milk thistle is available in capsules and can be purchased at most natural health food markets. Burdock root also supports the liver as well as the digestive and lymph system. Prepare burdock root as a tea, steeping it for 20 minutes.
Minimizing environmental toxins is a huge step towards keeping the body clean, but eating whole food and organic herbs will promote a clean and healthy environment within. Always communicate with a healthcare practitioner before initiating a cleanse.
“The Juicing Bible”; Pat Crocker and Susan Eagles; 2000
“The Role of Detoxification in the Prevention of Chronic Diseases: A Summary”;DeAnn J. Liska, Ph.D.