Written by Francesco Polito, Nutrional Therapist and member of Iconic Offices.
After the longest winter in the last ten years the sun has finally come out. Nature is bursting with energy, but maybe we are not feeling it yet? In order to be at our best, our body may need a gentle detoxification and a boost of antioxidant rich food. We can take advantage of spring to do a bit of cleaning after the winter months during which time the body would have stockpiled nutrients and calories to support our functions and to protect us from viruses, colds and inflammation. Toxins also get stored in our body tissues and this has a detrimental effect on our overall health and well-being. Symptoms of increased toxicity in our body include feeling fatigued, poor digestion, irritability, dull skin and waking up from a night’s sleep feeling unrefreshed. We will always have life and work challenges, but how we deal with them can change; supporting our bodies with the right food for increased energy and more clarity is a great start and can help improve your overall workflow dramatically.
Many detox programmes are available and these can be effective but are often not sustainable long term. They can be complicated to follow and are even harder to stick with. Few of us know that our bodies actually detoxify every single second of our lives!
My approach to this is to adapt your food intake and lifestyle to the environmental and toxic challenges we face in a simple, fun, enjoyable way. After all, we need to detoxify every day so why not make it interesting?
what are toxins?
Toxins are defined as substances that cause harm to organisms. As a result, toxicity can affect your body, mind and spirit. They are damaging to the body and come from external sources (eg our environment, pollution, skin care products, pesticides, herbicides) or internal sources (eg our food, immune system, by-products).
Toxins alter the way our biochemistry works, how our energy is distributed and they disrupt the balance needed between body system to maintain our health. To deal with toxins the body uses nutrients coming from the diet, hence any digestive discomfort will naturally affect this process.
In my clinical experience, once the digestive tract function is restored, the toxic load and its effects on the body is greatly reduced. My approach to detoxification is aimed at reducing the toxic load from food and digestion, making sure we buy organic food and use safe cosmetics, along with providing the right nutrients for detoxification is helpful for a good detox programme, that is both easy to follow and simple to manage long term.
maintaining the detoxification of your body in a natural way
The key is to buy organic, locally sourced and in-season food. We have great options available to us from local farmers’ markets, health stores and supermarkets. Sourcing and cooking your own food is so rewarding, it is self-care and one of the most important things you can do for your overall health.
Toxins from the outer environment and from inner biochemical processes need to be eliminated. Central to this process is the liver, the kidneys, the digestive tract and the skin. All the food we eat, the cosmetics we use and the medications we take go through our liver. To do this, the liver requires nutrients to process toxins and hormones, toxins are fat soluble, hence they are stored in fat tissue. The liver changes these toxins into water soluble and eliminates them via the kidneys (urine) and via the colon (faeces).
detoxing is a continuous, ongoing process
Take for example, every time we have a coffee we produce adrenaline to give us energy, to focus and concentrate, and this needs to be degraded once used. Caffeine also has a toxic load that will undergo detoxification. We all handle caffeine differently, with some of us experiencing migraines, palpitations or insomnia.
The sugar that is released after the adrenaline burst and that has not been used is excessive. This will need to be either stored or removed from the body by creating a fat layer particularly around the abdomen.
The process of detoxification consists of ‘cleaning’, it is like we have a huge bin and the toxins are the rubbish, and we place this rubbish into the bin to be divided accordingly. It is then transported out of the body and into the kidney and colon to be eliminated in the form of urine or faeces.
nutrients for optimum liver detoxification
If you have some of the symptoms below I recommend a dietary change to support liver detoxification.
If you are planning to do a detox programme, I would love to hear from you to offer any further advice and also advise you of possible side effects. The benefits are immense, cleansing your inner body and giving you an opportunity to start afresh and be more productive in your daily life. You can find my practice HoopOrganic here.
Francesco is a Nutritional Therapist from Italy, where food and sunshine would have been a central part of his every day life. With a passion for food and cooking, Francesco has always strived to improve his and his clients’ health, “food is an essential part of our life and I am keen to use targeted dietary changes to improve people’s health.” Francesco’s nutritional therapy practice, HoopOrganic, is based in Iconic Offices, 43 Fitzwilliam Square as part of SaolBeo Holistic Therapies.