Happy New Year from the team at Taymount. What better way to start the new year than with a detox? Read below and find out how you can cleanse your body from the Christmas indulgence, and give your detox system a chance to recover – in just a matter of days.
What is a detox?
Before we dive into the detox guide, let’s remind ourselves of what a detox actually is; a detox (short for detoxification) is a short period of time in which an individual reduces calorie intake and eliminates toxic and unhealthy substances.
There are eight organs that support the body’s natural detoxification process, these are the liver, kidneys, spleen, brain, lungs, lymph, colon and skin. A toxin is simply a chemical or substance that the body’s systems cannot break down and render harmless. Sometimes these substances can build up and cause damage to local cells, or even the whole body (systemically). Each organ of the detoxification process works daily to eliminate excess waste products and metabolites (toxins) also known as xenobiotics.
What happens when we detox?
The majority of our body’s toxic waste is eliminated in our gut, liver and kidneys. In these systems, a group of enzymes (cytochrome P450) are released and protect our cells from any damage caused by toxins. They do this by converting the toxins into smaller substances, and also making the toxins water-soluble so they are easily eliminated from the body. Below are foods and herbs that should be added into your detox plan in order to activate this enzyme:
- Herbs: milk thistle, and dill
- Citrus: tangerines and oranges
- Cruciferous vegetables: Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, and turnips
- Vitamins: All B vitamins and vitamin C rich foods like strawberries and bell peppers
- Lipoatrophic: fat breaking compounds
- Minerals: magnesium
Oxidation also occurs as it aids in breaking down harmful toxins into less damaging metabolites. During this process, free radicals are produced which can do both good and harm to your DNA, thus it is essential they are transported through the detox pathway and out of our body. Increasing antioxidants, particularly polyphenols and flavonoids can assist this.
Once the toxins are reduced in size, it is time to break them down; during this period, you may experience a ‘die-off’ and symptoms include insomnia, brain fog, mood swings and cravings. It is key that you avoid triggers such as morning coffees and evening glass(es) of wines as this could start producing toxins again.
Adding sulphur-rich foods like broccoli, cabbage, kale, Brussel Sprouts, Bok Choy, garlic, onions and egg yolks), amino acids including glycine, cysteine and taurine, vitamin B12 and glutathione.
The final phase is transportation of the toxins; this can happen through your kidneys via urine or with bile and down the gastrointestinal tract via stool. During this phase, maintain adequate hydration for elimination via urine and stool.
How can I do a digestive detox?
Most people’s understanding of a digestive system detox is based on expelling retained or old faecal matter. Around 90% of diseases can be related to an unclean colon. A build-up of toxins in the digestive system can block the absorption of nutrients and retain poisonous or toxic materials.
It is essential that you have regular and thorough cleansing of the digestive system to eliminate the toxins from the colon and the digestive system. Our gut is roughly 25 feet long and large amounts of food digested and absorbed over time can result in toxins building and released throughout the entire body. A regular digestive system cleansing ensures toxins are eliminated.
The role of our digestive system is to digest the food we eat, transport the nutrients from food to the cells of your body, process waste from foods and eliminate them from the body as well as being home to beneficial bacteria.
Poor digestive health can lead to constipation, poor enzyme secretion, poor nutrient absorption, bloating, abdominal cramping, gas, food allergies, low immune system, headaches, joint pains and more.
Refined, processed, low-fibre foods with excessive animal fats alongside lack of exercise, and increasing levels of stress all contribute to an impaired digestive system. This can result in irregular bowel movements. If your diet consists of slow transit foods (refined flour, high gluten, deep fried) then your intestines can get clogged, the longer digested food stays in your intestines, the more it ferments and rots causing toxicity. The more fibre you eat, the faster the transit time of waste through the intestinal tract. A normal bowel movement is soft, unformed and easy to pass; healthy stool tends to break when in water or when flushed, according to the Bristol Stool Chart healthy stool ranges between type 3-4.
There are different ways to cleanse the digestive system; colon hydrotherapy is a method whereby large amounts of warm, filtered water are inserted under controlled pressure through the rectum and into the large colon. Done in longer intervals, colonics are useful in removing old faecal matter, breaking biofilms created by pathogenic bacteria as well as stimulating the muscle movement of the colon, strengthening rather than weakening the muscle. Additionally, colonics and enemas encourage matter to move forward through the system. Vital to this process is restoring the gut flora immediately afterwards, otherwise you leave the colon vulnerable to opportunistic and unpleasant bacterial species.
Maintaining a healthy, diverse diet is essential when cleansing your digestive system. Foods that should be consumed for optimal colon health include fermented foods with probiotics (yoghurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and kefir), bone broths, healthy fats (coconut or extra virgin olive oil, avocados), and whole, unprocessed foods like vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. A good source of fibre is recommended to compensate for all of the fibreless processed foods, meats and dairy. Examples of high fibre sources are psyllium husks, grounded flax seeds and white chia seeds. One tablespoon of psyllium each day or 1.5 tablespoons of ground flax in the morning and evening, or 1-2 tablespoons of white chia seeds sprinkled on your food will help to keep you regular. Consistent use of a good probiotic is important to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract. Also, it is beneficial to use gut-healing nutrients such as glutamine and zinc to repair the lining in your gut so it can resume its normal function.
What supplements can I take to support my detox?
There are many supplements on the market that promote detox as well as weight loss, however these are often fad. It is key to focus on products that work alongside the organs that support detoxification on a cellular level.
For further, personalised support information on detoxification, book a consultation to speak to our Nutritionist on https://taymount.com/book-a-consultation/