If you want to have a clean start to the New Year try my “mini detox” program. The “mini detox” will help get your liver and digestive system back into gear for the New Year, leaving you feeling energized and alive.
Do you cringe at the thought of having to do a detox? Detoxification is a great way to begin the New Year and while it does require some commitment, the results are worth it . Detoxification encourages the body to remove toxins and may improve energy, fitness, moods and weight loss as well as having to prevent chronic disease and ageing.
When I say detox I am not talking about fasting or a “3 day program” which involves taking lots of pills, I mean 2-4 weeks of clean eating which eliminates processed and inflammatory foods plus specific nutritional supplements that provide the digestive system and liver the nutrients they need for optimal function. This will help to stimulate vitality and health in the whole body.
The kind of symptoms often associated with a toxic body include: extreme tiredness, premature aging, digestive complaints, obesity, hormonal imbalances, feelings of being bloated, unexplained digestive pain, headaches and general lack of motivation and vitality. People are surprised by how suddenly these symptoms can clear up after a good digestion overall. Just like our cars, we need a service every now and then to boost us back into full vibrant health.
One of the most important considerations to your health is your digestive system; in natural medicine, the gut is considered to be at the centre of good health. If your digestive system gets out of balance it can increase the amount of toxins you absorb, leaving you feeling tired and run down. This is known as leaky gut and for years this was dismissed by mainstream medicine, but in the last few years not only is leaky gut recognized as being connected to autoimmune conditions, allergies and mood disorders, it is now the subject of a huge amount of research.
The type and amount of bacteria in your digestive system plays an important role in keeping you and your gut healthy. If there is an overgrowth of bad bacteria or yeast in your gut, this can make you more toxic and may reduce your ability to get rid of toxins. Signs that you may need a detox include headaches, allergies, digestion problems, fatigue, autoimmune disorders, fertility and menstrual cycle problems. Identifying bacterial, parasitic and yeast infections is possible through a stool test or a Organic Acids test
If you have signs and symptoms of bacterial or yeast infection, or you test positive in a stool test then it is important to take a course of anti-bacterial herbs as well as implementing diet changes. Part of the detox involves not just killing of the bad bacteria and yeasts, but replenishing your digestive system with beneficial bacteria known as probiotics. There are different types of probiotics, studies show that some are better for the immune system, or killing infections, while others are better for people who have allergies. As well as probiotics, your digestion needs prebiotics which can come from foods like insoluble fibre or supplements.
Stress, toxins, alcohol, junk food and processed food can cause damage to the delicate cells of the digestive tract. This may lead to a “leaky gut” a condition where undigested food and toxins pass from the digestive tract and into the bloodstream. If this occurs it can cause digestive upset, inflammation and increase our risk of food allergies and other diseases. Leaky gut can be healed during the detox process using the amino acid Glutamine, the mineral zinc and a combination of Aloe Vera and Licorice.
Once we have healed the gastrointestinal system, it is time to liven up your liver. Your liver is your body’s main cleansing unit and to give yourself a good cleanout on the inside, you need a healthy liver that is functioning at optimal capacity. There are a number of herbs and minerals that can be combined into a convenient tablet to help improve your livers ability to detox. It is also best to avoid sugar, alcohol and processed foods during the detox process and nourishes your body with plenty of fresh foods. I will be able to give you lots of diet and cooking ideas so that you won’t go hungry during the detox process. So don’t let the word detox scare you off! Start the New Year in a healthy way and see how good you can feel and look.
Michael is head consultant at Planet Naturopath - Functional Medicine and Nutrition Solutions. As Seen
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