In my last blog post, I discussed different foods that upregulate your Phase I and Phase II liver enzymes to help your body detoxify. While I love using food as medicine, sometimes our bodies need extra help to detoxify.
One of the biggest contributors to toxicity can be the bacteria in your digestive tract.
Your intestines contain billions of bacteria that can become problematic if you don’t have the correct balance of good and bad bacteria. If the liver becomes overwhelmed by the toxins produced by the bad bacteria in your gut, it does not as easily handle other toxins in your body. Prebiotic foods, fermented foods, and herbal antimicrobials can be helpful for balancing the bugs in your gut. As well, a Naturopathic Doctor can order testing to help you assess your gut bacteria and help you with a plan to balance it.
Let’s go back to the liver after we’ve balanced your gut flora.
In addition to eating foods that I mentioned in my last blog post for supporting the phase I and II liver enzymes, there are some supplements that can be helpful as well:
- N-Acetyl-Cysteine: Helpful for increasing glutathione production, which is involved in phase II reactions. This is often what is given in the hospital emergency department when people have acetaminophen (Tylenol) toxicity.
- B complex vitamins: Supports phase I enzymes.
- Liposomal Glutathione: A special formulation of glutathione that allows it to be absorbed into your body without being broken down first. Supports phase II reactions.
- Vitamin C: Helpful for phase I reactions.
- Dandelion root extract/tea and artichoke extract: Helpful for moving bile and toxins out of the liver.
Now that we’ve considered your gut and your liver, we can’t forget about your kidneys, another major organ of elimination. Support your kidneys by drinking plenty of clean, filtered water (1/2 your weight in ounces) and eating certain foods that increase blood flow to the kidneys:
- Beet juice
In addition, removing excessive phosphates in the diet is helpful for supporting the kidneys. These can be found in processed food but also carbonated beverages such as soda or sparkling water.
Remember: A proper detoxification plan must address the gut, liver, and kidneys.
Stay tuned for my next post on how to support yourself after you’ve done a detox!