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Foods to help detoxification

The liver acts as the body's primary detoxification organ for the clearance of toxins. Certain vitamins & minerals, as well as plant nutrients, can help support the liver in its detoxification & eliminative processes.

The liver's role in removing toxins from our body...

One of the body's primary self-defence mechanisms is the conversion and neutralization of metabolic products and toxins into soluble and safe by-products, which can then be eliminated.

All ingested and microbially produced toxins are presented to the liver, our body's primary detoxification organ for clearance.

The liver has two related processes known as Phase 1 and Phase 2, in its ability to detoxify pollutants and associated chemicals. Associated with each phase are a number of reactions, which are reliant on certain nutritional vitamins, minerals and amino acids. It is common, that generally, people will have low levels of one or more nutrients, or an accumulation of toxins, which will slow down the overall detoxification pathway.

When we rapidly destroy and remove, from our bowel or body organs, certain microbial pathogens - such as yeast, Candida albicans, parasites, viruses and other bacteria, we do this by breaking down their cellular wall (endotoxin) as part of the removing process.

Processing the proteins in the cellular wall for excretion through the liver can produce a detoxification reaction in some individuals. At times, this may feel like their health is progressing downhill rapidly, this is known as 'die off'. This reaction will improve over a period of time, as the detox process is completed. At this stage, adopt the following suggestions and contact Ideal Health to re-establish the correct dosages of your supplement program. As well as this, you need to increase the amount of fluid you are drinking. This will help your body to eliminate the toxicity.

Foods to increase to reduce toxic reactions and support detoxification

Certain vitamins and minerals, as well as different phyto or plant nutrients, can help support the liver during this time. These are not always essential, but at times helpful to assist with the eliminative process.

Phyto-nutrients are plant substances found in various fruits and vegetables, which support detoxification pathways and promote general well-being. These nutrients exert powerful nutritional and antioxidant actions and are useful modulators of toxic reactions.

Broccoli & Watercress These vegetables contain powerful activators of phase 1 & 2 detoxification pathways
Lemon & Lime The peel & pith of these citrus fruits contain limonene, which activate phase 2 enzymes
Soya Bean Isoflavones Assist in cholesterol clearance & the hormonal metabolism associated with detoxification
Green Tea Helps neutralise free radicals, which could contribute to toxic reactions of liver cleansing
Spices Turmeric & Ginger Contain important components that activate phase 2 enzyme detoxification
Beetroot, Carrot, Garlic & Grapes All possess valuable phytochemicals which support detoxification

These foods have small amounts of naturally occurring beneficial phytochemicals, which help support the detoxification process.

Purchasing organic foods helps the process and, if organic produce is unavailable, then it is recommended that fruits and vegetables are washed thoroughly, and, where possible during the program, should be peeled.

Vegetables and Fruits Asparagus, red cabbage, pumpkin, lettuce, sweet potato, capsicum, parsley, chives, tomato, mango, kiwifruit, tamarillo, pawpaw, banana
Other Foods Almonds, buckwheat, garlic, lentils, rice, millet, corn, gluten free pasta & breads, sea salt
Protein Foods Skinless chicken & turkey, fresh fish, tuna, salmon, lean lamb, whey protein
Fat Foods Avocado, flax seeds or oil, olive oil, macadamia nuts, sunflower & pumpkin seeds

General guidelines for detox...

  • Eat regular meals - selecting from a variety of foods but attempting to consume at least 6-8 foods on the desired lists.
  • Avoid any foods that are going to stress the liver - fatty foods, alcohol, coffee etc.
  • Eat foods raw and as fresh as possible - otherwise lightly steamed.
  • It may be necessary to purchase a high quality whey protein supplement to provide adequate amounts of the amino acids needed for detoxification (taurine, glycine, methionine and glutamine) and to enhance your liver's production of glutathione, your premier liver antioxidant.
  • Drink water - It is also important to ensure a minimum of 3 litres of water is consumed daily. Water is essential for supplying oxygen, which combats toxins and enriches the blood. Water also is a medium for the removal of wastes from the body. It only makes sense to drink ample water each day to help the detoxification process.


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The Naturopathic Team
Ideal Health

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered and is intended to be used for educational and general information purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or as a means to diagnose, treat, cure or prescribe for any particular condition or disease. You assume all responsibility for the treatment which may be undertaken as a result of the information on this site, or treatment recommended by any other party. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.

If you need help or advice, please email our naturopathic team with your health question.  Please allow 48 hours for a response.

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