January 19, 2022

Detox your Liver Naturally

Liver Detox Guide

Detox is a general buzzword at this time of the year: promoting health, boosting our systems for defence against disease and to kickstart weight loss programs, for instance.

Which detox is best?

Is it necessary to detox?

Is fasting good for you?

What happens to our body when we fast?

Extreme Detoxes

What are the benefits of a liver detox?

How does detoxification work?

What are signs of stress in the liver?

What helps our hormones to work properly?

What happens when you cut down on toxins?

How do you get through a liver detox program?

Which detox is best?

I hear these questions about detoxing a lot: Which detox should you do? Which detox is best? Should you do one at all?

Hopefully, this article will arm you with enough information to make your own decision.

My first piece of advice though is to follow a safe detox devised by a reputable and qualified Naturopathic Nutritionist, Doctor or other healthcare professional.

There will always be advertisements about magical potions that ‘detox your body overnight’ or ‘miracle detox drugs’ offered online. Despite many being far-fetched and impossible, these could be dangerous.

You need to be careful with detoxing and get good advice and support throughout the cleansing process. This will ensure safe and beneficial success.

Is it necessary to detox?

There is so much alternating information about detoxification – and why would it be necessary? Isn’t the body meant to do a fine job of detoxification all by itself?

Detoxification happens continuously and through many biochemical processes to keep our bodies safe.

Unfortunately, there are many lifestyle, dietary choices and environmental toxins that hinder its process. This is what makes a safe and supported detox a necessity.

Eating the right nutrients in the right way for your body, promoting a healthy microbiome* and having a wholesome lifestyle is paramount to the success of your body functioning as beautifully as it should do.

The reality is that if we don’t look after ourselves most of the time, our bodies will stop looking after us as efficiently.

Is fasting good for you?

You may be pondering if fasting (some call it extreme detoxing) as a quick fix would be good for you.

Many people purport to do these regularly if they want to drop weight quickly because they feel that a regular wholesome lifestyle is an unattainable endeavour.

The truth is, fasting can have a detrimental effect on some people’s health. What could work wonders for one person could have the adverse effect on someone else. That advice extends to juice fasts, since you need fibre. You need vegetables, proteins and fats – the right ones and the right amount.

You also need plenty of water.

The liver does a function that is called lipolysis that burns fat. It needs water to do so. That is why people that don’t drink enough water, don’t lose weight.

Fasting and extreme detoxing can change your metabolism and cause weight gain in the long term. There could be other adverse effects in your body, too.

What happens to our body when we fast?

Two simultaneous things happen in our body when we fast:

We produce Cortisol. Excess Cortisol has harmful effects on our mind and body. It is the hormone that is released in ‘fight or flight mode’. Elevated levels of Cortisol lead to weight gain in the abdomen and face. It lowers our metabolisms and immune systems. It increases inflammation and blood pressure and causes anxiety. The list goes on about the negative effects.

We also produce HGH (Human Growth Hormone) which has many benefits because it builds and repairs muscles. HGH also boosts metabolism, slows down ageing, repairs skin and burns fat.

So positive and negative reactions are happening when your body is fasting. It depends on your unique body, though.

You could have a pronounced HGH element, which is what you are aiming for but biologically, you won’t have control over this and the weight-gain element (excess Cortisol) could be more accentuated. Results differ in different people that fast.

I have noticed though that fasting is generally more beneficial for men than women. My take on this is that ancestrally, men would go hunting and be exposed to longer fasting periods than women who would be looking after the children with a small supply of food.

Women also have a lot going on hormonally than men and playing with our hormones (which is what fasting does), can be more disruptive to our systems.

Indeed, hormones can be greatly affected and especially for people with conditions such as PCOS, thyroid, diabetes and endometriosis.

Extreme Detoxes

Extreme detoxes cause so much harm, as mentioned above and oftentimes, extreme regimes can accompany and cause extreme behaviours.

Many people, after starving themselves, binge on inflammatory foods afterwards and then want to purge again.

A perpetual cycle of unhealthy regimes occur, alongside a mode of feeling extreme guilt, too.

You are not only upsetting your gut flora balance and subsequently moods, it can cause more harm than good. With extreme detoxes, you end up being worse off than before you started – mentally and physically. There are chances of inviting certain conditions, by treating the body so harshly, as touched on above.

There are links at the end of this article to a podcast I did, expressing my thoughts about extreme diets and quick fixes.

I always advise focusing on being gentle with yourself, tuning into your body and easing yourself through a detox process, and eating…chewing…masticating specific foods in a mindful way.

Yes – a safe, healthy liver cleansing detox includes real foods!

I urge you to treat your body well and not cause adverse health conditions by taking a ‘moderation’ approach.

By optimising your health, life can be enjoyed even more, for the longer term.

What are the benefits of a liver detox?

The reason why so many people see incredible results when following the Eat Burn Sleep lifestyle program is because it is aimed at detoxifying the liver. The liver is a crucial immunological organ that is responsible for over 500 functions and amongst those it:

  • Cleanses the blood from microbes
  • Performs detoxification by metabolising drugs, toxins and alcohol
  • Performs bile production and secretion
  • Is responsible for metabolising old red blood cells
  • Performs hormone homeostasis (balancing out hormones)
  • Metabolises glucose, fat and protein
  • Supports heat production and so much more

As a result, it is crucial to have good liver function for overall health. It is very important for the detoxification pathways to be well supported in order for the liver to function well.

How does detoxification work?

Detoxification is the process of turning fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble compounds to be eliminated by urine (kidneys) or bile (this is carried out by hepatocytes, which are liver cells). There are 3 phases to detoxification: phase I, II and III.

Phase I, II, and III of detoxification:

Before Phase I, or during Phase Zero, toxins enter our cells (generally our liver cells), or toxins can also exit a storage cell in our body (generally an adipocyte or fat cell). Indeed, our adipose tissues store toxins.

Phase I: Once toxins have entered our system (phase 0), phase I is triggered. Our body needs to “deal with” those toxins and it is done thanks to enzymes belonging to the P450 cytochrome family during phase I. These enzymes carry out a few functions such as oxidation, reduction, hydrolysis, hydration, and dehalogenation in order to prepare the toxins for phase II.

Phase II: Once the toxins are converted into water-soluble metabolites, the liver conjugates them during phase II to take them out of our body.

Phase III: This phase is about the excretion and transportation of the toxins. The toxins can be taken to the kidney for further filtration before being excreted via urine. Toxins are also excreted via sweat and stools. Hydration is absolutely key for phase III to be performed adequately.

The whole process can be impaired by dietary choices like alcohol, unhealthy food, caffeine, additives and the wrong fats. The process is also inhibited by the environment: toxins, pollution, cigarette smoke and lack of exercise – or the wrong type of exercise.

What are signs of stress in the liver?

  • Digestive issues
  • Dark urine
  • Body aches and pains
  • Headaches
  • Skin rashes and itches
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Intolerance to smells
  • Mood swings

Liver stress could also manifest in other areas like lack of sleep, weight fluctuations, vision issues, bad breath, low libido, allergies and dizziness.

Emotional stress will impact your hormones and overload the liver. If you want your cortisol, oestrogen and testosterone levels to rebalance, the first thing that you need to do is have a healthy liver function.

What helps our hormones to work properly?

When gut health and liver health are supported, our hormones start working beautifully, as they rebalance.

It is another reason why the Eat Burn Sleep program is so successful.

With a happy gut, liver and low inflammation in the body, we reap the benefits:

  • Clarity of mind
  • Happier mood
  • Improved mental health
  • Better body composition
  • Clear and youthful skin
  • Healthier hair
  • Higher energy levels
  • Decreased levels of chronic inflammation, overall.

 

What happens when you cut down on toxins?

What is to be noted is that when you start eating better foods mindfully, and cut down on inflammatory foods and the wrong type of carbohydrates, your body can go into shock.

There are ways to nurture yourself through this stage, as those that follow my program will know. It happens around the third day on the Six Week Reset in the Eat Burn Sleep program, depending on your toxic overload.

It is known as the healing crisis.

Your body goes into this healing crisis state before you feel better. It is because of the addictive nature of some inflammatory foods. They hit your brain like opiates and the withdrawal symptoms can transpire in headaches, brain fog and general fatigue.

Your gut bacteria, which will have grown the wrong kind of bacteria, will be screaming at you to have some sugar or other inflammatory food.

The wonderful thing is that this is just all part of the process of healing on a liver detoxification program and it won’t last for too long.

How do you get through a liver detox program?

Perseverance and being gentle and kind with yourself is important as you go through the liver detox program.

Do other things during a detox, that make you feel treated that won’t tax your system. Like a wonderful bath with salts, going for a sauna or massage – or taking an afternoon nap, if possible!

What you need to concentrate on is easing yourself through each detox day as gently as you can and choose a program time when it isn’t too taxing in your diary.

My Six Week Reset program includes all ways to ease yourself through the process safely and lists science-backed activities to support your liver detoxification, for long term results.

Once you get through this and the cravings go down, you start sailing into a lovely space of detox and the liver detoxification happens.

It feels glorious when you are through to the other side and you are reminded that you are stronger with higher energy levels.

Further liver detox recommendations

At the stage when supplements are introduced, they have to be the highest quality. I advise everyone to proceed with caution because they are hard to find.

Here’s a talk on supplements that I made on what I have learned about supplements and the companies that produce them. I urge you to proceed with caution because these companies do not have to abide by good practise standards.

If you need to take supplements, always ensure that they are made by reputable companies.

I am so glad to have found wonderful, trusted supplement companies that make products that suit my anti-inflammatory lifestyle and ethos, seen here on my Yalda Loves page.

My gentle anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle program begins with a Six Week Reset and then supports and guides you through the year.

I also recommend 2-4 seven-day liver detoxes a year. Use the seasons as markers, so that you can enter the next season feeling strong and refreshed from the inside out.

By incorporating an additional seasonal detox, on top of a damage limitation lifestyle, you are giving your liver a powerful and enriching cleanse that is so positively impactful for your overall health.

If your toxic load is high, you can detox for 14 or 21 days. It is a fantastic way of giving your system a boost and if you already follow the EBS lifestyle program, you are already supporting your digestive health and keeping inflammation down.

It is good to remember that the liver is the organ that influences the most how we feel. Tuning into how you feel will help you understand your body more.

So, should you do a detox? Absolutely! Make it a liver detox recommended by a health professional – and not just once a year.

Side effects: Feelings of increased happiness!

*A post about the microbiome is coming soon.

Since you are here, you may be interested in listening to my thoughts on moderation and why it is important to go easy on yourself when embarking on a health journey:

Spotify: Mindset Tips for Long Term Health

Apple: Mindset Tips for Long Term Health 

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