In Part One and Part Two we took an introductory look at toxins and basic methods for preventing toxic overload. In this section, we’ll take a look at the liver and the kidneys – the body’s most important detoxifying organs. We’ll also investigate how dietary fiber can help prevent the recirculation of toxins.
Step Five: Promote Liver Health
The liver is an important organ and plays a key role in the detoxification process. “It also takes up toxic substances and converts them into harmless substances or makes sure they are released from the body.” (8) We need good nutritional support for the liver so we should use healthy fats such as omega-3 fats, olive oil, and flax oil, amino acids which boost your liver’s detoxification capacity, and minerals, particularly zinc and selenium which help your body detoxify metals. Probiotics are important in liver health. “In liver health, the main benefits of probiotics might occur through preventing the production and/or uptake of lipopolysaccharides in the gut, and therefore reducing levels of low-grade inflammation.” (9)
Eating an anti-inflammatory diet is very good for the liver. You want to avoid toxic substances and foods for the liver like alcohol, caffeine, refined vegetable oils, chemicals, sugary drinks and snacks. It is best to eat quality meats, fruits and vegetables. Don’t overcook your meat or store in chemically laden containers. It is good to cook it slow on a low temperature such as braising or pan-roasting meat. You want to refrain from charring, high-heat grilling and using chemically sprayed coated pans can all create toxic byproducts that wind up in your food supply. Cans made with BPA or plastic Tupperware and bottles might also potentially leach chemicals into food.
Step Six: Promote Kidney Health
The kidneys are very important in the detoxification process. “Every day, the two kidneys filter about 120 to 150 quarts of blood to produce about 1 to 2 quarts of urine, composed of wastes and extra fluid.” (10) It is important that we properly nourish with the right foods with dark foods such as black walnuts and black beans. Other helpful foods include asparagus, pineapple, kale, grapefruit, apples, lemons, ginger, garlic, and onions are all very good to incorporate into your diet because they help flush your kidneys of toxins. Exercise and reducing stress are also important. An herb cleanse can be helpful as well. “Parsley is known as one of the very best treatments to help cleanse the kidneys. It is recommended to thoroughly clean a large bunch of parsley, soak in a equal mixture of water and vinegar and then rinse clean. Then boil 8 cups water and add the parsley for ten minutes, then filter the parsley off and save the water in a pitcher and place in the fridge. Drink one cup daily to cleanse your kidney.” (11)
Step Seven: Prohibit Toxins from Recirculating
When you are detoxifying you want to give the toxins a one-way ticket out of your body. The last thing you want to do is to have them recirculate in your body. In order to do that we need to dramatically increase our fiber intake because fiber prevents it from recirculating in the body. When toxins go from liver to gut need fiber there. “If we don’t eat enough soluble fiber, our bile, instead of being ushered out of the body and then replaced with fresh bile produced by the liver, is repeatedly recirculated in our system. In the process, it becomes more concentrated with toxins, which, in turn, can lead to all sorts of inflammatory diseases such as gallbladder disease, intestinal inflammation, and even skin conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis.” (12)
When people eat a fiber-poor diet the bile can become increasingly concentrated with toxins and fats as it recycles back to the liver. “Another problem with inadequate fiber intake, Hurd says, is that it results in a change of consistency in our bile. As bile becomes more polluted, she explains, “the physical state of bile is not as liquid as before,” she says. “It becomes sludgy, like mud. Eventually, it can turn into a solid substance we call gallstones.” Moreover, Hurd explains, the trashier and sludgier your bile becomes, the more acidic and irritating it becomes to your tissues. This can lead to a host of problems, including swelling and inflammation in your colon, duodenum and all the way up in your esophagus.” (12)
8.) PubMed Health. How the liver works.
9.) National Institutes of Health. Probiotics and gut health.
10.) National Institutes of Health. Your kidneys and how they work.
11.) National Kidney Foundation. Ways to Nourish your Kidney.
12.) Experience Life. Fiber: Why it Matters more than you Think.