We hear a lot about detox diets, but why?
Our lifestyle, our rich diet, our sedentary lifestyle, our polluted environment contribute to the accumulation in our body of toxins that can affect some of our body functions.
Why not starting a detox diet now?
Summer is a perfect season to take more time to relax, to take care of our body by changing our lifestyle. It is also a perfect time to focus on ourself and reconnect with others.
From a nutritional standpoint, this is an ideal period to follow a detox diet as this season offers a wide variety of fruits and vegetables with which we can do, for example, fresh smoothies and other healthy recipes with fewer calories than during the winter.
Take advantage of the summer as a gateway to abandon bad habits and to regain the energy you have been missing.
The importance of detoxing the liver
The liver is a vital organ, one of the largest in the body and is involved in the following three functions: synthesis, storage and detoxification.
Synthesis: The liver is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins. It is also involved in the production of bile (yellowish liquid that participates in the digestion of fat) stored in the gallbladder.
Storage: The liver stores fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K), iron and copper. It also stores energy in the form of sugar (glycogen) and make it available to the body when needed.
Detoxification: The liver captures, transforms and removes toxins in excess in our body. These toxins could come from our diet, our environment, medical treatments or smoking… The bile secreted by the liver allows the elimination of toxins.
A moderate detoxification participates to better hepatic functions and eliminate toxins accumulated in our body.
How to detoxify your liver?
Here are some tips to enhance your body cleansing:
- Eat fruits: red berries facilitate cleansing and melon and watermelon are great natural diuretics and laxatives.
- Eat vegetables and fresh herbs like basil, mint, parsley…
- Drink at least 1.5 litres of water daily, preferably with a little lemon juice and try kombucha (fermented tea) found in the fresh products section of organic food stores.
- Reduce calorie intakes and consumption of meat. Prefer fish to red meat.
- Avoid coffee, refined sugar, eggs, fats and especially alcohol.
- Be physically active: Sweating helps your body to eliminate toxins as well!
Curcumin participates to the elimination of toxins and heavy metals
Turmeric is traditionally used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to aid digestion and stimulate liver functions. Indeed, curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric helps boost liver function and especially bile production which ensures a cleansing function by accelerating the elimination of toxins and other waste that build up in our body.
Not only curcumin acts on bile production but it captures heavy metals.
Biologists from the University of Mexico demonstrated that curcumin plays a protective effect against heavy metals by reducing the hepatotoxicity induced by arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead and mercury. This preventive effect of curcumin was attributed to its chelating properties, i.e. its ability to capture heavy metals and to remove them from our body.
García-Niño WR, Pedraza-Chaverrí J. Protective effect of curcumin against heavy metals-induced liver damage. Food Chem Toxicol. 2014 Jul;69:182-201