Detoxification: Reducing Your Body's Burden
Updated: Oct 9, 2020
Wellness visits are about more than evaluating one's need for a pap smear or whether they need their cholesterol checked. Its about evaluating their overall health and looking for ways to optimize their life-long vitality. As part of my routine wellness consultation, clients are asked specific questions that help me determine health concerns related to major body systems. This can help identify clinical patterns that may suggest the need for metabolic detoxification. This is not a fad diet or even fasting; rather, this is a comprehensive program that educates, equips, and digs into underlying causes of dis-ease and dis-comfort. It works to enhance your detoxification processes and lower the body's toxic burden.
One of the more common reasons a detoxification program is recommended to clients is because they shared concerns of fatigue during their consultation. Other common reasons are desires for weight loss, to improve overall health, or to reduce frequent or severe symptoms of certain diseases associated with toxicity.
Recent studies indicate that weight gain may be more complicated than originally thought. No matter how or what you eat, when toxins are injected into the food you eat, they will impact your body and increase your chance of gaining weight. Many people are very unaware of their weight and its connection to toxins, food triggers, and metabolic dysfunction. Mood is very similar.
Program Goals for Detoxification
Food plays a role in all our detoxification processes. Eden Family Practice members are invited to participate in the detoxification program twice each year, where we will work to identify your toxic foods and work to create a clean diet that you will enjoy and will want to choose for the duration of your life. This program works to improve the break down, binding, and elimination of toxins from your body, reducing your overall body burden. This will likely include some sort of elimination diet, at least temporarily.
Eliminating major food triggers and allergens from the diet such as gluten-containing foods, dairy, eggs, shellfish, soy, corn, and peanuts may be necessary. This is short term, as much as three to four weeks so we can identify your own body's triggers to particular foods while at the same time reducing your immune response to food. Often I meet with clients who not only need to detox, but also need gut restoration. A permeable gut, sometimes referred to as a "leaky gut" will undermine your efforts for detox so digestive function is part of my assessment so potentially clients may need to start with the 5R Gut Restoration Program.
While the detoxification program reduces your common food triggers, making it somewhat similar to an elimination diet, our focus is on long-term nutritional support for all your major body systems involved in detoxification. Rather than blindly follow a short plan and ultimately achieve only short-term results, this detoxification plan gives stronger emphasis on eating clean foods for life while also reducing exposure to toxins from your environment. We can also evaluate your genetic predisposition to challenges within your detoxification processes and learn how to optimize your body's effort to detoxify.
One of the most important aspects of any detoxification program is to optimize function of the primary organs of elimination and to reduce unhealthy stimulation of the immune system. The gut needs to work efficiently so that it can provide one to two healthy, well-formed bowel movements each day. If we aren't moving our bowels, we can't eliminate our toxins effectively. Ensuring adequate daily fiber intake is essential for #elimination and pulling through the body's toxins. This program is not just about the gut though, it is largely about optimizing liver function. A neglected or overburdened liver, which can happen even from chronic stress, will struggle to break down the body's toxic load even if your gut is effectively eliminating. Lack of proper nutrition can cause a congested and sluggish liver, increasing your symptom frequency and severity. The aim then is to improve the liver and gut's function so we can lower the burden on your immune system and provide adequate nourishment through our foods and liquids.
This program is not calorie specific. Detoxification requires energy. There may be times where this may be supportive, but it is not the main objective. In fact, focusing on calories is a little twentieth century thinking. Your body needs high quality proteins, organically grown, non-genetically modified foods; lean, grass-fed animal meats or wild-caught fish; minimally refined, cold-pressed oils; and reduced exposure to environmental toxins. #Neutraceuticals may also be necessary to improve and balance the organs of elimination and detoxification, if this cannot be achieved through food alone. When the toxin load is reduced and whole foods that support the liver and gut are optimized, hormones can come into proper balance. Targeted hormone-balancing foods are featured in this program for those who require such support.
Avoiding Environmental Toxins
Eden's detoxification program does start with a concerted effort towards being more mindful of your lifestyle and food choices, journaling what you observe, as you work to decrease your environmental exposures. We will look at your food exposures, the air you breath, the water you are exposed, your personal care products, household and sleeping materials, your work and your neighborhood exposures. This effort continues throughout the entire twelve weeks with a lifetime commitment towards cleaning up your environment.
Incorporating Natural and Whole Foods to Support Optimal Detoxification & Elimination
A focus on incorporating natural and whole foods to support, modulate, induce, or inhibit various processes related to optimal detoxification and elimination is the essence of this program, but tools are offered to provide this in an individual way. This is not a cookie-cutter detoxification program. My intent is to educate you, empower you, and equip you with helpful information about your specific detoxification needs.
Individuals with genetic variability in cytochrome P450 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), or the first line of defense against toxins in the liver, are recommended to eat foods that improve phase one metabolism and phase two conjugation. While it isn't required to evaluate your genetics for potential mutations, this can be very enlightening and help cater the scientific knowledge available to meet your specific needs. Plant foods have the important ability to improve both phases of detoxification, especially cruciferous vegetables. High-quality, lean protein is a must for facilitating phase two conjugation.
There are a number of steps that can be taken with food and lifestyle to support a general #detox process; however, the tests for genetic variations in detoxification enzymes are quite worth the investment. They only have to be done once, and they will help direct the healthcare practitioner more effectively in designing an individual approach.
This program provides data that allows you to match your genetic findings with specific enzyme activity and identify what foods or neutraceuticals you could utilize to support optimal function, and we'll discuss how to monitor your detoxification efficiency life long.
Ideal Detox Meal
An ideal detoxification meal would have a small bowl of miso soup as the appetizer. The entree would be presented as half a plate of steamed green leafy greens of various kinds, with some cruciferous vegetables tossed in, together with a serving of protein, such as wild-caught salmon lightly pan-fried in sesame oil with crushed garlic and minced ginger. A small serving of a high-protein grain like cooked quinoa could accompany the meal. Afterwards, enjoy a bowl of fresh raspberries and blueberries with a cup of green tea and a squeeze of lemon.
This program is heavy in education, again, because the goal is life-long transformation. Eden Family Members are welcome to join our detoxification community each spring and fall. Together we can encourage each other in committing to cleaning up our bodies and environments.