Q. The holidays were lots of fun, but I overindulged a bit. Do you have any suggestions on how I can get my health back into balance, and especially on how to detoxify my body?
A. The new year is a great time to re-create a healthy, strong body. In addition to eating well and exercising regularly, enhancing your body’s ability to detoxify is essential to getting back into shape.
Your liver is the master organ of detoxification. It filters your blood, breaks down hormones, stores vitamins, makes bile, maintains your blood sugar level and plays a role in your immune system. By enhancing your liver’s ability to neutralize toxins you’re exposed to every day, you promote the health of your entire body.
To help your liver do its job, avoid ingesting all forms of caffeine (including coffee), alcohol, cigarettes, fast food, refined sugar and processed food. You also can do a liver cleanse to enhance your liver’s ability to detoxify. The following are the most important steps in a liver cleanse:
Eat an organic, vegetarian diet.
Choose liver-supportive foods such as Jerusalem and globe artichokes, burdock root (gobo), beets, garlic, beans, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, turnips and brussels sprouts.
Eat oranges and tangerines, and avoid grapefruits.
Drink vegetable-fruit juices twice a day.
Add the juice of one lemon to 48 ounces of filtered water, and drink this amount each day.
Take a daily multivitamin.
Take extra antioxidants daily, such as vitamin C (3,000 milligrams), alpha lipoic acid (100 milligrams) and selenium (200 micrograms).
Take a lipotropic complex — a nutritional supplement consisting of vitamins, amino acids and herbs that is designed to support your liver’s ability to detoxify. (You can find it at your health-food store.)
Get into a hot sauna to sweat toxins out through your skin two or three times a week.
Do skin brushing once a day to help circulate your lymph. Use a soft shower brush to stroke your skin lightly (always in the direction that your blood moves as it flows toward your heart).
Do aerobic exercises four or five times a week.
It’s best to do a liver cleanse for at least a week. Many people say they not only have much more energy during and after the cleanse, but also experience the added benefit of weight loss.
Article was originally printed in the Honolulu Advertiser, honoluluadvertiser.com