How NOT to Detox : A Nutritionist's Guide

How NOT to Detox : A Nutritionist's Guide

The business of ‘detoxing’ is one that is heavily marketed. There are so many gimmicky scams constantly chipping away at our insecurities, promising the world in weight loss and liver health yet delivering nothing more than a few unpleasant toilet episodes and dent in your credit card balance.

So why am I bringing this to your attention?

Because when it comes to detoxing there is no ‘quick-fix’ approach. Our bodies are far too complex to respond to such approaches and in fact these ‘quick-fixes’ often do more harm than good. To understand why this is so, you first need to appreciate the complexity of detoxing.

The first organ that comes to mind when we think about detoxing is our liver. This guy literally filters and processes each and every thing we consume: food, drinks, supplements, bacteria and fungi, toxins from our food and environment, our blood and our hormones.

The liver detoxes any potentially toxic chemicals from both inside and outside the body by using antioxidant nutrients and enzymes. This converts them from fat soluble toxins to water soluble toxins so that they can be excreted (peed out). This is known as Phase I and Phase II liver detoxification and our kidney’s, gut, skin and respiratory organs all have a role to play in this process. 

Now this is where it gets interesting.

For Phase I detoxification work, you have to be consuming a diet that contains adequate protein, this can come from a plant variety such as hemp protein or hemp seeds. You will also need B vitamins, Magnesium, Iron {all found in hemp seeds and protein}, Lipotropics {compounds that break down fat found in nuts}, Antioxidants AND Indoles which come from cruciferous veggies.

Phase II detoxification is even more complicated again as it now processes substrates via a network of six different pathways and in their own uniqueness each of these pathways requires different things to function. Without making all of this too overwhelming – let's just say that amino acids {the building blocks of protein} are a must.  As are B-vitamins, antioxidants such as glutathione and essential fatty acids or good fats such as the Omega 3s found in hemp seed oil, oily fish and others found in nuts and avocado.

Pretty complex little set up isn’t it!!

So why do you need to know all of this?  You need to know this because when it comes to choosing a ‘detox’ program you need to choose one that takes all of this into consideration and to be totally honest, most of the ones available or advertised do not. In fact they do the absolute reverse. They quite often strip out all the essentials needed for your liver to detox naturally and efficiently and instead use some form of starvation method or a  ‘shock-tactic’ to induce a crap-tonne {pun intended} of bowel evacuations leaving you feeling ‘lighter’ and with the assumption that you have ‘detoxed’. Not Cool.

So how can you detox safely then?

Simple. Support your gut and liver to do what they are already doing day in and day out, but up the anti. Cut out the rubbish foods, remove the booze, knock off the processed sugar and instead opt for a wide variety fresh fruits and vegetables {especially the green ones}, whole grains, good fats and of course – a quality protein as this will ensure you are getting the perfect mix of protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants - we love Hemple at the JCN Clinic! 

Start your morning with some ACV or fresh lemon and ginger shots as this will stimulate your liver to produce bile, increase your consumption of medicinal foods such as ginger, garlic and chilli and incorporate fermented foods into your diet daily such as sauerkraut, kombucha and kim-chi. Equally as helpful can be the addition of herbs such as Dandelion root, St Mary’s Thistle, Globe Artichoke and Turmeric. Supplements can also play an amazing enhancing role when it comes to detoxing but it’s best to check with your Nutritional Practitioner first.

Ready to start? Try Georgia from Hemple's Hemp Fireball Tonic recipe :)

If you want to know more about detoxing you can listen to the JCN Clinic Podcast on the topic here


By Carissa Anne.

Nutritionist {BHSc} – The JCN Clinic

Carissa is an accredited and practicing nutritionist at the JCN Clinic in Brisbane. The JCN Clinic is renowned for their focus on Digestive Health and an individualised, balanced approach to eating and nutrition.  Carissa is available for Nutritional Consultations in person or via Skype or phone. To find out more contact the Clinic via email  or you book online here




1 comment

Feb 27, 2018 • Posted by Helen Robinson

Would love to know where and how to purchase all products

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