Tag Archives: liver

The Best Way to Detox – 4 Delicious Recipes

Liver-detox-juice-1024x768I have always stressed the importance of detoxifying your body. This post is to help you to really understand what it is. Detox 101 so to speak.

What are Toxins?

Toxins are chemicals or poisons that are known to have harmful effects on the body. The presence of these toxins in the system are the root of most disease. Cancer, skin rashes, depression, inflammation, weight gain, joint pain, neurological dysfunction, and so many more, can all be caused by toxic build-up.

Toxins are all around us – in the food, air and water. They cannot be avoided. Our bodies, however, are built to handle them. Like a well-run factory, the kidneys, lymphatic system, and liver all work together to bind and sweep these toxins out of our systems.

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So, if our bodies deal with the toxins why do we need to worry about them? The problem is that, in the modern world, we are exposed to more toxins than our bodies can process. It reminds me of one of my favorite “I Love Lucy” episodes, where Lucy and Ethel are working at a chocolate factory. The conveyer belt starts moving too quickly. Lucy and Ethel get overwhelmed and panic. They end up shoving chocolates in their mouths, shirts, and hats.

This is much like what happens in our livers when it gets bombarded with more toxins than it can handle. It becomes overwhelmed and can’t do its job properly. The liver becomes congested and we feel sick.

Detoxifying foods assist the body to sweep the toxins out of our systems. For example, orange vegetables contain beta carotene which the liver converts into Vitamin A. The liver uses it to help move toxins out of the body. Think of it like adding more workers to the assembly line.

Just as some foods help speed up toxin removal, others – such as processed foods, fried foods, red meat and dairy – are obstacles to this process. They clog up the detox pathways and make the body’s job harder because they give it more and more work to do. Instead of adding more workers to our assembly line, they distract the ones we’ve got with other jobs.

Detox: Critical to Healthy Living

We choose detoxifying foods because we need to. Just like anything that is overworked, the body can get burned out. We lose focus and energy, and we gain weight. That is when disease starts to creep in.

We all love to eat the foods that are bad for us. And once in a while, especially over the holiday season, we do. Cookies anyone? We detox to give the body some extra assistance so that it can do its job, which is to keep us healthy. Take care of your body so that it can take care of you.

Here are my top detoxifying recipes:

7 Reasons to Eat More Beets

People either love beets or they hate them, mostly because they haven’t discovered all the wonderful ways to enjoy beets.  I, personally, am in the LOVE BEETS camp.  I still remember the first time I ate them as a child.  I wanted them every day after that.  Whether you already love them, or just haven’t discovered their marvels, here are 7 reasons to eat more beets.

1. Beets are high in nutrients such as folate, manganese, potassium, and vitamin C, making them an excellent source of nutrients, and a particularly good choice for pregnant women who have higher folate needs during pregnancy.

2. In their uncooked state, beets also contain an important compound called betaine, which research has shown reduces several compounds linked to inflammation in the body. In other words, it’s a great anti-inflammatory food that helps protect us from the effects of aging and disease.

3. Beets are one of Nature’s miracles in the prevention of cancer.  The fiber found in beets seems to increase the body’s special immune compounds that are responsible for detecting and removing abnormal cells before they can become cancerous.

4. Beets help fight cancer.  The phytonutrients–proanthocyanidins–that gives beets their rich purplish-red hue has potent anti-cancer capabilities.

5. Beets have been recommended for many years to help purify the blood.

6. Beets also help cleanse the liver—one of the most overworked organs in the body, with over 500 functions including: cleansing toxins, removing excess hormones, and metabolizing fat.

7. They are versatile.  They can be eaten raw (grated), steamed, boiled (although many nutrients are lost in the cooking water), or added to soups and stews. I love steamed beets tossed with a little flax oil and unrefined sea salt. Remember: the anti-cancer properties of beets lessen with heat! So it’s always a great idea to enjoy a little grated raw beetroot on your salads.

Adapted with permission from The Life Force Diet by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD.

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photo by: redfox

8 Foods that Fight Fat

Tired of that spare tire?  Sick of your love handles?  You can naturally increase your body’s fat-burning power by eating more of the foods that help your liver (your body’s main fat-metabolizing organ) burn fat better.  The result?  A leaner (not meaner) you!  There are many fabulous foods that fight fat but here are some of my favorites:

Leafy Greens: Spinach, spring mix, mustard greens, and other dark leafy greens are good sources of fibre and powerhouses of nutrition. Research demonstrates that their high concentration of vitamins and antioxidants helps prevent hunger while protecting you from heart disease, cancer, cataracts, and memory loss.
 
Beans and Legumes: Legumes are the best source of fiber of any foods. They help to stabilize blood sugar while keeping you regular. They are also high in potassium, a critical mineral that reduces dehydration and the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
 
Garlic and Onions: This dynamic duo of foods contains phytochemicals that break down fatty deposits in the body, while also breaking down cholesterol; killing viruses, bacteria, and fungi; and protecting against heart disease. With a little help from garlic and onions, you can burn fat while warding off illness.
 
Cayenne: This hot spice lessens the risk of excess insulin in the body by speeding metabolism and lowering blood glucose (sugar) levels, before the excess insulin can result in fat stores. Spice up your next meal with cayenne and lessen those love handles.
 
Turmeric: The popular spice used primarily in Indian cooking is one of the highest known sources of beta carotene, the antioxidant that helps protect the liver from free radical damage. Turmeric also helps strengthen your liver while helping your body metabolize fats by decreasing the fat storage rate in liver cells. Add a teaspoon of turmeric into your next curry dish to help your body fight fat.
 
Cinnamon: Researchers at the United States Department of Agriculture showed that a quarter to one teaspoon of cinnamon with food helps metabolize sugar up to twenty times better than food not eaten with cinnamon. Excess sugar in the blood can lead to fat storage. Before you sip that chai tea latte or eat your oatmeal, sprinkle on the cinnamon.
 
Flax Seeds and Flax Seed Oil: These seeds and oil attract oil-soluble toxins that become lodged in the fatty tissues of the body. Once attracted, they help to escort fat-soluble toxins out. That spells fewer fat stores and a trimmer you.
 
Adapted from The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan by Michelle Schoffro Cook.
 
Michelle Schoffro Cook, DNM, DAc, ROHP, RNCP is a best-selling and six-time book author and doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan. Learn more at: www.TheLifeForceDiet.com

 

Be careful when taking supplements

ANYONE can sell non-FDA approved supplements these days. I could have become a millionaire myself, as I have been invited to "sell" or be the spokesperson on behalf of companies that produce these products. I never did. Why? Non-FDA approved products "may" work to a certain extent but their potential side effects are not studied by the same standards as FDA approved medications. Even when FDA approved, we sometimes find medication side effects that we did not anticipate over time.

As the Jack-of-all-Trades and trained in pharmacology in my past life as a researcher, I have much respect for anything that is brought into the body, whether it’s water, food, medication, vitamins, herbs or potions of any kind.
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