Our body is programmed to detox in spring and fall. Right now, we need to prepare for winter and a detox will help to fight seasonal tiredness and to stimulate our immune system. Now, a “true” detox requires a practician’s supervision and it’s not always necessary as we can already manage a lot by simply balancing our diet and detox without going through a detox.
They’re the whole point of detox, right! They have a direct impact on our skin: dull complexion, dark circles, puffiness, pimples, all the nasties our skin resorts to when it wants to send a signal.
It’s usually a sign that our body is overloaded with toxins (produced by our own body) or toxic substances (produced by our environment) to the point that it can’t eliminate them like it is programmed to do. That’s when we have to help it out.
How does elimination work?
For that, we need to understand how our body works. Meet the detox special agents – the emunctories :
The skin’s regular job is to eliminate toxic waste through sweat and sebum. It will take a part of other organs’ load if they are overwhelmed but inflammation will show its ugly head if it gets overwhelmed too. If you want an efficient immune system and a glowing complexion, your job is to make sure that your team can work smoothly.
The liver phases in a nutshell
The big boss is the liver with a 3 phases detox process that turns fat soluble toxins into water soluble waste.
P-450 enzyme converts fat-soluble toxins into intermediary, less fat-soluble but highly reactive substances.
This phase needs:
- antioxidants, flavonoids
- fat soluble vitamins A and D
- vitamins Bs, C and E
- detoxifying herbs like milk thistle, dandelion, turmeric, ginger, parsley
The fat-soluble toxins are converted into water-soluble substances.
This phase needs:
- amino acids
- vitamins Bs and C
The byproducts of phases 1 and 2 are transported out of the cells into the bloodstream and eliminated in the urine or bile.
Nutrients to support liver detoxification
Appropriate nutrients will encourage and/or stimulate the phases of the liver detoxification process.
To make it short and simple, make sure you consume :
- seasonal fruits and vegetable – Mama Nature knows best
- coloured fruits and vegetables – rich in antioxidants
- cruciferous vegetables – rich in sulphur
- spices such as turmeric, rosemary, cumin…
- fatty acids rich fish or vegetable oils such as nut oil or pumpkin seed oil
- protein-rich meals
- detoxifying herbs – milk thistle, dandelion
- fibres – to take care of your intestines
A few suggestions for detox-friendly meals
- pear – rich in fibres, it will help your intestines
- plum – rich in antioxidants and potassium
- aubergine – diuretic
- cauliflower – rich in fibres and potassium
- broccoli – rich in vitamins and minerals
- grapeseed – rich in antioxidants
- chicory – rich in potassium and composed of 95% water
- fennel – rich in antioxidants
- turnip – rich in vitamins B & C, fibres and minerals
Suggestions for detox-boosting meals
Super food bursts with nutrients. These ingredients are exotic and a bit expensive, that’s their drawback. However, while it’s true that they’re not necessary for a balanced diet, it’s undeniable that they can give a serious boost.
- acai – antioxidant cocktail
- hemp – fabulous in all its forms (well, almost all its form. I can hear you giggling!)
- goji berries – filled to the brim with vitamins B & C. They’re anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant and they will boost your immune system
- maca – it’s an adaptogen, good to manage stress
- chia seeds – rich in omega 3 and 6
- raw cacao – rich in magnesium
Check out ayurvedic recommendations if you feel so inspired. Ayurveda is rich in routines and practical tips to take care of yourself. Some of them are quite easy:
Clean your tongue before eating or drinking anything. The idea is that toxins accumulate on the tongue during the sleep and that we only swallow them back with our breakfast. I know – yuck!!! You can find tongue cleaners easily and you’ll get hooked on the practice pretty soon.
Press an organic lemon and add the juice to warm water. If you don’t like the bitter taste, you can add honey, turmeric and/or cinnamon. Sip your warm water before your breakfast and it will help with hydration and digestion.
Finally, detox your mind
Fall can sometimes make people feel vulnerable and nostalgic for summer pleasures. Still, it’s a season with new possibilities. Isn’t September the new January?! It’s the perfect time to start or re-start meditation, to treat yourself to warm oil massages, to slow down and focus on yourself, to cast off unwanted burdens. Detox, grounding, comfort and self-awareness are key to your skin care (self-care, actually) routine.
May your fall season be warm, peaceful and pimple free!