Monthly Archives: July 2013

Yogi Detox Tea – is it for Thee?

box of yogi detox teaLots of people are turning to Detox drinks as an easy way of dealing with the toxins picked up in our "normal" Western life style. One of the most popular types of detox drink is tea, so today we're taking a look at a particular tea from the "Yogi" range.

This is quite a range with 60 teas in it –some green teas, some black and some decaffeinated. There are 4 Detox teas and we are looking at the general detox tea called "Yogi DeTox Tea".

This is one of the Indian teas similar to Chai– it has spicy and sweet ingredients and you either love it or you hate it.

Most people don't just love it they LOVE IT!

Taste aside, the tea is presented in a teabag and needs to brew for 5 to 10 minutes.

The ingredients are an impressive range of herbs and spices and out of interest this is the entire list

1. Indian Sarsaparilla Root

2. Cinnamon Bark

3. Ginger Root

4. Licorice Root

5. Burdock Root

6. Dandelion Root

7. Cardamom Seed

8. Clove Bud

9. Black Pepper

10. Long Pepper Berry

11. Chinese Amur Cork Tree Bark

12. Japanese Honeysuckle Flower

13. Forsythia Fruit

14. Gardenia Flower

15. Skullcap Leaf

16. Chinese Goldenthread Root

17. Rhubarb Root

18. Wax Gourd

19. Juniper Berry Extract

With 19 ingredients I have to duck out of discussing and explaining each one – but I am going to cover the top 6 in the list in some detail and summarise the formula as a whole.

 Here goes…..

1.Indian Sarsaparilla Root  

Traditionally used as a Spring Tonic and to stimulate the flow of bile, helping to decongest both the liver and gall bladder. NB this is not the same as American Sarsaparilla, it is a completely different plant.

2.Cinnamon Bark

This is one of the ingredients that appeals to lovers of spicy and aromatic teas! Traditional herbal use is as an anti-spasmodic and carminative tea which means that it relaxes muscles and it promotes digestion. It is also used as an anti-microbial and anti-helmintic –so it acts against infection by bacteria and worms. Also cinnamon stimulates appetite and has been used to treat anorexia.

3.Ginger Root

Well known for being used in biscuits and cakes, ginger has a powerful role as a tea much used by travellers for its anti-nausea properties and by those fighting a cold or flu. Ginger promotes perspiration adding detox via the skin and stimulates circulation.

4.Licorice Root

Like Cinnamon and Ginger, Licorice/liquorice is widely used in foods for flavouring. But it is a major herb in Oriental Medicine and included in many herbal formulas. First it has an endocrine action by stabilising hormones especially oestrogen. It is also anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial.

One special point needs mentioning about licorice and is whether it can raise your blood pressure. It is true that people eating too much licorice confectionery have experienced some temporary rise in blood pressure. From that we might think that the same could happen with a herbal tea containing licorice.

My judgement on this is that it is unlikely to be an issue due to the small amount of licorice in the tea compared to the large amounts in the sweets, but by all means monitor your blood pressure or avoid this particular tea if this is a concern for you.

5.Burdock Root

This is a well known and well used digestive stimulant and stimulator of bile, making it useful in liver detox programmes. It has a healing action on the skin and has been used specifically to help cases of eczema and psoriasis.

It is a diuretic and aids kidney function and cystitis.

6.Dandelion Root

One of the best all round detox herbs – and,yes this is the ordinary dandelion that shows up in gardens and is usually pulled up and disposed of!

The leaf and the root have a detox action and the leaf can be included in salads, green juices and smoothies.

It is a good general tonic and a powerful diuretic. It may help to heal inflammation and congestion of the liver. Some anti tumour activity has been found in experimental conditions.

So much for the 6 major ingredients of the tea.

Some of the remaining ingredients contribute to the peppery taste and help the body detox further. In the design of this tea we have a very balanced and well thought out detox tea which can be used with almost no effort.

As part of a healthy lifestyle regular use of this Yogi Detox tea can help you detox a little every day and make your"proper" detox periods easier!

The only caveat I would raise is a possible concern about using what I call standard licorice which has a small possibility of raising blood pressure.

I think this is probably overblown but if you are concerned then just pick up a tea without licorice or with DGL licorice which does not contain the type of licorice concerned with blood pressure.

Overall this is a powerful detox tea that tastes good and is gentle enough to use daily. I use it so it is for me. Now you have to decide whether or not it is for thee! And if it is you can shop for it at Amazon on this link.

Is Organic Chlorella The Best Superfood?

showing one cell of chlorelllaWe look at a lot of superfoods here at naturaldetoxblog and from time to time we come across one that really stands out.

Chlorella promises to be one such and perhaps even the best superfood of all. So let us look at Chlorella and see what is in it and what it can do. Then you can decide for yourself whether or not it is a superfood!

Chlorella Composition

The obvious place to start is to see how much protein and other nutrients we get when we take Chlorella.

The protein level is striking because Chlorella has 60% or more by weight protein and around 11% fat – mostly a blend of unsaturated oils.

Prime Chlorella reveal details for their Chlorella here and on a PDF on the same page.

So we know it has high protein content and a range of healthy oils, what else? Perhaps the most striking is the Chlorophyll content.

Chlorophyll carries the solar energy received as sunshine into a plant. It is very valuable high vitality food that can be used when we need an energy upgrade.

It is also a good preventive against anemia since it has significant amount of Iron and vitamin B12.

Chlorella has a full range of Amino acids and it is these that are probably responsible for its ability to absorb heavy metals in the body.

One problem with finding out the composition of Chlorella is that it can vary a lot according to the exact strain of Chlorella and with the exact environmental conditions in which it is grown. What is not in doubt is that it is a highly concentrated green food with a high percentage of protein and omega 3 fatty acids.

Chlorella benefits

For a Detox blog such as naturaldetoxblog the major benefit of taking Chlorella is its ability to eliminate the toxic or so called heavy metals like lead, cadmium and mercury from the body.

Chlorella helps to establish healthy conditions in the gut such as friendly bacteria and the entire health of the body depends on a healthy and well-functioning gut.

It also helps restore insulin sensitivity making it easier to maintain and healthy blood sugar level which helps not just diabetics but all those suffering from hypoglycaemia and metabolic syndrome.

Heart health too!

Chlorella helps reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides as well to reduce the overall amount of body fat although it is not clear how this works.

Summing up

Chlorella is the ultimate green food. it is a microscopic plant chock full of chlorophyll so it can carry life force and oxygen into the body. It is high in protein, Essential Fatty Acids and minerals such as magnesium and potassium.

It shows much promise when used as part of the treatment of many chronic diseases like diabetes, heart and circulation problems and even cancer.

The only question now really is how to take it and how much do I take? Oh and how much does it cost too!

Broken Wall Chlorella

It sounds odd to hear people talking about broken wall chlorella but it makes a lot of sense and here's why. Chlorella is a plant albeit a tiny plant and the cells are enclosed with a tough wall to protect it. Unless you break the wall around the chlorella you will not get the nutrients inside and you are wasting your money. So check that the chlorella you are buying is a broken wall chlorella

Organic Chlorella

One of the major reasons for using chlorella is to detox and get rid of heavy metals. It makes sense then to buy a brand of chlorella that is organic itself.

Powdered Chlorella

Lots of us like to make green smoothies and other detox drinks by mixing some powdered chlorella in a juicer. Just because it is a superfood does not means that it tastes great and so mixing it with other healthy ingredients such as carrots, cilantro or whey makes a lot of sense.

Yaeyama Chlorella

This is from Japan and grows in pure spring water. It is presented as a powder and is ideal for using in a shake.

Chlorella Tablets

Most chlorella is taken as a tablet. Chlorella tablets are usually quite small and easy to swallow which is good news because if you choose to take chlorella as a tablet you may end up swallowing a lot of them every day. How many? It depends on the brand – some brands make the pills very small and you may have to take 20 to 30 of them daily.

Read the label carefully so you get what you want eh?

Here is a table showing some Chlorella brands and prices at Amazon…..

Last word – go gently with Chlorella – it is a powerful detoxer. Take a tiny dose at first and get used to taking it.

Increase your dose gradually.

Some people may experience a "detox reaction" when using organic chlorella such as headaches or even vomiting! This ain't common and generally occurs if someone is very toxic and on a junk diet. Taking Chlorella might be a very good excuse to clean and upgrade your food choices too, OK?

Please, chime in with your experience of taking Chlorella in the comment section and do share this post.

Thanks

Heavy Metal Detox And Some Detox Tips

carbon monoxide map o fUS by nasaPollution takes many forms. There is the obvious pollution that takes place routinely around drill rigs when drilling for oil. There is the massive contamination of the soil and underlying water reserves caused by mining and fracking. Pretty much all industrial processes dump toxic chemicals into the air or water.

And while we can see a contaminated landscape or beach we often cannot see the pollution from heavy metals such as mercury, chromium, cadmium or lead.

There is not a clear scientific definition of the heavy metals although a better term would be "toxic metals". Some of the toxic metals such as aluminium are actually very light!

But we seem to be stuck with "heavy metals" as a phrase which we can use to mean metals which are toxic and which will have detrimental effects on our health if we absorb them by touch or consume them in polluted food or water.

A few examples of where we get heavy metal contamination from may help: we can get lead poisoning from cosmetics, hair dyes, paintwork and old water pipes, cadmium poisoning from cigarette smoke, aluminium poisoning from cookware and nickel from anti-perspirants.

Society has done a certain amount to clean this up but still we still get small amounts of these chemicals in the air we breathe and the food we eat.

And once they are in the body they may start poisoning us and producing a wide range of often unusual symptoms.

Symptoms of Heavy Metal Toxicity

They are very varied and general including Chronic fatigue, neurological symptoms such as brain fog, numbness or tingling, joint pains, digestive disturbance and night sweats.

When you realise how massively polluted the environment is with heavy metals the first question that springs to mind is how to get this poisonous junk out of your body.

How To Detox From Heavy Metals

A heavy metal detox has to deal with the toxins in fatty tissues or in the bones so detoxing them is a very long term project. All the more reason then to start as soon as possible and work detox methods into your routine.

Here are some notes which you may find useful depending on which metals you are dealing with and how bad the pollution is…..

1. There is a phrase used in management,"What gets measured gets done". We need to know how much toxicity we are dealing with, sort out methods that will reduce the load of toxins in our system and then measure the levels again every few months.

This can get very complex but we can get a Trace Mineral Measurement done very easily on a hair sample. This picks up toxic and non-toxic metals and a simple and affordable first step. Here in the UK I use Mineral Check

2.Detoxing heavy metals is essentially the same as any other kind of toxin in that the detoxification happens through the natural detox pathways of the body guided and helped with the appropriate detox supplements, nutrients and diet.

To be very clear – you need a thorough detox and tune up before you pick a fight with heavy metals. All good detoxes will remove some of the heavy metal load on the body but a serious contamination requires thorough preparation with a qualified practitioner with lots of experience detoxing heavy metals.

3. Chelation (pron. "Key layshun") is one of the main techniques used by Nutritionists and Naturopaths to remove heavy metals from body tissues.

The technique reminds me of picking up a bunch of keys with a magnet and involves taking amino acid mixtures either by mouth, called Oral Chelation or with a drip into the arm which is Intravenous or IV chelation. The amino acid mix grabs hold of the toxins and then expels them down the detox pathways in the liver.

4. Vitamin C has a big part to play and Chlorella has a big part to play and omega 3 oil from flax too. But please don't just start swallowing every heavy metal detox pill you can get! Follow my suggested 3 step process, detox thoroughly and then boost your detox with some special heavy metal specialist supplements and techniques.

5. And a reminder! Monitor your progress with lab results and a professional at your side. Heavy metals can kill and cripple so you are playing with fire here as you remove the toxins from your body. Monitor your progress with your own journal too for extra safety.

Whatever pollution or accidents occurred to expose you to the toxins initially you can make superb progress with the right techniques and advice and lab' measurements. While heavy metal toxicity is serious the effects can be mitigated and reduced and your body healed with the right detox and healing procedures.

For details of my Detox Book available on Amazon Kindle just follow the link.

Photo credit NASA carbon monoxide pollution

Skin Detox – Step By Step

Most detox programmes focus on the colon or the liver both of which are crucial for our health. But with so much interest in Detox and Cleansing it is natural to want to be able to detox your skin.

The skin is the biggest organ of the body and like the liver and the colon it is a detox organ. It excretes toxins by sweating and can absorb them too by contact because the skin can absorb small molecules from patches such as a nicotine patch. And it's not just nicotine but other small molecules some of which are toxins and pollutants and some of which are medicines that can get into the body via the skin.

So how do we do a skin detox? Here are some steps…

We can start with a Clay bath.

Before you start thinking of wallowing in mud like a hippopotamus this is special and selected fine French clay I have in mind. All we need to do is put a small handful of clay in the water of a comfortably hot bath and enjoy the relaxing effect. That's all, no soap, no bubbles– just fine powdered clay.

After, say, 20 minutes just rinse off under a shower and your skin will have been thoroughly and ever so gently cleaned.

Your skin needs nutrients just like your bones, nails and hair do and the major secret for improving the health of all these is vitamin C.

A few milligrams in a broad spectrum multivitamin does not have enough firepower to get the job done so if you want healthy skin make sure you take at least one gram a day of vitamin C.

This is easy and powerful and one pill gives you many times more than you'll get from an Orange or several  glasses of Orange juice.

Other nutrients matter too. Sebum is a natural oil that is produced by small glands deep in the skin. Excessive oiliness can contribute to acne as can overproduction of outer layers of the skin, again conditions conducive to acne.

Vitamin A keeps sebum in check and vitamin D keeps skin production in check. So if you lack proper amounts of these basic vitamins you are opening the way to acne and to a poor skin condition – what you might call junk skin or toxic skin.

This is part of the reason why your diet is part of having healthy skin – it provides the crucial vitamins your skin needs. The tiny doses provided by cheap multivitamin tablets are simply inadequate! Sorry to repeat this, I am trying to make a point!

At this stage your skin is cleansed and nourished – now you are ready for the detox.

Detox Herbs are the real nitty gritty detoxers. Whether you take them in a concentrated programme of special diet, herbal formulas and other special detox techniques or whether you want a simple detox tea to drink for a mild detox is totally up to you.

But a simple and high quality detox tea that works for the skin is called "Skin Detox", it is one of the Yogi range of herbal teas.

Like most herbal traditions this tea is a blend of synergistic ingredients all acting as a team with a single purpose – to Detox your skin.

Here are the ingredients – Burdock Root, Cardamom Seed, Dandelion Root, Green Tea Leaf, Hibiscus Flower, Honeybush, Orange Peel, Oregon Grape Root, Red Clover, Rose Petal, Stevia Leaf, Yellow Dock Root, and Natural Flavours

This is not just a "nice tea" – there are some major detox herbs here –Burdock, Dandelion,Red Clover etc. stand out so this will work on your entire body too and not just the skin.

More Techniques For Skin Detox

skin detox words One of the very best techniques to detox might get you rolling your eyes but hear me out first eh? it is a Home Sauna and I do not mean a purpose built cabin or cabinet but a low cost self-assembly unit that folds up and can be put away in a cupboard after use!

I have not used one of these yet – I saw them on Amazon when doing a search for something. 

Having your own sauna that you can put up in your bedroom or lounge and watch TV for 15 minutes whenever you want is super way to boost your entire health and not just detox your skin.

If your local gym has a sauna then check that out too but limit your time in the sauna to a few minutes at first and build up slowly. This is a powerful technique and should be treated with respect.

Have I covered all the methods we could use to detox your skin? No but I have covered the main ones and any you'd like to add just ask me in the comment section and I'll see what I can do, OK?

The Health Benefits of Grapes – Are Grapes a Superfood?

dark blue bunch of grapesWith so many delicious varieties of healthy fruit to choose from, which ones should we choose? One way of choosing lies in the fact that only some foods are in season at any one time, and we can boost our health by eating with the seasons.

Another may be cost. Eating organic is best for our health but can be rather expensive sometimes.

Another is to prioritise the Superfoods. These are foods that stand out. All fruits and vegetables have vitamins and minerals and other natural molecules that offer health benefits and some offer more than others.

Those foods that stand out, head and shoulders at it were in their content of nutrients are the Superfoods. You will find no particular agreement in the use of the word although many writers will produce similar lists of the foods they deem superfoods.

We can answer the question, "Are grapes a Superfood?"  by looking at the nutrients and seeing if they are especially powerful or unique in some way. And by asking ourselves, do they have any special health benefits?

So let's look at the nutrient content in grapes and see if they are at all special. We can start with the basics – the so called macronutrients of carbohydrates, fats and protein.

The initial info for 100 gm of grapes gives us the data in the small table on the left – taken from the Wiki.

basic nutrition for grapesSo we find some energy and carbs and some fibre and a very small amount of protein but almost no fat.

Looking now at the vitamins and minerals in the second table below

Vitamin K stands out at once. This is a surprise since we associate this hugely important vitamin with greens and not grapes. And people generally need reminding to eat their greens. Not many need prompting to eat their grapes!

One of the functions of vitamin K is to tell Calcium where to go in the body and so it is a vital control for both your bone and arteries and heart. Get the Calcium in the wrong place, such as in an artery and you are in trouble. But get your Calcium in the correct place, thanks to vitamin K and you have nice strong bones and healthier arteries.

table showing vitamins and minerals in grapesMinerals next and it's…..K again but here K stands for Potassium. Great for soothing jangled nerves, Potassium is vital in our high stress lifestyle.

Next we dive deeper and look for super nutrients. We notice 4 superstars –  lutein and zeaxanthin, anthocyanins and resveratrol – all of them a bit of a problem to pronounce!

Health Benefits of Grapes

Lutein- is a member of a huge family called the carotenoids and has been used experimentally to treat macular degeneration. Similar is zeaxanthin and when you consider how vital sight is and how poor pharmaceutical drugs perform these 2 superstars should be included in the diet and backed up with supplements too.

These superstars not only assist the retina at the back of the eye but also help to treat cataracts at the front of the eye. Seems like we should add to the advice to eat carrots for good eyesight – grapes as well.

Anthocyanins- these are another huge family of natural plant chemicals and give berries and many other fruit their distinctive colours. They also have powerful health effects shown in studies on cancer, heart disease and Parkinson's Disease amongst others.

Cancer studies have shown their effectiveness against leukemia and colon cancer. And other research has shown improvements on LDL, cholesterol and HDL levels.

Resveratrol- is one of the most discussed super nutrients. First found in grapes and wine resveratrol has many protective effects and may be responsible for the French Paradox where an apparently unhealthy high fat diet that includes red wine and therefore resveratrol seems not to shorten lifespan but to increase it.

It not only functions as an anti-oxidant but also to help stabilise blood sugar control. It improves circulation and protects your DNA against damage from free radicals.

Resveratrol is found in grapes and wine and also in peanuts and peanut butter. When buying foods for their resveratrol content please ensure you get organic produce and be aware that food values may vary according to season and variety.

Summary – the health benefits of grapes show up in the special substances like resveretrol and lutein and not in the list of vitamins and minerals.

All in all we might want to say that the evidence is that we not only have a marvellous superfood in grapes but we should add it to our diet as often as possible.

Is a grape a day going to keep the doctor away? No, to get the health benefits of grapes you'll need to eat a bunch of grapes a day.

But a small bunch will do the job!

Photo credit wiki

 

 

Bee Pollen and Flower Pollen Health Benefits

bee on whte flowerHoney, Propolis and Royal Jelly are some of the health products we get from the efforts of bees but when I first heard of "Bee Pollen" I was puzzled.

Surely they meant "Flower Pollen"?, I wondered. Since I'm sure other people are puzzled as well it's time to set out clearly what bee pollen is and what it can do for us.

Flower Pollen is the seed collected by bees in their foraging for food. Of course flowers produce their pollen for their own propagation and not for bees or for us.

But when bees collect flower pollen they take it back to their hive and make Pollen balls consisting of flower pollen along with nectar, enzymes, fungi and bacteria from the worker bees.

So bee pollen is flower pollen plus plus plus!

One problem in the way of understanding bee pollen is that it varies so much. Just like honey depends on the flowers and trees that the bees visited and even on the season, bee pollen varies a lot in composition.

This extract from drugs.com may help to get a general picture

It is rich in vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, and amino acids, and contains approximately 30% protein, 55% carbohydrate, 1% to 2% fat, and 3% minerals and trace vitamins. Vitamin C concentrations of 3.6% to 5.9% have also been found in some samples.

The high protein content brings it into the range of the superfoods chlorella and Spirulina. Interesting, so what else is there?

Bee Pollen Benefits

Athletic Performance

There are mixed messages with regard to how much bee pollen helps athletes improves their performance. One study showed that bee pollen helped athletes recover faster after exercise and another showed that it helped athletes avoid days of illness. The studies were small and not well designed however.

Prostate Health

Many men find that as they age the prostate gland enlarges and inhibits urination. This health problem is called BPH – benign prostate hypertrophy. Some times this is treated with the herb Saw Pelmetto, aka Serenoa Repens.

An extract of flower pollen called Cernitin® seems to have anti-inflammatory and anti-DHT properties and it also works on the urinary tract helping to maintain a healthy flow of urine.

According to the Life Extension Foundation

Chemical analysis of Cernitin® indicates that it contains many constituents, including vitamins and minerals, carotenoids, amino acids, enzymes, phytosterols, lipids, and fatty acids.

Good research has been conducted on Cernitin® and many benefits have been found including help in arthritis, and recovery from a wide range of problems such as wound healing, influenza and radiotherapy.

Note – DHT stands for dihydrotestosterone and is a powerful and possibly problematic version of testosterone.

Menopausal Symptoms

A study involving pollen and Royal Jelly showed significant reduction of nervousness, anxiety, irritability, headache, and most importantly hot flashes.

Summary of Bee Pollen Benefits

The state of the evidence I have reviewed shows that bee pollen and flower pollen are potentially valuable health supplements. The trials have shown some impressive results concerning both prostate health and menopausal symptoms showing some potential for use as an anti-aging supplement.

So far, so good, beyond that all I would say is that provided you are not obviously allergic to honey or other bee and flower products then these Bee Pollen supplements may be worth a personal trial.

As to whether they are superfoods – in my opinion I would say, no. Mind you there is no agreed definition of superfoods and if you tried Bee Pollen and healed something major you may well disagree.

What impressed me in doing the background reading for this article was that Bee Pollen benefits both male and female middle age health problems

Try for yourself and let me know your reaction and opinion, OK?

Photo credit blathlean

How To Detox Your Liver

cross section X ray showing the liverDetoxification or Detox for short, is a life saving process that your body does daily as it deals with the toxins it encounters. 

Some of the toxins are the exhaust fumes of vehicles – especially diesel engines, some toxins come with the food we eat either as chemical sprays used by the farmer or additives used by the food processor. Some even occur in our intestines provided by bacteria or fungi and some in the liver itself as it battles mightily to handle, to detoxify and render harmless all this toxic mess!

Detox is natural, even if most of the toxins nowadays are not. As we evolved our detox abilities got better and better to allow us to deal with the toxins in the natural environment.

 Remember…..

Not so long ago most humans lived as hunter gatherers. How much of their diet came from gathering wild fruit and berries and digging up roots and how much came from hunting is unknown but toxins faced our ancestors at every step. 

"Is that fruit edible?" And "how about these leaves?" and "This root?"

For us, plants are important foods but plants have their own life cycle and will defend themselves against attack just like we do. Plants also evolved and they produced a dazzling array of self defense mechanisms – toxins being the biggest weapon in their armoury. 

Most plants make toxins to defend themselves against being eaten.

We adapted to handle the toxins they produced. And that brings us to the liver. 

The liver is the major organ of detoxification and is where most of the lifesaving work of detox takes place.

And to ram home the importance of detox consider this quote from Drs. Murray and Pizzorno, "Up to 90% of all cancers are thought to be due to the effects of environmental carcinogens." 

That means that if our detox systems work efficiently they protect us from cancer. And if we do what we can to boost our ability to detox and remove toxins from our body we give ourselves the best chance of health in the future.

How do we boost our detox ability? By eating foods that provide the liver with the natural nutrients it needs to do its job!

Liver Detox – Step by Step

Step 1 The Filter in the Liver

I filter my drinking water, millions of people do. The water from the tap often has toxic chemicals and sometimes life forms too. Best to block the biggest and most obvious offenders then.

The liver does that too. Every minute 2 quarts of our blood flows through the liver and it does a superb job of grabbing 99% of bacteria and various clumps of debris picked up somewhere along the way – on the first pass of the blood through the liver! 

Step 2 Bile Production

Bile is a liquid made by the cells in the liver which flows down the bile duct carrying toxins with it and into the small intestine where it can be safely absorbed by the fibre in your diet and carried out of the body when you have bowel motion. 

Step 3 Enzymes in the Liver

When you chomp into some lovely crunchy French bread, enzymes get to work almost immediately. Right there in your mouth as you are biting and chewing and enjoying the taste and aroma of the bread, enzymes in your saliva are working on the bread to digest it and make it available as nutrition for your body. 

The Liver does that with enzymes too – in 2 steps of its own.

First of all the toxins coming into the liver in the bloodstream are of 2 types. Not natural and manmade but water soluble and fat soluable!

 Some of the toxins themselves are fatty substances and they need a detox process of their own.

The liver has to work differently depending on whether the toxin it gets to work on dissolves in water or whether it is oily and needs something extra to help it dissolve. 

In Phase 1 of this enzyme process- the toxin is turned into a water soluble form –which can be handled easily or it is turned into something which may be less dangerous which makes a lot of sense or if that can't be done it is turned into something that is more dangerous – which seems not to make sense at all.

If that sounds a bit scary it is because you understand what's going on! 

What then?

The liver has grabbed a toxin and rather than detoxify it has, well, retoxified it! Phase 1 of Detox often produces very dangerous chemicals which are then handed over to ….. 

Phase 2 of Liver Detox

In Phase 1 specialist enzymes try to chomp away at the toxic molecules to break them up and make them safe for us and easy to detox. This does not always work and so the "big hitters" of Phase 2 slot onto the toxin and give the body a handle to get hold of to help it throw the toxin out. 

The technical word for this fixing a handle on is conjugation.

So the body needs a whole store of "handles" and it gets them from your diet. The handles might be sulphur from garlic or Vitamin B from whole grains or magnesium from greens.

And if your diet does not include the foods that help the liver with its detox then the toxin cannot be detoxified and it stays in a highly reactive form and does damage to all the tissues it comes across.

The liver itself gets damaged by eating a junk diet and so does the whole body since the liver is the main detox organ of the body.

Detox is daily, detox is natural and detox depends on eating a good healthy liver detox diet. We cannot detox by drinking water and we cannot detox by juicing since neither water nor fruit juices have all the detox nutrients we need for the liver to do its transformations of toxins into safe chemicals.

Detox in 3 Steps

That is why in my Detox book I talk about a Detox programme taking 3 steps with Step 1 concentrating on eating a nutritious liver detox diet and step 2 devoted to healing the gut.

Only after that is the body ready for the Detox. If you charge into Detox without preparation you might find a lot of symptoms like headaches, aches and pains and breaking out into rashes.

Don't be put off by this, rather take some encouragement and plan to give your body and your health the biggest gift of all – a proper step by step Detox.

You might be delighted and surprised by the extra energy and clarity of mind you get after the detox. And you may get some extras like clearer skin and weight loss too!

Would that be OK?

photo credit wiki

Healthy Cookware – How to Choose Non-toxic Cookware

healthy food but is the cookware healthy too?In the same way that all food should be safe food, all cookware should be safe too.

The possibility that toxins from a pan are getting into my food or the food of anyone I cook for gives me the horrors. But the fact is that some pans are toxic and some cookware is safe or at least safer.

So I want to lay out some basic advice so that you can look at the pans and other cookware you use and make your own mind up about what is best for you and your family.

Cookware may be made from many different materials. Some of the materials that pans are made of may be toxic and some of the coatings on the pans are toxic too.

The traditional material for pans is cast iron and other metals like aluminium, stainless steel and copper follow along.

Then various coatings appear on the metal surface of the pan. The non-stick polymers and ceramics appear and make cleaning easier.

And then glass and ceramic cookware gives us more choices.

Toxic Cookware 

The first material that rang the alarm bell for me was aluminium. These pans are shiny like we expect metal to be and feel very light in the hand. Sadly the aluminium in the pan seeps into food and this soft and light metal can find its way into the brain. Alzheimers patients have been found to have aluminium in the nerve tangles that are found in their brains. And we are not saying that it causes the disease but it is still worrying.

Recommendation – throw all aluminum pans away as soon as you can.

Stainless steel is often chosen instead. It is usually shinier than aluminium and feels heavier too. It is much safer although it must be admitted that some of the steel can seep into the food. This is a personal call and I do not feel worried about the tiny risk from stainless steel. Maybe because I am used to it – this was my Mother's fave material for pans!

Cast Iron

And this was mine for several years. To be exact I bought Le Creuset Pans for my first home. This is a serious outlay but I had a new credit card so what the heck! They were seriously classy and seriously heavy too. Le Creuset pans are coated with a creamy ceramic layer and so the normal process of iron leeching into the food which you would expect in cast iron cookware does not occur. 

What is Healthy Cookware?

Simply really, healthy cookware does not seep into the food and does not release toxic gases as the food cooks. 

You can spend ages researching this or just take a pragmatic view and a best guess. I've done the latter and use cast iron, stainless steel and Le Creuset pans I've acquired over the years.

The only pans I would not use are aluminium whether they are ordinary saucepans or frying pans. Recently when I bought a wok I had to search extensively to find one that was not "polluted" as I regard it, with a non-stick coating. 

I hate washing up as much as any man but a coating that gives off a toxic gas should not really be on sale in my view.

If you simply want to find the best cookware then go for ceramic and treat it carefully!

What't your fave material for cookware?

photo credit Attribution Some rights reserved by IndyDina with Mr. Wonderful

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