Encourage Detoxification

For clients following a nutritional programme to support gut ecology it is vitally important to encourage detoxification as much as possible. The gut yeast Candida albicans is known to release at least 79 toxins, and this number actually increases as the yeast is starved by an appropriate diet and killed by specific supplements. The effect of this number of toxins can be quite debilitating and this is why on a Nutritionhelp programme we recommend that the initial approach to deal with yeast overgrowth is taken in stages. It is very important that the supplement chosen to kill the yeast is taken at least 4 weeks after the yeast and sugar-free diet has been started. This allows any initial toxins from the starved yeast to be off-loaded before any specific supplement (such as caprylic acid) is introduced to work with the Candida .

Once a yeast-free supplement is started (formerly called antifungals), progress needs to be slow, measured, and monitored, as increasing the supplement too quickly will lead to a build-up of toxins, increasing symptoms and causing the client to feel quite unwell. If this happens I always recommend a complete break from the supplement (such as caprylic acid or oregano oil) to allow the body time to off-load the toxins. Once the client is feeling on a more even keel, the supplement can be reintroduced, perhaps even more slowly.

Someone’s capacity for detoxification can depend on a large number of factors, and will vary from client to client. Certain nutrients and foods may help support detoxification, so the following article by Michelle Schoffro Cook at Care2 offers some helpful suggestions. Of course, these foods to support detoxification are beneficial not only for those on a yeast and sugar-free programme but are good to include regularly in any diet.

When it comes to cleansing your body of harmful toxins, food really is the best medicine. Many of your favorite foods also cleanse the liver, kidneys, skin, intestines, and other detoxification systems. Add more of these nutritious and delicious springtime foods to your diet to help ward off the harmful effects of bad food choices, pollution, food additives, second-hand smoke, among other toxins. Here are my top picks for seasonal spring detox foods:

Artichokes – Artichokes are a highly underrated vegetable.  They are high in vitamin C and fibre and help to increase bile production in the body, which helps the intestines eliminate toxins from the body. Artichokes also contain a substance that helps the liver break down fatty acids.  This is good news because the average diet and lifestyle creates tremendous strain on the liver’s ability to filter out toxins. 

Asparagus –   This flowering perennial is an excellent source of vitamin K and folate, the latter of which is particularly necessary for pregnant women. Asparagus also contains vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B6, niacin, manganese, potassium, magnesium and selenium. (Emma’s note: Use it to dip into a boiled egg to introduce more vegetables at breakfast)

Garlic – Forget worrying about your breath and enjoy the potent healing properties of fresh garlic. Where I live, garlic is usually planted in the fall and the ready for harvest in late spring.  Garlic is a relative of onion and shares many of its same health benefits. 
 It can destroy harmful bacteria, intestinal parasites, and viruses in the body, helps cleanse buildup from the arteries and lowers blood pressure. Garlic is well known for its anti-cancer and antioxidant properties and also helps cleanse the respiratory tract by expelling mucous buildup in the lungs and sinuses. Keep in mind that store-bought garlic powder offers none of these benefits found in fresh, easy-to-grow garlic. Don’t be afraid to give fresh garlic a starring role in your cooking.

Onions – Onions are as versatile as they are health promoting.  Research on these members of the allium family has uncovered powerful antioxidant and anti-cancer capabilities. Onions also thin and cleanse the blood and lower LDL cholesterol without lessening HDL cholesterol. Rich in biotin (which aids sugar and fat metabolism) and phytonutrients like polyphenols, onions also help detoxify the respiratory tract and fight asthma, bronchitis, hay fever, and diabetes. Onions, like garlic, help cleanse the body of viruses and the intestines of harmful bacteria.

Watercress – Not the most common leafy green used in salads but certainly one of the healthiest, this aquatic plant increases detoxification enzymes in the body and contains phytonutrients that have successfully inhibited carcinogens. In a study at the Norwich Food Research Centre in the United Kingdom, smokers who were given 170 grams of watercress per day eliminated higher than average amounts of carcinogens in their urine, thereby reducing their numbers in their body.  Watercress has a mild, peppery flavour that enhances salads, soups and sandwiches.