Summary: In this article you’ll learn how to detox your body to increase your sense of well-being, energy, cognitive function, mood, to sleep better and to lose weight. This program will also help you to reduce the symptoms of diseases associated with toxicity.
Today people are suffering from more health issues and chronic diseases than ever before, despite major advances in modern medicine.
Environmental toxins, excess sugar and fat consumption, nutritional deficiencies, epigenetics, stress and lack of mindfulness are all contributing factors to this international decline in health.
Symptoms of toxic overload include fatigue, mood disorders, neurological conditions (such as headaches, cognitive difficulties, and tremors), obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, metabolic syndrome, allergies and food sensitivities, cancer, infertility, and diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
7 Step Functional Medicine Detox Program
This 7 Step Functional Medicine Detox program will teach you how to detox your body to eliminate toxins and improve your overall health and happiness.
In the following sections we will address all aspects of life to get to the root cause of health issues and bring about healing!
Functional Medicine Detox, Step 1: Preparation (1-2 Weeks)
Dangerous chemicals are hidden in our food, cosmetics, cleaning products and water. In stage one you want to learn about these everyday chemicals, and how to avoid and replace them with safe alternatives. The Environmental Working Group is an excellent resource: https://www.ewg.org/
You’ll also want to prepare yourself psychological for possible transient side effects such as fatigue or headaches. They usually only last a few days, after which you should feel more energetic. Hydration is the key!
However, if you are feeling sick you should contact our health provider. Ideally, you should work with a healthcare provider when undergoing a detox.
Functional Medicine Detox, Step 2: Renew Diet (1-2 Weeks)
During the second stage of the Functional Medicine Detox you’ll want to focus on your food and water sources. Eating clean is the main objective which will prepare you to the next very important step.
I highly recommend that you eat organic as much as possible. The Environmental Working Group has put together a nice handout of the “Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen”. You can request the list here: https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/.
The Renew Diet plan is available from Anthea Health upon request. Send us an email for your free copy.
Functional Medicine Detox, Step 3: Heal Your Gut (2 Weeks)
Before beginning your detox it’s essential to heal your gut. Why? Because un unhealthy gut is toxic and can lead to chronic inflammation and health conditions. In addition, a toxic gut will stress your liver and prevent effective natural detoxification. It’s important to eliminate unhealthy bacteria and toxins, and to plant new healthy bacteria to restore a healthy gut. This alone will make you feel a whole lot better!
Recommendations to restore healthy bacteria:
- Eat fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi
- Consume prebiotics like freshly ground flaxseeds
- Take a multistrain probiotic supplement daily
Functional Medicine Detox, Step 4: Regenerate Your Liver (2 Weeks)
The liver is the key for detoxification. It takes substances we are constantly exposed to, processes them, neutralizes and excrete these toxins from food, consumer products, and other substances to metabolic by-products that the body generates. The way the liver detoxifies the body is through a mechanism called Phase I and Phase II. Both phases require high quality protein and key nutrients to be successful.
They way the liver detoxes the body is by filtering the blood to remove the toxins, synthesizing and secreting bile to excrete fat-soluble toxins, and using enzymes to break down toxic chemicals. If the filtration system is compromised toxins can remain in the blood system and cause chronic inflammation, set off the immune system and lead to chronic diseases. Unfiltered toxins can be stored in fat cells, which can keep you “fat”.
Adequate bile production is needed to help solubilize fats and fat-soluble toxins. When bile is excreted into the small intestine and binds with fiber (one reason we need to eat more fiber during detox) your gut excretes this toxin-bile-fiber compound via stool. Detoxing in Phase I and Phase II require specific nutrients.
Phase I Liver Regeneration
Phase I is supported by eating cysteine rich foods and supplements with NAC (500mg twice daily. You should also eat plenty of brassica-family foods (broccoli, cabbage, Brussels Sprouts) and foods rich in B Vitamins (ex: nutritional yeast) and Vitamin C (not grapefruit).
Phase II Liver Regeneration
Phase II is supported by the following nutrients: Protein rich food (small fish, eggs, etc.), Glycine (seaweed, turkey) , Choline-rich food (lecithin, eggs), Brassica-family food, B Vitamins, Vitamin C (peppers, citrus food, not grapefruit), Dill and caraway oil, High quality fish oil
Supportive Supplements for Phase I and II
- Selenium 150 mcg/day (2-3 brazil nuts)
- Zinc 25 mg – 30 mg/day
- Liposomal glutathione or NAC 500 mg twice daily
- B12 500mcg methylcobalamin
- Multi B vitamins Multivitamin
Functional Medicine Detox, Step 5: Improve Your Kidneys (2 Weeks)
Kidneys filter the blood and eliminate toxins through urine. When toxins accumulate, kidneys can become overwhelmed and become toxic themselves which can lead to life- threatening conditions.
It’s important to protect the kidneys by improving microcirculation. This can be achieved by consuming filtered water, food and herbs that are beneficial for detoxification.
Drinking beetroot juices can help dilate the blood vessels and increase blood flow because it has natural occurring nitrates. Curcumin protects the kidney and increases filtration rates. Ginkgo Biloba not only helps improve blood supply to the brain but to the kidneys as well. Taking twice the dosage of a high-quality multivitamin with minerals for two weeks is also advisable.
Functional Medicine Detox, Step 6: Detox Fully (1-2 Weeks)
Now that the major detox organs are prepared, you can move on to fully detoxify your body. During this phase you should restrict calories by eating less caloric, nutrient-dense, foods. You may feel slightly hungry during this week, but you will be burning fat and releasing ketones in our blood. Ketones help with cognitive function and mood elevation. Other benefits of short-lived calorie restriction are increased longevity and decreased chronic diseases.
I recommend following a Mito/Keto diet plan to help us achieve the final goal of intense detox. The use of a sauna is also recommended, as it will help you to sweat out the toxins through your skin. Getting massages is also helpful to drain out stored toxins in our interstitial spaces and lymphatic system. Try to schedule a massage one to three times per week during this final phase. Exercise! To out for a walk 45 min per day or continue your usual exercise program.
Functional Medicine Detox, Step 7: Practice Mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness can help you live a more full and balanced life.
Just like you detox and flush out toxins in your body, it’s important to remove mental and emotional toxins from your mind. These are also harmful to your health.
Poorly managed stress affects the quality of your life and health. Learn how to manage stress levels and develop healthy coping mechanisms. Your Functional Medicine healthcare provider can help you learn techniques for developing mindfulness and meditation.
Unclutter our mind by setting an intention for the next steps in your life. I recommend journaling about how you want to grow. Being in nature and meditation are other great ways to detox your mind.
One meditation practice that helped me change my life is found here: https://learning.tergar.org/course_library/intro-to-meditation/
Let go… what do you need to release to create space and be happier? Don’t Forget to Breathe…clean, fresh air….
The body is designed to detoxify itself naturally. However, in today’s world it’s all too easy to accumulate toxins, and it’s all too difficult to clear them effectively on our own. Hopefully this article has given you some insight about how to detox your body naturally.
Next Steps: Work with Barbara and Anthea Health
Any Functional Medicine Detox Program works best when personalized to meet your individual needs. If you’re ready to increase your sense of well-being, improve your energy and mood, sleep better, and/or lose weight I can help!