Detox 101: Know The Basics Before You Begin

Internist & Functional Medicine Clinician By Susan Blum, M.D., MPH
Internist & Functional Medicine Clinician
Susan Blum, M.D., MPH is a nationally recognized clinician, speaker, author, and teacher. She currently lives in Port Chester, New York, and received her master's in medicine from the State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn and her master's in public health preventative medicine from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
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Looking for a quick energy boost? Want to look fabulous in that dress you're wearing next week? If you're like most people, no doubt you've heard about the power of a detox program to give you a tune up. But do you really know what it means to detox and how to choose a smart one?

The most important thing to keep in mind is that all effective detox programs should be targeted to support your liver. Nature gave you this wonderful built-in detox organ, and because we're all exposed to toxins every day, your liver can get exhausted trying to keep up.

A good cleanse program is focused on giving your liver all the nutrients it needs for a tune-up, so that it can mobilize and clear out all those stored toxins that are making you fat, sick, and tired.

I cover this topic in great detail in my book, The Immune Stem Recovery Plan, A Doctors 4 Step Program for Treating Autoimmune Disease.

For now, here are my quick tips to help you when choosing a program:

1. There must be a food plan! 

Supplements alone aren't enough.

2. What should you eat? 

Load up on organic greens like kale, cruciferous veggies such as broccoli and cabbages, and antioxidants from deeply colored fruits and veggies. These nutrients support enzymes in the liver that process and remove toxins.

3. Don't forget the protein! 

While juicing is great, your liver also needs amino acids, which you get from eating protein. Plant-based protein sources like beans, nuts, and seeds are just as healthy as chicken and fish, which are also good.

4. Which foods should you avoid? 

Stay away from foods that stress your liver. This means avoiding processed sugar, gluten, corn, alcohol, caffeine, and saturated animal fat from dairy and red meat.

5. Add some liver-boosting supplements to your food plan and you will really get the detox engine going.

Include antioxidants, B vitamins, herbs like milk thistle, and amino acids like glycine. (You can also get this as part of a liver support protein shake.)

Need more help to get going?

You can learn more about detox supplements and download the detox food plan for free from my website and also join a free "Do It With Us" Detox Group here. Happy Detoxing!

Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.

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