When it comes to removing toxins and protecting against future exposures, there are a few key scientific principles to keep in mind.
The point is to remove the obstacles to brain/body wholeness and neurogenesis, like sugar, alcohol, and hyperarousal, and to add in more dietary components that promote neurogenesis and detoxify, like vividly colored vegetables, polyphenols, healthy fats, sulforaphane, spices, extra dark chocolate, and teas.
1. Foods rich in antioxidants help the liver. Antioxidants are your best bet because they help counter the harmful effects of oxidative stress by inducing neuroprotection, such as the release of shielding enzymes and nitric oxide. Most important are vividly colored fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, tomatoes, and berries, which are rich in carotenoids.
Another class of antioxidants that are helpful for detox are plant based nutrients like the flavonoids (polyphenols) that may or may not be as highly colored, such as celery, onions, kale, grapes, Brussels sprouts, citrus fruit, cacao, and teas.
2. Fiber detoxifies your whole brain body connection. Dietary fiber is proven to help the gut microbiome, gut barrier, gastrointestinal immune and endocrine systems, and detoxification organs in the liver and kidneys.
3. Studies indicate that black tea provides a barrier to protect your body from external pesticide exposure and damage from an endogenous toxin called lipid peroxidase.
4. Green tea has been shown to induce glutathione production, help liver enzymes involved in detoxification, eliminate oxidative stress, reduce cancer risk, bolster resistance to neurodegeneration, and boost neurogenesis—so it’s not surprising to learn that it also reduces anxiety and improves memory and attention.
5. The main ways to raise your body’s internal glutathione are to cut out sugar (including alcohol), limit carbohydrates, eat more allium and cruciferous vegetables (mentioned previously), go to bed on time, exercise mildly and moderately, and calm down and breathe properly.
It’s not just one vegetable or nutrient that is most important to provide detoxification, but a combination of various types:
- Certain vegetables help with liver detoxification, like the cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. Crucifers contain sulforaphane, which inhibits Phase I and stimulates Phase II liver detoxification—that’s what most people need for improved detoxification pathways.
- Sulforaphane boosts production of glutathione, the queen detoxifier that protects the brain body, may be involved in the prevention of cancer, and helps tune up mitochondria. The same receptor on cells that environmental toxins use for their negative effects is also used by cruciferous vegetables. That means when you eat more cruciferous vegetables, you crowd out the bad environmental toxins and strengthen your mitochondria.
- Allium vegetables (onions, garlic, leeks) are another class of vegetables that help you make more glutathione.
- Organic food beats out non-organic every time, especially for the dirty dozen (strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, potatoes, and sweet bell peppers). Genetically modified organisms have negative effects on the microbiome and sex hormones.
- Cacao or extra dark chocolate (85 percent cacao or higher) contains methylxanthines, another polyphenol, which are proven to enhance the brain body, reverse insulin block, lower blood pressure, and protect the nervous system.
- Liberal spice use reduces inflammation and inflammatory toxins.
- Alcohol consumption impairs mitochondria.
- Grains tend to be moldy and laced with arsenic, cadmium, and/or lead.
Even one week of eating an organic and mostly plant-based diet will improve dozens of measures of health and measurably lower your toxic burden, according to a study of pesticide residues in people eating a mostly vegan diet with some fish and eggs, but without gluten, caffeine, dairy, or alcohol.Imagine what 21 or 40 days will do for you!
Supplements can help if you cannot strictly follow the protocol’s food guidelines.
- Glutathione and precursors help you detoxify.
- Liposomal glutathione or the precursor, N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), is shown to lower inflammation and mercury levels. NAC helps remove lead and mercury, and breaks down biofilms, which are protected niches of bad microbes such as candida that release toxins and affect the brain body.
- (R)-alpha-lipoic acid reverses the age-related loss in glutathione, but the data in humans are not yet as strong as for NAC. NAC and alpha lipoic acid improve mitochondria function.
- Selenium protects you against metal toxicity. It’s a natural antagonist against the harmful effects of mercury and lead. Selenium works best when your body levels are low and may contribute to metabolic syndrome if you are replete or consuming excess amounts beyond your body’s need.
- Berberine moderately lowers blood glucose, reduces blood markers of fatty liver, and decreases adipokines. It has better efficacy combined with milk thistle. Mild weight loss is seen at higher doses.
- Curcumin fights inflammation, including neuroinflammation or brain trash, and may help protect you from toxins such as lead, among others. Studies show that it can help reverse nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
- Probiotics are anti-inflammatory and protect the brain body from heavy metals and mycotoxins (toxins from mold). They lower body burden of BPA in rats. They support mood and probably decrease depression and anxiety, although data are still emerging. Probiotics may prevent and possibly reverse harm to the liver such as nonalcoholic fatty liver and subsequent brain effects.
- Though gingko may improve liver and gallbladder function (the gallbladder stores bile, which helps the body break down fat from the diet) and gingko has also been shown to improve blood flow to the brain, cognition, speed of cognitive processing, and memory, the data are mixed. Because of risk of cancer in animal models, the lack of consistency in study results, and its classification as a possible human carcinogen (Group 2B) by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, I do not recommend it.
A great place to start covering your micro-nutrient needs is with Multi-Tasker.
The new Reset360 multivitamin Multitasker takes you beyond basic wellness support.
Packed with a proprietary blend of 13 concentrated extracts including vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients with scientifically tested biological activity to support cellular health and overall wellness.*
This blend of full-spectrum phytonutrients, which can impact the signaling of cells, ensuring healthy communication throughout the body.*
Multitasker is certified Non-GMO and Gluten Free.