– Post by Love Wellness Advisor: Dr. Francis. Join the discussion and read more on The Love Club
No healthy cleanse should require you to severely restrict your calorie intake or deprive your body of the nourishment it needs to function properly.
A cleanse should be designed to balance your hormones and blood sugar, which is essential to healthy weight, good energy, and an improved mood. Balancing blood sugar creates a steady flow of energy for the body to maintain all of its functions. If your blood sugar is low, your body goes into a crisis state, known as catabolism, during which it breaks down muscle, bone, and organ tissue to keep itself going. This in turn weakens all of your systems, promotes disease, and causes weight gain in the midsection. You might experience symptoms like fatigue, anxiety, mood swings, insomnia, and sugar cravings.
In order to restore balance to your blood sugar and hormones, you need to focus on your nutrition. What’s the big deal about balancing sugar and hormones? Blood sugar balance involves regulation by two hormones— insulin and glucagon. Insulin is produced by the pancreas when carbohydrates are consumed. When you eat more carbs than your body can immediately burn, insulin signals the body to store the excess carbs as fat. Glucagon is produced by the liver when protein is consumed; it signals the body to tap into your fat reserve when extra energy is needed. Excess insulin production occurs when you eat a lot of carbohydrates without protein to balance it or when stress or addictions (such as caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine) cause your body to produce too much cortisol.
Excess cortisol and insulin production, combined with the in- ability of your cells to use the insulin, may result in a condition known as insulin resistance. This can ultimately lead to a complex set of symptoms known as metabolic syndrome or syndrome X. Metabolic syndrome is one of the main sources of inflammation associated with most chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hormone imbalances, and obesity. This is why it’s so essential to properly balance your blood sugar and, in turn, your hormones.
Accomplish this by eating:
- Foods that enhance insulin function, such as organic fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and flax and olive oils.
- Organic, whole, unprocessed foods—in other words, clean foods—while avoiding or eliminating white flour, alcohol, sugar, caffeine, dairy, and hydrogenated fats.
- Gluten-free grains. Gluten and gliadin—the main proteins in wheat and many grains—are the most common allergens in food. They’re often the mystery substance triggering issues like fatigue, headaches, joint stiffness, irritable bowel syndrome, and bloating, along with more serious conditions like asthma, migraines, and autoimmune diseases. When you remove them from your diet, especially through a detox, often many undiagnosed symptoms disappear. Even when you’re not cleansing, it’s best to limit gluten-containing grains or products.
Herbs, spices, and essential oils to support detoxification
Detoxification is a natural healing process so it only makes sense that Mother Nature provides herbs and spices that can support your system. Toss them into your shakes. Blend and make them into herbal teas that can be drunk hot or cold. Or take herbs as supplements in tincture or capsule forms. Another option is to add their essential oils to your massage lotions for additional detox support. Different herbs support different organ systems in removing toxins. Here’s a quick breakdown of which herbs aid specific functions:
- Lungs: lungwort, lobelia, chlorella, elecampane, mullein
- Lymphatic System: red clover, cleavers, gallium, astragalus, prickly ash, licorice root
- Kidneys and Urinary Tract: gravel root, uva ursi, juniper berries, burdock root, parsley, nettles
- Blood and Skin:: burdock root, yellow dock, Oregon grape root, sarsaparilla, stinging nettles
- Gastrointestinal Tract : marshmallow root, turkey rhubarb, gentian, cascara sagrada, ginger, dandelion root, licorice root, garlic
- Liver and Gallbladder: milk thistle, artichoke, dandelion, red clover, turmeric, basil, rosemary, juniper. Add these additional delicious herbs and spices to meals, teas, shakes, and sauces to kick up flavor and support your cleanse: Cardamom Cayenne Cilantro Cinnamon Onion Oregano Parsley Thyme