Supplements & Superfoods for Detoxification
Always remember that your body is naturally detoxifying at all times—the goal of this program is to simply help your body with its natural process of cleansing. Healthy foods and drinks, rest, and mind-body practices are the best at this, but there are some superfoods and supplements that can be helpful as well.
It would be a mistake to think that you need to have a cupboard full of supplements, herbs and tinctures to cleanse your body—this is simply not true. But as you get serious about cleansing, you will find that there are some things that really do help. With that in mind, use the list below as a reference guide and decide for yourself which foods and supplements you'd like to experiment with.
Blue-Green Algae – spirulina and chlorella are the most widely available blue-green algae. They are grown in freshwater and have an impressive mineral profile. For cleansing, they have the unique ability to chelate (to bind) with heavy metal such as mercury and flush it out of your body.
How to use: start with 1 gram, 2-3 times daily. Up to 10 grams can be tolerated by some people.
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) – MSM is an inexpensive white powder form of sulfur derived from pine trees. Sulfur is one of the most abundant minerals in our body, and it's essential for detoxification. Like Vitamin C, MSM has incredible antioxidant properties, so it's a great additional to any cleansing protocol.
How to use: start with 1 gram daily.
Wheatgrass Juice – don't bother with frozen or dried powders, the magic of wheatgrass is when it's fresh and you drink it down. It's loaded with blood-cleansing chlorophyll and is extremely alkaline, balancing out the acidic toxins your body will be releasing. You can get this at better juice bars anywhere in the world.
How to use: start with 1 ounce per day. Some people can tolerate up to 3 ounces per day.
Psyllium Husk Fiber – psyllium is a natural, powered plant that has a unique "bulking agent" effect. When added to water, it swells to 10x its size and servers to stimulate and move your bowels. It can be extremely useful for relieving constipation and diarrhea making it of particular interest while on a cleanse.
How to use: if constipated or suffering from diarrhea, add approx 9 grams to 1/2 liter of water. Allow it to soak/swell for 5 minutes, and then drink. Do not eat dry, you must mix/soak with water first.
Bentonite Clay – a sick dog (and many other animals) will often eat dirt from the backyard. This is an instinctual behavior as clays helps to detoxify and cleanse the body. Cleansing clays have a negative ionic charge which attracts heavy metals and toxins to them. This is not something you should use every day, but during a period of cleansing, it can be very effective for ridding your body of the toxins you've just freed up.
How to use: mix 5 grams with 2 water and drink. Must be taken along with psyllium husk or some other form of fiber to prevent constipation.
Milk Thistle – milk thistle is an extremely effective liver cleanser, so much so that it should be used with care, particularly the extracted form called, Silymarin. Studies in the U.S. and abroad have indicated that the flavonoids and other constituents in milk thistle and its extract, Silymarin, have cleansing and regenerative effects on the liver.
How to use: an 80% milk thistle extract, typical dosage is around 300 mg daily.
Vitamin C – this is probably the best-known antioxidant in the world, and rightly so. It's inexpensive, abundant, and extremely safe to use. Natural and synthetic forms of Vitamin C have shown identical results in numerous clinical trials, so it's unimportant which form you use—though a pure form is recommended (not added sweeteners, colors or fillers). Vitamin C is water soluble meaning you can urinate out any excess. That said, your body still has to process excess intake, so there is no need to mega-dose, particularly since extreme dosages are often associated with upset stomach and diarrhea.
How to use: take up to 1 gram of ascorbic acid (or your preferred form of Vit C) daily, ideally in 2 doses of 500 mg each.
Magnesium – magnesium is another crucial mineral in the body, but most people are lacking in it due to poor water and food quality. Every organ in the body including the heart, muscles, and kidneys need magnesium to function properly. It also contributes to the makeup of teeth and bones. It activates enzymes, contributes to energy production, and helps regulate calcium levels, as well as copper, zinc, potassium, vitamin D, and other important nutrients in the body.
How to use: take 400-800 mg of magnesium citrate daily, preferably at night as it has a relaxing and laxative effect on the body.
Turmeric – turmeric is a ginger-like root that is the yellow color you see in most Indian curries. The active compound curcumin is believed to have a wide range of biological effects including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumour, antibacterial, and antiviral activities. Be careful while handling as the yellow color will stain your fingers (temporarily) and countertops.
How to use: add fresh turmeric to your juices or smoothies. If using dried turmeric capsules, take up to 2 grams daily.
Ginger – this tasty root vegetable is anti-inflammatory and great for relieving and preventing nausea, making it of particular interested to people cleansing. Ginger tends to have a heating effect on the body, giving you a warm feeling that is often most-welcome for anyone on a cleanse.
How to use: chop 10 grams of ginger into very small pieces and brew like a tea. Add ginger to your juices or smoothies, start with a piece the size of a large coin.
It's easy to get carried away with superfoods and supplements, and the most common side effect is an upset stomach from taking so many things at once. With any supplement or superfood, always remember to listen to your body. If you're taking something and it's making you feel ill or have stomach problems, reduce the dose or stop! Just because something is good for many people, doesn't mean it's right for you right now.