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Detox Your Body: How to Strengthen Your Liver and Kidneys

In order to detox your body, your detox organs need to be able to function. Strengthen your liver and kidneys by eating healthy foods that aid their ability to filter toxins out of your body.
By Debra Lynn Dadd
August 2011
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Because each body is unique, you may need to try different detox support methods to find which work best for you and your family.
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The following is an excerpt from "Toxic Free" by Debra Lynn Dadd (Tarcher/Penguin 2011). The excerpt is from Chapter 4: Body. 

Protect and Strengthen Your Detox Organs 

In order to detox your body, your detox organs need to be able to function.

Your kidneys need to be able to filter out toxicants, your liver needs to be able to transform fat-soluble toxics into water-soluble substances, your intestines need to be able to carry the toxics from your liver through twenty-five feet of intestine, your skin needs to be able to sweat out toxicants, and your lungs need to be able to breathe to exhale toxic gases.

All your detox organs need to be in optimum condition, but given the amount of toxic chemicals your body has been exposed to, they probably need some help.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to protect your detox organs from damage and strengthen each individual organ.

This is a very important step, because your body actually won’t release the toxic chemicals from storage in fat, bones, and other places until your detox organs are in good enough shape to eliminate them.

Again, because each body is unique, you may need to try different detox support methods and products to find which work best for you.

Strengthen Your Kidneys 

Kidneys are especially delicate because of their high exposure to toxic chemicals in the blood that filters through them. When toxicant and fat deposits accumulate within your kidneys, their function can be impaired.

Odorless and colorless urine is generally an indication that your kidneys are functioning well.

It is especially important for kidney function to drink ten to twelve glasses of water every day. Your kidneys are flushing toxics out of your entire body, so help the process along with lots of water. If you don’t drink enough water, your kidneys may become contaminated with metals, causing them to swell, which reduces their ability to efficiently filter toxicants.

Reduce the stress on your kidneys by reducing stimulating foods and drink, such as red meat, foods with refined salt, tea, and coffee. If you are having kidney problems, reduce your intake of all animal proteins.

Increase your intake of foods that strengthen kidney function—fresh fruits and vegetables in general, and in particular:

• quinoa, barley, and millet
• black beans, mung beans, and (of course) kidney beans
• grapes, cranberries, and blueberries
• fennel, onions, spring onions, celery, beets, spinach, string beans, and asparagus
• parsley, chives, garlic, ginger, and cloves
• spirulina

Take an herbal kidney-support product. There are many brands available. For a kidney detox, drink:

• fresh cranberry juice: Run a cup of cranberries through the blender with an adequate amount of water and a spoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
• gingerroot tea: Peel gingerroot and steep several slices in a cup of boiling water to taste.
• dandelion tea: Steep as you would any tea.

Strengthen Your Liver 

Your liver may be damaged from toxic chemical exposures, drinking alcoholic beverages, or taking certain drugs, making it less able to process toxic substances.

One day I happened to read a story in a women’s magazine about how you can lose weight by cleansing your liver. The article was about a three-day liver rejuvenation program developed by Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph. D., author of the best- selling book The Fat Flush Plan.

A friend and I tried the three-day program. Both of us noticeably lost weight, and we both felt great. “Cleaner,” we both agreed. My friend said it felt like little Pac-Men were running around in his blood, cleaning it out. I felt that too. And so I went and bought and read The Fat Flush Plan.

Well, does she have it right! Dr. Gittleman writes, “Not only is the liver the main organ for detoxifying pollutants and chemicals in the body, but this vital organ also is a hidden key to effortless weight loss.”

I think the book should be called The Liver Restoration Plan. Dr. Gittleman has a whole liver restoration diet that results in weight loss, but it also restores the ability of your liver to detox your body.

Your liver is so important to detoxing your body, I highly recommend you get Dr. Gittleman’s book The Fat Flush Plan, read it, and follow her advice. But to get you started, here’s the three-day plan my husband and I did.

On the first day, you just drink a liver-cleansing “cocktail.”

The next two days, I ate only liver-enhancing foods: eggs, yogurt, artichokes, beets, broccoli and cauliflower, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I didn’t eat all of these, I just chose the ones I liked.

Cruciferous vegetables (of the genus Brassica) are highly recommended for liver detox. At least one serving a day is suggested, but even one serving a week can be beneficial. These are the brassicas:

• arugula
• mustard greens
• broccoli
• kohlrabi
• Brussels sprouts
• radishes
• cabbage
• rutabagas
• cauliflower
• turnips
• collard greens
• watercress
• kale

While drinking the cocktail and including liver support foods in my diet did improve the health of my body somewhat and is a good way to start, a few years later I got professional help and did a highpowered, supervised liver detox for two months. I highly recommend professional help with this.

Because the detox pathway for removing toxic chemicals through the liver includes sending chemicals through the intestines to be excreted, supporting liver function also requires supporting intestinal function.


Reprinted from "TOXIC FREE: How to Protect Your Health and Home from the Chemicals That Are Making You Sick" by Debra Lynn Dadd with the permission of Tarcher/Penguin. Copyright Debra Lynn Dadd 2011.


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