Don’t drink within 30 minutes either side of a meal – adding water around a meal time will lower your stomach pH meaning less acid and decreased digestion ability, which ultimately means less nutrients absorbed. Small amounts to take supplements with your meal is fine.
Crush garlic and leave for 10 minutes before using to release the organosulfur compounds; antioxidant-rich phytonutrients that reduce inflammation, help rid the body of heavy metals, and boost production of detoxifying enzymes.
Put the whole lemon in your water…why a whole lemon? The zest contains important enzymes and the pith contains pectin so is great for digestion and cellular health…plus it’s extra zing and yumminess! Lemon and orange zest is great to sprinkle on top of your favourite meals too!
Drink herbal tea! – matcha is a great choice in the morning as it has potent antioxidants (apparently 5x that of any other food), catechin EGCg (antioxidant with cancer fighting properties), L-theanine (promotes relaxation but not sleepiness and boosts memory and concentration), and detoxing properties. There are so many organic tea options out there I am sure you will find some you enjoy that have increased health benefits. Black tea is also good and relaxes the blood vessels aiding circulation. If you add milk, however, this no longer happens.
Eat a variety of foods! Please don’t restrict yourself to the same meals day in day out. This is not only boring but may lead to nutritional deficiencies. Get to the local market and buy what’s in season and pick up things you have never tried and give them a go. You never know what you may find!
Dry body brush – unfortunately we are all subjected to numerous toxins in our world from our cosmetics, building materials, exhausts etc to name just a few. To help our body rid ourselves of these I recommend dry body brushing at least once a day to remove dead skin cells and invigorate circulation and lymphatic flow. I do this on my legs as I brush my teeth for 2 minutes, then I brush the rest of my body. You want to brush with very light pressure, towards the groin, and arm pits where the lymphatic water sheds are. Then do slow circles in the groin and arm pits to clear these water sheds. This is great to do on rising and before a shower. Why not mix it up with a natural coffee scrub too (recipe here).
Infrared sauna detox – sweating is a great way to remove heavy metals from our body and an infrared sauna penetrates deep into the tissues (unlike normal Swedish Saunas). 30 minutes weekly (or as often as you can) is great! You can even build your own sauna at home with infrared lamps. Google it and see if you are handy and this is something that interests you. Saunaspace.com have a great version you can buy or base your homemade sauna off.
Buy organic where possible (food and cosmetics!) – there appears to be conflicting opinions over whether organic produce has a higher concentration of nutrients or not. From what I have read it seems non-organic varieties tend to absorb more water, diluting their nutrient content and flavor due to more ‘stressful’ growing conditions, depleted soils, reduced amounts of soil microbes, and the use of chemical sprays (Heaton, 2002). I have also heard that conventional produce has 10-25% less iron, zinc, protein, calcium, vitamin C and other nutrients although I haven’t been able to locate a peer reviewed research article that states this. To me it makes sense for organic produce to be more nutritious and delicious but at the end of the day, any fruit and vegetable in your diet is going to be better than none at all. Certainly organic produce is not tainted with chemicals and has ethical and spiritual merit by helping to maintain our ecosystems. It also lowers our toxic load as we consume less pesticides and chemicals.
If you can’t buy organic, soak fruit/vegetables in apple cider vinegar (ACV) and scrub as soon as you get home and before it goes in your fridge/belly to remove as many chemicals as possible.
Eat organic 100% grass-fed, or organic pasture raised (some animals needs more than grass!) animal products – obviously this is just a much better way of life ethically and spiritually but there are numerous health benefits to opt for consumption of happy, healthy animals as opposed to stressed, poorly nourished ones. We are what we eat and that’s the same for animals. Grass-fed meat is said to contain 2-3x more cancer-fighting CLA, 2-5x more omega-3 fatty acids, and it increases Vitamin A and E, and cancer fighting antioxidants such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase enzyme activity, compared to regular grain-fed varieties (Daley et al. 2010).
Eat wild-caught cold water fish – all salmon in Australia is farmed and the feed pellets contain colouring to make their flesh pink. Fish also bioaccumulate heavy metals, in particular mercury so it is best to consume the species that are lower down the food chain. I like wild-caught sardines or herrings, fresh local whiting and mullet. Make sure to have your fish with bitter greens (rocket, endive, coriander, parsley) as these help to bind the metals and aid their removal from the body.
If you train at the gym frequently or find it hard to get adequate protein then consider a good protein powder – an organic brown rice and pea isolate is a great vegan choice, as well as a WPI (high quality WPI, but not WPC, should not contain lactose) or WPC from 100% grass-fed cows if you don’t mind animal produce. I personally avoid casein as it may be linked to cancer and other diseases.
Probiotics – the gut microbiome is our window to good health. Probiotics (good gut flora) should primarily be obtained by natural sources i.e. fermented foods (sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, tempeh, pickled veggies etc.). It is however sometimes a good idea to include a store-bought probiotic. I like Prescript Assist as this supplies important soil microbes that we used to get from our produce, but that are now deficient in due to our depleted soils. Also Mōdere do a great probiotic support with inulin and arabinogalactan prebiotics to further help bacterial numbers boost when consumed. It is good to take your probiotic on an empty stomach before bed to help your gut colonise well. Mixing up the brand you buy is a great way to get a broad diversity of the numerous strains of beneficial bacteria too.
Supplements to consider – we should aim to get our nutrients from foods, however, we can’t always buy freshly picked organic produce and our food is becoming ever more nutrient depleted and the minerals are no longer in the soils in which they are grown. Some supplements I personally use include:
Magnesium – the best absorbable form of magnesium is glycinate for overall health, and threonate is the only form that crosses the blood-brain barrier and penetrates the mitochondrial membrane to improve brain function. This form optimizes magnesium levels in the brain, enhancing memory and cognitive function. Magnesium citrate is good for constipation. Getting a supplement with multiple forms of magnesium is great. Just a magnesium oxide supplement on its own is not recommended as this is poorly absorbed by the body. Epsom salt baths are a great way to get magnesium transdermally.
B vitamin complex – if you are taking an oral contraceptive then you are likely depleted in B vitamins. B vitamins are vital for energy production and deficiencies can result in heart and circulatory problems, digestive disorders, poor cognition, anxiety, skin lesions, and neuromotor disturbances to name a few.
Zinc – zinc helps with serotonin production, GABA production (for a calm mood, relaxed muscles and sound sleep) and adrenal function and is depleted with sugar consumption, stress and exercise. Zinc deficiency is common and is linked with anxiety and ADHD. Consuming a lot of nuts and seeds is a great way to get numerous healthy fats and minerals, however their copper content alters zinc absorption so make sure these are away from your zinc sources.
Vitamin D – best obtained from the sun. Make sure you get outdoors each day for 20 minutes with no sun protection (so before 11 am and after 2 pm). Consider a supplement if you are in a location with little sun.
Selenium – repairs chromosome breaks (prevent cancer), involved with thyroid hormone production, prevents viral replication, detoxes body. Just 2-3 Brazil nuts a day and you got your dose!
L-glutamine (2-5 g twice daily) is a great supplement for people that suffer with gluten as it helps maintain a healthy gut lining. It can also help regulate blood sugar levels so a teaspoon in your smoothie is a great addition if you suffer with stabilising your blood sugar. Must be pharmaceutical grade.
Vitamin C – not synthetic ascorbic acid from a lab, which is generally made from GMO corn (this will aggravate the gut of those with gluten sensitivities). Great potent natural sources include acai, camu camu and Kakadu plum which you can get as freeze-dried powder to put in smoothies or simply mix with water and drink.
Greens – chlorophyll in greens helps wound healing, hormonal balance, deodorizing and detoxification of the body, protects us from harsh UV rays, and promotes digestive health. These include spirulina, chlorella, wheat grass and barley grass to name a few.
Ashwaganda – lowers cortisol, aging, balances thyroid hormones, anxiety/depression, blood sugar control, immunity. 500 mg 1-2x daily (best consumed in the morning if only once daily). Great if you are going through a stressful time!
Maca – increases fertility in both men and women, hormone balance, booster for the immune system, and increased energy, stamina, improved sexual function, memory, and focus. This is a cruciferous root so is not good for all.
Mesquite – is a legume that is high in protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc, and lysine, and it helps with blood sugar control and migraines.
Astragalus and medicinal mushroom extracts (Maitake, Cordyceps, Lions Mane, Agaricus Blazei Murill, Shiitake and Reishi) – help support a healthy immune system, breast and general health. Great to take daily especially in flu season.
Biosil – silica is a common deficiency so a few drops in lemon juice are a great daily supplement for skin, nail, hair and bone health. The form of silica in this product by Natural Factors is bound to a choline molecule, which gives it a particular affinity for binding to trivalent metals like arsenic, cesium, antimony, aluminum, tin and thallium so it is also a great detoxer!
Heaton, S. (2002). Assessing organic food quality: Is it better for you? Accessed 2nd July 2017 from http://orgprints.org/8361/1/Heaton_Assessing_food_quality.pdf
Daley, C.A.,Abbott, A., Doyle, P.S., Nader, G.A. and Larson, S. (2010). A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Nutr J. 2010; 9: 10. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-9-10