Updated: Jan 15
Happy New Year everybody! With the New Year comes a time of reflection and intention setting. If (like me) you’ve over-indulged over the festive period it can be tempting to want to throw yourself into the latest diet programme, cleanse or detox in an attempt to ‘clean up’, shed a few pounds and get back on track.
If you are going through cancer treatment or recovering from cancer treatment, this isn’t the time to put any undue pressure on yourself and I would certainly advise against any extreme cleanses or detoxes. The body is a well-developed system that has its own built-in mechanisms to filter, detoxify and remove waste products. My advice is to nourish and nurture your body in the correct way to support your natural detoxification pathways to function and work optimally.
The key to success when making any dietary or lifestyle change is to keep things simple and stick to just a couple of changes to start with – overwhelm typically leads to failure.
Here are a few natural ideas to take the pressure off the primary organ of detoxification, your liver, and to help it work efficiently:
Keep well hydrated
Start the day with hot water and lemon. The citric acid encourages your liver to produce bile, an essential component of healthy digestion.
Infused water - try mint, berries, citrus, ginger, herbs.
Try adding in 1-2 cups a day of herbal teas containing fennel, aniseed, dandelion, burdock, milk thistle, nettle and liquorice. I like: Pukka Detox, Pukka Cleanse, Clipper Detox, Clipper Nettle, and Yogi Detox. Green tea, cinnamon, and turmeric tea are also great choices. Herbal teas can be steeped and make a great low sugar cold drink too!
Try a beetroot, carrot and apple smoothie like this one.
Add in some foods the liver loves
Sulphur-rich foods: broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic, kale, onions, and radishes .
Green leafy and bitter veg: artichokes, aubergine, beet greens, bitter melon, chicory, collard greens, endive, kale, mustard greens, parsley, rocket, spinach, watercress.
Glutathione-rich and glutathione-increasing foods: avocado, asparagus, walnuts, cumin, turmeric.
Healthy fats: oily fish, avocado, nuts, seeds, and cold-pressed olive oil.
Beetroot and carrots.
Vitamin C rich foods: citrus fruits, berries, papaya, peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, tomatoes.
Cut back on alcohol, excess caffeine, salt and refined sugar.
As well as looking after your nutrition, these lifestyle factors are also important to consider as part of the bigger picture:
Get enough sleep.
Not smoking (or getting support to quit).
With my nutritional therapy hat on you may want to consider switching to natural personal care products (shampoos, conditioners, deodorants without parabens and sodium lauryl sulphate) and natural household cleaning products to reduce the ‘toxic load’ on the body. Some readily available cleaning product ranges include Method, Ecover, and KINN Living. Most supermarkets offer their own natural range nowadays.
If you would like support and encouragement to put these recommendations and more into practice, please get in touch with us at The Cancer Dietitian for a consultation. I would be delighted to help you. E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 020 8064 2865 Appointment bookings