January is that time of year when many look to the idea of a detox—out with the old from last year, in with newer, healthier ideas. But is detox really that great for fertility? Some fertility experts say no, but as a fertility nutritionist, I say yes. However, the way that someone chooses to detox is essential to whether it benefits fertility or hurts it.
Why Would You Want To Detox?
We live in a society that is full of toxins. Whether it’s from the air we breathe, the car we drive, or the food we eat, we ingest all manner of toxins and chemicals on a daily basis. Those toxins have to go somewhere, and generally the idea of a detox is to rid the body of these harmful substances. Less healthy concepts of detox include a fast way to lose weight, but let me tell you, that’s not the way to achieve your fertility dreams.
The reason that we want to support healthy detox comes down to our livers. They’re the body’s major detox organ, although the kidneys, intestines, skin, and lungs also play large roles in ridding the body of toxins. Our livers, though, take on that primary role. When I talk about fertility detox, I’m talking about ways that we can support our liver and optimize the way that it removes harmful substances from our bodies.
The liver is responsible for collecting (via the blood) toxins that we take in, but also “leftover” hormones that need broken down. Without this hormone recycling, hormone levels in the female body can become unbalanced, primarily with estrogen dominance. Once the liver has collected toxins, it condenses them, and then sends them out of the body via the kidneys (urine) or intestines (feces). The liver does this through supportive nutrients. But when the liver doesn’t have access to all of the nutrients that it needs to complete detox, these condensed toxins remain in our blood circulation, promoting hormone imbalance and overall toxicity.
What Not To Do
The best way to detox your liver is to ease into it—and to trick your body into thinking you’re not actually detoxing. This means that excessive, strenuous detoxes are out, like juice fasts or severe calorie restriction. Your liver needs support as it’s doing its job, so starving yourself will only make things worse.
Liver detox isn’t a fad diet, or even a diet at all. The fact that detoxing has become synonymous with dieting is a great misfortune, as we aren’t always dieting but we are always detoxing. Our body will do it without our knowledge, and to the best of its ability, without our support. When we support the process, we make it more effective and become healthier overall.
If you want to improve your fertility through detox, the best way to do it is to stop eating sugar and alcohol, and to increase intake of vegetables and good quality fats.
Best Ways To Support Your Body For Fertility
There’s more to a fertility detox than stopping sugar, but one thing’s for sure: if you continue eating sugar and processed foods while you’re trying to support your liver in detox, you’re undoing any progress you could be making.
• Get 7-9 servings daily of vegetables, primarily green, leafy ones
• Drink organic green tea
• Eat wild caught salmon 2-4 times a week
• Eat organic apples (one a day!)
• Eat avocado and blueberries—two of the best detox fruits around
• Eat enough calories—this isn’t about calorie restriction or “dieting”
• Drink half your body weight in ounces of water
• Eliminate processed food and all forms of sugar for at least 30 days (more is better)
• Eliminate or reduce caffeine
• Eliminate all forms of alcohol
• Get regular forms of exercise
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