Xenobiotics are often referred to as the self-inflicted toxins or poisons found in a higher-than-normal concentration in cells and organisms. From a biochemical perspective, detoxing them doesn’t happen from starving or living on lemon juice for 3 days.
Removal of most xenobiotics requires metabolism or breakdown that often involves coupling with a series of molecules, glucuronic acid, sulphuric acid, glutathione and the liver-specific P-450 family of enzymes responsible for the breakdown of hormones, vitamins, drugs, and other substances that fall under the xenobiotic umbrella.
If all that went straight through to the keeper don’t stress. Rather than give you a boring as, biochemistry session I'd much prefer to talk about how to boost those natural detoxing enzymes that remove xenobiotics and detox the body, let's look at the foods that will do it.
Cleansing comes from nourishing every cell in your body with effective antioxidants.
First, keep your lean proteins up, low activity of P-450 enzymes is seen in those with low protein diets.
Don’t cut your carbs out - transient drops in carbohydrate intake also result in the temporary inhibition of P-450 enzymatic function.
It is also important to note that too many refined carbs, (sugars and alcohol) impair the enzymatic detoxification process quite dramatically. That’s why a big night on the turps really makes you feel the need to detox.
Glutathione (a tripeptide) is the centre piece of our cellular antioxidant system that is responsible for protecting our cells from damage caused by everything from toxins and pollutants to UV exposure. This powerful anti-cancer, anti-ageing compound governs our health and risk of disease. Oral ingestion of glutathione does not increase cell levels. The only food shown to boost cell glutathione is whey protein. Yep, your protein supplement is also a powerful detoxifier.
Study after study supports diets rich in vegetables for effective cellular detoxification. Some, such as cruciferous vegetables don’t just help remove toxins, they also have a remarkable chemo protective effect- meaning they can help protect us from cancer.
Just keep in mind, an extensive, self-reported survey of Australian Adults showed 96% fail to meet the minimum intake.
BTW - the recommended minimum intake is 5-6 servings of veg a day. One serving is half a cup.
Rather than debate the merits of detoxing, knowing how to do it simply and deliciously is the real xenobiotic winner.
That’s why Shar has put together her best, (easiest) detoxing recipes in her blog this week.
Delicious Detox: My 5 Top Detox Recipes.
These recipes are designed to dramatically increase nutrition quality and reduce the unwanted calories/kilojoules from your plan, without leaving you hungry.
Heck, if you listen carefully, you might even hear your liver applauding!
Klein AV, Kiat H. Detox diets for toxin elimination and weight management: a critical review of the evidence. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2015 Dec;28(6):675-86.
FP Guengerich. Influence of Nutrients and Other Dietary Material on cytochrome P-450. Am J Clin Nutr. March 1995; 61:651s-658s.
Prochaska H. Sanatmaria A. Tallay P. Rapid Detection of Inducers of Enzymes That Protect against Carcinogens. PNAS, Mar 1992; 89: 2394 - 2398.
Moon YJ, Wang X, Morris ME. Dietary flavonoids: effects on xenobiotic and carcinogen metabolism. Toxicol In Vitro. 2006 Mar;20(2):187-210.
Kent KD, Harper WJ, Bomser JA. Effect of whey protein isolate on intracellular glutathione and oxidant-induced cell death in human prostate epithelial cells. Toxicol In Vitro. 2003 Feb;17(1):27-33.
Mariotti F, Simbelie KL, Makarios-Lahham L, et al., Acute ingestion of dietary proteins improves post-exercise liver glutathione in rats in a dose-dependent relationship with their cysteine content. J Nutr. 2004 Jan;134(1):128-31.
Hayes A, Cribb PJ. Effect of whey protein isolate on strength, body composition and muscle hypertrophy during resistance training. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2008 Jan;11(1):40-4. Invited Review.
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