The liver is one of the body's most essential organs! Among its hundreds of functions, the liver stores vitamins and minerals, controls the production and removal of cholesterol, breaks down fat, manufactures triglycerides, helps regulate blood sugar, produces clotting and immune factors, releases bile, produces glycogen, metabolizes amino acids, and destroys old red blood cells. As if the liver didn’t already do enough, it’s also the primary organ for DETOXIFICATION — the process of transforming and clearing toxic substances from the blood (like microorganisms, contaminants, medications, drugs, alcohol, pesticides, and metabolic end products, such as ammonia produced from protein metabolism).
Within the liver, there are two phases of detoxification. Phase I detoxification begins by transforming dangerous chemicals into less harmful substances and preparing them for easier excretion. Most of the harmful chemicals we encounter are fat-soluble making them much harder for the liver to metabolize. Phase II detoxification involves the elimination process, or attaching other molecules to the toxins allowing them to be removed through bile or urine. If Phase II detoxification gets impaired, it can result in a buildup of fat-soluble toxins that can get incorporated into fatty tissue and lead can lead to a variety of health problems. Unfortunately, if not properly excreted, these toxins can accumulate in our fatty tissues for days, weeks, months, even years!
Everyday we’re exposed to toxins, some of which simply can’t be avoided, and that’s okay. Because of that though, we want to do our best to support the body’s natural detoxification processes and help out the liver. And guess what, that can be done through food! Here at Fit Kitchen Direct, we strive for 100% gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar free meals that not only leave you feeling good and nourished, but supply the nutrients needed to help support the liver’s natural detoxification process!
All month long, we’re teaming up with Crisp, one of our favorite spots to pick-up a healthy and delicious chopped salad located in NW Portland. This week we’re featuring the Kaleo Paleo, what do you all think so far!? Killer, right! Don’t fret though if you didn’t order last week, we have a new Crisp salad coming at you on next week’s menu, Emma’s Detox Salad. What’s that? Well, it starts off with a tender chicken breast, specially seasoned and oven roasted, or if you’re going for our vegan option, garbanzo beans. Then we load it up with spinach, green & purple cabbage, arugula, coconut bacon, pickled onions, beets, sunflower seeds, radishes, and carrots. As if my mouth wasn’t already watering enough, the salad gets finished off with a side of creamy dairy-free Garden Ranch dressing. Yum!!
Each phase of detoxification mentioned above requires various nutrients for support. Vitamins and minerals (and a few good sources of each) needed for the proper functioning of Phase I enzymes include:
- Magnesium: dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, legumes, avocados, bananas
In addition, Phase I detoxification relies heavily on oxidation to help transform toxins, making it essential that the liver has enough antioxidants on hand! Eating a diet high in a variety of fruits and vegetables is key, here are a few in particular:
- Vitamin C: citrus, mango, papaya, kale, radishes, bell peppers, berries, pineapple, beets (and an abundance of other fruits and veggies)
When it comes to Phase II detoxification, the liver requires adequate intake of certain amino acids and sulfur to neutralize toxins and make them water soluble for excretion. These include:
Looks like Emma’s Detox Salad is right in line with supporting your body and its phases of detoxification! With summer finally here in Portland, make sure you’re fueling your body in the best possible way, one bite at a time with Fit Kitchen Direct! Make sure to get your order in by Thursday, June 7th, so you don’t miss out on the second mouthwatering salad from Crisp, Emma’s Detox Salad! Keep your eye out every week to find out the next Crisp salad we’ll be featuring!