Getting back on the Healthy Track after the Holidays
Happy 2019 everyone and welcome to a new year of health and wellness! January is that special time of the year where we try our best to start on our best foot forward. It’s my opinion that if you feel good, the rest of the year just falls into place. Perhaps you overindulged in alcohol through the holidays?
Here are some tips to get back on track for a healthier and cleaner you this 2019!
Most of us are exposed to more alcohol intake during the holiday season because of the many parties that are hosted. In order for us to manage this toxic exposure we should first understand this from a biochemical perspective.
Key points about alcohol:
- Alcohol is a toxin and a pro-oxidant that requires the body’s antioxidant stores for clearance
- Every 8 oz. of alcohol induces leaky gut (link to leaky gut here)
- Alcohol is processed by the cells in the gastrointestinal tract, liver and kidney; most of the processing is done in the liver in phase 1 and phase 2 biotransformation and elimination processes (detox)
- Alcohol kills the good bacteria in our mouth, stomach and intestine leading to changes in digestion, absorption, mood and ability to remove toxins
Knowing your nutrients for alcohol elimination
The body utilizes glutathione as the main detoxifying molecule to help process alcohol. Glutathione is produced from its precursor cysteine, which comes from dietary N-acetylcystein (NAC). For this reason, individuals who suffer from alcohol overdose are given high doses of NAC to increase glutathione production.
2. Vitamin C and E/ glutathione
Apart from NAC, Vitamins C and E are also important in glutathione production and usage. Vitamin C and E are nutrients that recycle glutathione allowing it to be used again.
3. Maintaining adequate B-vitamins
B-vitamins are important for the first phase of ‘detoxification’ enzymes found in the liver. They make toxins (like alcohol) sticky and able to be pulled out of the body by proteins. Ensuring adequate amounts of B-vitamins before and after alcohol intake helps support cellular function and protect the brain from increased toxic intake.
Make sure to eat a protein containing meal before, during and after alcohol intake. This supports the second phase of detoxification and allows alcohol and other toxins to be bound and secreted into the bile through the gallbladder.
5. Detox: Microbes in our Gut
As I have discussed and mentioned in previous articles, our gut microbiome plays an important role in body function. In Functional Medicine, we relate one of its many functions to being the third and final step of detoxification. Consuming high fiber plants and fermented foods like pickled vegetables, kefir or yogurt (if you are not intolerant or sensitive to dairy) allows the body to replenish its community of thriving bacteria helping you digest, absorb and eliminate the food that we eat. It is well known that alcohol or toxic intake kills these bacteria reducing our ability to perform those functions mentioned.
Anti-Inflammatory and Detox Juice Cocktail
We at Nutrigineering hope that this recipe and these tips will help you with alcohol consumption not only over the previous holidays but throughout the rest of this year as well! Cheers!
Your Partner in Health,