As a living, breathing and constantly transforming organism we are immersed in our environment and live in constant interaction with our environment. Our immune system analyses our environment and communicates with all our cells which parts of the environment should become part of us (food, oxygen, water) and which parts of the environment should be excreted (toxins we breathe, eat, touch). Our body has a really efficient detoxification system. Our lungs, kidneys and digestive tract move most of the stuff we do not need out directly. Not all toxins can be removed directly. Some need to be biochemically transformed so can be excreted as urine, poo, or exhaled air. Most cells in our body have the ability to transform toxins and make them excretable. Our liver has the highest concentration of cells with this detoxification ability. But they are not ONLY in the liver. Our skin can detoxify, our heart can detoxify, our digestive tract can detoxify, and many other tissues can detoxify. Detoxification happens all the time. It happens now, it happens tomorrow and it happens when you sleep. It does not only happen when you do a detox cleanse diet ?
One of the key elements of detoxification is the biochemical compound glutathione. It is one of the most important detoxification molecules of the human body. When we have too little of this compound compared to the toxic load we are confronted with, then toxins can accumulate like a bathtub that flows over. If that happens we can feel shitty, tired, start to stink, our brain stops working properly and we can become seriously ill.
So what can we do to increase our levels of glutathione?
The top strategies are :
a diet high in beef, fish, broccoli, garlic and onions, because all of these contain sulfur, which is a main building block of glutathione.
Beef, chicken, fish, cottage cheese and brown rice, because they are high in selenium, another building block of glutathione
Sleep 9 hours every night. That is one of the most important ways to keep glutathione levels high
Can we do a detox diet? Sure we can. Can we inject yourself with glutathione? Sure we can. Can we just drink more coffee when we feel tired and take an Advil when we get a headache? Sure we can. But we can also do the #badassbasics every day and prioritise sleep and high-nutrient foods. In the sum total this will have a much larger positive effect on our health and performance than any diet, infusion or short-term fix. May the FLOW be with you all!
Gerrit Keferstein is a Medical Doctor specialised in Performance & Functional Medicine. He is most known for his work on the optimisation of recovery and adaptation in elite athletes.