Good news: did you know the body can detox itself, with a little help from you every now and then? Often promoted only for weight loss, loving on your liver and other key organs aids with natural self-detox processes, and can revitalize the entire body in remarkable ways. Your body’s second-largest organ, the liver performs an estimated 500 astonishingly critical functions (more on that later). Among the benefits of detoxing the liver are increased energy, mental clarity, decreased pain and muscle aches, and reduced cravings for less healthy foods.
When you detox, you’re also recalibrating your sleep cycle, improving your digestion, rebalancing your hormones, and fortifying your overall immune system.
Dr. Saleh Alqatani, director of clinical liver research for Johns Hopkins Medicine, writes: “The liver removes all toxins, clears medication from your body, and metabolizes [breaks down] all your food.” Can you see why it’s an organ worth paying attention to?
Adjusting your cholesterol levels, regulating sugar levels, building proteins, making bile (to help absorb fats), and storing sugar for when it’s most needed are some of the liver’s other quintessential jobs. On the daily, we may find ourselves taking our liver and other key organs for granted. But today, we’re getting to the root of what’s really bad so we can get back to greeting our bodies cheerfully: What’s really good?
Did you know your body has an internal detoxification system?
Three of the key organs that assist the body in these ongoing “self-detox” processes are:
A healthy liver takes toxic substances that enter the body, typically contained in foods, and then filters them. This stops toxins from passing into your bloodstream.
Keeping the colon flowing is also key to getting rid of toxic chemicals before they can wreak havoc on the body. Check out these 5 digestive herbs used since Ancient times to keep the healthy bacteria in, and the unhealthy chemicals out.
In a never-ending and truly magical cycle, the kidneys’ purpose is to rid the body of toxins via urination. In this way, your kidneys are like a filter for your blood.
BLOATING + METABOLISM:
WHAT’S REALLY "BAD"?
Having a belly isn’t bad, but an inability to burn “bad” fats can damage the liver, causing a major strain on our overall system. For the Anima Mundi herbalists, body positivity isn’t just a cute image to portray to the world. We all need a fat belly cleanse, regardless of our shape. We don’t talk about dieting just to lose weight; it’s about loving our whole body, holistically. This is the main reason we felt the need to bring in a new formula inspired by our Fat Belly tonic, now available as a superpowder: Happy Belly! These two formulas have herbs such as turmeric, hibiscus, mangosteen and garcinia known to "cool-down" the liver and help release stagnation by purging “hot" bile from the gallbladder. This can lead to a smoother flow of digestive juices, blood flow, may prevent inflammatory symptoms like excess gas, high blood pressure.
We live in a world where there is so much bad fat, and it harms all bodies.
Many of the packaged or prepared foods we encounter are loaded with rancid oils, saturated fats, sodium (and more) often branded as "healthy". It is of vital importance you monitor the amount and quality of oil and sodium you intake on the regular (or at a minimum during your detox) to assist your liver throughout the detox process.
Some actions we can take include detoxing and changing our eating habits to consume nourishing foods with fewer damaging results to our precious bodies.
An over-accumulation of toxic fat is a breeding ground for inflammation and dis-ease of all kinds. The herbs in our Fat Belly Powder are known to boost metabolic function to assist with uprooting stagnation and potential toxicity. In this process, we gently love on our livers and also tackle other systems such as the microbiome, gallbladder, gut, etc.
WHAT’S IN IT?
SPOTLIGHTING OUR HAPPY BELLY HERBS
GARCINIA CAMBOGIA (Garcinia cambogia)
Known for its weight-loss action claims, Garcinia cambogia may not only prevent obesity, lower cholesterol, and triglycerides, this fruit’s extracts also boost the immune system and help prevent ulcers. Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) and lactone, the plant’s main components, give it the potential to reduce appetite, weight, and fat accumulation.
CHA DE BUGRE (Cordia salicifolia)
This tree produces a red fruit resembling a coffee bean. Often roasted and brewed as a tea, Cha de Bugre can also serve as a coffee substitute, hence its “cafe do mato” or “coffee of the woods” nickname. In Brazil, many diet pills and other weight loss aids employ Cha de Bugre because it is said to treat cellulite, coughing, fluid retention (edema), gout, cancer, herpes, viral infections, fever, and diseases of the heart and blood vessels. Also used to improve blood circulation and heart function, this healing herb can be found in Argentina and Paraguay’s tropical forests.
MANGOSTEEN (Garcinia mangostana)
Said to outperform some of the best natural antioxidants, this small purple tree fruit grown in Southeast Asia has proven in preliminary studies to help with weight loss, in addition to aiding with diabetes, skin conditions, and gum disease. Other nutritional benefits include overall skin health, anti-inflammatory compounds, and assistance in controlling blood sugar levels.
TURMERIC (Curcuma longa)
A pigment found in turmeric known as Curcumin gives it a richly bright hue. It also has a range of health benefits, including effects ranging from antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory to antioxidant properties. Curcumin helps prevent damage from free radicals, which also helps manage heart disease. Studies show it lowers cholesterol and triglycerides, improves blood pressure, has anti-cancer effects, and boosts brain health and mood.
GINGER (Zingiber officinale)
This super root is nature’s ultimate germ, virus, and bacteria buster! With active compounds like gingerols keeping oral bacteria from growing, not only does ginger keep your mouth healthy, it also calms nausea, soothes aching muscles, eases the symptoms of arthritis, and can curb the growth of cancer. Additionally, less period pain/menstrual cramps, lower cholesterol, indigestion, and disease prevention--especially high blood pressure, lung, and heart diseases--makes Zingiber officinale one of the most effective supplements on the planet.
HIBISCUS (Hibiscus sabdariffa)
Beloved worldwide, the hibiscus flower is known for its ability to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and to prevent clogged arteries. An anti-diabetic, anti-aging diuretic, its main uses include aiding with hypertension, cholesterol levels, heart disease, clogged arteries, and some common age-related chronic diseases. In Africa, it is also used to lower body temperature; whereas in Brazil, people lean on hibiscus for everything from urinary infections to colic. Europeans use Hibiscus sabdariffa for weight loss, and elsewhere in the world, it has also been employed to treat food poisoning, malaria, and other parasitic infections.
CRANBERRY (Hibiscus sabdariffa)
Cranberries help eliminate toxins from the body by detoxing the liver. The liver, which is the largest internal organ in your body, works to support digestion and break down foods that enter your body. According to nutrition specialist Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D., author of "The Fast Track Detox Diet," healthy liver function is essential to flushing toxins from the body, as the liver must distinguish between nutrients that need to be absorbed in the body and toxins that must be eliminated from the blood. The high antioxidant levels of cranberries assist the liver in its detoxification processes.
BONUS TIPS FOR MAINTAINING OPTIMAL FUNCTION OF KEY INTERNAL ORGANS
1. GET TO KNOW THE “BAD FATS” WE OFTEN IGNORE.
BAD fats include: saturated oils, hydrogenated oils, and rancid oils that are often sold in most grocery stores. How many times have you absent-mindedly clicked “add to cart” during this quaran-crazy time without checking for these ingredients? It’s important to note here: GOOD fats lead to self-detoxification, the body’s natural processes we were discussing earlier. This prevents the liver from being over-taxed by having to metabolize toxic fats found in the general marketplace.
2. REDUCE OR ELIMINATE THE REALLY BAD STUFF FROM YOUR DIET.
Truly harmful stuff we suggest not eating: refined carbs, trans fats and sugary foods. Instead, look to pre-biotics, soluble fiber, high protein foods, and probiotics. Many cultures around the world consume pre and pro biotics regularly (hello, kimchi!) as a natural part of their diet. Ready to make your own? Take a look at some DIY probiotics here.
Prebiotics we love: garlic, pumpkin, lucuma, dandelion greens, cacao, and many more!
3. CHECK YOUR SALT INTAKE.
Excess sodium can greatly affect your body's filtration system, particularly the kidneys, as well as it leading to water retention, which can lead to bloating. It is also key to use good quality salt, that's not chemically derived, to be sure it doesn't contain harmful ingredients. Or in the case of most sea salt right now, it contains a large amount of micro plastics.
4. ANTI-INFLAMMATORY HERBS + FOODS
We love the ones mentioned above and those found in our Happy Belly and Liver Vitality. There's many more you can integrate like dandelion, burdock, chlorella, spirulina can stimulates the body’s digestive enzymes and alleviates gas.
5. FOOD COMBINING + FOOD INTOLERANCES
There'e whole books on this subject matter which we highly recommend you are a look at. Food combining is easily the top reasons most folks get heavily bloated. Kelsie Burze has great info on recommendations to easy flushing and proper combining. As far as intolerances, be sure you're on the look out on how your body responds after certain foods. Even if its foods that you think are healthy, become very aware of how you physically and energetically feel after foods you commonly eat. Eating food that you are intolerant to can lead to excess bloating and gas production.
KNOWING YOUR OILS IS EVERYTHING WHEN IT COMES TO GUT HEALTH AND DETOX.
CHECK YOUR OILS - WHICH COOKING OIL IS RIGHT FOR MY DISH?
Oils are vital to our health. Healthy oils can not only provide essential nutrients to our gut and body, they help with proper hormonal and brain function. Scientists and nutrition experts have long debated the “best” and “worst” cooking oils, but perhaps one of the more important considerations is: What is your oil being used for?
In lieu of a one-oil-fits-all approach to cooking, let’s consider the following:
USE FOR RAW FOODS: SALADS, DRESSINGS, GARNISHES, TOPPINGS, ETC.
WALNUT OIL: Has a low smoke point, so don’t cook with it, but do use it to drizzle your favorite breakfast staples like fruit, banana bread, or pancakes. Anti-inflammatory.
FLAXSEED OIL: High in omega-3s, but very low smoke point, so don’t cook with it!
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL (EVOO): The “extra virgin” part is important because it signals it’s not refined/overly processed. That’s hard to confirm in the US, where sometimes EVOO isn’t what it claims to be. EVOO is a quality kitchen staple, but it has a lower smoke point, so don’t use it for high temp cooking (low-medium heat is OK).
SACHA INCHI: One of the very best oils out there, contains Omega 3-6-9, an excellent one to use raw on your salads and foods, and an extra plus for topical and oral care.
USE FOR COOKED FOODS: GRILL, SAUTÉ, STIR-FRY, ETC.
AVOCADO OIL: Experts agree this is one of the best choices for all your cooking needs because of its unrefined + high smoke point + vitamin E nutrition points.
SESAME OIL: while it may not have the highest smoke point ever (350 to 410 degrees Fahrenheit), it's a good flavorful, unrefined option that’s high in protein.
GRAPESEED OIL: Low in saturated fat + high smoke point + also yummy over salads and vegetables (both raw and cooked).
COCONUT OIL: Can be a controversial topic due to its high saturated fat content (more than butter at 90%), but our bodies do need saturated fats. This is one source to consume in moderation. Along with debates over how “good” or “bad” saturated fat is for us, there are conflicting views on the relative nutritional value of coconut oil in comparison with other solid fats like butter or lard. Some research suggests it has less detrimental effects on cholesterol and would be a good replacement for those things. Extra virgin coconut oil is excellent to consume raw, yet for frying foods, we recommend using it in moderation. Still, many cultures worldwide have used coconut oil for cooking and frying at very high temperatures for thousands of years. Bonus: in lieu of cooking with coconut oil (or as a plus), use the raw oil for optimal oral, skin, and hair health.
SUNFLOWER OIL: Also high in vitamin E (28% of your daily recommended intake can be found in a single tablespoon!) + high smoke point, the downside of this oil is that it has omega-6 fatty acids (good for you, but can be pro-inflammatory without omega-3s to balance). As with all cooking oils, use in moderation.
GHEE: Like coconut, ghee has experienced controversy due to it being more than 50% saturated fat. That said, it has a high smoke point and is high in nutrients. Full of antioxidants that help cleanse the body, the nutritional value of ghee also includes vitamin A, D, E, and K. The high smoke point of ghee makes it suitable for cooking as well as frying.
NOT RECOMMENDED IN THE U.S. (MOSTLY BAD)
VEGETABLE OIL: A hodgepodge concoction, rarely do we know what’s actually in it. Nutritionists agree it’s guaranteed to be highly processed, and manufacturers use this label to add whatever they want, from soy and corn to canola and cottonseed, without being required to print new labels. Also known for degrading the land, this oil is definitely BAD in the U.S. Real talk: it basically has little to no flavor or nutritional value.
CANOLA OIL: Also low in flavor, the U.S. version of canola oil (derived from rapeseed) is typically highly processed. While “cold-pressed” or unprocessed oil of this variety is out there, it is difficult to find, and so we’re suggesting this oil is BAD in the majority of the market … ’cause honestly, who has time to find “good” flavorless oil anyway?
- Bunch of celery
1 peeled orange, or 1/2 a lemon (peeled)
- - or a fun kick, add both!
- A few stems of parsley and cilantro
- A small piece of aloe vera, outer "skin" removed
- 1 tsp of liver vitality powder
- 3-4 tsp of Fat Belly tonic (or 1tsp Happy Belly Powder)
For those of you blending this, and not juicing, highly recommended to blend with hemp seeds, and/or 1/2 of an avocado. A delicious and thicker and fuller juice alternative.
Juice all the above except the tonic and powders.
Pour into a tall jar, mix in your healthy belly tonic and liver vitality and serve immediately.
You asked, we listened!
We're so excited to introduce our new Happy Belly Powder! Inspired by our Fat Belly Tonic, yet now available as potent extract powder that is composed exclusively of organic and wild botanicals. (No added sugars, no flavoring agents or weird ingredients!)