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Going to the grocery store or farmer’s market and not sure what to buy to achieve your best health or how to purchase good, quality food on a budget? Melanie’s food buying guide for healthy meals and snacks is here to help!

Detox & Anti-Inflammatory Supplements

People often think of detox as a once or twice of year thing or something that involves a colon cleanse. In reality, you want to support your body’s ability to detox every day. Your primary detoxification systems are the liver and kidneys and GI tract. There are many natural supplements to support your detox pathways. You also want to support your body’s ability to fight inflammation. There are also many nutrients that have proven to be good anti-inflammatories.

Detox Support

OIL OF OREGANO – It has strong anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. It can help support killing off bad bacteria/yeast/fungus in the intestinal tract. I recommend Source Naturals Oil of Oregano, but be sure to choose a minimum of 70% carvacrol when looking at oil of oregano supplements.

GARLIC – Garlic is known to be anti – bacterial, viral, and fungal. It has several components that support the liver’s daily detoxification process. Fresh garlic is great, but you can also supplement. You need a supplement that is as comparable to fresh as you can get, like Garlinase.

MILK THISTLE – Milk thistle has been used for hundreds of years to deal with liver, kidney, and gallbladder ailments. It has been reported over and over as one of the primary supplements to support the liver’s detox pathways and to boost glutathione levels. Milk thistle is a must have supplement for anyone who regularly indulges in alcohol. There are some good milk thistle supplements out there, but I buy Jarrow Formulas Milk Thistle.

GLUTATHIONE – Your body’s master antioxidant and crucial to liver health. You can take glutathione supplements. I’m under the impression that perhaps liposomal is best. I have not taken glutathione and I encourage you to research the supplements on your own. I try to support my body’s own production of glutathione.

N-ACETYL-CYSTEINE (N-A-C) – This is an antioxidant amino acid that is a precursor to glutathione. NOW Brand, Jarrow Formulas, Source Naturals, and Life Extension all make N-A-C supplements.

GLUTAMINE – This is a versatile amino acid that while supporting the liver, also supports the GI tract, builds immunity, reduces food cravings, and supports muscle growth. The brand that I like is Millenium Sport Technologies because it is pharmaceutical grade and high quality. The link may not go directly to the product, but you can search the site for glutamine.

ALPHA-LIPOIC ACID – ALA is a very versatile antioxidant that helps promote the synthesis of glutathione. I like Alpha-Lipoic acid from Jarrow Formulas, but Now Brands is a popular seller on Amazon.

CALCIUM D-GLUCARATE – It can remove toxins and excess or “bad” estrogen. Excess estrogen is a problem for everyone, but an even bigger problem for obese (or formerly obese) people. Because of its ability to remove bad estrogens, calcium d-glucarate can help fight breast and possibly other cancers. It may also decrease oxidized LDL cholesterol and assist in protein digestion. Consider Source Naturals D-Glucarate or Life Extension D-Glucarate.

CHARCOAL – Activated charcoal is a natural supplement you can get that absorbs toxins inside your GI tract. You don’t want to use this on a regular basis, but I take one or two capsules when I eat out at restaurants since the industrial food supply is so contaminated. My understanding is this will work as long as the food is still in your digestive system. So, if you forget to take the capsules with the meal, take them when you get home. *Please note the charcoal can interfere with the absorption of some supplements and prescription and OTC drugs (which hopefully you aren’t taking), so take your supplements and drugs away from the charcoal. I use Nature’s Way Activated Charcoal. You can also try Source Naturals Charcoal. *This is a good supplement in cases of possible food poisoning.

HERBAL TEAS – Herbal teas are very commonly used in any type of detox protocol, but it is okay to use these on a regular basis for detox support. Check out these herbal blends from Yogi Tea for detox. Traditional Medicinals also makes some good detox formula teas.

Anti-Inflammatory Supplements

FISH OIL – Fish oil is like vitamin D and magnesium, pretty much good for everything. I first recommend that you eat wild caught salmon and sardines. If you don’t eat either or enough of either, get a high quality fish oil supplement. I recommend buying a fish oil that is natural triglyceride form which is the most absorbable form for your body. For generally healthy people, I suggest 1,000mg per day and for those battling illness/chronic conditions, I suggest 3,000mg. If you eat wild caught salmon or sardines, you likely don’t need to take a fish oil on the days you eat those fish. If you are generally healthy and eat about 16 ounces of fish per week (see my food buying guide for recommendations on types of fish to buy), then you may not need to take fish oil at all. *Keep your fish oil in the refrigerator to protect the fragile oil. I have always liked Nordic Naturals brand. But I have also heard that Vital Choice makes really good supplements.

VITAMIN D – The real deal as in vitamin D from the sun does wonders for fighting inflammation and healing our bodies. When we can’t get enough Vitamin D from the sun, we can supplement with vitamin D3. See buying recommendations under Vitamins and Minerals.

GREENS SUPPLEMENTS – Raw greens supplements provide a full spectrum of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, omegas, enzymes, fibers and proteins, all of which boost the immune system. You can make your own greens supplements by blending up a bunch of green vegetables and drinking them or… Amazing Grass is a good greens supplement.

TURMERIC – Turmeric has gotten tons of well-deserved press lately as a potent anti-inflammatory and possible cancer fighter. It is thought to also be a cleansing agent for the liver. There are many good turmeric or curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) supplements out there. Gaia Herbs, New Chapter, Source Naturals, and Jarrow Formulas all have good turmeric/curcumin products. My mother seems to like Terry Naturally CuraMed.

GINGER – Ginger is an anti-inflammatory/antioxidant and can help combat inflammation in the digestive tract and throughout the body. It is also thought to improve circulation and respiratory function and is touted for anti-aging benefits. You can consume ginger powder, use ginger root, make ginger tea (I recommend Yogi brand), and/or take ginger capsules. I am currently using Jarrow Formulas ginger supplement.

MAGNESIUM OIL – While I think we can all benefit from magnesium supplements, there are also benefits to be had from using magnesium oil as a topical anti-inflammatory. It makes a great rub for sore muscles and joints. Try Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil and/or some of their other magnesium products.

ZYFLAMEND – This herbal blend from New Chapter has a lot of research behind its effectiveness as an anti-inflammatory supplement. Try the Whole Body formula or one of the other targeted formulas.

***Fresh herbs like basil, oregano, rosemary, cilantro, sage, mint, and parsley all have some detoxifying and anti-inflammatory properties and can be used as “supplements” to your meals. Find ways to add them in to as many meals as possible. My Detox Greens Drink is one way to incorporate cilantro and parsley, and perhaps even some mint.