The Blog

The liver is our largest internal organ and primary filtration system. It is responsible for hundreds of processes that occur throughout the body including cleansing the blood, metabolizing nutrients and medications, bile and hormone production, immune cell activation, storage of vitamins and iron and of course detoxification. It is important that we nourish and care for this mighty organ!

When it comes to liver detoxification, there are 2 main phases that help to neutralize and eliminate endogenous and exogenous toxins from the body. Phase I of liver detoxification converts fat soluble toxins into water soluble intermediates. Phase II then takes the intermediate metabolites, further neutralizes then eliminates them through the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys. Phase I and II liver detoxification is quite complex and requires a large number of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids to support all of the involved processes.

Here are 5 things that we can do to support healthy liver detoxification:

1. Take a good quality multiple vitamin: Multiple vitamins contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals that support Phase I and Phase II liver detoxification which include Vitamin C, B vitamins, Magnesium, Copper, and Iron.

2. Consume nutrients that help to increase Glutathione levels: Glutathione is often referred to as our master antioxidant and is required for Phase I and Phase II liver detoxification. Examples of foods that increase Glutathione levels include the Cruciferous family of vegetables, onion, garlic, Brazil nuts, milk thistle tea, gentian tea.

3. Enjoy foods that stimulate bile production. Bile is a liquid produced by the liver that helps to push toxins from the liver into the digestive tract so that they can be eliminated through the large intestine. Foods that increase bile production include beet root, radicchio, dandelion greens, artichoke, and turmeric.

4. Incorporate Citrus fruits like lemon, grapefruit, and oranges: These fruits are rich in vitamin C and limonene which boost the production of liver detoxifying enzymes.

5. Selenium is an essential micronutrient that has been shown to help boost the natural antioxidant enzyme levels in the liver. Selenium-rich foods include Brazil nuts, brown rice, spinach, cashews, and lentils.

In Health,

Dr. Aminah Keats

#naturopathicmedicine #naturopathicphysician #naturopathicdoctor #integrativemedicine #integrativeoncology #naturopathiconcology

17 views0 comments

Have you ever heard of Shinrin Yoku? Research studies show that this simple therapy can help to reduce stress, anger, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. In addition, it has been shown to exhibit a positive impact on immune function, cardiovascular health, and metabolic conditions like diabetes.

The English translation of this Japanese term is ‘forest bathing’ and it means taking in the forest atmosphere during a leisurely walk. It has also been described as connecting with nature through the senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. It was developed in Japan in the 1980’s, where they currently have 44 accredited Shinrin-Yoku forests that offer this therapy.

A meta-analysis published in the International Journal of Biometeorology revealed that in 6 of the 8 studies analyzed, cortisol levels, a hormonal marker for stress, were significantly lower in the forest bathing group compared to the group exposed to an urban environment. In fact, some of the study participants experienced a drop in cortisol levels only after being informed that they would participate in forest bathing. I suppose this speaks to the power of visualization.

So how can we implement forest bathing into our lives to reduce stress and improve our emotional wellness?

  • Find a secluded, quiet place with lots of trees and greenery, i.e. hiking trail, backyard, or park

  • Silence or leave behind any electronic devices to avoid distractions

  • Spend at least 10 minutes in a green environment to receive the therapeutic benefit

  • Sit quietly or move slowly so that the peace of nature can be well observed and absorbed

  • Take in the sounds

  • Smell the fragrance of the forest and breathe in the phytoncides, essential oils that impact immune function by increasing natural killer cell activity

Forest bathing can act as a great addition to anyone's self-care tool kit. Implementing healthy habits during these uncertain times provides us with greater strength and resilience!

In Health,

Dr. Aminah Keats

13 views0 comments

Did you know that we live in a sleep deprived society?

According to a study produced by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 1/3 of Americans report that they get insufficient sleep. That is a lot of people! The CDC has declared sleep deprivation in the United States as a public health epidemic. This is a significant public health concern because long-term inadequate sleep or sleep disorders can increase the risk for cancers, obesity, diabetes, anxiety, depression and cardiovascular disease.

Sleep deprivation can also impact immune function. Cytokines, proteins that are secreted from immune cells that regulate immune and inflammatory responses, are released while we are sleeping. Obtaining fewer hours of sleep reduces the production of these important messengers.

The National Sleep Foundation advises a sleep range of 7- 9 hours per night for adults and 10-11 hours per night for children. The suggestions listed below can support us in improving sleep hygiene and maintaining adequate amounts of sleep consistently:

  • Getting more sunlight during the day helps to support the secretion of melatonin at night. Melatonin is an important hormone that helps to regulate sleep-wake cycles.

  • Sleep in a dark, quiet space. This means that television and electronic devices (i.e. computer, smartphone, ipad) should be turned off during sleeping hours. The blue light emitted from these devices can be disruptive and inhibit the secretion of melatonin.

  • Avoid alcohol and stimulants such as caffeine (i.e. coffee, black tea, green tea, dark chocolate) late in the day.

  • Implement a relaxing routine before bedtime, i.e. warm bath, listen to peaceful or meditative music.

  • Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning.

  • Valerian root is an herb that can help with falling asleep and staying asleep. This tea can be sipped during the evening hours.

Committment to getting a healthy amount of sleep each evening is important to our health and overall wellbeing.

Sweet dreams!

In Health,

Dr. Keats

6 views0 comments