Why Milk Thistle, Juices, and Glutathione are Important
I’ve been so jazzed up (yes, I said jazzed) up about doing the Love Your Liver Spring Detox with Megan that I’ve started coming up with my own versions of the detox supporting drinks already included the challenge.
What can I say, I’m a DIY addict! (Bonus, this drink is Nutrient Boot Camp approved and helps get me to my daily goals.)
This drink was born because I continually struggle to stay hydrated while I’m at work. I usually get so caught up in everything that I’m doing and taking care of, that I forget to drink any water. Then I come home and realize that I’m completely dehydrated and my body is in major suffering because of it.
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It’s no surprise that the body needs adequate hydration. And this is no less true for the body’s ability to detoxify naturally and maintain good digestive function. (I’m saying that as if they are two different processes because people tend to think of them separately. However, they are intimately linked and play off each other in many ways.)
Why I love Milk Thistle
Milk Thistle has a permanent place in my medicine cabinet. And that’s because it’s an absolute rock star of an herb when it comes to detoxification pathway and antioxidant support.
Here’s the deal:
Milk thistle contains a compound (an active flavonolignan isomer of silymarin, to be exact) called silybin. It acts in a number of very detox-advantageous ways, including functioning as an antioxidant (which means it fights compounds and reactive species that damage cellular structures), anti-lipid peroxidative (which means it protects cell membranes from damage), anti-inflammatory (it decreases inflammatory compounds and reactions in the body), and encourages the active rebuilding and maintenance of liver cells (by supportive regenerative pathways).
It also helps to decrease the depletion of glutathione, a very powerful antioxidant in the body. Glutathione acts by binding heavy metals that impede and “gunk-up” detox pathways and deactivates reactive oxygen species that wreak havoc on normal physiological processes and structures. Glutathione optimization is a topic that often comes up in detoxification, anti-aging, and cardiovascular discussions…it’s kind of a big deal. (Aka: The Ron Burgundy of antioxidants).
The Other Ingredients:
Cranberry juice has known antioxidant properties while pomegranate juice is similar to milk thistle in that it helps increase glutathione levels in the body. The Vitamin C content in the lemon juice helps protect cells from oxidative damage, in addition to a whole host of other properties that you’ve probably heard about (like boosting immunity and being good for skin). Coconut water is not only just delicious but the electrolyte content (without a huge dose of sugar) helps hydrate the body efficiently.
(Megan’s detox has several more fun elixirs and daily drinks as well.)
- 16 ounces coconut water
- 2 ounces cranberry juice
- 1 ounce pomegranate juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice (I prefer fresh-squeezed, learn more about vitamin C and whole food here)
- 1 dropper full of alcohol-free milk thistle tincture
- optional: 1/2 teaspoon honey (if you’re actively doing a detox with the elimination portion, I would leave out the honey)
Note on the juices: I prefer organic juice when I’m focusing on detoxing. However, I think the benefits of the juice outweigh the negative aspects so if you can’t find or afford organic, I think it’s ok.
1. Combine all ingredients into a large glass (I use major jars for pretty much everything!) and stir to combine.
2. I think it tastes better with some ice.