Smorgasbord Health Column – The Gentle Detox – Food Intolerances, Nightshade Family and Environmental Toxins by Sally Cronin

On this final post on the gentle detox, I am going to cover some of the other reasons that you might give your body a break from your usual daily routine, and this includes the inevitable modern day stresses.

Having said that it is virtually impossible to take all the time out that you need to do this when you are working full time or have one of the most stressful jobs, keeping a family warm, fed and where they need to be each day.  However, by eating lighter with all natural foods and drinking plenty of fluids you will have made a good start. If you can find 45 minutes to an hour every day to sit quietly and breath in fresh air with some music playing, then that will help too.

To live long and healthy lives we need to nurture and sustain our body. Our organs, bones, tissues, skin and blood accumulate debris and toxins over a period of days, weeks, months and years. Under normal circumstances our body is very efficient in clearing out harmful toxins and has a number of systems in place to deal with them. I took a closer look at the liver earlier in the series, since this is the one organ that has the responsibility of getting rid of waste as well as the toxins within our body.

Unfortunately, life is a little more toxic these days and we are bombarded through our skin, in the air we breathe and in the food we eat. This leads me onto the skin which in fact is our largest waste organ. For example if you break out in spots and find that your skin is not as hydrated as it should be then it is likely that you liver is under pressure and unable to get rid of the build-up of toxins that need to be excreted. Rather go into it in full detail here you might be interested in these posts from 2017 on the skin and its vital role in our defence and waste systems.

The Skin the largest waste organ of the body

To illustrate the effect of a build-up of toxins in the body here is a post on eczema that covers the impact of our diet on skin conditions.

The Skin – Eczema – Genetics or Lifestyle

Environmental Factors.

Our modern society is not just about what we eat and drink. The pollutants that are surrounding us on a daily basis attack every system in our bodies and we need to build a strong and robust immune system to cope with the age we live in.

Think about all the chemicals that we come into contact with knowingly and also unknowingly. Household cleaners are pretty obvious (wear gloves) second hand cigarette smoke, hair colouring, make-up, most shampoos and conditioners, air fresheners, washing powder and softeners, washing up liquid, plastic food containers, industrial pollution, car exhaust fumes – the list goes on and on.

A spring clean for your body.

A gentle detox is a spring clean and a preventative measure. It will release the toxins from your body and improve your general health. For anyone already suffering the symptoms of toxic build-up it should bring some relief to the symptoms and aid your recovery.

It is almost certain that unless you live on a remote pacific Island, you will be suffering from some form of general toxicity. If you look back at your life in detail you will be able to identify if there might have been specific exposure to toxins in the workplace such as heavy metals in industry, a dry cleaners or dentist surgery. You may have been a heavy smoker in which case you have certainly been exposed to over 4000 chemicals every time you inhaled tobacco smoke. You may have also used excessive stimulants such as coffee or alcohol that will not only have acidified your body but also prevented the absorption of essential nutrients it needs to be healthy.

If you are sick and in pain then it is very probable that you are suffering from an imbalance of acid/alkaline levels causing acidosis, which is an environment that toxins thrive in. More specific toxins would be ingested, inhaled or absorbed from the intestines, through the skin or into the muscle via injections. If you have undergone suppressive treatments such as radiation, chemotherapy or used medications that have driven the toxins back into the system, this will have resulted in stored poison.

You might also be suffering from either food allergies or more commonly food intolerances that are adding to the toxic overload.

Allergies or Intolerances – the difference

Allergies, Intolerances – Dairy and Leaky Gut

If you have already adopted some of the guidelines from earlier in the week and are eating all natural, unprocessed foods, drinking 8 glasses of pure water per day and have given up a very high percentage of the sugars you are consuming… You are doing a great job.

If you suffer from food intolerances then you also need to keep a food diary and note when symptoms of bloating, joint pain, headaches or other signs that are unique to you occur.

It is likely that the culprit food is one that you eat every day and therefore results in a build-up in the toxic element that you are intolerant too.

Your body, a bit like our own waste collection services, has a cycle. Instead of a week it is around four to five days and the liver and your other systems can handle the odd toxin that wanders in by ejecting it.

However, if you are ingesting or being exposed to this toxin every day your body cannot deal with the build-up and it is stored in the cells causing skin problems, damage to the cells which in turn lead to serious diseases such as cancer.

redpeppersLearning to live with the nightshade family.

There are a few suspect foods as you will read in the post on Allergens and Intolerances above. For example I discovered many years ago that I react to certain members of the nightshade family if I eat too many of them together and every day. For example eggplant (aubergine) peppers, fresh tomatoes and potatoes are favourites of ours but I find if I eat them all every day then I get joint pain.

This does not mean giving them up entirely since they are full of nutrients and health benefits but I manage it by only consuming them individually every three or four days. The exception is cooked tomato which funnily enough does not cause me a problem.

If you suffer from any of the symptoms I mentioned check your food diary after a week and circle the foods that are the nightshade family and how many times you are consuming in the week. And if you are eating potatoes, peppers and tomatoes every day and some Goji berries in the mix you are probably intolerant to the nightshade family. Split them up and only consume every few days and see how you feel after a couple of weeks.

©sally cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2019

A little bit about me nutritionally.

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with over twenty years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse by health books and fiction you can find them here: My books and Reviews

 If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to ask in the comments.. or if you prefer send in an email to

You can find all the Gentle Detox posts in this directory: The Gentle Detox 2019

13 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Health Column – The Gentle Detox – Food Intolerances, Nightshade Family and Environmental Toxins by Sally Cronin

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  2. Pingback: Smorgasbord Health Column – The Gentle Detox – Food Intolerances, Nightshade Family and Environmental Toxins by Sally Cronin | Retired? No one told me!

  3. Pingback: CarolCooks2…weekly roundup 15th March-21st March 2020… | Retired? No one told me!

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