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

Part Four of the Detox can be found here: Water retention and Sugar Cravings Helper…

The Gentle Detox – Food Intolerances, Nightshade Family and Environmental Toxins

In 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.

The toxic build up of life

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.

Major Organs and systems of the Body – The largest organ in the body – The Skin

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 – Lifestyle or Genetic

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 and Intolerances – Part One – The difference between them

Allergies and Intolerances – Part Two – – #Dairy #Leaky Gut

Keeping a food diary

If you have already adopted some of the guidelines from earlier in the series 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.

Learning to live with the nightshade family.

There are a few suspect foods as you will read in the posts 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 – 2022

A little bit about me nutritionally. .

About Sally Cronin

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-four 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, radio programmes and posts here on Smorgasbord.

You can buy my books from: Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – Follow me :Goodreads – Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin


As always I look forward to your comments and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask them.. thanks Sally.

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

  1. Great post, Sally. I don’t think I overeat the nightshade family, except, perhaps, tomatoes. But I don’t eat them every day.
    When I was growing up, it was potatoes every day, but now, for carbohydrate, I have rice, couscous, pasta, noodles and with a casserole, sometimes bread.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Calm, sane advice! I love the nightshades but haven’t been eating them nearly every day which I used to do. When I was growing up, lunch wasn’t a meal if it didn’t have potatoes. Fortunately, we’ve seen more advice like this and now make more informed choices. Many thanks. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The nightshades are problematic for a lot of people. I am allergic to eggplant, itchy mouth and throat, and that did not happen until I was 40, but I probably had a sensitivity all along. The thing I realized once was I noticed when I was peeling potatoes, my hands would get cramped really quickly. I thought it was odd because this didn’t happen if I peeled an even larger amount of apples! I still eat potatoes, my favorite food, but I do so in moderation and it seems to be all right!


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

  5. So far so good…I haven’t got any noticeable food intolerances but I do rotate and practise moderation most of the time…-sigh-Have pressed today…It’s been an interesting and informative series, Sally and I will detox starting next week(Tuesday)…I’m hoping fingers crossed 2 out of 3 will be over…Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Sally, our bodies are definitely bombarded by a lot more toxins now than in the past. The air quality here in Joburg is terrible. I thought the rain would be a good thing, but the pulmonologist says not. It is resulting in even more allergies. Thanks for this post. I need to have a food diary as I often get stomach pain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is a challenge these days to avoid toxins especially in a built up area such as Joburg. And with various natural and manmade events spewing particles into the atmosphere clouds can come with additional problems. If you do keep a diary for a couple of weeks in word and would like me to take a look email it over and I will see if anything jumps out..♥


  7. I, too, cannot have nightshades. I eliminated them entirely from my diet and have felt better since. I’m a bit afraid to even eat them at this point, but I also feel that everything in moderation should be fine (for the most part). So, if I go to a restaurant (which isn’t often), and a nightshade is in a dish I want to eat, then I may have it, but I don’t buy them when I food shop. Great post, Sally! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are probably fine eating nightshade foods once a week but one at a time.. there is an accumulative factor of having them all together in a dish. I find I am okay with potatoes once or twice a week… and have cooked tomatoes once a week. I leave peppers and aubergines alone as they seem to cause more of an issue with me. Glad you found interesting Yvette.. hugs

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great article, Sally. We try to avoid toxins in our food, as much as we can, but your comment about the nightshades was interesting, and I really liked the idea of a food journal. My husband has joint issues, so anything that might contribut is best avoided in large quantities. And I need to drink more water (as usual). Thanks for the tips.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 31st Jan – Feb 6th 2022 – Hits 1987, Travel Column, Nutrition, Short stories, book reviews, blogging and funnies | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

I would be delighted to receive your feedback (by commenting, you agree to Wordpress collecting your name, email address and URL) Thanks Sally

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