Fasting Mimicking Diet: Expert Review, Common Mistakes & Guidelines

Fasting Mimicking Diet Review
Heidi Moretti Author circleHeidi Moretti, MS, RD
Certified Clinical Dietitian
Anti-Aging Researcher

Research | Meals | Foods to eat | Benefits | Side effects | My experience | Tips & MistakesAfter the Fast | Cost

I have recently done Dr. Valter Longo’s proLon fasting mimicking diet (FMD), for the second time.

In this review, I will share my personal experience, thoughts, important guidelines and common mistakes I often see, to help you better decide if this diet is for you. I highly recommend that you go over my notes in this guide before you start the ProLon diet.

If are currently doing my longevity protocol for graceful aging:

  • The main difference between my protocol and the proLon fasting mimicking diet is that the diet is a short term 5-day plan. My protocol on the other hand, is intended for long term.
  • I see both as effective tools that can compliment each other and help us all optimize our health and lifespan potential.
  • My longevity protocol can be very helpful to do between your ProLon diet cycles.
Fasting Mimicking Diet Product 1
The ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet
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The Fasting Mimicking Diet: What’s The Bottom Line?

The fasting mimicking diet has pros and cons.

Anti-aging Perspective: Safe, Effective, Easy To Do

The diet is clinically shown to mimic two of the most powerful most studied longevity promoting dietary regimens: fasting and calorie restrictions.

Practicing long term fasting and calorie restrictions is extremely difficult.
As a result, most people will never do any of these.

The proLon fasting mimicking diet was invented to solve this exact challenge.

The ProLon diet is very practical and easy to do, allowing you to get the same anti-aging and longevity benefits shown in the clinical studies, without having to actually fast or worry about nutritional deficiencies.

proLon fasting mimicking diet box

What’s Inside?

The proLon Kit comes with five small boxes, one for each day, with everything you need to eat and drink. Meals, drinks, snacks, bars, supplements, everything was already made for you. It’s really that simple.

So if your goal is to promote healthy longevity and anti-aging, the fasting mimicking diet may be a really great fit. 

Healthy Weight Loss & Metabolic Health

Another area I believe the fasting mimicking diet may help, is to promote healthy weight loss and metabolic health.

In the clinical studies, FMD was shown to help individuals with normal BMI to lose an average of 5.7 lbs of fat and 1.2 inches off waist circumference.
Effects persisted after returning to normal diet.

This is actually a huge benefit since high fat accumulation around the waist is a risk factor for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

I actually noticed it myself (see my full review below). In only 3 days, I lost 5 lbs, which amazingly didn’t come back after resuming my normal diet.

I definitely saw significant stubborn belly fat loss. It was apparent and I am very impressed by this considering that I didn’t have much body fat to begin with.

Fasting Mimicking Diet: Can You Eat & Fast At The Same Time?

ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet Eat & Fast At The Same Time

Have a look at the image above, as this can give you an idea of the nutrients you will be getting in a typical 5 day ProLon fasting mimicking diet plan.

The inventor and brain behind the FMD is Dr. Valter Longo, director of Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California.

Dr. Longo is one of the world top anti-aging experts. Myself just like many of my coworkers have been following his work for years.

The idea is simple. For five days you eat and drink scientifically researched meals and drinks in precise quantities. These nourish you, but are not recognized as food by your body, therefore mimic a fasting state.

The calories are still very low, so you basically get the benefits of fasting and calorie restriction while still eating a balanced meal plan. As a part of the ProLon diet plan, supplements are also included.

Can You Eat & Fast At The Same Time? How is it Even Possible?

Dr. Longo work has shown that when we consume certain foods and natural ingredients, our body still acts as it didn’t get food. As a result, the body activates the same longevity genes that are triggered during prolonged fasting.

These are exactly the ingredients you will find in the Prolon fasting mimicking diet.

That, in my opinion, is what makes the diet so promising.

I know most of my clients will never agree to do prolong fasting.
But what about trying
the 5-day ProLon plan? Eating mediterranean style soups, crackers, olives and chocolate-nut bars for a few days to reboot their system and rejuvenate? Completely different story.

Fasting Mimicking Diet Benefits

Fasting Mimicking Diet Benefits

The ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet
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The ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet has gone through clinical trials and been patented for its healthy aging effects.

The results have been published in top medical journals (Cell, Science Translational Medicine, JAMA, etc.) According to the studies, three cycles of the 5-day FMD plan have been shown to:

  • Reduce visceral fat, but at the same time, maintaining lean body mass
  • Initiate autophagy and cellular clean up
  • Decrease IGF-1, which has been linked to aging and disease
  • Help maintain metabolic health

Pretty impressive considering that you only have to do the diet five days per month for three months. I personally noticed the reduced belly fat after only three days. See my complete review and results below.

So, if you wonder how often can you do the fast mimicking diet, ideally, you should stick with what was done in the study. Five Days per month, for three months.

What Do You Eat on ProLon Diet?

What Do You Eat on ProLon Diet

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The above pic shows a typical day of eating on the ProLon fasting mimicking diet. FMD is based on a combination of mediterranean style plant-based soups, crackers, olives, drinks and teas.

  • Soup blends: Minestrone soup, mushroom soup,  minestrone quinoa soup, tomato soup, vegetable soup, butternut squash – quinoa soup, white bean – spinach soup, and butternut soup squash soup.
  • Bars: chocolate crisp bar, nut-based bar
  • Olives: flavored with and without garlic
  • Kale Crackers: with flax seeds,  sunflowers seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
  • Energy drinks:  also called L-drink, caffeine free, orange and berry flavors
  • Herbal teas: hibiscus tea, spearmint tea, spearmint-lemon tea
  • Supplements: multi vitamin & mineral, omega 3 DHA from algal oil.

When ordering, remember to choose the options you prefer the most under flavor. (Original and Soup Variety 2).

ProLon Diet 5-Day Meal Plan

ProLon Diet 5-Day Meal Plan
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ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet: Taste & Feel

ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet Taste

People usually find the taste of the meals to be pleasant. I personally enjoyed the meals and drinks and liked how they made me feel.

With that said, I did feel like I wouldn’t mind to have some extra protein with the meals. Nothing major, and to be expected. This is one of the core ideas behind the diet. To promote autophagy, the diet per design has to be low in protein.[5] Animal proteins can stimulate an increase in IGF-1, so this is why they are eliminated during the 5 day period.

My Fasting Mimicking Diet Review

My Fasting Mimicking Diet Review

I have done the fasting mimicking diet twice, about 6 months apart.
I decided to stop after day 3 both times because I didn’t want to lose more weight. My weight is at baseline is pretty low.

Overall, I was surprisingly not that hungry until day 3. It actually felt good to have a less full stomach. My meals tasted good, and I was happy and satisfied. Like I mentioned earlier, I felt I could have more protein, though.

How much weight can you lose on the fasting mimicking diet?

In only 3 days, I lost 5 lbs each time, which amazingly didn’t come back after resuming my normal diet. I definitely saw significant stubborn belly fat loss. It was apparent and I am very impressed by this considering that I didn’t have much body fat to begin with.

Energy, brain function & mood

Overall, I felt fair energy and was able to do yoga.  I didn’t feel up to heavy exertion.

My brain function and focus were actually great. I was focused on what to eat and not on other things in my life. It’s a relaxed state of mind I really like. This by itself, is one reason I want to do the ProLon diet again.

By the second day, I felt a little bit of a lull in brain function.  I struggled to find the energy for work a bit. Nothing major, though. I was still able to function well. My mood was fairly good, although on day 3 I had a mild headache which did affect my mood a bit.

Fasting Mimicking Diet: Cost

Fasting Mimicking Diet Product 1
The ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet
Check Price & Availability

The fasting mimicking diet cost is around $250, or less if you order 3 boxes (see ProLon website for all pricing options).

This includes all the foods, drinks and supplements you need for the five days fasting, minus the water.

As a reference, the average American spends around $150 on food per week. One in 10 Americans say they spend $300 or more per week.[6].

And that doesn’t include weight loss or anti-aging shakes, supplements or other specialty foods. So, not that far.

Keep in mind, anti-aging and weight loss is a billion dollar industry. This is a drop in the bucket compared to most fad diets, risky weight loss pills, or anti-aging products that have no science behind them. The ProLon fast mimicking diet plan has research on its effectiveness and safety, with an army of medical doctors who back it up and recommend it to their patients.

You can read the reviews on ProLon website.

FMD: Common Mistakes to Avoid & Tips

In the section below, I will try to address some of the top questions and mistakes I see people make.

During the fast

You will want to drink water or the FMD teas and skip caffeine and coffee if you can. One cup of black coffee is fine and may even help to promote autophagy further according to some evidence.[7

You can add in a bit of extra spices and herbs, but no more than a teaspoon total of salt, herbs, and spices. Try not to add salt if possible, as you don’t want to get your taste buds get used to salty foods. This can create a problem after the fast.

In general, since ProLon fast mimicking diet has been studied on humans, it is probably best to stick to the plan as closely as possible.

What to Eat After the Fasting Mimicking Diet

ProLon Longevity Diet Shopping List

A common mistake I often see people make after a fast, is to eat a lot of calories, thinking that the body may need the extra foods to rebuild. This however, has proven to backfire. In fact, it is very important to gradually return to normal eating, starting with light meals. This can help your body to digest your foods, save you a lot of problems and can further augment your results after the five days of eating the ProLon diet.

Probiotics & Enzymes: Many people can benefit from taking digestive enzymes and probiotics with their meals a few weeks after the fast, to help the body digesting solid meals again.
Dr. Group Veganzyme and Floratrex are excellent choices.

Eat Clean: I can’t stress this enough:

A lot of the benefits of fasting happen after the fast when you start to refeed. Think about the new fresh cells and stem cells in your body ready to grow and thrive with the foods you eat. It is a window of opportunity to eat clean and healthy, to provide your body the best possible nourishment.

As I mentioned earlier, my longevity protocol can be very helpful to do between your ProLon diet cycles.


  • Gradually introduce foods back, keep it light and mainly plant-based
  • Focus on healthy whole foods
  • Avoid processed foods and drinks
  • Keep sugars low
  • Limit meat, fish, dairy, and other animal products
  • Eat healthy amounts of good fats such as olive oil, nuts, and avocados
  • Eat colorful fruits and vegetables. These are packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients shown to promote good health and longevity.

ProLon Longevity Diet Shopping List

ProLon Longevity Diet Shopping List
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5 from 5 votes

ProLon Longevity Diet Shopping List

Suggested options for healthy longevity promoting foods you can eat after the fasting mimicking diet
Cook Time25 minutes
Course: Fasting Mimicking Diet
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Fasting Mimicking Diet
Servings: 1
Author: Heidi Moretti, MS, RD


Eat the Rainbow: White

  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Cauliflower
  • Mushrooms

Eat the Rainbow: Red

  • Beets
  • Red Peppers
  • Organic Strawberries
  • Cranberries

Eat the Rainbow: Yellow & Orange

  • Butternut Squash
  • Carrots
  • Yellow Peppers
  • Pumpkin
  • Lemons
  • Sweet Potatoes

Eat the Rainbow: Green

  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Bok Choy
  • Cabbage
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Green Peppers
  • Zucchini
  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Lime

Eat the Rainbow: Blue & Purple

  • Purple Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Organic Blueberries
  • Blackberries

Healthy Fats: Eat in Moderation

  • Olive oil
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Cashews
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Almonds
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts

Healthy Complex Carbs: Eat in Moderation

  • Legumes
  • Quinoa
  • Steel cut oats
  • Brown rice

Seafood: Eat in Moderation, 2-3 times a week

  • Wild Caught Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Cod

Fresh Herbs & Spices

  • Basil
  • Fenugreek
  • Thyme
  • Sea Salt
  • Bay leaves
  • Saffron
  • Turmeric
  • Paprika
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne
  • Ginger
  • Raw Unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar


  • Choose the foods you enjoy the most from each group to support healthy longevity between ProLon fasting mimicking diet cycles.
  • If you follow low carb, you don't have to choose from the complex carbs group, and replace with more good fats

Fasting Mimicking Diet Side Effects

I find that the side effects on the proLon diet depends on your starting point. In other word, what was your diet before. The cleaner and healthier, the better.

ProLon diet is actually well tolerated by most people. Common complaints reported in the clinical trial were fatigue, headache, and difficulty with concentration. With that said, these were mild and most people could continue with the diet.

In my case, by day three, I certainly had a headache. Nothing major, though. Keep in mind, this may be a sign that your body is eliminating toxic compounds. People usually find that the headache is temporary and goes away by day four.

Who Shouldn’t Do The Fast Mimicking Diet

The fasting mimicking diet is gluten free and lactose free.
With that said, it does have a few ingredients that some people may prefer not to consume:

  • Nuts & Soy Intolerance. The bars contain nuts, and there are small amounts of soy. So people with allergies or sensitivities to tree nuts or soy should probably not do the diet.
  • Vegans: FMD is plant based. But, the bars have honey, and the supplements capsules are made from gelatin.

Also, FMD is probably not for you if:

  • You are at a low body weight: considering that you are likely to lose more weight during the diet.
  • You have a medical condition or take medication: your body behaves differently during the fast, which can affect your condition or the way the medication works. Always speak with your doctor before you start the ProLon diet.
  • Pregnant & breastfeeding are times where you need to nourish your body, not fast.

My Final Thoughts

As you can see, the fasting mimicking diet has pros and cons and it is not for everyone.

I find the research and science behind it encouraging. I think the ProLon fast mimicking diet may be a really good options if your goals are:

Anti-aging & longevity: FMD offers some of the most powerful anti-aging and longevity benefits without you having to actually do a long term fast or calorie restriction.

Healthy weight & metabolic balance: In addition to the initial weight loss, FMD can help regulate some of the key factors that influence your metabolic health.

Caloric Restriction & Fasting: Mother’s Nature Anti-aging Clinic

Caloric Restriction & Fasting: Mother's Nature Anti-aging Clinic

A quick summary of the science behind the fasting mimicking diet.

In my longevity protocol for graceful aging, we looked into the benefits and pitfalls of two of the most powerful, most studied anti-aging dietary regimens: fasting and calorie restriction.

The research data on both sounds almost too good to be true.

  • Extend Lifespan. Multiple studies have shown that a 20 – 50% reduction in caloric intake was able to extend lifespan by up to 50%.[1].
  • Activate Autophagy. As if that’s not impressive enough, prolonged fasting was shown to activate potent longevity pathways including autophagy.
    Autophagy is the process where the body recycles damaged and dysfunctional cells, in order to regenerate newer, healthier cells.[2].
  • Produce Stem cells. As a part of the response to fasting, the body also produces stem-cell to promote stress resistance, self-renewal and regeneration. Stem cells have the ability to develop into many different cell types. The body can use them as a renewable source of replacement cells and tissues.[3,4

Fasting Mimicking Diet: Solving the Pitfalls of Fasting & Calorie Restriction

If you have ever tried to fast for a few days or cut 30% of your caloric intake, I am sure you noticed that this can be extremely difficult.

In fact, most people will not do it. Even me, as an anti-aging researcher that is determined to extend my life as much as possible, find it very hard.

So despite all this exciting data and research about the benefits, the bottom line for most people: fasting and calorie restriction are just not realistic.

There’s more here than just willpower.

We are not lab rats. There’s much more in our lives than running on a treadmill in a lab. With less calories or food, our brain eventually goes into “preservation” survival mode. When this happens, you may lack the needed motivation to thrive and reach your full potential. You may live longer, but, I doubt many people will find that type of life appealing.

Even if you can function, you really need to know what you are doing. Long term fasting or calorie restrictions can lead to serious nutritional deficiencies.

This in a nutshell, is what the fasting mimicking diet is trying to solve.

Homemade Energy Drinks: Natural Recipes – Power, Focus & Speed

Homemade Energy Drinks
Heidi Moretti Author circleHeidi Moretti, MS, RD
Clinical Registered Dietitian
Functional Medicine

Instant | athletes | coffee substitutes | students | smoothie | reviews | lifestyle tips

Homemade Energy Drinks, Story in a Nutshell

  • In this post, I will share with you some of my favorite homemade energy drinks recipes using natural whole foods and herbs.
  • Products covered: Ginseng Fuzion drops, Tulsi tincture, Coffee Break, Cordyceps, Living Greens, Cacao Elixir.
  • We’ll also discuss some of the key fundamental lifestyle consideration for good healthy energy.

All these DIY recipes are easy to make using common natural ingredients that also caffeine free. Some of these natural ingredients are very well studied and shown to help boost energy and support:

  • Physical and mental performance
  • Brain function
  • Focus and memory
  • Better cope with stress.

If you are a fan of energy drinks such as red bull, monster, or others, make sure to read my thoughts on common store bought sports drinks and energy drinks. (Towards the end of this article).

Long story short, making your own  homemade energy drinks is always a much better idea in terms of health, effectiveness, safety, and budget. In this guide, we’ll focus on your time with quick options.

Reasons You’re Feeling Low In Energy

Reasons You're Feeling Low In Energy

Before we dive into the recipes, an important note about energy drinks.

I see SO many clients who desperately seek out energy just so they can stay awake and focused through the day.

When seeking energy to fuel the day, I like to think beyond just an energy drink or coffee, and consider if there’s an actually problem that may cause low energy.

If you always feel you need “something” to energize you, then perhaps it’s time to look deeper, and find the cause. Possible causes of fatigue or low energy may include:

  • Diet (for example low calories, sugar crashes, food sensitivities)
  • Nutritional deficiencies (for example B12 or iron who play a major role in energy production)
  • Sleep (not enough or poor quality)
  • High stress
  • Depression
  • Mitochondria issues: especially as we get older.
    If you are above 40, make sure to read my guide on: mitochondria supplements.

Bottom line: if you have been battling with low energy for awhile, I highly recommend you should go and see your doctor to make sure there’s an underlying issues causing it.

Homemade Energy Drinks Recipes

Homemade Energy Drinks Recipes

Here are some of my favorite homemade energy drinks recipes that can help to naturally boost your energy levels and support your physical and mental performance.

Keep things simple: Energy drinks don’t need to be complex to be effective. They need to be easy and quick with easy to use items. So you can use these as effective tools when needed, rather than spending hours in your kitchen.

Listen to your body: Just like any food, or supplement,  not everyone responds the same. So always allow room for variations to find the magic formula that works best for you. The recipes below do offer a great starting point.

The Instant Energy Drink: The Power of Ginseng

The Instant Energy Drink: The Power of Ginseng

Looking for a quick “natural lift” (caffeine-free), but are at work, on the go, or away from your kitchen?

I’m so impressed by ginseng health potential and research data, I think it may very well be the (caffeine free) coffee of the future. While completely caffeine free, most people who try ginseng really love how it improves energy, stamina, and mental performance.

So here’s is a quick homemade energy drink recipe with some options.
I will also share some more info on the different types of ginseng and the main way they work. You are likely to know them by different names. Maca and Ashwagandha for example, are actually different types of ginseng.

The Instant Energy Drink

My favorite when I am on the go:

Instant Energy Drink

  • Ginseng Fuzion drops (1 dropperful)
    a combination of five types of organic ginseng shown to support energy, stress, focus, mood.
  • Purified or spring water (300-500 ml, hot/cold)

When I am out: I often replace water with 300-500 ml coconut water for electrolytes and hydration support. You can simply add the one dropperful of Ginseng Fuzion in your coconut water bottle and carry with you.

Keto diet: if you are doing Keto: replace the coconut water with:

  • 300-500 ml of unsweetened almond milk
  • 15 ml of coconut oil or MCT oil (start with 5 ml to avoid digestive issues due to too much MCT)

Know your herb: Ginseng

While all the types of ginseng are known to support energy, each may work a little different with additional capabilities. You can try each type by itself, or combine them together, as they tend to complement each other.

  • Korean Ginseng: Energy & Fatigue
    also known as asian ginseng, red ginseng, or panax ginseng
  • Ashwagandha: Energy, Endurance & Stress
    also known as indian ginseng
  • Maca: Energy & Mood
    also known as peruvian ginseng.

Ginseng Fuzion drops are easier to add to drinks or water, saving you the need to make tea, or buy each kind separately. Its not always easy to get good sources of organic ginseng. This formula only uses organic extracts.
All you need is to carry the small bottle with you.

Homemade Energy Drink for Athletes

Homemade Energy Drink for Athletes 

Athletes and people who are more active often need more nutrients, electrolytes and calories to support performance.

When working with athletes, we always pay special attention to what happens after the workout, to help the body heal and recover afterwards.

The homemade energy drink recipe below may offer a great starting point.
Take 30 min before your workout.

For ideal athletic performance, note that the ingredients and serving size may be different from one person to another. (Think of a 120 pounds female runner, vs. a 250 pounds bodybuilder).

  • Ginseng Fuzion drops (1 dropper)
    for energy, performance, balance the stress response of intense workout.
  • Coconut water (300-500 ml, electrolytes and hydration)
  • ½ lemon juice (alkaline forming in the body)
  • ¼ tsp Himalayan salt (helps support muscles and hydration. Bodybuilders may notice better “pump” during the workout)

Endurance athletes:  add 1 scoop of Cordyceps Mushroom.

The research suggests that cordyceps can improve oxygen uptake into tissues, delay fatigue by improving oxygen kinetics and and increase training volume, particularly in endurance athletes.[1,2]

As with all herbs and medicinal mushrooms, the source matters. If you consider cordyceps, it is best to get yours for an organic source that guarantees it is grown under the best conditions, including third party testing.
A good example is cordyceps by medicinal foods.

Coffee Substitute Energy Drink

Coffee Substitute Energy Drink

Coffee substitutes are everywhere now and for a good reason: coffee is perhaps the most abused substance in the world!

Don’t get me wrong. There are still  many benefits reported from drinking coffee. The problem is the abuse. Many people find themselves in trouble after consuming way too much caffeine.

Below is my favorite homemade recipe, using the famous Hawaiian Medicinal Foods Coffee Break. It’s a mix of medicinal mushrooms and herbs shown to boost your energy, support your immune system, help your body cope with stress, reduce inflammation and even have some anti-aging benefits.

Combine all ingredients and enjoy.  This is probably my favorite drink of the day.

energy drink homemade coffee

  • Coffee Break (1-2 tablespoon)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • Iced coffee lovers: mix 1-2 tablespoon with your favorite nut milk.
  • For added brain support, add 15 ml of coconut oil or MCT oil (start with 5 ml)

Trying to stop drinking coffee is not always easy and can cause nasty withdrawal symptoms. If this sounds like you, you may want to see my article on how to stop drinking coffee.

Homemade Energy Drink for Studying

Homemade Energy Drink for Studying

Got an important test or an important deadline to meet? When it comes to studying, always consider the type of energy you need to help you get the job done.

Mild & long lasting: Rather than that explosive energy and alertness you would normally need before a workout, for studying you probably want a more mild energy that will keep you focused for several hours.

Calm: Almost everyone these days experience some sort of anxiety or stress before a test or a deadline; certain adaptogenic herbs can help to ease the stress. So you feel calm yet focused.

Also, get enough sleep: According to research, sleep deprivation can prevent the encoding of items in short-term memory and can impair your entire decisioning making and reaction time. So not sleeping enough before an exam in order to achieve more can significantly backfire.

For this homemade recipe (hot or cold tea):

  • Tulsi Tincture (1-2 dropperful):
    Calming, yet energizing, tulsi (holy basil) is one of ayurvedic medicine most studied herb known for its ability to calm stress, balance mood, and naturally boost physical and mental energy.[3]
  • 1 cup of spring or purified water (hot or cold)

Use before and during studying. May work very well together with Coffee Break.

Homemade Energy Drink Smoothie

Homemade Energy Drink Smoothie

Brain, energy, and gut health, this recipe has it all. It may require a little more time compared to the previous recipes, but if you like to make smoothies at home, you may find this recipe very rewarding and quite easy to make.

Homemade Energy Drink Smoothie

Brain, energy, and gut health
Prep Time5 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Homemade Energy Drink Smoothie
Servings: 1
Author: Heidi Moretti, MS, RD


  • Blender


  • ¼ to ⅓ cup wild frozen blueberries neuroprotective and antioxidant effects in the brain
  • 20-25 grams organic vegan protein powder such as hemp or pea protein
  • 1 medium banana energy and flavor
  • 1-2 cups almond milk or your favorite plant based milk
  • 1 scoop Hawaiian Medicinal Foods Living Greens energy, detoxification, gut health with probiotics, live enzymes
  • 1 scoop Hawaiian Medicinal Foods Cacao Elixir energy, mood, and chocolate flavor


  • Blend all ingredients and enjoy

Popular variations:

  • One tablespoon of  chia seeds with less nut milk (one cup) to make a pudding (soak chia overnight or at least for 15 min with the nut milk).
  • Add other fresh nuts and seeds.

My Energy Drinks Review: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

My Energy Drinks Review: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

In our fast-paced world that is infused with a load of stress, extra calories, yet plenty of nutritional imbalances, it is no wonder we all reach a point where we have some sort of an energy crisis. So we look for energy drinks.

In this article, we covered some great and healthy homemade options (“The good”). But…you are now out and about and need a lift. What about store bought options?

The Ugly:

There’s a reason why we often carry these natural drops of Tulsi and Ginseng when we are out. Most energy drinks on the market today give people more than just energy: synthetic ingredients and additives that may do some long-term damage. Not to mention, most have loads of refined sugar, high-fructose corn syrup which are linked to disease.

Excuse my sarcasm, but the irony here, is that even the sugar free energy drinks that claimed to support fat loss have artificial ingredients that may be linked to diabetes, or disrupt your gut microbiome.

The Bad:

What about the all natural energy drinks or bars? They often have too much sugars or have stimulants that can cause side effects and may be unhealthy.

Stimulants can increase your heart rate and blood pressure, make you feel jittery, and while you may have a great few hours of energy and focus, you are likely to crash hours later. Then what? Take another of these energy drinks?

Another common issue with stimulants, is that the energy you get is not always consistent, and can completely backfire. Especially when abused or used long term.

Beyond Energy Drinks: Lifestyle Tips

Beyond Energy Drinks: Lifestyle Tips 

To get more energy in your life, the fundamentals of health should always be your starting point.  A balanced lifestyle can fuel your day with long and lasting energy, and prevent the afternoon slump in energy.

1: Your diet: nutrients & calories

When it comes to energy, food is the best medicine. While a topic by itself, here are some key dietary guidelines for good energy:

  • Avoid sugar spikes: Stay away from high carb foods or processed foods that can cause blood sugar spikes and energy fluctuations.
  • Key foods for sustained energy include low glycemic fruits (berries), fresh nuts and seeds, and fatty fruits like avocados.
  • Eat enough calories: I see many people who undereat due to busy lifestyle. When we don’t eat enough, the body naturally goes into survival mode and slow things down. The result: low energy.
  • Watch for nutritional deficiencies: always best to have your levels tested. Low levels of B12, or iron for example, may cause low energy.

2: Sleep is the best energy drink

Sleep is essential to good energy, and both quantity (at least 7 hours for most people) and quality matter. So you may miss an hour here and there, but it doesn’t take long before lack of sleep catches up and affect every aspect of our life.

3: Manage Stress

Initially stress causes us to be alerted and energized. Overtime, however, chronic stress can drain our adernals leading to extreme fatigue.

Have your stress under control, and be mindful to how it affects you. Try to include meditating, yoga, stretching, and getting some movement during the day.

Exercise is a known potent natural way to energize the body and mind. While a good challenge is always a great, avoid overtraining as it can have the opposite effect.

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How to Detox Your Body: 3 Evidence Based Easy Recipes

How to Detox Your Body

Heidi Moretti Author circleHeidi Moretti, MS, RD
Clinical Registered Dietitian
Detoxification Expert

Apple Cider Vinegar |  Lemon |  Moringa |  Kombucha |  Green Powders | Fiber |  Protein

In this post I will share 3 quick, safe and effective, evidence based recipes to naturally help cleanse and detox your body.

Spoiler alert: as in many natural cleansing topics, we will talk about digestion. Yes, we’ll also mention bowel movements.

All the recipes we’ll discuss are:

  • Natural, safe, effective and gentle
  • Take under one minute to make, ideal for busy people or while on the go
  • Doesn’t require any blender or other equipment.

Is Detox Really Needed?

Why and how to Detox Your Body

Never before in the human history we were exposed to so many potential toxins from our environment.

Our body can naturally eliminate toxins, but we live in a modern world where very often our exposure to chemicals and toxins exceeds the body’s ability to effectively detoxify. Overtime, toxins continue to accumulate in the body, can damage our cells and impact our overall health.

You may experience low energy or “brain fog”, mood swings, skin rashes, find it hard to lose weight, or in some cases just “feel off”.  On the other hand, accumulative toxins build up doesn’t always cause symptoms; it may take years for symptoms to be present.

How To Detox Your Body?

The Top 3 Guidelines

Intermittent Fasting: Everyday, your body cleanses and eliminates toxins, especially during these times when you do not eat of consume food. So just by shortening the time you eat, such as practicing intermittent fasting, can enhance your body’s ability to detox.

Detox & Nourish: For optimal health, both detoxification and nourishment are needed. Removing toxins from your body is one side of it, but so does providing the nutrients your body needs to heal and repair.

Go Low and Slow: It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Rather than going for the quickest way to detox, look for natural ways you can easily incorporate in your life. These are not only easier to do, but you are less likely to experience a “detox reaction” that can occur when too much toxins are released into the bloodstream.

Find Your Detox Staples

Try the detox recipes below, see our your body responds, and incorporate the ones that agree with you in your daily life, as healthy habits to naturally support and help detox your body.

1: Apple Cider Vinegar – Lemon Detox Drink

Apple Cider Vinegar - Lemon Detox Drink

A gold standard of cleansing drinks and one of the best natural ways to detox your body. Start your day right! Drink this wonderful natural tonic in the morning and during the day (up to three times a day), always on an empty stomach.

What to expect: better digestion, reduced bloating, clearer complexion.


  • ½ lemon:
    Drinking warm water with lemon juice is an ancient Ayurvedic practice known to stimulate digestion and detox the body.
    Multiple studies also shown that citric acid and antioxidants in lemon juice can help prevent kidney stones, regulate liver enzymes, and balance triacylglycerol and lipid peroxidation in the liver.[1,2,3]
  • 1 teaspoon raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar:
    (ACV) on its raw unfiltered unpasteurized form, is well known for its natural ability to cleanse, detox and flush toxins from the body. The cloudy part you usually see at the bottom of the bottle (“the mother”), has naturally occurring acids and good bacteria that can promote healthy digestion and gut health.
    According to research, apple cider vinegar can also support kidneys and liver health.[4]
  • 16 ounces distilled or spring water:
    Hydration is very important, especially when you detox to support the kidneys.


  • Shake the apple cider vinegar bottle to mix the cloudy part at the bottom.(“The mother”).
  • Add 1 teaspoon of organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar into 16 ounces of distilled or spring water at room temperature.
  • Squeeze the juice of ½ lemon, and add to the drink.
  • Drink in the morning up to three times per day, always on an empty stomach.
  • Since both lemon and ACV are acidic, use a straw to minimize contact with your teeth or gums. Interestingly enough, when consumed, this detox drink actually has an alkaline effect inside the body.

Optional: to sweeten, add a few drops of organic stevia such as vanilla sweetLeaf.

2: Replace Sugary Drinks & Snacks with Green Detox Juices

sugar detox

Sugars are bad news and are linked to many health issues.
When you consume sugars, the pancreas release insulin. High & frequent insulin spikes can cause many of our body’s systems to get out of control including the body’s ability to effectively detox and cleanse.

Sugar Detox: Instead of consuming sugars, harness the power of greens juices. They are light on digestion, low in calories, and can nourish & detox your body.

What to expect: improved energy, concentration, better mood & digestion, weight loss (in some people).

The average American consumes 150 pounds of sugar in one year.
Can you believe it? This means that every week, we are consuming 3 pounds of sugar.

To put things in perspective, two hundred years ago, the average American ate only 2 pounds of sugar a year.[5]

Ok, so we know sugars are bad for us. Stopping to drink sugary beverage or sodas, however, can be challenging to many people.

It is always easier to stop a bad habit, when you have an alternative. Even better, when you have a better alternative you actually like.
When it comes to green detox juices, making green juices or smoothies at home is ideal, but not always doable or realistic.

For example, you are at work, you just had lunch and you are crashing. Normally, you would have a sugary drink, coffee, or an energy bar. What can you drink instead?

To help you get started, below are a few healthy one minute drinks recipes to nourish and detox your body:

Moringa – Kombucha Drink

moringa detox
What to expect: a refreshing fizzy drink that tastes great and can help promote energy, calmness and healthy digestion.



  • Add 1 dropperful (1 ml) to a cup of kombucha and enjoy. You can also add directly to the kombucha bottle if you prefer to drink throughout the day.
  • Drink between meals, up to two dropperful or moringa a day.

Moringa, the Tree of Life

Moringa Detox
This edible tree is known as “the tree of life” or “the miracle tree” for a reason. With over 90 different vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, moringa is one of the most nutrient-dense plants in the world.[6]

In addition to its superior nutritional profile, moringa is a potent natural detoxifier. In fact, it is studied for its ability to remove heavy metals from the body, and to reduce oxidative stress.[7]

How to use moringa to detox your body:
Always organic, ideally in a liquid extract such as Dr. Group Moringa extract drops. The liquid makes it easier to use on the go. Just place one dropperful (1 ml) in your mouth or add to water, kombucha or other drinks. Unlike moringa powders which have a bitter unpleasant taste, the drops have a mild gentle flavor.

Kombucha: Gut Health in a Bottle

kombucha detox

Kombucha is a fermented tea originated in Asia for centuries prized for its healing properties. Modern science has shown that this traditional drink is loaded with probiotics that can promote gut health as well as antioxidants that may help support our body’s ability to combat oxidative stress.

But there’s more. The healthy bacteria found in kombucha and other fermented foods can bind to toxic metals in the gut helping the body to eliminate these with the stool.

How to use:  Luckily for us, kombucha is very popular and you can easily find many different types in stores. With that said, always go for organic kombucha from a reputable source. Watch for the added ingredients or added sugars.

Green Detox Powders

green powder detox

Another popular option to detox on the go is green powders.

To clarify a common misconception: green powders do not replace whole fresh fruits and vegetables. On the other hand, what should you do when you are stuck in the office on a typical busy day, or on the go, and don’t have time to eat fresh greens and vegetables?

This is where green powders may help. Loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants but still low in calories, a high quality green powder can make a difference. Just mix one or more scoops with your water or protein powder, and you get a quick and easy to digest source of nutrients.

Always look for a certified organic green powder from a reputable source, ideally with a combination of low sugar greens and algae.
Watch for the added sugars. There’s should be none.

A good option is the Hawaiian Medicinal Foods Living Greens.
You will get easy to digest fermented greens and algae such as wheatgrass and chlorella that have proven detoxification abilities, probiotics, live enzymes and medicinal herbs such as green tea extract (antioxidants, energy), milk thistle (liver health) and others.

The powder is very low in sugar (1 gram of sugar) and has a mild naturally pleasant flavor.

How to Detox Your Body Green Detox Powder

3: Fiber: A Potent Detoxifier

Only 5% of the population meets the daily recommendation of fiber, which ranges from 19 grams to 38 grams per day, depending on gender and age.[8]

The science clearly supports that fiber is essential to our health, including its ability to detox your body. Fiber can actually bind and absorb certain fat-soluble toxins and promote digestion, so the toxins are eliminated with the stool.

Getting enough fiber is a common challenge with modern diets, so to help you, here’s healthy easy detox recipe that provides you with about 30% of your daily fiber, along with protein, vitamins and minerals.

Chia – Hemp – Green Pudding

Chia - Hemp - Green Pudding

Nutritional Highlights

  • Fiber – 13 grams (33%)
  • Net carbs: Less than 4 grams, sugars: less than 1 grams.
  • Protein – 16 grams
  • Omega 3 – 8 grams
  • Omega 6 – 9 grams
  • Over 65% of: vitamin K, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus.



  • Mix the living greens in a bowl with 1 cup of almond milk or water. You can also use a shaker bottle or a wide mouth mason jar.
  • Mix with the chia and hemp seeds.
  • Wait for 5 minutes, and mix again.
  • Let sit for 10 more min. You can also place in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Enjoy! If you like the hemp seeds texture, you can also add them right before serving. The soaking is only needed for the chia seeds.

4: Protein, A Forgotten Detox Pillar

protein detox shake

Many people make the mistake of following a juice or vegetable fast for a cleanse for several weeks and as a result, do not eat enough protein.

Your body however, needs enough amino acids to heal and repair. This includes all tissues in the body including your muscles, skin, hair, even your gut.
Specifically to detoxification, certain amino acids such as glutathione play a key role in the body’s ability to detox and cleanse.

Best protein to detox your body while on the go

Finding high quality protein when you eat out or on the go is a common challenge. There are just many important factors, especially with animal proteins. Is the source of the protein free of chemicals, antibiotics or hormones? How fresh is the meat? Does the fish contain mercury? and many more.

Here are a few healthy alternatives:

Protein Green Detox Shake

Mix plant-based protein such as rice protein, pea protein or hemp protein with water or unsweetened nut milk. Add 1 scoop of Hawaiian Medicinal Foods Living Greens.

If you plan to use plant based proteins on an ongoing basis, it is always best to combine a few sources for a more diverse and rich nutritional and amino acids profile. A popular blend is pea, rice and hemp proteins.

Natural Protein Snacks for Detox

Natural Protein Snacks for detox

A discussion about proteins to detox your body will never be complete without mentioning one of the most potent parasite cleansing proteins, pumpkin seeds!

A chinese study used a combination of pumpkin seed and areca nut extract to treat the taeniasis tapeworm infections. The study found that 91 people out of 115 suspected taeniasis cases, were able to release whole tapeworms [9].

Pumpkin seeds are also very nutritious, especially in protein and essential minerals. When you eat just 2 oz of pumpkin seeds, you get your recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of:

  • 17 grams protein.
  • 63% iron.
  • Over 70% of copper, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus.
  • 40% zinc.

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  • Detox Foods: 8 Most Powerful Options For The Best Body Cleanse.


How to Stop Drinking coffee? The Natural 3 Step Protocol

Coffee Substitute Energy Drink

Heidi Moretti Author circleHeidi Moretti, MS, RD
Clinical Registered Dietitian
Functional Medicine

Benefits | Protocol | Coffee Substitutes | Coffee Break | Ginseng | Tulsi

In this post we’ll cover why and how to stop drinking coffee so you avoid or minimize caffeine withdrawal. Learn what can you drink instead of coffee to help your natural coffee detox. We’ll review the top coffee substitutes that can actually give you both the flavor and feel of coffee including the (caffeine free) energy boost.   

Why Stop Drinking Coffee?

Before we get into the how to properly quit coffee, an important disclaimer about coffee. Coffee is not the bad guy. In fact, according to science, coffee can be very good for our health.

With so many studies on coffee, it is very easy to get lost in all this data. What most experts agree with however, is that if coffee agrees with you, it can benefit your health. The studies show that drinking coffee can boost energy, help to burn more fat, improve brain function and even prevent conditions like type type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s and others.

As you can see, not that bad, right?

Top 3 Reasons To Stop Drinking Coffee

tired coffee

Time to get right into it. Here are the top three reasons why you should consider stop drinking coffee. Which one of these apply to you?

1: Most of us drink way too much coffee

Time to be honest with ourselves. Caffeine is the most commonly abused substance in the world. For many people, drinking coffee is more than a drink. It’s a habit or a daily ritual. And it can be addicting if we are not careful.

Are you being careful with your coffee consumption?

For most healthy adults, consuming less than 400 mg of caffeine is ok. With that said, some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others.

2: “My coffee doesn’t work anymore”

The more we use caffeine, the more the body gets used to it. So it doesn’t have the same effects it once had.

Everyone remembers that feeling the first time they tried coffee or other caffeinated drinks. So giving your system a break from coffee can help to get the most out of your coffee in the future. So it can work better for you again.

3: “Wired & Tired”: The Caffeine Roller Coaster

So many people fall under this one, and may not even be aware of it. And you don’t necessarily need to even like coffee either.

It  may start as a few extra cups of coffee for those days you missed sleep or needed a little more boost to meet your deadlines at work. That end of the month report, or that email you forgot to opened.  Before you notice, you are hooked and can’t function without your morning and/or afternoon coffee.

Then since your body gets used to the coffee, you need to drink more.
This vicious cycle evolves and you constantly have to drink coffee to function.

If you find yourself in this category, you should most definitely consider stop drinking coffee and reset. It’s just important to know how to do it right to avoid caffeine withdrawals, which we’ll cover next.

How to Stop Drinking coffee? The 3 Steps Protocol

Naturally and safely quit coffee while minimizing caffeine withdrawals

How to Stop Drinking coffee The 3 Steps Protocol

1: Calculate Your Daily Caffeine Consumption

It’s amazing how much caffeine is added to popular snacks, foods and beverages. The idea here is to have your caffeine consumption under control. In many cases, it’s not just your coffee.

In addition to coffee, read the label to make sure there is no caffeine. Common “suspects” include: energy drinks, energy bars, powdered drinks, green or black tea, pre-workout and fat loss supplements.

Just to give you an example, we recently tested an antioxidant supplement that had green tea extract as one of the ingredients. A powerful antioxidant, indeed, that is also loaded with caffeine.

2: Reduce Your Caffeine Intake (Gradually)

What happens when you stop drinking coffee cold turkey?
If you have been drinking coffee for awhile, chances are you will face the infamous caffeine withdrawals. And some of these symptoms can be quite horrible; nausea, headaches, “brain fog”, low energy, irritability, and flu-like symptoms are common ones.

So to mimzine these, you want to gradually cut your caffeine consumption. Here are a few helpful guidelines:

  1. If you drink multiple cups of coffee a day, reduce the number of cups by one (or even half a cup) each day.
  2. Replace each cup of coffee with coffee substitutes.
    This does more than just a coffee like flavor. Some of these herbs can boost your energy, mood and brain function without the caffeine.
    See the Replace section below to see which options are the right ones for you.
  3. Wait for two days to see how you feel. If everything is ok, continue to reduce.
    If you notice coffee withdrawals or lack of energy, do not continue to reduce and give your body a chance to cope. This is also where coffee substitutes such as tulsi and ginseng can help (see below).
  4. When you get to one cup of coffee a day, reduce the amount of coffee by 5-10 grams every two days, until you are (finally) caffeine free!
  5. Continue coffee free living for at least 4-8 weeks.

How long does it take to stop drinking coffee? when done gradually, most people may need anywhere between one to two weeks. With that said, if you need more time, give yourself more time.

3: Replace Your Coffee with Herbal Coffee Substitutes (Caffeine Free)

There are two reasons why this step is so important:

  1. The habit of drinking coffee: more than just caffeine:
    Most people miss the habit of drinking coffee. It’s always easier to stop something you like, when you replace it with another enjoyable thing.
    A big reason why so many people get addicted to coffee, is that there’s also a mental link. Your brain associates drinking coffee to pleasure.
    So having a coffee substitute that provides a similar experience may help.
  2. Energy & focus (caffeine free):
    Certain adaptogen herbs and medicinal mushrooms can still give you energy and focus without the

What Can I Drink Instead of Coffee?

With coffee substitutes, the idea is to still get a somewhat similar experience to coffee, taste and feel, only without the caffeine.

Certain medicinal mushrooms and herbs have gained popularity as coffee alternatives, mainly because they have a “feel good effect”.
In other words, you don’t have to take them for weeks to feel something. You can feel the benefits right away.

Below are the top options for you to drink instead of coffee:

1: Hawaiian Medicinal Foods Coffee Break

What can I drink instead of coffee?

Why? Rich, bold coffee like flavor, energy, health benefits (caffeine free)

Coffee Break was developed by the famous Hawaiian medicinal foods company who is known for their natural ayurvedic, amazonian and chinese medicine herbal blends.

This natural energizing coffee substitute is a blend of medicinal mushrooms and herbs shown to support your immune system, help your body cope with stress, reduce inflammation and even have anti-aging benefits.

Directions: Add 1-2 tablespoon of coffee break into hot water.
Iced coffee lovers: mix 1-2 tablespoon with your favorite nut milk.

Coffee Break Ingredients Analysis: Our Notes

Coffee like Flavor:

Roasted chicory root, dandelion root, barley and rye extracts (non-GMO) blend to provide a rich, bold coffee like flavor and consistency (body).

We get a lot of questions about chicory coffee and dandelion coffee. Both chicory and dandelion roots are common ingredients in many coffee substitutes. On their own, however, they do not taste like coffee. In fact, it is very hard for anything natural that is not coffee to taste or feel like coffee, which is why we appreciate the work and research the medicinal foods did on this blend.

“Feel Good” Effect:

  • Chaga medicinal mushroom: immune system, anti-inflammatory support
  • Reishi mushroom: anti-aging, stress support (adaptogen)
  • Maca root: energy, mood support
  • Beet root extract: kidney support.

2. Dr. Group’s Ginseng Fuzion

quit coffee ginseng

Why? Added energy and mood support (caffeine free)

So you reduced or stopped drinking coffee, and now that time after lunch comes. This is where you normally had your second cup of coffee.
You are crashing, have a severe “brain fog”, or just feel completely unmotivated to do anything productive. Is there something you can do (rather than drinking coffee) to help?

Meet Ginseng Fuzion.
Developed by Dr. Edward Group, this certified organic herbal blend uses five of the most studied types of ginseng. The result is a liquid formula designed to naturally promote energy, reduce stress, and boost your physical and mental performance.

We find that the liquid drops of Ginseng Fuzion make it really easy to use anytime you need that lift, even while on the go. If you got used to drinking coffee in the morning or afternoon, try to take Ginseng Fuzion instead. Especially in the first few weeks of your coffee detox process.

Directions: place half a dropperful (1 ml) in your mouth or add to water/other drinks. (Up to three times a day). If you miss the flavor of your cup of coffee, add to your Coffee Break drink.

Ginseng Fuzion Ingredients Analysis: Our Notes

  • Korean Ginseng (Panax ginseng): mental focus and memory, sexual health
  • Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus): stress support (adaptogen)
  • Indian Ginseng/Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): stress support (adaptogen)
  • Peruvian Ginseng/Maca (Lepidium meyenii): energy, sexual health
  • Five Leaf Ginseng/Jiao Gu Lan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum): physical stamina, mental sharpness.

3. Dr. Group’s Tulsi Extract (Holy Basil)

How to Stop Drinking coffee? tulsi

Why? Calm stress and nervous system, support adrenals, balance mood, energy (caffeine free) 

When you drink coffee, the caffeine triggers your adrenal glands to release hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Also known as the body’s “fight or flight” stress response,  as a part of this response we become more alert and have more energy.

So in the beginning, drinking coffee gives us energy and focus. Overtime however, especially when we drink too much coffee, the adrenals can’t keep up and we end up feeling tired, fatigued, depressed or stressed.

Tulsi (Holy basil) is one of Ayurvedic medicine most studied herb known for its ability to support the adrenal glands, calm stress, balance mood, and naturally boost physical and mental energy.[1]

While drinking tulsi tea is very popular, Dr. Group’s Liquid tulsi extract is a better fit for this purpose. The extract is more potent, and the liquid drops are much easier to use.

Directions: place one dropperful (1 ml) in your mouth or add to water/other drinks. (up to two times a day). If you miss the flavor of your cup of coffee, add to your Coffee Break drink.

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Herbs for Energy: Natural clean boost without stimulants.

Mitochondria Supplements: Best Natural Options Supported by Science

Mitochondria Supplements
Heidi Moretti Author circleHeidi Moretti, MS, RD
Clinical Registered Dietitian
Mitochondria Research

CoQ10 | PQQ | L-carnitine | Alpha Lipoic Acid | Magnesium | B vitamins | Creatine | Lifestyle | Diet

In this article, I will go over some of the best mitochondria supplements, foods, and steps you can take to optimize your mitochondrial function.

Related post: herbs for energy.

Mitochondria & Your Health

Also known as the cell powerhouse of energy or the cell battery, mitochondria play a key role in energy production, keeping us energetic, focused, and youthful.

But there’s more.

More and more studies show that the mitochondria are involved in almost every cellular level in the body. And because of that, they may hold the key to better overall health and longevity.

In fact, many researchers believe that poor mitochondria health may lead to chronic disease and on the flip side, can protect and extend our life when properly function.

Best Mitochondria Supplements

The mitochondria are very metabolically active and as such, they are susceptible to damage from toxins, inflammation, free radicals and oxidative stress.

Luckily, certain antioxidants and nutrients found in both food and supplements can help the mitochondria work optimally.

CoQ10 Supplements To Protect Mitochondria

A true staple in any mitochondria supplements stack, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) truly stands out when it comes to the level of evidence.

The research on CoQ10 effect on mitochondria health is very extensive and quite promising. According to the data, CoQ10 can protect the mitochondria from oxidative stress and even from mitochondrial tissue death.[1,2]

CoQ10 plays such a key role in energy, that you can find it everywhere in our body. In fact, our body can actually make CoQ10. Why then, so many researchers recommend to take CoQ10 supplements?

It turned out that CoQ10 levels decline as we age. Other factors such as toxins exposure and certain medication (statins) can also reduce CoQ10 levels.

By now, we have a lot of research to support CoQ10 supplement use and it has a long track record of safety as well. With this amount of evidence, I feel compelled to recommend it for my friends, family, and patients as a natural way to support their mitochondrial health.

Best CoQ10 mitochondria supplements

Best CoQ10 mitochondria supplements

CoQ10 supplements are very popular, but not all forms of CoQ10 are created equal. This means both effectiveness and purity. For best results, make sure to use the forms of CoQ10 that are supported by clinical studies such as the patented Kaneka Q10 Ubiquinone.

Dr. Group’s COQ10 & PQQ is a good example of Kaneka Q10 Ubiquinone supplement that also combines BioPQQ, another potent mitochondria booster. As all Dr. Group line of supplements, there are no artificial fillers or binders which so many supplements still have these days.

To improve absorption, take CoQ10 with a meal that includes healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, or a few nuts. If you take omega 3 supplements or other oil based supplements, it is best to take them together with CoQ10.

PQQ Supplements To Help Grow Mitochondria

A recent study found that PQQ can help the body grow new mitochondria in liver cells.[3]
Interestingly enough, PQQ is also found in high levels in human breast milk where it functions as a powerful growth factor.

Another benefit of taking PQQ, is that it can increase Nrf1 & Nrf2 genes. These genes can help protect our body from oxidative stress and toxins and reduce inflammation. All key factors that can influence mitochondria health.[4,5].

PQQ is naturally found in small amounts in foods like natto, spinach, tofu, mustard greens, green tea, parsley, and green peppers. These are very small amounts however, which perhaps is one of the reasons PQQ is such a good option for mitochondria supplements. We just can’t get enough of it from our diets.

Best PQQ mitochondria supplements

Similarly to CoQ10, avoid cheap unknown sources of PQQ and look for forms of PQQ that are supported by clinical studies from a trusted source.

The patented BioPQQ is one of the best options for a natural PQQ that is heavily studied and have a FDA’s GRAS status (Generally Recognized as Safe).

To improve absorption, always take PQQ  with a meal.

L-carnitine Supplements To Energize Mitochondria

L-carnitine is an amino acid that helps transport fatty acids into the mitochondria so they can be used as fuel.

Foods rich in carnitine include animal sources like grass fed beef, bison, chicken, eggs, and fish. Genetics, medications, diet, and other lifestyle factors can lead to low levels of carnitine that may affect mitochondria health.

Based on my experience, I find that for many people, L-carnitine supplements might be the “missing link” to their mitochondria health. When my clients suffer from chronic fatigue, or have to take certain medication that deplete L-carnitine, I often consider the use of l-carnitine in their mitochondria supplements plan.

Magnesium to Support Mitochondria Function

Among its many functions, Magnesium is required to support a healthy mitochondrial function. The body needs to have enough magnesium in order to make key enzymes in the process of producing ATP in the mitochondria.[6]

Foods are the best way to get magnesium, although many people still struggle to get enough through their diet.  In fact, according to research, around 50% of Americans don’t get enough magnesium from their diets.[7]

Foods rich in magnesium include leafy greens like spinach, dark chocolate, asparagus, pumpkin seeds, and legumes. Making a green smoothie with spinach or other greens with some raw cacao is a great way to naturally increase your magnesium levels.

In my experience, many people feel a lot better when they get enough magnesium through foods and supplements. Sleep quality and better bowel function are two things they often notice fairly quickly.

Supplemental magnesium powders or liquids are my favorite way to add extra magnesium.  Make sure to avoid magnesium oxide, as it is poorly absorbed. Try to find natural magnesium glycinate or chelated magnesium forms.

B vitamins to Spark Mitochondria Function

I like to think of B vitamins as the sparks that power our mitochondria. Each and every B vitamin is required to keep the mitochondria functioning well. The most well-researched of these are niacin, thiamine, and riboflavin.[8,9,10]

People who eat a lot of processed foods, drink alcohol, or are on very restrictive or low-calorie diet are at risk for having low B vitamin levels. Vegans and vegetarian diets, are another risk factor as they do not supply vitamin B12.

So it is best to take a vitamin B complex as a part of your natural mitochondria supplements plan. Due to genetics, some people do not metabolize synthetic types of B vitamins well. For these cases, it may be better to get B vitamins supplements in their methylated form.

I know this first hand. I do have gene variants in MTHFR and I speculate that is why I always had a hard time taking synthetic vitamins. They made me feel jittery and nauseated. I started to feel much better when I took methylated forms, as do many of my clients.

Creatine Supplements To Energize Mitochondria

When people think of creatine, they often think of bodybuilding and athletes.  It is however, a valid option to consider for your natural mitochondria supplements.

So while creatine can help to promote muscle gains for athletes, I believe the bigger story is that creatine can help to increase energy production in your mitochondria.

Some research suggests that creatine can even help protect the structure of and the function of the mitochondria from oxidative damage.[11,12]

Food sources of creatine are red meats and fish. The body can make creatine, but often not enough to optimize creatine levels.  Hence, the effectiveness of creatine supplements to improve exercise performance.

Powdered creatine monohydrate supplements are generally safe for healthy people. Just make sure to choose pure creatine monohydrate, such as the patented Creapure. Also, many creatine supplements contain sugars, synthetic additives and chemicals. So always read the label.

Alpha Lipoic Acid Supplements: Brain Mitochondria Support

Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that serves as an enzymatic cofactor that can help improve and preserve mitochondrial function.

According to research, alpha lipoic acid may offer an effective natural way to support age-associated decline of memory, improve mitochondrial structure and function, and reduce oxidative damage.

If brain aging is a concern for you, one study suggested to combine acetyl-L-carnitine, CoQ10 and alpha lipoic acid. According to the study, these may work in synergy that can help for cognitive issues and oxidative mitochondrial dysfunction.[13,14]

Beyond Mitochondria Supplements: Lifestyle

Mitochondria supplements can help support our mitochondria health. With that said, as the name suggests they should always supplement a healthy diet and lifestyle.

I am talking about inflammation, oxidative stress and toxins. All well known to negatively affect our mitochondria health. All things we can control.

Lifestyle wise, make sure you get enough sleep, and try to keep your stress levels in check. Meditation, yoga, and other mind-body practices can all help to balance your stress levels.

Exercise regularly, (but don’t overtrain) to stimulate a healthy stress response that can challenge and improve your mitochondria function.

This is really important: based on so many studies, sleep, exercise & stress are the top lifestyle factors you can control. All can improve your mitochondria and overall health. Ignore these, on the other hand, and you increase your risk for chronic disease. The choice is yours.

Mitochondria Diet

Speaking of inflammation, oxidative stress and toxins, the foods we eat can increase or decrease these as well.

So while it is always best to work with a qualified healthcare professional to tailor the diet to your body (including testing for food sensitivities), there are still many powerful steps you can take today! Especially:

  • Avoid excess calories, carbs and processed foods. You don’t need to starve yourself or go keto though. The idea is to make sure you don’t overdo. Most people in the western world do overeat or consume too many carbs.
  • Eat from the rainbow. Especially colorful whole fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants.
  • Balance omega 3-6 balance to help control inflammation.
  • Eat more healthy fats. Avocados, fresh flaxseed and chia seeds, and wild caught salmon are great options.
  • Intermittent fasting may also help decrease aging processes in the mitochondria.[15]

Read Next

Herbs for energy: an expert review on the best supplements & herbs for energy without stimulants or caffeine, to naturally calm stress, fight fatigue, boost motivation & mood.

How to Increase Blood Oxygen Levels: Best Supplements, Foods & Herbs

How to Increase Blood Oxygen Levels
Heidi Moretti Author circleHeidi Moretti, MS, RD
Functional Medicine Nutritionist
Herbal Medicine Expert

Iron | Cordyceps | Chlorella | Foods | Breathing | Exercise | Indoor Plants

In this article: learn how to increase blood oxygen levels naturally using supplements, foods, herbs and other evidence based methods.

How to Increase Blood Oxygen Levels With Supplements

Every cell in our body needs oxygen to properly function. As a part of this mechanism, certain vitamins and minerals are required to deliver oxygen to the cells.

Ideally you should get these nutrients from the foods you eat. Some people however, have low levels and may need to take supplements.

1. Make Sure You Get Enough Iron

Iron is a key component of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs throughout the body.

It is important to make sure you meet your daily requirements of Iron from your diet, and take iron supplements if needed. Below are some of the best ways to get iron from your diet, and a few important facts you should know about iron supplements.

Eat Iron Rich Foods

Iron Foods Oxygen

The best iron rich foods include: oysters, chicken liver, beef liver, bison, and beef. Plant-based sources include pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, parsley, spirulina, and spinach.

If you eat a vegan or vegetarian diet, you may want to look more carefully into your iron levels. The research suggests that plant-based sources of iron (nonheme iron) don’t absorb as well as animal sources. One method that can improve the iron absorption, is to eat vitamin C rich foods with foods that contain iron.[1]

Iron Supplements: More is Not Better

Iron Supplements

Despite eating iron-rich foods, some people may still need iron supplements. Risk factors for iron deficiencies include vegan or vegetarian diets, pregnancy, heavy periods, digestive issues, blood loss and certain conditions.

I know this first hand. My iron deficiency went for decades unchecked. Since iron in its storage form (ferritin) is not routinely screened when you go to the doctor, low iron levels may be overlooked.

I remember this very clearly. Being low in iron affected my energy levels to a point that going up the stairs made my tired.

Taking excessive amount of iron from supplements on the other hand, is not a good solution either, as too much iron can cause issues as well. For this reason, if you suspect you have low iron levels, go and see your doctor and have your levels tested. This way you know if you need iron supplements and the right amount for you.

Iron Supplements Side Effects

If you consider taking iron supplements, go for natural sources. Synthetic iron supplements are well known for their side effects, especially digestive issues such as constipation.

A good example of a natural iron supplement is Iron Fuzion made from organic Murraya koenigii leaves (Curry tree).

2. Cordyceps: The Oxygen Mushroom

How to Increase Blood Oxygen Levels Cordyceps Mushroom

I find the evidence on cordyceps medicinal mushroom fascinating. Especially its ability to improve oxygen use in the body.

The research suggests that cordyceps can improve oxygen uptake into tissues, delay fatigue by improving oxygen kinetics and and increase training volume, particularly in endurance athletes.[2,3]

In fact, some researchers believe that cordyceps may also be useful in cases of Hypoxia, a condition where there’s reduced supply of oxygen in the tissues to sustain normal functions.[4]

As with all herbs and medicinal mushrooms, the source matters. If you consider cordyceps, it is best to get yours for an organic source that guarantees it is grown under the best conditions, including third party testing.
A good example is cordyceps by medicinal foods.

Chlorella,  Chlorophyll & Oxygen

Chlorella,  Chlorophyll & Oxygen

In my top detox foods article, we discussed how this dark green nutritious single-celled algae can bind and help to remove heavy metals from the body.

The connection to oxygen? According to research, it turned out that chlorella can also help to increase oxygen saturations in the blood. A clinical study showed that 4 weeks of chlorella use improved oxygen lung capacity during exercise in young men and women.[5]

I am pretty sure we’ll see more studies in the upcoming years that will further explore the effect of chlorella on oxygen uptake and exercise performance.

Chlorella is also one of the highest natural sources of chlorophyll, the pigment that gives plants their dark green color. Chlorophyll shares many similarities to hemoglobin, the red blood that carries oxygen in the blood.

How to Increase Blood Oxygen Levels with Foods

Diet, I know. Why can’t we just get that magic pill that makes everything right? Well, until that day comes, the foods we eat and avoid still play a key role in every single aspect of our health.

Below are some of the key oxygen boosting foods you can easily introduce into your diet:

Foods That Increase Nitric Oxide

Nitric oxide (NO) is a molecule that is naturally produced by the body, that plays a key role in vasodilation.

Simply put, nitric oxide relaxes the inner muscles of your blood vessels, causing them to widen and increase circulation. Your blood moves freely and can deliver oxygen and nutrients to your whole body more efficiently.

This is a known mechanism that many pre workout supplements target, by using ingredients that increase nitric oxide in the body.

Eating certain foods that are high in dietary nitrates, can help to increase your nitric oxide levels as well. One you eat these foods, your body can convert nitrates into nitric oxide.

Beetroot Juice

Beetroot Juice Oxygen

In addition to its high nitrates content, beetroot is rich in red and yellow pigments called betalains. According to research, betalains can increase nitric oxide availability in the blood and subsequently increase blood flow and oxygen delivery.[6]

Multiple human studies suggest that beetroot juice can increase nitric oxide in the body, promote oxygenation of muscle tissue and support mitochondrial function.[7]

And it doesn’t take long for you to feel the effect. One study that had recreational runners take beetroot juice for 3 days, found it was able to increase maximum oxygen uptake and peak speed.[8]

Other good sources of dietary nitrates include green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, lettuce and arugula.[9]

Raw Cacao & Dark Chocolate

Raw Cacao & Dark Chocolate

If you need a reason to add dark chocolate to your diet, here’s a good one. In addition to their many health benefits, the flavonoids in cacao can also increase nitric oxide in the body in as little as 4 days.[10]

Not all chocolate products are made the same, though.
Chocolate is made from the beans and seeds of the cacao tree. Most of the chocolates you see at the stores are heavily processed and have very little cacao content.

In its natural unprocessed form, raw cacao is a very good source of minerals, antioxidants, and other health promoting nutrients. So for best results, look for raw organic cacao.
A good example is raw chocolate lover bar.

Another easy option is to add raw cacao powder to your smoothies, nut milks or pre workout shakes. For an example of a homemade raw cacao recipe, see: Low Carb Chocolate Mousse.

Avoid Processed Carbs

Processed carbs create more carbon dioxide and as a result, less oxygen is available. These unhealthy food options can also lead to the infamous sugar crashes and make you feel tired and fatigued.

How to Increase Blood Oxygen Levels With Lifestyle

Lifestyle can play a big role in your blood oxygen levels. The more you can stay active and have a healthy lifestyle, the better your body will use oxygen. As they say, use it or lose it.

Here are a few evidence based methods you can do to increase oxygen:

Exercise & Oxygen Levels

Exercise & Oxygen

When you exercise, your lungs bring more oxygen into the body. This is essential in order to provide energy and remove carbon dioxide, the waste product created when you produce energy. The heart then pumps the oxygen to the muscles to support the exercise.[11]

And we are talking about a lot of oxygen. Depending on the exercise, the increase in oxygen levels can be 100-fold higher than resting values in the contracting skeletal muscle.[12]

With that said, the best exercise to increase blood oxygen levels may be different according to your fitness levels and personal preferences. Choose an activity that you love that you can easily incorporate in your daily routine so it is sustainable. If you have a medical condition, always speak with your doctor before.

Does Deep Breathing Increase Oxygen Blood?

Deep Breathing Increase Oxygen Blood

Looking for a safe and effective way to increase blood oxygen levels that doesn’t require you to eat, drink or even exercise?

Now I am not trying to encourage people not to be active, but the evidence on deep breathing potential benefits to our health and life is truly remarkable.

According to research, slow deep breathing techniques such as ones you may see in traditional yoga practice, can improve oxygen saturation in the blood, lower blood pressure, and even reduce anxiety.[13]

And here’s the big difference compared to exercise. Both exercise and deep breathing can increase blood oxygen levels. With deep breathing, however, you increase your oxygen saturation but not your heart rate.

Indoor Plants to Increase Indoor Oxygen

Indoor Plants to Increase Indoor Oxygen

Plants have the ability to remove carbon dioxide and return oxygen to the air. That’s basic photosynthesis, I know.
But did you know that certain plants can also remove toxins from the air?

In fact, NASA has done a lot of the research on plants use as a natural air filtration system to support the long-term space habitation.

I personally have at least 5 plants per room in my home. Beautiful and functional! Since each plant can remove different toxins, it is best to grow multiple species of houseplants.

If this is an option you want to explore, here are the top ten most effective indoor plants that purify the air according to research:[14]

(Thank you NASA!)

  • Areca palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)
  • Lady palm (Rhapis excelsa)
  • Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea erumpens)
  • Rubber plant (Ficus elastica)
  • Dracaena (Dracaena deremensis ‘Janet Craig’)
  • English ivy (Hedera helix)
  • Dwarf date palm (Phoenix roebelenii)
  • Ficus (Ficus maclellandii ‘alii’)
  • Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata bostoniensis)
  • Peace lily (spathiphyllum wallisii).

Herbs for Energy: Natural Clean Boost without Stimulants

Herbs for Energy
Heidi Moretti Author circleHeidi Moretti, MS, RD
Functional Medicine Nutritionist
Herbal Medicine Expert

Ginseng | Korean Ginseng | Ashwagandha | Maca | Rhodiola | Schisandra | Peppermint | Recipes

When seeking natural herbs for energy to fuel my day, I like to think beyond coffee. Don’t get me wrong. Coffee has its benefits and can offer a quick boost. The problem is that ongoing caffeine use takes its toll on our body’s sleep-wake cycle.

Eventually we end up feeling stressed out, exhausted and fatigued. Then we need to drink more coffee. It’s that famous caffeine vicious cycle so many people fall into.

Time to take a deeper dive into one of my favorite topics: natural herbs that promotes clean energy that lasts. No caffeine, no jitters, no crashes.

Adaptogenic Herbs for Energy

The herbs I’m going to mention here are adaptogenic herbs, meaning they can naturally help the body adapt to stress.

Adaptogenic herbs regulate energy in the body and improve the cellular energy transfer. Simply put, they allow the body better utilize oxygen, glucose, lipids and proteins to provide us with a steady supply of energy.[1]

The amount of research on these herbs is very impressive. It’s exciting how natural herbs have so much to offer to improve our energy, quality of life, health and wellbeing.

Last thing before we get started: while all the herbs I will mention are found to be both safe and effective, as with any nutritional changes, always check before use with your healthcare provider.

The King of Herbs for Energy: Ginseng

Best Herbs for Energy

I’m so impressed by ginseng health potential, I think it deserves a separate article, one article for each benefit. And there are many of them.

To summarize the evidence, ginseng has a long traditional use with thousands of studies that evaluated its different capabilities. In this article, we’ll focus on its benefits for energy, physical, and mental performance.

Traditional use:
Known as a general tonic, ginseng has been used to boost physical performance, enhance sexual function, encourage general vitality, and promote longevity.

Modern science:
According to research, ginseng and its active constituents, ginsenosides, can increase energy production and improve physical and mental performance. In In addition. ginseng has been extensively studied for its ability to promote healthy immune system function, support central nervous system health, control diabetes, and even benefit neurological disorders.[2]

The Three Types of Ginseng You Need to Know

Best Herbs for Energy Ginseng

Ginseng is a powerhouse herb for energy. Most people who try ginseng really love how it improves energy, stamina, and mental performance.

And the best part? Ginseng doesn’t have any caffeine. It won’t disrupt your sleep. In fact, according to some studies, ginseng can actually improve sleep.

In this article I will discuss the three most popular types of ginseng and their pronteital benefits for energy. All types are so common, chances are you see them under different names every day:

  • Korean Ginseng also known as asian ginseng, red ginseng, or panax ginseng
  • Ashwagandha also known as indian ginseng
  • Maca also known as peruvian ginseng.

While all these types are known to support energy, each have additional different capabilities. You can try each type by itself, or combine them together, as they tend to complement each other.

Ginseng Fuzion which includes all the three types of ginseng is a great example. The liquid drops make it really easy to use, so you can add it to your water, teas or other drinks while on the go.

See the recipes section in the end of the article for some easy to do recipes. No blender is required.

One more thing. Make sure to give ginseng some time to work. As in any natural herbs for energy, not everyone responds the same or need the same serving size. Start low, see how your body responds, and go from there. Especially if you are trying to reduce your coffee intake.

Korean Ginseng: Herb for Energy & Fatigue

Korean Ginseng Herbs for Energy Fatigue

The most common ginseng type used for energy is korean ginseng, also known as asian ginseng, red ginseng, or panax ginseng.

Several studies found that korean ginseng stimulates energy consumption in skeletal muscle and liver. In fact, due to its potent yet gentle effect on energy, the medical community considers korean ginseng as a promising treatment for fatigue in people with chronic illness.[3,4].

In addition to its ability to increase energy levels and reduce fatigue, ginseng may also support healthy weight loss. According to research, ginseng can promote fat metabolism, regulate blood sugar and reduce appetite.[5]

Ashwagandha: Herb for Energy, Endurance & Stress


My personal favorite of the adaptogen herbs is ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) also known as indian ginseng.

I often encourage my clients who battle with stress and fatigue to try this herb as a natural way to support their energy and calm their stress levels. They usually come back and report a resounding love for this wonderful plant.

Ashwagandha is a traditional ayurvedic medicine that has become very popular nowadays as a natural supplement for our stressful lifestyle.
Most people who try ashwagandha like its balancing effects. It can relax you and at the same time give you energy.

Due to its potential as a natural herb for energy, ashwagandha is a well studied herb as well. Several studies found that ashwagandha can improve endurance, cardiorespiratory fitness and sense of wellbeing. [5,6].

The benefits of ashwagandha go above and beyond energy. Additional human studies showed that ashwagandha was able to normalize the stress hormone cortisol, improve quality of sleep, reduce food cravings, and even strengthen the muscles.[7,8]

You can supplement ashwagandha as a whole root or in an extract form.  I personally like to have ashwagandha powder added to my tea or as a part of my coffee substitute recipes. You can also mix ashwagandha into your smoothies or foods.

Ashwagandha is a very clean and safe herb with very few side effects reported. With that said, there were a few individual cases of hyperthyroid. While it wasn’t clear if these were actually related to its use, it is always best to speak with your doctor before. Especially if you have hyperthyroid concerns.[9]

Maca: Herb for Energy & Mood

Maca Herbs for Energy

Perhaps most popular for its purported sexual enhancing effects, maca (Lepidium meyenii) is also known as a potent herb for energy. I like to combine maca together with ashwagandha due to their synergistic effect.

According to research, maca contains a group of carbohydrate molecules called polysaccharides (MPS1 and MPS2) that have anti-fatigue effects.[10]
A large clinical trial found that red and black maca enhanced energy and increased overall mood and sense of well-being.[11]

Maca is available in both powder or extract form. If you consider using maca powder, make sure it is either boiled or gelatinized for best absorption.

Fun fact about maca: this herb is actually a cruciferous vegetable!

Rhodiola rosea: Herb for Energy & Stress & Brain Function

Rhodiola Herbs for Energy

Any review of the best clean herbs for energy will never be complete without the adaptogen herb Rhodiola rosea. Originating in Russia and cold european climates, rhodiola has long been used to battle stress, reduce fatigue, boost energy and promote mental clarity.

On top of these traditional uses, rhodiola is another example of a natural herb for energy that is extensively studied. And I mean, a lot of studies. Rhodiola truly shines in its ability to boost energy, enhance exercise performance and improve cognitive function. Yes, we are talking about one herb that does all these together.

To give you an idea, here is a quick summary of some of the research:

Boost energy

Rhodiola supports natural energy by increasing AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), an enzyme that plays a role in cellular energy. In clinical studies, Rhodiola was able to effectively reduce fatigue related to stress.[12,13]

Improve exercise performance

Rhodiola rosea was able to improve exercise endurance performance as well as lung capacity in a clinical study. This includes an ability to reduce the perceived effort of exercise, making it seem easier.[14, 15]

In addition to its ability to boost exercise performance, Rhodiola can help the body better adapt to the exercise. Muscles had less damage and less lactate after exercise in male athletes who received Rhodiola.[16]

Improve cognitive function

A meta-analysis of 36 studies found that Rhodiola was able to optimize key neurotransmitters and improve learning and memory function.[17]

Schisandra: Tonic Herb for a Balanced Overall Energy

Schisandra Herbs for Energy

Next on the list of herbs for energy is one of chinese medicine famous tonic herbs, Schisandra. Also known as magnolia berry, this powerful adaptogen herb is recognized by its ability to promote a well balanced energy.

Several studies have suggested that schisandra can improve physical endurance and cognitive/behavioural functions, which can be linked to a general anti-aging potency. In fact, many researchers believe that schisandra can regulate mitochondrial biogenesis. Mitochondria are the parts in our cells responsible for making energy.[18]

In general, schisandra is a great herb to add into your daily routine.  Many people combine it with ashwagandha and rhodiola for a balancing overall effect. While schisandra is considered safe for most people, you may want to avoid if you have reflux, intracranial pressure, or epilepsy.

Fun fact: the name schisandra translates to five-flavor-fruit due to its unusual combination of five flavors.

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint Essential Oil

If you haven’t noticed how peppermint awakens the senses, you should give it a try.  Simply inhale its aroma and feel how it energizes you almost instantly!

Several studies actually explored the potential of this aromatic herb to boost energy. According to research, peppermint essential oil enhanced exercise performance and improved memory and focus.[19,20,21]

While a little bit of peppermint is good, more is not always better.  You only need to inhale a little bit of the essential oil and see how you feel. While everyone may respond different, if you find that peppermint does give you more energy, then you definitely want to have a small bottle of peppermint in your gym bag!

Peppermint sensitivity can occur in some people, so always use caution.

Herbs for Energy – Recipes

You can combine all these herbs for energy in your water, drinks, teas, smoothies, juices and even meals.

Ginseng Fuzion which I mentioned earlier makes it easy due to its liquid form. Here are some easy recipes you can use while on the go.

Try to mix 1 ml of Ginseng Fuzion with:

  • Pre workout:
    Beet juice or pomegranate juice to enhance exercise performance, increase blood flow and improve focus
  • Cutting down coffee?
    Mix with green tea (hot or cold) to support your body as you reduce your coffee intake
  • Coffee alternatives:
    Mix with chicory root
  • Post workout:
    Mix with coconut water, a vegan protein powder and BCAAs to help balance cortisol levels, hydrate your body and support protein synthesis and recovery
  • Gentle energy during cleansing:
    Cleansing doesn’t mean low energy. Mix Ginseng fuzion with your favorite detox tea.
    See: Candida Tea Recipe for an example of a detox antifungal tea recipe that includes green tea, coconut oil, cinnamon, ginger, and lemon.

Final Thoughts

Adaptogenic herbs offer a safe and effective natural way to power your day, improve your physical and mental performance, and help your body to better adapt to stress.

As in all herbs, the source matters. Make sure to choose reputable brands that stand behind the quality and purity of their herbs. Always check with your doctor before using. If you are pregnant, you should generally avoid herbs, since most herbs weren’t tested on pregnant women.

Vitamins For Liver Health: Evidence-Based Foods, Supplements & Recipes

Vitamins for Liver
Heidi Moretti AuthorHeidi Moretti, MS, RD
Functional Medicine Nutritionist
Detoxification Expert

Vitamin A | Vitamin B12 | Niacin | Vitamin D | Vitamin E | Omega 3 | Recipes

There is a backstory behind my interest in liver health, and more specifically, vitamins for liver health. The numbers of liver disease caused by poor diets are growing by the minute. I see SO many young people with liver disease more than ever before. I believe a lot of these can be avoided with healthy eating.

In this article, I will share with you several key vitamins for liver health, and the best ways to get them from foods, easy to make recipes, and when needed, supplements.

Top Vitamins For Liver Health

Several foods are specifically high in vitamins for liver health, that despite an impressive amount of research, are often missed from our plates. Many people don’t realize that some of these vitamins can go a long way to helping liver function.

Vitamin A & Beta Carotene

Liver Vitamin A & Beta Carotene

I am very excited to start the list of vitamins for liver health with vitamin A. Due to its importance and also since it’s quite easy to get from natural foods.

Both its active (Retinol) and carotene forms are needed, especially since some people can’t effectively convert carotenes into active vitamin A due to genetics. More on that below.

Vitamin A as Retinol

Active vitamin A, or retinol, comes from animal foods like cod liver oil, liver, fish, and meats. Since the liver is the main storage site of vitamin A, one of the best source of vitamin A comes from animal liver.

While eating high quality of animal liver is generally healthy, caution should be taken if you have a history of iron overload or high cholesterol. Always speak with your doctor before starting any new supplements or meal plans.

According to research, vitamin A can effectively reduce fat in the liver and help control inflammation. As in any of the other vitamins for liver health, the benefits don’t stop here. The body needs vitamin A to make hormones and increases immunity signaling that can ramp down inflammation, such as t-regulatory cells.[1,2]

Beta Carotene

β-Carotene is the orange-red pigment you often see in many vegetables and fruits that serve as the precursor for vitamin A. According to research, Beta carotene can protect liver tissues from toxins in the air, such as pollutants and unwanted chemicals.

You should always make sure to get carotene-rich foods on top of retinol, as it has additional functions and benefits.

Carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and winter squash are great ways to get more carotene in your diet.

Other sources of beta carotene include dark leafy greens such as kale, and spinach. You may wonder how come these greens are high in Beta carotene but are not orange or red? Since greens also contain high levels of chlorophyll (the green pigment), the dominant color of the plants ends up as dark green which  “covers” the orange or red pigment.

Problems with Retinol Conversion

Due to genetics, some people can’t effectively convert carotenoids into active vitamin A.[3]

I’m actually one of these people.  Right away I noticed improvements in my health when I started focusing on getting more retinol from my diet.

On that note, unlike beta-caretone (the body uses what is needed, and get rids of the excess), you have to be careful with retinol supplements, as you can overdo it.  It is always best to get it from natural food sources if possible. Make sure to choose cod liver, fish, and meats from clean, preferably wild sources that are low in mercury and heavy metals.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency & Liver Health

Vitamin B12 Liver Health

Vitamin B12 deficiency is something that I am continually encountering because of today’s food trends, poor gut health, and also medications that rob the body of vitamin B12.

Many people don’t realize that vitamin B12 is actually essential for a healthy liver. The research data suggests a connection between low levels of vitamin B12 and non alcoholic fatty liver.

On top of the importance of vitamin b12 to liver health, the body needs vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, protect nerves, and reduce inflammation; a problem in people who have liver damage. In fact, vitamin B12 can suppress the production of inflammatory compounds generated from our immune system called cytokines.[4]

Vitamin B12 Supplements

The most reliable sources of vitamin B12 are animal meats and fish. For this reason, vegans and vegetarians need to take B12 supplements and monitor their levels. The risks of low vitamin B12 levels, however, are not limited to vegans and vegetarians. So it is best to check your levels, and take supplements if needed.

When it comes to B12 supplements, the absorption of natural “active” forms of vitamin B12 such as Adenosylcobalamin and Methylcobalamin is shown to be much more effective than synthetic ones. In fact, one study found that the combination of these forms  was comparable to vitamin B12 injection.[5]

VEGANSAFE B-12 is a good example of a vitamin B12 supplement that uses these two natural active forms of vitamin B12. It is also one of the few vitamin B12 supplements out there that is certified organic.

Niacin (Vitamin B3) & Liver

Niacin (Vitamin B3) Liver

In addition to vitamin B12, it is important to meet all your B vitamins as they can also support liver health.

Niacin or vitamin B3, shines in this regard due to its ability to reduce cholesterol, triglycerides and fatty blood lipids. Studies found that people who eat more niacin rich foods have less liver fat.[6]

Good food sources of niacin include: animal liver (once again), chicken, turkey, and wild fish like wild salmon, and tuna.[7]

Vegetarian sources include portabella mushrooms, avocados, peanuts, rice and potatoes.  If you are vegan or vegetarian, make sure to check the amounts you get from your foods, to make sure you get enough niacin.

Vitamin D3 & Your Liver

Vitamin D Liver

Vitamin D3 is actually a hormone your body makes after sun exposure. Several studies have found a link between low levels of vitamin D3 to liver health. The researchers believe that vitamin D3 can help protect the liver from inflammation, insulin resistance and nonalcoholic fatty liver.[8]

Unfortunately, many people have low vitamin D levels due to our modern lifestyle that encourages working indoors, and once out, heavy sunscreen use. This is not just a problem in cold climates, and it is usually among the first vitamins checked in standard blood tests.

While the body primarily make vitamin D3 after sun exposure, you can still get some amounts from fatty fish such as wild salmon, and some types of mushrooms, depending on their growing conditions.

Vitamin D3 supplements are often taken considering how common vitamin D deficiency is. You should work with your doctor to test your levels and determine the vitamin D3 dose you need.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E Liver

Do you know that over 90 percent of Americans don’t get enough vitamin E from their diet?  For most people, this should be a super simple fix.  Just add in some of the following, one or more servings per day: avocados, raw almonds or sunflower seeds, and olive oil. Also try some clean source of almond milk for a vitamin E boost.

The researchers found that Vitamin E helps protect the liver cells due to its strong antioxidant effect. Also here, your body needs vitamin E for many other functions.

Omega 3 Fats & Liver Health

Omega 3 Fats & Liver Health

While not vitamins, omega 3 fats are a critical component for liver health, especially in reducing inflammation and fats in the liver.[9]

Wild fish are the most concentrated way to increase omega 3 fats in your diets, especially their long-chain DHA and EPA.

Make sure to choose small wild-caught fish from clean areas, such as wild alaskan salmon, to avoid high mercury content. Farmed fish are usually raised on a diet that is not intended for fish (such as corn), and as such, many health experts do not consider them as a healthy option.

For vegans, good sources of omega 3 include chia seeds, flaxseed and hemp seeds. Plant sources of Omega 3, however, have a low conversion rate to DHA & EPA. So if you follow a vegan or a vegetarian diet, you may want to take omega 3 supplement from algae oil.

Recipes to Support Nutrients & Vitamins for Liver Health

It’s easy to put together meals that support liver detox and maintain a healthy liver.  Below are some easy options. A major benefits of eating whole foods, is that they support your entire body.

Try to sit in the sun while enjoying the following recipes to soak up some liver healthy vitamin D.

Liver Health Salad Recipe

Liver Health Salad Recipe

Servings: 1 people
Author: Heidi Moretti, MS, RD


  • ½ cup fresh raw carrots, grated (beta carotene)
  • 2 cups organic spinach (beta carotene)
  • 1 medium avocado, sliced (vitamin E)
  • 1 oz raw sunflower seeds (vitamin E)
  • 3 oz wild alaskan salmon, grilled, or baked (niacin, vitamin B12, Vitamin D, omega 3 )
  • 1 cup broccoli, whole pieces, raw or lightly steamed (vitamin C, antioxidants that support liver health)
  • 5 small fresh cherry tomatoes optional


  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin (vitamin E)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Himalayan salt and pepper to taste


  • Combine all the ingredients on your plate.
  • Add Himalayan salt and pepper to taste.

Vegan Options:

  • Instead of the salmon, sprinkle on 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast and 1 ounces hemps seeds (omega 3).
  • Make sure to supplement vitamin B12 and vitamin D3

Liver Health Salad Recipe Nutritional Label

Liver Health Salad Recipe Nutrition Label

Bonus: Liver Health Guacamole

Liver Health Guacamole

So many dishes are served with processed bread or crackers. There are many healthy alternatives, however, that also include some of the key vitamins for liver health.

Use fresh carrots, celery or sweet potato slices instead of processed crackers using yummy liver friendly appetizers, and a healthy guacamole as a dip.

If you are a Guacamole fan, make sure to try the Detox Healthy Guacamole Recipe.

Read Next

Liver Detox Supplements & Herbs:  Learn about unique nutrients and herbs that have powerful natural liver detoxification properties.

Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie: Powerful Recipe For The Best Cleanse

heavy metal detox Smoothie
Heidi Moretti Author circleHeidi Moretti, MS, RD
Clinical Registered Dietitian
Detoxification Expert

Recipe | Nutrition Label | Research

Heavy metals are good if they are rock bands, but they have no place in our bodies!  All kidding aside, I am often surprised at how little the medical community speaks about heavy metals, because over the course of a lifetime, they can take a toll on the cardiovascular system, brain, nervous system, digestive tract, skin health, and liver function.

When I was in graduate school, the idea of mercury was obscure, and we only thought that people who ate swordfish had to worry about it.  Today, the concern for heavy metal toxicity has grown because of pollution in the oceans, in the air, and in the soils has grown exponentially across the globe.

In this article, I will share with you several evidence-based healthy, simple, natural and safe steps we can all take to begin to gently remove heavy metals from our body.

Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie Recipe

Below is my favorite heavy metal detox smoothie recipe, using a combination of foods and herbs known for their heavy metal detox abilities, such as moringa, chlorella, cilantro, probiotic foods, and selenium-rich foods.

I will also discuss the research behind the ingredients I use including different options to help you tailor the smoothie recipe to your own preferences.

heavy metal detox Smoothie
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Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie Recipe

My favorite heavy metal detox smoothie recipe, using a combination of foods and herbs known for their heavy metal detox abilities, such as moringa, chlorella, cilantro, probiotic foods, and selenium-rich foods.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie
Cuisine: American, Indian
Keyword: Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie
Servings: 1 people
Calories: 530kcal
Author: Heidi Moretti, MS, RD


  • ¼ cup wild blueberries
  • 2 cups almond milk unsweetened, plain
  • 1 ml moringa drops
  • 2 nuts brazil nuts
  • ½-2 grams Chlorella around 5-10 capsules, start with the lowest serving size
  • 1 ounce cilantro
  • 2 whole kiwi
  • 1 ounce chia seeds
  • 1 medium banana optional
  • 8 fl oz kombucha optional


  • Soak chia seeds in two cup of almond milk overnight, store in the refrigerator
  • Blend all the ingredients together until smooth.
  • Add 1 ml moringa drops
  • Drink in the morning on an empty stomach


Calories: 530kcal

Other options I often do:

  • Simply mix chlorella into my kombucha drink
  • Add chlorella and cilantro in my other smoothies recipes.

Related Recipes: Overnight colon cleanse
Related Supplements: Organic selenium,  Zeotrex, Moringa extract drops.

Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie Nutrition Label

Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie Nutrition Label

Heavy Metal Detox Ingredients: Summary of Research

Below is a summary of the ingredients used in the recipe, and their main benefits for heavy metal detox.

  • Wild blueberries: (Anthocyanin)
    Are rich in anthocyanin (purple pigment) known to protect the body from heavy metals, including neuroprotective benefits.
  • Moringa:
    Different parts of the moringa plant are reported to have the ability to remove heavy metals from the body, and to reduce their oxidative stress.[1]
    Moringa extract drops make it easier to use in smoothies and juices.
  • Brazil nut:  (Selenium)
    One brazil nut (5 grams) provides over 150% of your daily value of selenium, an important mineral known to bind and detox heavy metals in the body.
  • Chlorella:
    Has the ability to bind to heavy metals, and is also a concentrated source of nutrients, including chlorophyll, another potent natural detoxifier.
  • Cilantro:
    Known ability to bind to heavy metals.
  • Chia seeds: (Fiber)
    Very high in fiber to help eliminate heavy metals and promote healthy bowel movements.
  • Kombucha: (probiotics)
    Probiotic many healing benefits also includes detox heavy metals (see research section below). I know this may sound like a strange combination, but kombucha actually taste good in this smoothie!
  • Almond milk: (Vitamin E)
    Rich in vitamin E, which may help chelate lead.[2]
  • Kiwi: (Vitamin C)
    Rich in vitamin C, which also may chelate lead, by itself or with vitamin E.[3]
  • Banana: (Fiber, taste)
    Added due to its fiber content, and also to improve flavor and creaminess.

Chlorella for Heavy Metal Detox

Chlorella for Heavy Metal Detox

Chlorella is a powerful single-celled algae shown in studies to bind to toxins and heavy metals in water, and also inside our body.

According to research, chlorella acts like a sponge to heavy metals such as mercury and can “soak them up” so they can be eliminated with the stool.

In fact, several studies found that chlorella can bind to heavy metals in people who have silver fillings.  It may even remove mercury from nerve tissue by eliminating this harmful substance through the bowel movements and urine.  The benefits of chlorella aren’t just for mercury either; some evidence suggests it may be helpful in removing other dangerous heavy metals like cadmium from the body.

Not only does chlorella bind with toxic metals, it also provides healthy nutrients for the body like iron, chlorophyll, and protein. As a natural way to improve health, there isn’t much to lose by adding some chlorella into your daily life to gently help the body remove unwanted metals.

I use a daily dose of chlorella, at about 1 -3 tsp per day in my smoothie.  A little bit goes a long way!  Start with ½-1 tsp per day and work your way up.  If you add too much, you may experience some digestive side effects or a healing crisis. Remember, detox is all about restoring balance. It’s not a sprint, but rather a part of an ongoing healthy lifestyle.

Cilantro’s Powerful Effects Against Heavy Metals

Cilantro’s Powerful Effects Against Heavy Metals

Another easy step anyone can do to help the body clear heavy metals is to eat cilantro regularly.  This relative of parsley has the ability to safely remove heavy metals from the body too.

While we only have about a dozen case reports where cilantro has been used for heavy metal toxicity, all these cases showed impressive improvements.  The case reports even visualized a reduction in heavy metal content in the body by observing MRI’s. Animal studies also show that cilantro can safely remove lead from the body.

It is still not clear how exactly cilantro works to detox heavy metals, but since it’s safe and also delicious, this is an easy add-in to your daily meals.  In fact, I’m going to buy some more for dinner tonight!

A great way to have cilantro is to chop it up and add it to salads, add fresh cilantro as a condiment to soups, make a cilantro pesto, and add to your green smoothies.

Zinc & Selenium for Heavy Metal Detox

Zinc & Selenium for Heavy Metal Detox

Both zinc and selenium are essential minerals that can also naturally bind to heavy metals and safely remove them from the body.

Unfortunately, with selenium, our soils content affects how much selenium our food will have.  For example, the region I live in is very low in selenium, so if I am to eat local foods, I better consider taking selenium supplements routinely. People who work in agriculture are very aware of this because their livestock will die without enough selenium. For humans, an average daily dose of selenium is around 100-200 mcg.

The required amount of zinc per day varies, depending on your body size, the form it comes in your diet, and more.  For example, zinc in plant foods is poorly absorbed, while it is well absorbed from fish and meats. Also, many medications make zinc absorption poor, such as stomach medications, blood pressure pills and others.  In these cases, it is important to consider zinc supplementation. On average, a normal daily amount of zinc is around 10-15 mg.

As in many essential minerals, more is not always better. So no need to get overboard with zinc and selenium. Try to get your daily supply from whole foods such as oysters, wild salmon, and brazil nuts, and consider supplementation if needed.

Probiotic Foods & Heavy Metals

Probiotic Foods & Heavy Metals

Did you know that fermented foods like kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir, and kimchi can help remove heavy metals from the body too?

According to research, certain type of bacteria found in these foods have the ability to bind to toxic metals in the gut, so they can be eliminated with the stool.

I love fermented foods and won’t go a day without them in my diet.  I feel that anyone struggling with heavy metal toxicity symptoms should do the same.

While you can supplement probiotics too, the complexity of fermented foods supports many aspects of digestive health and provides healthy polyamines for the body. The only caution I would give here is to people who are sensitive to tyramines or need to avoid tyramines.

Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie – How Often?

All the ingredients in this heavy metal detox smoothie support your body in a natural, safe, and gente way. You can drink it regularly, as a part of a healthy lifestyle to promote health and well-being.

Liver Detox Supplements & Herbs: Best Evidence Based Natural Options

Liver Detox Supplements Herbs
Heidi Moretti AuthorHeidi Moretti, MS, RD
Functional Medicine Nutritionist
Detoxification Expert

Glutathione | NAC | Milk thistle | Dandelion | Chanca Piedra | Turmeric

In our last article, we talked about the top detox foods that can help enhance your body’s natural toxin filters organs. But what about detox supplements?

The science which I am about to share, is actually very exciting. There are unique nutrients and herbs shown in many studies to have powerful natural detoxification properties, some, can even help the body to repair damaged tissues.

On that note, detox supplements are extremely popular, but not all of them are effective or even safe. Something to consider before you go to Walmart and have your cart loaded with dozens of cleansing shakes and detox pills.

In this supplements detox review, we will focus on the primary organ of detoxification, the liver. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter, so you also get the next articles which will cover other key body systems and detox supplements for the kidneys, colon, heavy metals, candida yeast, parasites and others.

My Top Liver Detox Supplements (Evidence-Based)

Top Liver Detox Supplements

The liver converts toxic substances into harmless elements or makes sure they are released in the bowels so they can be eliminated throughout bowel movements. Certain detox supplements and herbs are shown to support these liver functions including the regeneration of new liver cells.

Important: before you go into cellular or liver detox, always make sure your gut is working properly, so that the released toxins will be eliminated by your digestive system effectively and will not reabsorbed back into the circulation. This can be achieved by a healthy diet and several supplements or herbs.

To learn more, see: gut cleanse.

Here are the top detox supplements that are supported by science to help cleanse your liver:

Glutathione (GSH)

Glutathione for Liver Detox Supplements

Glutathione is one of the most potent antioxidants and cellular detoxifier found in virtually every cell in the body. Specifically to its detox affect, Glutathione has the ability to bind to water-soluble toxins, so they are marked or targeted to be removed by the body.[1]

Due to its key role in detoxification, the science on Glutathione is extremely extensive. According to the research, glutathione can help neutralize toxins known as persistent organic pollutants, or POPs, such as dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), lindane, DDT.[2]

Some evidence even suggests that Glutathione can help reduce liver damage due to alcohol.[3]

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)

Another liver detoxification superstar, NAC is an amino acid used by the body to make Glutathione. NAC has long been used as a detoxification therapy for acetaminophen toxicity (Tylenol).[4]

In case you are wondering why you should be taking the precursor to Glutathione, rather than Glutathione itself, here’s why:

According to research, oral supplementation of Glutathione alone does not adequately restore GSH levels. It is rapidly broken down by the liver and intestines. Oral NAC administration however, was shown to increase cysteine levels, ultimately leading to increases in Glutathione.

Even more, due to its acetylated form, NAC can effectively penetrate the blood–brain barrier and raise brain Glutathione, which may provide neuroprotective benefits.[5]

Not surprisingly, you can see many liver detox supplements protocols that combine both NAC and Glutathione.

Use of NAC in Prevention of Hangover Symptoms

Use of NAC in Prevention of Hangover Symptoms

Due to its potency as a natural liver detox supplement, NAC has gained a reputation as a home remedy for hangover prevention, with an abundant research data to support its effectiveness.[6,7]

With that being said, I would personally be very careful regarding this use, as it may lead to you drinking more alcohol.

These hangover signs occur for a reason. It’s your body’s way of telling you, “hey, I have had enough of this toxic drink.” You feel really bad and hopefully next time, your brain will remind you that. So you drink less.

I rather you taking NAC or other detox supplements to promote your over health, rather than supporting unhealthy lifestyle choices. It’s like smoking and taking antioxidants to correct the damage.

Liver Detox Herbs

Along with glutathione and NAC, there are several herbs well studied for their potent natural liver detoxification effect:

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum)

Milk thistle Liver Detox Herbs

Milk thistle is a beautiful purple thistle in the Asteraceae family of plants. This plant is well-known in the detox community as being an important herb to include in any liver detox or liver support protocol.

The evidence of the use of milk thistle for liver health takes us back over 2000 years ago across several cultures around the world. The Greco Romans were using milk thistle for both gallbladder and liver problems. Fast forward to the 19th century, early research done by German scientists already demonstrated milk thistle health benefits.

Most of the modern research on milk thistle focus on its active components collectively known as silymarin. Several studies have found that silymarin may act as a toxin blockade agent by inhibiting binding of toxins to the liver cell membrane receptors.

Due to its antioxidant effect, silymarin was also shown to reduce free radical production and lipid peroxidation as well.

Multiple studies found that silymarin reduced liver injury caused by acetaminophen, carbon tetrachloride, radiation, iron overload, alcohol, and other toxins.

The research also show promise in using silymarin as a natural alternative for alcoholic liver disease, acute and chronic viral hepatitis and toxin-induced liver diseases.[8]

As in any medicinal use of a natural ingredient, much more studies are needed until a final approach will be formalized by the medical community. Still, when it comes to natural supplements and liver detox herbs, milk thistle is one of the most studied option, that also show the most promise.

Fun fact: Some research suggests that milk thistle derived extract can be helpful to neutralize poisoning from death cap mushrooms by reducing liver damage.[9]

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Dandelion liver cleanse herbs

A great compliment to milk thistle that may also help reduce toxins in the liver and restore healthy liver tissue, is a temperate climate flowering weed called dandelion.

Traditional use of dandelion for liver health goes back to Arabia in the 10th century, where it was used to treat several liver complaints, and as a diuretic, nausea and vomiting conditions in India and Europe.

Dandelion is also extensively studied. According to research, dandelion may help protect the liver by reducing several inflammatory compounds stimulating glutathione production, and increasing antioxidant enzymes in the liver as well, including superoxide dismutase, and catalase. [10,11,12]

Even more interesting, when dandelion was given to mice exposed to a toxin called carbon tetrachloride, dandelion was shown to have a protective effect and also promoted healing of the liver tissues.[13]

How to Use Dandelion to Detox Your Liver

Depending where you live, you may see fresh dandelion leaves and even dry roots in your local store.

Many people find the flavor of dandelion greens bitter, so adding olive oil and lemon can help improve the taste of the dandelion greens. You can also may a detox tea with the leaves or the roots. Add a bit of honey or stevia to improve taste.

Dandelion is also highly available in liver detox supplements and herbal formulas, usually with milk thistle and other liver cleansing herbs.
A good example can be found here.

Always make sure to use organic dandelion to make sure it isn’t sprayed with chemicals.

Chanca Piedra (Phyllanthus niruri)

Liver Cleansing Herbs Chanca Piedra

With a long traditional use for liver and kidney health that is also backed up by science, this exotic tropical plant is a very popular natural option that may benefit most liver detox programs.

Also here, the science is very promising. According to research, Chanca Piedra can support normal liver function by regulating fibrosis, LDL cholesterol, insulin and arterial plaque.[14]

In fact, some studies even evaluated Chanca Piedra as a natural alternative for the treatment of hepatitis B and viral hepatitis.[15,16,17,18]

Similarly to the milk thistle research, no conclusive finding or recommendations were made by the medical community.
Still enough evidence however, to consider Chanca Piedra as a natural safe option for your liver detox supplements stack.

Fun fact: due to its long traditional use to treat and prevent kidney stone, Chanca piedra is well known as “stonebreaker”. Most natural kidney detox supplements have it as one of the main ingredients. Will cover it in more details in our next article on kidney cleanse.

Turmeric rhizome (Curcuma longa rhizome)

turmeric and curcumin

While most known for its ability to help with joint pain and inflammation, turmeric has a long traditional use for detoxification purposes, that is also backed up by science.

The science on turmeric and liver health is quite fascinating and has shown to be very promising. According to research, curcumin, the active component in turmeric, can improve liver enzymes and reduce liver injury from various toxins, even with patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver.[19,20,21]

The data suggests it is turmeric’s potent antioxidants effect that can help to suppress oxidative stress in the liver. Many researchers see turmeric and curcumin as potential therapeutic antioxidant agents for the treatment of various liver disease.

Of course, we’ll have to see much more studies before the medical community will have any recommendation regarding the use of turmeric for liver health. In the meanwhile, as a natural alternative, turmeric and curcumin are definitely one of the most powerful natural liver detox supplements and herbs.

Fun fact: Turmeric has been used traditionally to neutralize snake venom, including the deadly King Cobra, potent detoxification, indeed.[22]

How to Use Turmeric to Detox your Liver

Adding turmeric to spice your meals or shakes is a great way to enjoy some of his health benefits, although a common issue with turmeric and curcumin, is they have a poor absorption and bioavailability in the body. A known traditional remedy to address these that is also backed up by science is to consume turmeric with black pepper or fats.

In fact, according to research, piperine, the major active component of black pepper can increase the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000%[23].

Another popular option shown to enhance the absorption of curcumin, is to combine it together with phospholipids. Both options are commonly seen in many turmeric and curcumin supplements.


As you can see, there are several liver detox supplements and herbs that can help support healthy liver function, reduce liver fats, increase antioxidants, and even heal liver tissue.

While these all shown to be very effective, you will get much more benefits if you follow a healthy diet. A good example is my article on the Best 8 Detox Foods.

As with any natural program, make sure to check with your healthcare provider because you use these supplements and herbs, especially since some of these can interfere with medications.

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