Food is a medicine that heals our bodies—if we’re choosing the right things to eat.
Some of the food we put on our table may beundermining our health in ways we don’t even realize. Many of the fruits and vegetables in our markets are sprayed with chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and most meats are pumped up with antibiotics, hormones or fungicides. When we ingest these chemicals, they can have a harmful effect on the body. The problem with many of the foods we eat goes beyond the meat and produce departments. Just take a stroll through the rest of the grocery store and you’ll see that most of what’s stocking the shelves bears no resemblance to food grown on a farm. A lot of it has been processed—irradiated, bleached or heated—to the point that it’s stripped of the life-giving enzymes, vitamins, fiber and minerals that our bodies need to thrive. Our bodies have a hard time digesting processed flours, sugars, oils and salts, so that food ends up clogging our intestines, severely impairing our bodies’ ability to efficiently absorb nutrients and void waste.
To take responsibility for our health, we have to become more aware of the food we eat. We need to be detectives when it comes to reading food labels and learn how to identify the ingredients that undermine our health. Don’t automatically trust a “natural” sticker that’s been slapped on a package in the store. If we find out where our food comes from, we can better appreciate the impor- tance of eating whole, organic foods.
Food that’s grown wild on this Earth, that hasn’t been genetically engineered, processed or tampered with, is good for us. Everything else is questionable.
What Exactly is Detoxification?
Detoxification refers to the process of eliminating toxins from your body.
There are two major types of toxins that your body accumulates over time:
Environmental Toxins: Sometimes called exogenous (made outside your body) toxins, environmental toxins include all the chemicals and pollutants that you're exposed to through air, water, and food.
Common environmental toxins include pesticides, herbicides, prescription and over-the-counter medications, carbon monoxide, triclosan, bisphenol A, phthalates, and volatile organic compounds.
Metabolic Toxins: Sometimes called endogenous (made inside your body) toxins, metabolic toxins are produced by each of your cells as they go about their everyday metabolic processes. Metabolic toxins can also be produced by microorganisms that act on incompletely digested food in your digestive tract.
It's normal for your cells to contain some toxins at all times. After all, your cells need to manufacture energy on an ongoing basis, and the manufacturing process results in waste (toxin) production.
Toxins only present a challenge to your health when they accumulate to a point where they interfere with cellular function - we call this state toxicosis.
The first effect of toxicosis is disruption of cellular function. If a group of cells experience significant toxicosis, specific health challenges develop, examples being thyroiditis, hepatitis, prostatitis, unexplained chronic fatigue, and problems with vision. If toxicosis persists, it's possible for the DNA in your cells to become damaged, which may lead to abnormal cellular growth of the affected cells.
While the majority of chronic health challenges are caused by more than one factor, I hope that it's clear that allowing your body to accumulate toxins over the long haul can result in you developing any one of the chronic diseases that are plaguing people in industrialized countries. To be clear, toxicosis can contribute to coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes mellitus, respiratory illness, kidney disease, liver dysfunction, autoimmune illness, hormonal imbalances, skin conditions, and most types of cancer.
THE DIRTY DOZEN
Eliminating the following things from our diets can have a dramatic and positive impact on our health:
■ Bleached, refined flours
■ Refined sugars, high-fructose corn syrup
■ Table salt
■ Trans fats and refined oils (including processed corn, canola, sunflower, safflower and vegetable oils)
■ Meats treated with hormones or antibiotics; farmed fish
■ Foods sprayed with pesticides and herbicides
■ Genetically modified foods
■ Dairy products
■ Additives such as preservatives, nitrates, and artificial flavorings and colorings
■ Fast foods and fried foods
■ Sodas and juices with added sugars
■ Tap water
The Dirty Dozen—especially in combination with stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol, tobacco or drugs—elevate acid levels in our bodies. That’s a problem, because health and disease are directly tied to pH levels in our system: When the body is in an acidic state, it stops functioning properly and disease can take root, So one important function of a cleanse is to bring the body’s chemistry back into balance. The 14-point pH scale measures the alkalinity or acidity of a solution—a pH level of 1 to 7 is considered acidic, and a pH level above 7 is considered alkaline. With the exception of the stomach, large intestine, skin and female reproductive organs, the rest of our organs and systems function optimally in a slightly alkaline state. If the body senses that any of its internal fluids (blood, lymphatic fluid, bile, cerebrospinal fluid, etc.) are too acidic, it takes action to restore an alkaline state. If our diets aren’t providing the alkaline minerals required to restore balance in these fluids, the body will leech the minerals from our organs, muscles, ligaments and bones. The part of the body that has sacrificed those minerals then becomes acidic and vulnerable to illness. To reduce acid levels in our system, we need to (1) reduce acid-forming foods from our diet; (2) clear acidic, undigested food from the intestines; (3) fl ush toxins from the body; (4) add alkaline foods and drinks to neutralize acidity; and (5) relax the body and mind. When we do that, we can reduce congestion, infl ammation and pain throughout our bodies, invigorate ourselves and increase our flexibility. We can get to a place where we’re able to suck every juicy nutrient from the food we’re eating and maintain an alkaline balance in the body.
Over-the-counter, prescription and recreational drugs drive up acid levels in the body. In addition, some drugs—such as antibiotics—kill the flora (good bacteria) in the intestine that aid in digestion, hindering our ability to break down the food we eat. When we eat an alkaline diet, it boosts our immunity and restores a state of balance in the body. Many people find they’re less reliant on these acid- producing, digestion- unfriendly medications.
Acid or Alkaline?
A food can be acidic in its natural state but become alkaline when it’s digested—and visa versa. That’s because digestion oxidizes food—essentially burning it up. Th e by- product of that intestinal fire typically has a different acid or alkaline level from the food we’ve popped into our mouths. For instance, a lemon is acidic in its raw state. However, once eaten, it breaks down into carbon dioxide and water and leaves behind alkaline minerals such as sodium, potassium and calcium. On the other hand, animal products, such as meat or dairy products, can leave behind acidic compounds such as phosphates, sulfates and nitrates.
An Acid State of Mind
There’s more affecting our pH levels than the food we eat and stimulants or drugs we take. Our thoughts and feelings also play a big part in how acidic our body is. When we’re stressed out, angry, unhappy, depressed or focused on negative thoughts, that actually increases the levels of acid in our body. On the flip side, when we’re happy, relaxed, positive and at peace, we reduce our acid levels. So an important part of a cleanse is taking time to unplug from our usual routines and making time for meditation to rest and clear our minds.
WHAT’S YOUR pH?
You can test your pH by buying pH strips at your local health-food store, but another option is to take note of any symptoms you may be experiencing. There are several telltale signs for how acidic or alkaline your body might be. Symptoms of being too acidic include stiff joints, arthritis, muscle tension, stress headaches, addiction to stimulants, itchy skin or acne, anger, a short-temper and chronic negative thoughts. Check in with yourself to see if your body is trying to tell you it’s time to “drop acid.”
Clear Your Body, Free Your Mind and Spirit
A good cleanse reboots our whole being. It provides a magnifi ed awareness, a fresh perspective, spiritual renewal and physical rejuvenation. When we get rebalanced, we get clearer about who we are and who we’re committed to being. That’s the miraculous and healing power of a cleanse.
Types of Body Cleansing
There are different types of body cleansing to remove the toxins from the body such as colon cleanse, ion cleanse, parasite cleanse, Candida albicans cleanse and liver, gallbladder cleanse. You can use some natural methods for detoxifications such as water fasting, minimal eating, juice fasting, detox diets, herbal detoxification, detoxification baths and cleaning shakes. You can also use the cleansing supplement packages that contain vitamins, minerals, fibers and herbs.
Colon can be called as body’s sewer system. If it gets blocked, it leads to constipation, stomach pain and digestive problems. It gives rise toweight gain, low energy level, digestion problems and many other health problems. There is a production of certain gases, which are harmful for the body. If you are facing the problems such as bad breath, constipation, bloating, frequent fatigue, low energy, candida infection, frequent mood swings, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and skin problems, then you need to consult your doctor. These signs indicate a toxic colon. The doctor cleanses the colon by inserting a pipe inside the body and flushing warm water inside the body. You can also do the colon cleansing with certain herbs and detoxification products that are available in the market. While cleansing the colon, you should replenish the good bacteria, which protect the flora balance.
Ion Footbath Detoxification
It is one of the most relaxing methods of detoxification. You have to sit on a chair and dip your feet into the water container. The toxins present in your body get attached to the positive and negative ions in the warm water that flows under your feet.
The parasites such as flukes, pinworms, roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms reproduce very rapidly and feed on valuable nutrients in the body. Some parasites travel through bloodstream and cause damage to other body organs such as brain and stomach. Therefore, an elimination of parasites is very essential. The parasite cleanses contain some natural herbs such as garlic, wormwood, black walnut and goldenseal.
A detox or cleansing diet acts in two ways: it cleanses the body by halting the generation of toxins and it helps detoxification by flushing out the toxins present in the body. You can choose from several types of detox diets. It is very essential to eat only non-processed, organic foods. The detox diet consists of fresh, organically grown fruits and vegetables such as cauliflowers, onions, broccoli, beets, artichokes, red and green vegetables. All forms of rice such as rice crackers, rice cakes and rice pasta are included in the detox diet. Brown rice is generally more preferred. You can also use the grains including millet, quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth instead of rice. The beans such as green peas, kidney beans, adzuki beans, garbanzo beans and pinto beans are easy to digest. Flaxseed, sesame seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds and cashews are also recommended. The preferable beverages include green tea, herbal tea, water, rice milk, lemon water, unsweetened vegetable and fruit juices, etc. You should avoid the foods such as products containing high amount of sugar, dairy products such as milk, cream, butter, etc, wheat and wheat products, coffee, alcohol and high-fat foods.
Various herbs can be effectively used for the body cleansing process. For the liver cleansing, the herbs such as angelica, goldenrod, chamomile, black cohosh and parsley are used. The herbs such as uva ursi, cedar berries, marshmallow, dong quai and ginger are used for the kidney cleansing. The lungs can be detoxified using Chinese ephedra, senega, mullein, LH Comfrey and slippery elm. These herbs can be used in the form of herbal tea, extracts or powders.
Benefits of Body Cleansing
People undergoing detoxification have a feeling of well-being. The most remarkable benefit of body cleansing is weight loss. During detoxification program, there is a significant reduction in food intake, which helps to lose excess calories. You will also experience a tremendous increase in your energy level after body cleaning, as your body gets rid of all the toxins and pollutants. You will notice an improved mental clarity, clear skin, improved sleep and a positive attitude towards life. Some of the long-term benefits of body cleansing are a reduced risk of environmental illnesses, reduced risk of cancer and reduction of chronic illnesses.
Side Effects of Body Cleansing
During the body cleansing process, you may experience sore muscles, headache, insomnia, cranky moods and weakness. People undergoing detoxification feel a bit dizzy or lightheaded due to lesser amount of food intake. Anxiety and restlessness are the common reactions to body cleansing. Although there are some side effects of body cleaning, they are temporary. It is a safe and beneficial method to ensure an improved health. However, before undergoing the detoxification process, you need to consult a physician.
Disclaimer: This website is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regime, it is advisible to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.