CLEANING HOUSE – BY REGULARLY DETOXIFYING
by Tammera J. Karr, PhD
An effective detoxification program will not ask you to make any dramatic lifestyle and dietary changes. Healthier food and lifestyle choices are generally made on a subconscious level. Once the body begins to eliminate toxins, it will naturally start craving foods that will nourish it at an optimum level. That said, there are undoubtedly many things you can do to maximize the benefits of the cleanse you’re on from day one, and certain foods will help maintain the benefits of the detox for much longer.
A detox diet is a short-term diet, often 3- to 21 days, focused on removing toxins from the body. Although detoxification is ongoing in the body, toxins and stress prevent us from doing it optimally, which eventually affects our health. A detox diet allows our bodies to focus on self-healing, with the goal being to raise energy levels, stimulate digestive health, clear headaches, remove bloating, improve concentration and mood, avoid getting allergies, regain our natural ability to ward off colds and flu and prevent premature aging and disease.
In natural health writings from the 1900’s, it was common to see articles on digestive cleansing with tonics, enemas, fasting, and herbs. Detoxification has been practiced for centuries by many cultures around the world — including Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine.
The sad but undeniable truth is many are living in an environment toxic to their bodies, take a look at the following information:
- Over 69 million Americans live in areas exceeding smog standards.
- Most drinking water contains over 700 chemicals, including heavy metals.
- Over 3,000 chemicals are added to processed food.
- 10,000 chemicals in the form of solvents, emulsifiers, and preservatives are used in food processing and storage.
- U.S. chemical companies hold licenses to make 75,000 chemicals for commercial use; the federal government registers an average of 2,000 newly synthesized chemicals each year.
- The federal government lists 5,000 compound in cosmetics; 1,010 chemicals used in 11,700 consumer products; and 500 chemicals used as active ingredients in pesticides.
- In 1998 U.S. industries manufactured 6.5 trillion pounds of 9,000 different chemicals,
- In 2000 U.S. industries reported dumping 7.1 billion pounds of 650 industrial chemicals into our air and water.
- Chemical companies are not required to tell the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) how their compounds are used or monitor where their products end up in the environment. Neither does U.S. law require chemical companies to conduct basic health and safety testing of their products either before or after they are commercialized.
- Eighty percent of all applications to produce a new chemical are approved by the U.S. EPA with no health and safety data; eighty percent of these are approved in three weeks.
How does detoxification work?
Basically, detoxification means cleaning the blood. It does this by removing impurities from the blood in the liver, where toxins are processed for elimination. The body also eliminates toxins through the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymph, and skin. However, when this system is compromised, impurities aren’t properly filtered, and every cell in the body is adversely affected.
Many health ailments–headaches, exhaustion, and muscle cramps–are coming from toxicity. Toxins have been implicated in everything from increased risk of Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease to mental retardation and cancer.
A detox program can help the body’s natural cleaning process by:
- Resting organs through fasting;
- Stimulating the liver to eliminate toxins;
- Promoting elimination through the intestines, kidneys, and skin;
- Improving circulation;
- Refuel the body.
10 ways to detoxify
- Eat plenty of fiber, including brown rice and organically-grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Beets, radishes, artichokes, cabbage, broccoli, spirulina, chlorella, and seaweed.
- Cleanse and protect the liver by taking dandelion root, burdock, milk thistle, and drinking green tea.
- Vitamin C helps produce glutathione, a liver compound that drives away toxins.
- Drink at least two quarts of filtered water daily.
- Breathe deeply to allow oxygen to circulate more completely through your system.
- Think positive thoughts.
- Practice hydrotherapy by taking a very hot shower for five minutes, allowing the water to run on your back. Follow with cold water for 30 seconds. Do this three times, and then get into bed for 30 minutes.
- Sweat in a sauna to eliminate wastes through perspiration.
- Dry-brush your skin or try detox foot spas/foot baths to remove toxins through your pores.
- Exercise, yoga, qigong, mini-tramps or jump-roping are good. One hour every day.
Eliminate alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, refined and artificial sugars, fake fats found in margarine, and unfiltered tap water all of which act as toxins in the body and are obstacles to detoxifying. Also, minimize use of chemical-based household cleaners and personal health care products (cleansers, shampoos, deodorants, and toothpastes), and substitute natural alternatives.
Stress triggers your body to release stress hormones into your body affecting every metabolic pathway necessary for detoxification. While these hormones can provide the “adrenaline rush” to win a race or meet a deadline, in large amounts, they create toxins and slow down detoxification enzymes in the liver. Consider cutting out the news at dinner and bedtime add music that is around 60 beats per minute to calm the central nervous system throughout the day, all these are simple and effective ways to relieve stress.
People who are exhausted with low blood pressure may have adrenal weakness or fatigue. A detox diet is usually done after the adrenal glands have been replenished.