Spring Cleaning Series #5

Spring Cleaning YOU!!!
This week I will be sharing information on detoxification.

So many questions about detoxification.  Do you really need to? How often? How many days? Do you juice cleanse? Do you follow a specific ‘detox diet’? Do you fast? Do I really have to give up coffee?

Let’s discuss the big question first. Do you need to cleanse/detox?

Yes, we all do. Everyone needs to cleanse/detox. It is nearly impossible to avoid toxins, even the most well balanced diet and green living person can benefit from some form of cleansing or detoxification.

To begin we need a short science class:

The body has 5 pathways to remove waste and toxins.

  1. GASTROINTESTINAL~ This consists of your liver, gallbladder, colon, and GI tract.
  2. URINARY~ Kidney, bladder, and urethra.
  3. RESPIRATORY~ Lungs, bronchial tubes, throat, sinuses, and nose.
  5. SKIN & DERMAL~ Sweat, sebaceous glands, and tears.

When these waste removal systems are working well and your immune system is strong, your body can handle basic, everyday exposure to toxins and remove them effectively.

Let’s discuss basic, everyday exposure.  This does not mean what it used to. Our water is full of chemicals, our food is full of chemicals, our air is full of chemicals…. see where I am going with this?  Alcohol in hand sanitizer, the chemicals we clean with, chemicals in our face and body care products. Women put an average of 168 chemicals on their bodies DAILY.  We consume twice as many chemicals as we did 50 years ago.  I think basic, everyday exposure is basically out of control.

Your body handles these toxins by neutralizing, transforming, or eliminating them.  It may use antioxidants to neutralize an invading free radical, your liver may filter them and send them out as waste.  Your blood will carry waste to the kidneys to be cleared out in the urine, your skin will clear toxins through sweat, and your respiratory system will clear it with mucous.  Your lymphatic system transports vascular fluid and waste, moving it through 500 filtration and collection points — your lymph nodes. At each successive node the lymph fluid is filtered and bacteria is removed.  Your body is an amazing machine, designed to remove the daily poison it is exposed to.

Until you overload it. Until you are chronically ill.  Until you are stressed and sleep deprived.  Until the basic, everyday exposure is more than it can handle.  When this happens the body enters a state of congestion/stagnation.  In this state the body cannot effectively clear its waste.

The need to detox varies from person to person based on many things including a well balanced whole food diet, regular exercise, and stress level.  The ‘healthier’ you are the more effective your body will be at relying on its own daily elimination cycle.

You take in toxins in a variety of ways:

  • Environmental, air quality both indoor and outdoor
  • Chemicals, medications, and pathogens in our food and water
  • Allergens
  • Microbes~ bacteria, yeast, parasites
  • Drugs
  • Caffeine
  • Sugar
  • Processed foods
  • Internally~ our bodies make toxins in the normal everyday function that need to be eliminated.

Some signs of a toxic overload include:

  • headache
  • fatigue
  • mucus problems
  • aches and pains
  • digestive problems
  • allergies
  • environmental sensitivities

Detoxification will help clear excess toxins from the body, neutralize them, or transform them.  It will clear excess mucus and congestion.  It involves making a lifestyle change that will reduce the intake of toxins and encourage elimination.

An easy way to accomplish this is to avoid chemicals in your food and water.  Reduce the chemicals in your home, your cleaning supplies, laundry soap, and beauty care products.  Reduce or remove toxic food like sugar, alcohol, excessive caffeine, tobacco, and drugs.  Drink purified water and eat more fruits and vegetables.

***Detoxing too fast can make you feel ill.  Increase your fluids and slow down you detox if you are not feeling well.  Fasting should always be done under professional supervision. Avoid heavy detox while pregnant.***

Spring is a season of renewal!!  It is the perfect time to cleanse.  As the week goes on I will share more detox tips, juicing ideas, and more!!!

Happy March!!

Source: Staying Healthy with Nutrition, Elson M Hass, MD http://haashealthonline.com/