Detoxification

DETOXIFICATION WHAT IS IT?

Have you ever wondered why you feel so tired, rundown, and even sick at times? – Well, it is probably because your body needs to detoxify. This process can only takes place when a lifestyle change in your eating habits is undertaken.

Why do we need to detoxify? – To address this issue, we need to understand why we develop physical ailments and what the body does to correct them.

All physical problems have two main causes: toxicity and deficiency. Both are a direct result of consuming the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.). Toxicity refers to a level of poison in the body from foods that have created an acidic condition. These poisons are the by-products of consuming foods from animal sources, as well as sugar, table salt, white flour products, caffeine, and other items that have been altered from their original whole-food state.

Deficiency is the condition we are in when we lack adequate nutrients for the body, and is caused by consuming foods that are refined or predominantly cooked until they are rendered nutritionally incomplete.

When toxic foods are eliminated, and we start eating living foods, especially fresh vegetable juices, the body is able to rebuild as well as cleanse itself. This internal cleansing results in toxins/poisons being emptied into the bloodstream, and is what many people refer to as detoxification.

During this process, one may experience a range of both physical and mental discomfort that will subside over time, depending on the amount, degree, and length of time that a cleansing diet is sustained. Eventually, as the “bad” gets eliminated and the “good” is put back in, symptoms start to decline, and the body starts functioning at a higher level of health.

Many times people are encouraged to detoxify, or cleanse the body first, and then work to rebuild the body. However, it is important to give the body nutrition at the very start so that it has strength to rebuild and continue to function while it is also cleansing. Therefore, it is essential to deal with both the toxicity and deficiency issues at the same time.

Why does detoxification occur? – The main function of the body is to create homeostasis – the state at which every part of the body is properly balanced and in a state of perfect health. Over the years, when that balance or homeostasis is upset due to lifestyle choices, the body starts to function in a constant mode of repair and restoration, working to keep you alive at all costs. To accomplish this, the body tries to rid itself of the toxic elements that have been forced upon it. If the body is unable to fully cleanse itself of the toxins, they start storing themselves deep within the tissues and cells. Unfortunately, when toxins are stored that is when the real damage begins to occur and signs of disease begin to manifest themselves. However, as we start making healthier nutrition and lifestyle choices, the body initiates a cleansing process – eliminating the bad (toxins) and putting in the good (live nutrients) – and the areas damaged begin to rebuild themselves.

The cleansing process has several avenues of elimination:

  1. Elimination through the bowels. One of the most important issues to address in detoxification is elimination. There are some indications that anywhere from 75-90% of Americans suffer from sluggish bowels. This can be a warning sign of greater health problems to come. If toxins from our body (dead cells, waste products, etc.) are not eliminated quickly, they can be re-absorbed into the body and thus result in a toxic buildup, which can ultimately contribute to the breakdown of the body and illness. Therefore, it is vital that bowel function be optimized in order to insure rapid and efficient elimination of toxins.
  2. Elimination through the skin. One way to help eliminate toxins is  through dry skin brushing where the dead cells on the skin are brushed away. We lose over two pounds of toxins each day through our skin. Our skin is our largest organ and as such, when the bowels are not eliminating as they should, the toxins will try to get out any way that they can – the skin is one such avenue. This is why some people will develop rashes or acne when their body goes through a cleansing process.
  3. Elimination through the lymph system. The lymph system is part of the immune system, and it assists the body in ridding itself of toxic elements; however, the lymph does not move through the body unless the body moves. Thus, exercise is a key element when it comes to dealing with signs of detoxification and rebuilding the immune system. An excellent way to move the lymph is through walking at least one or two miles every day.
  4. Elimination through the mucous membranes. The mucous membranes trap toxins and help to move them out of the body; however, if the mucous is not kept at a thin consistency, the toxins may become trapped and sometimes infection will develop. Consuming an adequate amount of water (6-8 glasses per day) will help keep the mucous thin enough to flow out of the body rapidly.

What to do about the effects of detoxification? There are many different signs of detoxification that may manifest. Some indicators may be severe, such as flu-like symptoms, fever, skin rash, acne, diarrhea, vomiting, and depression, but most will only be mildly annoying, and may include, headaches, fatigue, constipation, irritability, and lethargy, among others.

The majority of people who make the change from the Standard American Diet, (S.A.D.) to a healthy diet of raw vegetables and fruits don’t even realize that they are going through a cleanse. Each person is different, and each body reacts in a different way. In general, we need to recognize detoxification as a positive process. It is one way the body can tell us it is working properly. Once we realize that fact, then we can better understand and accept why it is happening and what, if anything, should be done about it.

There are different options as to what to do when one goes through a time of detoxification.

Option 1: Do nothing and allow the body’s detoxification to run its course. The body will only cleanse what it has the energy to deal with.  Generally, these detoxification episodes last about 3 – 7 days.

Option 2: Slow down the cleansing. Eat more cooked foods and cut back on the juices. This generally results in slowing down the detoxification signs because the body is concentrating more of its energy on digesting and dealing with cooked foods than it is with cleansing and rebuilding.

Option 3: Speed it up! Help the body to cleanse more quickly. This entails eliminating solid foods; increasing water and juice consumption (basically a juice fast); and possibly even partaking in some water enemas or colonics! The symptoms won’t disappear; in fact, they may even intensify for a short period of time. But when they are over, they usually don’t reoccur in the same manner.

No matter which course you choose, getting rest is of the utmost importance. The body needs to reserve its strength for cleansing and rebuilding – not for working overtime!

Many people that eat a small percentage of cooked food (about 15% of the daily consumption) do not experience severe cleansing. The reason is that it causes a slow-down in the release of toxins. They continue to be removed from the body, but at a much slower rate and over a longer period of time. That is why the cooked part is so important. Usually within the first two weeks, most people are over the symptoms of detoxification.

Please we aware though, that  there are instances where it may take over a year for the body to completely release all toxins, such as when a person has been continually exposed to those from the environment as well as the their very S.A.D. diet (no pun intended).

The God-given intelligence of our cells is forever moving us toward full and complete homeostasis, or balance. While detoxification can be uncomfortable at times, it is nature’s way of keeping us healthy. So, if you believe you are going through or have gone through a detoxification episode, be glad. It means that your body and immune system are still recognizing when things are not as they should be and are putting things back in proper working order. Over time, as you stay on a healthy eating lifestyle, the detoxification episodes tend to get shorter, and the length of time between them tends to get longer, as the body continues on its quest for health and well-being.

The way to do this is very simple:

  • eliminate toxic foods;
  • increase consumption of the nutrient-dense, live, raw foods, including fresh carrot and vegetable juices;
  • get plenty of exercise,
  • drink plenty of fresh pure water,
  • get lots of fresh air,
  • sunshine, and
  • adequate rest.
  • It is also very important to develop a loving, trust-based relationship with God.

By following this program, the body is better able to experience lasting health, and we are better equipped to live full productive lives, as our Creator intended.

SOURCES: Various

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