Cleansing - Detoxing
By Trish Wilson
Are you a little tempted to try it?
Do you wonder about it?
Cleansing is becoming extremely popular…and controversial. Some doctors say steer clear because it is unnecessary and dangerous and others prescribe it as a way to unclog your pipes and flush away the toxins. Since little research has been conducted on the benefits or effects of cleansing, no empirical data exists and we are left to decide for ourselves.
Our digestive tract houses our immune system. That’s right, our immune system depends on what we digest. It’s real simple, if we eat junk – fast food, caffeine, sugar, processed meats, dairy, etc. - we beat up your immune system. Our body literally cannot break down these foods and they clog our immune system. When we ingest goodies like fresh fruits, veggies, and whole foods, we build up our immune systems with proper nutrients.
The intestine draws in needed nutrients for the body and if our intestines are not able to get the nutrients due to residue of sludge from poor diet, our food/nutrients are wasted. If food doesn’t move easily through the intestines, then it starts to build up and we become constipated, cramped, gain weight, become depressed and our immune system quits working and we ultimately become sick.
Along with eliminating daily waste, our body has the job to defend itself against toxins. The normal detoxification process is pretty amazing:
Toxins enter the blood.
Antioxidants grab them and neutralize them and move them to the liver.
The liver takes the toxins and gives the antioxidants back to circulate.
The liver neutralizes and either eliminates the toxins either through feces, sweat, or urine, or it turns the toxin into a more toxic compound.
It is the hormones, artificial flavoring and coloring that are added to processed foods that cause the liver to turn the toxins into bigger and badder toxins. Eating a diet fresh and whole, along with avoiding the type of toxins we breathe in, will help to eliminate this from happening. By taking in all these toxins and not expelling them, we create a problem that our body was not designed to deal with.
If our bodies are fighting toxins and unable to absorb the nutrients we need to maintain a healthy immune system, there are lots of natural things we can do to help ourselves, and cleansing and detoxing can help.
There are different ways to detox and cleanse your body. Some are very natural, non-controversial, and extremely healthy. Some may seem extreme and others are simple. How you choose to cleanse is up to you.
Different cleansing aids:
Green Juices & Green Vegetables
Lemons, Limes and Oranges
Omega 3 Oils
On Enemas and Colon Cleansing – the Controversy
This is the controversial part. The Mayo Clinic says “don’t do it”. Colon cleansing could possibly have an effect on the nervous system. You should not use colonics if you have Crohn’s disease, IBS, acute diverticulitis, pregnancy, or diarrhea, or if part of your colon has been removed. Yet, colon cleansing is prescribed more and more by integrative medical doctors looking for a more holistic approach to wellness. Do your research; make an educated decision for yourself. Seek a medical professional for advice when considering more controversial options for cleansing.
My Two Cents!
I feel if you try to eat healthy, maintain an active lifestyle, and drink lots of water, extreme cleansing doesn’t make sense. Why take risks with your health?
I usually feel the need to cleanse after bouts of eating poorly. For example, I spend the holiday season eating and drinking things that I would never put in my body during any other time of year. I often start the New Year off feeling sluggish, overweight and bloated. Many of us, including me, vow to hit the gym and lose those extra pounds. I like to start my renewal with a cleanse. I’m not a radical; I hate to deprive myself and live on hot water and lemon juice for a week – it’s just not me.
I prefer a cleanse that is all natural juicing – that’s 4-8 glasses of juice per day filled with low glycemic fruits and veggies. I usually don’t do a juice cleanse more than 3 days before I begin to add whole healthy foods back into my diet. I begin to eliminate waste regularly, I lose weight, regain energy, and I’ve reset my body so that I no longer crave all the junk I had during the holiday season. It also teaches my body that it’s time to start eating healthy again.
If you have never cleansed before, do your research. Find a detox cleanse you know you can stick to – nothing too fancy. Begin with the idea that you are cleaning your mind, body and spirit, of sludge and junk. Welcome the new feeling of lightness and health!