Most of us have intentions of eating well, but daily tasks and habits steer us to faster, pre- processed foods. We often eat on the run, and rarely eat the nutrient-dense foods that our bodies live on best. Research confirms that the average American diet is too high in fats, sugars, salt, refined grains and artificial flavorings and colorings.
Once we decide what to eat, there is the important question of how much of the nutrients we ingest are actually absorbed. Some of what we eat may even”stick” to the walls of the intestines, inhibiting absorption of nutrients and promoting conditions that cause disease, fatigue, and colon cancer.
We get out of our bodies a level of function that is significantly dependent upon what we put into it. Most of us want to eat better, so where do we begin? There are many books written and there are professionals who can be consulted. As you research this for yourself, and perhaps your loved ones, here are some considerations.
1.Give your body the right fuel. For energy and stamina, our diets need to include foods with energy that the body can use, such as fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains and legumes and clean, unchlorinated and unflorinated water.
2. Clean your digestive tract, the absorption and waste disposal system of the body. Years of bad eating and environmental factors may have allowed mucus, plaque, and “bio-gunk”to build up in the digestive tract, and these accumulations can be encouraged to leave the body. The digestive system begins at the mouth and ends at the anus. It functions to break down what goes into the mouth, turning it into usable energy, and then quickly getting rid of the rest. The body normally excretes waste in 18 to 24 hours, after which, harmful toxins can form. Since we eat two to three times a day, we should be moving our bowels two to three times a day. Anyone who has less than one bowel movement per day is constipated.
3. Eat plenty of fresh vegetables, six to eight servings a day of green, yellow, red, orange and white vegetables. Do not eat canned vegetables or fruits. If you eat them raw or slightly steamed the enzymes in the food can work to clean your digestive tract. Eat them throughout the day. Grapefruit consumed at night has been known to help cleanse; prunes and grapes are still among nature’s best laxatives.
4. Take a multidigestive enzyme after eating your meals and before bed to help digest bulk that may be moving slowly. This is a temporary measure until your system can begin to use the properly combined food you will be feeding it. It may be important to check with your physician or pharmacist to be sure this will not digest your medications too quickly.
5. Make sure not to combine melons with any other foods. Eat them alone 20 minutes before or one hour after any other foods are consumed. Fruits do digest in the same stomach acid and enzyme conditions as other foods, and they should not be mixed. If you suffer from ulcers, avoid digestive enzymes that contain hydrochloric acid (HCL), except under a physican’s care. Drink aloe vera juice twice a day to aid enzyme activity in the body.
6. Make an environment for “friendly” flora to pass through your digestive system. Probiotic supplements like acidophilus have an antibacterial effect on the body. Live yogurt contains acidophilus, but make sure it is not sweetened with any false sugars, especially high fructose corn syrup and aspartame (Nutrasweet®). During your cleanse, acidophilus, taken twice a day, could be beneficial.
7. Aromatherapy and Essential Oils applied to the stomach area, bottoms of the feet, ankles and behind the ear may be helpful during a cleanse. Fennel, peppermint, patchouli, juniper, grapefruit, lemongrass and tarragon are known to be antifungal, antibacterial and help encourage lymphatic drainage.
8. Drink herbal teas twice a day. Some herbs that can be helpful to a cleanse are cascara sagrada, psyllium, comfrey, flaxseed, goldenseal, hops, fennel, licorice root, peppermint and lemongrass. Be careful and get monitored if you eat licorice root or comfrey and have high blood pressure. Use caution with cayenne and cinnamon if you have skin problems.
9. Vitamin supplementation with the B series and antioxidants like vitamin C complex and pycnogenols seems to be important during a cleanse.
10. Be Regular. If natural fiber and plant laxatives do not improve your bowel movements, an enema to remove damaging toxins may be necessary. Magnesium Oxide is available in capsules, and works as a laxative also.
An internal cleanse releases toxins from the body. Some people experience flu-like symptoms without fever, or skin eruptions that may last a couple of days as the body adjusts and flushes out toxins that have been stored deep in tissue. Detoxifying baths, 10-15 minutes in warm water with a cup of sea salt and a cup of baking soda will pull toxins out of the body through the skin. Hands-on therapy like massage, aromatherapy and detoxifying body wraps are also helpful in reducing these side effects. These treatments help move the toxins through the tissues and minimize the healing crisis. Exercise is also important.
About the Author:
Hal S. Blatman, MD is the founder and medical director of The Blatman Pain Clinic, and a globally recognized specialist in myofascial pain. He is board certified in both Pain Management and Occupational and Environmental medicine. More information is available at blatmanpainclinic.com or by calling 513-956-3200
© Blatman Pain Clinic, 2002