Thursday, April 3, 2014

How Can Foods Contribute to Cleansing & Detoxification?

Cleansing the body of toxins is a popular topic these days, and for good reason.  We do, in fact, live in an environment where our bodies are bombarded with toxic substances on a daily basis. 

Exercise, supplement programs, fasts, meditation, yoga, etc. are employed to varying degrees in order to bring cleansing to the body.  However, the important role that food plays in cleansing - simply what we eat - cannot be ignored. (For lots more articles on how important food is to your health, visit our main blog at

Americans have a tendency to want quick fixes to problems and symptoms.  We love our pills.  We can swallow a capsule or tablet and go on about our business with no lifestyle changes necessary.

Why isn't it okay to employ quick fixes?
The problem with this approach is that it completely eliminates the connection between food and health that is so vital!

Pills may mask symptoms, but the underlying problem of a poor diet will not be addressed.  In other words, toxins are still building while the symptoms are being alleviated. What does this mean? It means that your long-term health is still being compromised. You may not have immediate symptoms, but eventually this continual build-up of toxins can (and in many cases will) lead to serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimers, and more.

Sometimes, we look at food as our enemy - we think the less we eat, the healthier and thinner we will be.  But what you do eat is very important.   

"Let your food be your medicine and your medicine your food," said Hippocrates (from whom doctors get the "Hippocratic Oath").  (This is pretty much my favorite quote ever!!!)

Let's look briefly at some of the constituents in whole foods and their various cleansing benefits.

* Fiber

This is a big one.  Fiber is one of the primary ways to eliminate waste from the colon.  Without it, bowel movements lack bulk, and toxins can build up in the colon.  Fiber absorbs poisons and waste matter as it moves along the intestinal tract, picking it up, and moving it out.

High-fiber diets are also associated with a decreased risk of colon and rectal cancer, as well as heart disease.

* Vitamins and Minerals

Healthy, whole foods contain these vital nutrients.  These substances have more roles in the body's health than can be discussed here, but some particular vitamins, such as C and E, have specific antioxidant effects.

Iron builds the blood; other vitamins and minerals build bone and tissue; still others play an active role in cell regeneration.  Without vitamins and minerals, the body cannot repair and rebuild itself from a cleanse.

Healthy Berries are Good Food for Health
Healthy Berries are Good Food for Health (Photo credit:
* Antioxidants

Many foods contain these bodily scavengers that fight free radical damage in the body.

Green tea, berries, tomatoes, and many other foods have antioxidant properties.

Cranberries, for example, promote bladder and kidney health, which are important organs involved in bodily cleansing.

* Essential Fatty Acids (Omega 3's)

More and more, we are hearing about the importance of good fats in the diet.  It turns out that they are crucial, and, among other things, help support liver health.  The liver is a major cleansing organ. They also compose much of the matter that brain tissue is made of, so be sure to eat your healthy fats!

* Phytonutrients

These are simply the nutrients found in plant foods, and they tend to have anti-cancer and antioxidant benefits.

All in all, what you do choose to eat has a significant role in the cleansing of your body (as does what you avoid eating).  Refined sugar, white flour, and processed foods full of artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors will have the effect of building toxic waste in your tissues, so be sure to choose foods wisely.

For a good, natural food-based cleansing & detoxification program, check out The Total Wellness Cleanse.

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