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Detox Diets and Cleansing Your Body

Our bodies are amazing machines. We inhale, swallow and absorb all kinds of pollutants for many years until we feel the first signs of illness. All of our cells regenerate constantly, every minute of every day, but if we want to maintain our perfect health and shape, we need to start thinking for our long term health. Watching what you eat, will not only improve your long term health condition, but help you fight off colds, allergies and infections more easily. We are usually more concerned about our health once the first flu symptoms strike. If you already got the flu that means it’s probably too late because your immune system was too weak to begin with. Planning meals may be boring for some of you, but when you understand what each food is doing to your body, you will find it interesting to consciously and intentionally increase the condition of your body and your mind.

Where Do Toxins Come From?

Not to be alarming, but there are toxins everywhere. Nowadays the air quality in most parts of the world is deprived. Studies have shown that not only tobacco smoke causes lung and bladder cancer, but specific pollutants in the air may be the reason why so many people die from this terrible disease each year. Power generation, transport, agricultural or industrial emissions as well as residential cooking and heating deprive the oxygen we breathe. We need to be aware of the fact that we robbed the earth’s greenhouse ourselves, and start taking responsibility for our past actions. Nuclear power plants may be a reasonable solution to many of our modern, fast industrialization problems, like coal usage particulates from construction, and huge ash covered areas all over the globe. If you think that you are safe at home behind closed doors, you couldn’t be more wrong. Indoor air pollutants may be even more dangerous, making the body susceptible to rashes, allergies, immune dysfunctions and other maladies. Especially during the winter period when it just might happen that you don’t open up a window all day. The floor is where dust, debris and dirt gathers, so keeping them clean and fresh will help you clear the air and your home environment. Dust mites love moisture, where they can live, breed, and wait for an inhabitant. Keep the air in your home fresh and dry at all times. Don’t overwater house plants, especially in the living room and bedroom, open a window when you cook and avoid using air fresheners because they emit dozens of toxic chemicals.

Most of the time we pollute our bodies with foods and beverages. Stocking your fridge with organic, all natural foods is be the best way to avoid many diseases. If the saying “we are what we eat” is true, then make your best efforts to feed your self with healthy, nutritious meals, instead of takeout, processed foods and GMO products. GMO food might be cheaper and more available, but keep in mind that not enough testing researches have been made to make GMO foods safe. And at last, be careful what you put on your skin. European cosmetic companies have banned over 1000 ingredients that turned out to be toxic for skin application, while American companies have little over ten ingredients on their black list. If you can, avoid using makeup altogether or at least don’t leave the makeup on for longer than 6-8 hours. Another way to absorb toxins through the skin is through the clothes, underwear and sheets. Most detergents and softeners have toxic chemicals, which rub against your skin all day long. Use baby detergents and products for your entire family, as they most probably passed the US legislatives.

Super Foods for Cleansing Your Body

One of the most potent foods to help you clean your digestive system, especially the colon and large intestines, is garlic. Its rich mustard oils will help you clean your system from intestinal parasites, boost the diuretic and peristalsis action, as well as strengthen your immune system. When you have the flu, with garlic you can dissolve the mucus in your nasal cavities, and your sinus infection will be reduced too. This powerful cleansing root herb will push the toxins through your skin pores, so it will be best to sweat it all out to diminish the smell. Your body will absorb its cleansing properties while the garlic is raw and fresh, whether chopped, sliced, crushed in a salad, sauce, or a dressing.

The medical and nutritional value of seaweed has been valued in the East for centuries, but nowadays, people in the West embrace its powerful detoxing properties too. It can help you ward off obesity, high blood pressure, radioactive waste, and heavy metal poisoning. Rich in minerals like potassium and iodine, this green product will promote a healthy liver and thyroid function. You can eat the green weeds, in salads, side dishes and use the blender to juice them in combination with other healthy vegetables or fruits. Baths prepared with seaweed will help you get the skin texture you want and clean your pores of impurities, blackheads and toxic residues.

The most traditionally used product we all try when we feel sick is the yellow lush lemon. The benefits of this juicy fruit were known long before Beyonce revealed the lemon diet that helped her slim down 20 pounds. Because everything we eat goes through our gallbladder, liver and intestines, the acidic properties found in one glass of lemonade will help those organs cleanse themselves. Every bit of fat and food leftovers will be dissolved, and every toxic remains will be evacuated without making you feel bloated and heavy. Lemon juice is a natural stimulant, which will improve the blood circulation and increase your energy levels immediately. A mixture made of lemon juice and water will make your skin radiant, your nails stronger and your hair shinier.

When you are already on a diet, cabbage is your best choice for detoxifying your body. If you are not the salad type, you can make a soup made of cabbage, famously known as the cabbage detox soup. Its nutritional value list is very long and includes: vitamin C, vitamin B6, fiber, manganese, potassium, folate, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and anthocyanins, which not only add the color of your favorite cabbage, but shield the brain cells from damage, stimulate the digestion and speed up the process of eliminating the wasteful material. Glucosinolates are compounds found in cabbage which contain sulfur, antibacterial elements valuable for treating chest and skin infections, by cleaning the membranes.

Just like cabbage products, almonds too have rich nutritional value. They are a powerful source of calcium, folate, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and phytochemicals, all fighters against many chronic diseases, bowel impurities and unstable blood sugar. Their high percentage of vitamin E content, vegetable proteins, fibers and monounsaturated fats will help you maintain a healthy weight without depriving your body from fats, minerals and vitamins. You can eat them raw, sprinkled over your favorite smoothie or oatmeal, but almond milk is also a great source of all of the above mentioned aliments.

Many people avoid eating avocados when dieting, because of their famous high fat content. However, it’s good to know that they contain monounsaturated fats, the kind of fats that can help you increase the levels of good and lower the levels of bad cholesterol. In addition to their heart health properties, avocados are a great source of vitamin K, vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6, vitamin E and vitamin A. Together they will keep your blood sugar levels normal, keep heart vessels widened, transform carbohydrates into energy and break proteins to keep your blood healthy. The folate found in these fruits will help your body produce new, healthy cells, whether you are pregnant, recovering from cancer or perfectly healthy.

If you are feeling a little rusty, you need oil to smooth things up. Flax seeds and especially flaxseed oil will promote a regular bowel movement because of their rich insoluble and soluble fiber content. These seeds are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which are fats that will help your body clean the blood from sugars. The best way to consume them is freshly grinded. When they are grinded they release all of their healthy ingredients, but try not to grind the whole bag at once, because it shortens its shelf life. Two grinded tablespoons of flaxseeds over your cereal, oatmeal, lemonade or smoothie will be enough, but you can use them in baking goods, cooked meals and etc.

Living a healthy life must include teas. Drinking a lot of fluids is required during a detoxing diet, but with tea you can make the experience more enjoyable, tasty and nutritious. Green tea is the magical beverage in this category, transforming your body into a factory for producing new, healthy cells. Dandelion will promote the flow of bile into your gastrointestinal system, but keep in mind that too much of this fluid may harm your abdominal flora if you drink it on an empty stomach. Nettle tea is the best among other teas when you want to eliminate caffeine, tobacco and other unhealthy remains in your body. Together with the berries, tea made of Rosehip will provide your organism with enough antioxidants to cleanse itself, prevent and comfort bladder infections, dizziness and headaches.

When you want to detoxify your body, you usually and preferably place the attention to your liver, bladder and intestines. Many cleansing recipes might cause more harm than good, because they attack the natural function of the body too severely. Implementing legumes in your everyday diet will detox your body without any functions being disrupted, sped up or forced. Kidney beans, black beans, split peas, chick peas or lentils, all have very high fiber and protein values and almost no fat. These contents will push the toxins out of your digestive system without harming it or changing its regular functions.

When Your Body Needs Detoxing?

The fast answer to this question will be during spring and summer. Over the winter, our bodies are getting lazy and comfortable, given our prerogatives to enjoy fatty foods, alcohol and holiday treats. If your detox diet is not medically advised otherwise, these will be the times when you will have the chance to clean your body from all the residues. There are all kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables during these seasons, so you’ll have a better chance to shop organic foods only. Doctors recommend we should all detox at least once every year. You don’t need to be ill or catch the common cold to become aware that your health is at risk. Our bodies are sending us signs constantly, telling us that they are tired, overworked or not functioning properly. All we need to do is follow their signs. If you are constantly irritated, have unexplainable rashes and fatigue, feel bloated or experience irregular menstrual cycles, these can all be signs your body is sending to tell you to cleanse your system. Every hard worker needs a break and your body is no different. Not all detox diets should be done in Beyonce’s style and not everyone’s body can handle that kind of treatment. Particularly if you have already been diagnosed with some kind of medical condition, you need to ask your doctor what the best way to detox your body is.

Prepare Your Body for Detox

Detoxing is a process. If you’ve read a detox diet and you plan on trying it out tomorrow, think twice before you start because it might not work as well as its supposed to if you are not careful and use it strategically. For example, if you had a big roasted beef steak for lunch today, make sure you eat light foods the next couple of days. Avoid alcohol for at least a week before your detox diet and lower the tobacco and caffeine intake too. Refined sugars, saturated fats, processed foods and anything coming from a box will cause withdrawal symptoms and might make you feel sick. The teas we’ve mentioned before may be used as preparation for the detox diet and a lot of fruits and vegetables will also prepare your stomach and intestines for the cleansing. Avoid all animal products, like eggs, milk and dairy products, and focus on fruits and veggies for three days before your detoxing diet. That will clean your body from the unhealthy foods you’ve already eaten in the past week and get your stomach ready for the detoxing regime.

The Famous Lemon Detox Diet

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For the famous lemon detox diet practiced all over the world you will need fresh lemon juice, fresh water, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. You will need to mix two tablespoons of maple syrup, the juice of two or three lemons, a pinch of cayenne pepper and 10 ounces of fresh, filtered water. For four to 14 days this mixture will be all the food you will ingest. The reason why this diet worked for many people is very simple. Our bodies work constantly to digest the food we are consuming. From the moment you even think about food, your salivary glands start to produce saliva. When you have the first bite, the saliva helps the food dissolve chemically. When you are done chewing your food, the throat muscles start to contract so you can swallow the food. In the stomach, acids and enzymes produced in other glands start to pour to help your stomach muscles dissolve the food into smaller pieces. Then, the stomach muscles start to propel to move the creamy fluid into your intestines. After that, your liver, pancreas and gallbladder take over the job. They break the proteins, fats, carbohydrates, store the nutrients and filter out the waste. In your small intestines, this fine mixture is melted into smaller molecules, where they can be absorbed and transferred through your body. What’s left of the food you ate is passed into the large intestines, where after all water is absorbed, the stool is formed.

For this process to take place, it might take your body half an hour, but it also might take up to three hours. Depending on how much you ate, how much you chewed your food, and how much energy you have at the moment. If you don’t have enough energy left, your small and large intestines might have to deal with the residues. This is not very healthy, not just because you won’t be able to absorb all the nutrients coming from your food, but because you are disturbing the natural functions of your body. With a detox diet, your system will use all of its energy to clean the toxins and residues left in your intestines from a week ago, maybe even longer depending upon your eating habits. Not everyone can handle the lemon detox diet and if you are eating healthy and consciously, you won’t have to. There are other ways to detox your body. With smoothies, eating only fruits and vegetables for two weeks, but also, you can drink the lemon detox diet recipe every day, combined with your regular meals. Every morning, instead of coffee, you can drink lemonade mixed with honey or maple syrup to help you clear the digestive pathways.

Detox with Exercise

Any form of activity where you will sweat is good for your health. Sweating is a natural way of pushing the toxins out from all parts of your body. Our modern nutrient poor diets demand an exercise plan, at least once a week. We are sitting in front of our computers and televisions all day, with pitiable postures, while our backs, muscles and organs wither. That’s not the way to a healthier and stronger body, especially because very little is required for achieving the optimum shape. If you are not a fan of hardcore exercising, running, biking or the martial arts, a regular yoga practice will be enough to keep you in your best condition. In most practices you will be able to stretch, compress, bent and twist all parts of your body, including your waste elimination department. With yoga, you will also learn to breathe in a way to promote and stimulate the detoxification. When you breathe better and deeper, more oxygen is transported to each bodily cell, and more hazardous carbon dioxide exhaled.

You may feel that this is hard to do, that you have habits that are hard to break, but awareness is the first step, and you read this article didn’t you? The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.

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