Tag Archives: detox

Detoxing Daily

Copy of woman-above-white-board

Many people associate the term ‘detox’ with extreme measures including periodic fasts and detoxifaction diets. But detox is really far simpler, meaning nothing more than removing as many toxins from our life as possible and replacing them with healthier alternatives.

I believe that detoxing is not something to be done periodically but rather something that needs to go on in your life 24/7. Basically an ongoing detox can be achieved by avoiding taking toxins into the body as much as possible, and gradually and replacing more harmful foods and drinks, as well as lifestyle practices, with healthier alternatives.

Many of the detox diets or detox programs around are designed to help you shed weight quickly but at the same time they deprive your body of crucial nutrients and force it into starvation mode. While you may lose the weight initially it creeps back on later. Plus you don’t get the other benefits that happen when you maintain a low-toxic environment within your body.

It is really quite simple and smart to make Small Sustainable Changes when it comes to reducing toxin levels in your body. By adopting changes gradually you are far more likely to maintain the changes over the long-term and adopt them as a normal part of your life. Once healthy changes are integrated into your life it is quite easy to use these as the foundation on which to build further change.

 

WHAT HAPPENS AS YOUR TOXICITY DECREASES

As you adopt healthier alternatives and practices you start to reap the benefits almost immediately, experiencing greater feelings of wellbeing.

The first and most noticeable changes are physical. The organs most affected by toxins, the liver and stomach,  start to work more effectively. Symptoms such as bloating or gas may diminish. You often feel ‘lighter’ with more energy. Your immune system functions better because there are fewer free radicals causing damage throughout your body. Your blood circulates better. Your skin appears clearer, even glowing. Sleep improves, as does concentration and focus. As you start to feel better the impetus to continue and make further changes grows making more change easier.

If you make it your goal to minimize toxins then it is far less likely you will be faced with crisis situations and serious illness caused by toxic overload.

food tree-157673_640

RECOGNISING TOXIC OVERLOAD

Some symptoms of toxic overload are fatigue, digestive problems, aching joints, depression, poor blood sugar regulation, hormone imbalances, skin problems, low energy, loss of libido, poor sleep, headaches, heartburn, high blood pressure, memory loss, accelerated aging, even severe diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and Parkinson’s.

In an ideal world your body would receive what it needs to function well simply from the foods you eat, but for most people it is not what happens. What you eat is a good place to start making changes.

Begin by taking a cold, hard look at your diet. Keeping an honest food diary for a week, that includes everything, is an excellent way to get a clear and accurate picture of just where there are problems with your diet. Here are the guidelines.

Once you have a true picture of your eating habits you can make a realistic appraisal about where the toxic overload is occurring. Does your dietinclude too much coffee? Too much sugar? Are there too many food additives? Too many processed foods and too few unprocessed foods? GMO foods? Too much dairy? Too many grains, and are the grains wholefood or processed?

It is then time to assess what changes you can make and stick to, and to find replacement foods for the problem foods. For example, if you decide to reduce your coffee to one a day, look for healthier alternatives such as water, green tea or other herbal teas to replace the coffees you are ditching. Seek out alternatives and try them all until you find ones you like and enjoy, that can easily adopt as part of your new normal diet. Even if you start with partial replacement of the offending food and gradually increase the new food as you decrease the old, over time you will get significant benefit.

Unless your diet is a total mess just change one thing a week. It makes it easier to stick to the new if you are not trying to change too much at once. Even though this is slower and you will not see big effects as quickly you will still be in a better space at the end of every single week.

ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS

Changing your diet is a good place to begin but you also need to decrease your exposure to toxins in your surroundings. These are often overlooked yet have a very strong effect on your body.

There are toxic substances in most of the furnishings in our homes and workplaces which leach out into the air we breathe. Poisons in cleaning products, or personal care products are absorbed through your skin. Many are deemed safe in the quantities found in a single product, but as they are present in many of the products you use, the accumulated quantuty creates a heavy toxic load for your body.

Most people are aware of the danger of toxic pesticides on fresh food, or of heavy metals present in seafood or cigarette smoke. But it is easy to forget that chemical and pesticide runoff from farms and factories taints underground water, or that smog is also loaded with heavy metals.

Electrical appliances, broadband wireless, mobile (cell) phones, computers plus many more everyday items give out Electromagnetic Pollution (EMR) which directly affects your health, and is behind many illnesses. Consider this: Anywhere you have mobile phone reception you are being affected by EMR; when you are asked if you’d like to connect to your neighbours network as you connect to the internet you are actually in the middle of the Electomagnetic field of their wireless connection as well as your own; how often do you sleep for many hours with a connected mobile phone on the table beside your head, or a baby monitor beside the crib; is the Smart Meter on the other side of the wall behind your bed. The positive ions emitted from all these are toxic and cumulative and reflect the fact that you are receiving high exposure to electromagnetic pollution all the time.

Sleeping with a mobile phone near your head causes thermal (heating) effects all night long
Sleeping with a mobile phone near your head causes thermal (heating) effects all night long

You can reduce the impact these toxins have on your body. Buying food free from toxic pesticide residue is a good place to start. Using a special wash on commercial produce can minimize toxins. Adopting practices that help support the organs of detox is another. Moving sources of EMR away from our body and introducing practices to neutralize it is yet another.

Rather than throwing up your hands in despair or panicking about the repercussions, it is far more effective to get proactive. Altering your exposure to toxins across many parts of your life, even if only minimally, will certainly make a difference to how much they affect your health.

SUPPORT YOUR ORGANS OF DETOXIFICATION

There are also a number of supplements that you can take to help support your body and help it to detoxify.

CHLORELLA

Chlorella is a micro-algae SuperGreenFood similar to spirulina. It is rich in antioxidants and high in protein, vitamins and chlorophyll, and like spirulina can increase your energy because it helps you process more oxygen. It has many benefits for your body.

Chlorella is particularly useful in cleansing the body because it is a natural detoxifier which binds well with heavy metals, chemicals and certain pesticides to eradicate them. Japanese research from 1975 revealed that up to ten times more of the heavy metal cadmium was excreted when chlorella was ingested. It also assists in the removal of lead, mercury and chemical pollutants.

Choose a quality chlorella as the way in which it is manufactured greatly affects whether your body can access its health benefits or not. Chlorella is actually a food rather than a supplement. It is important to start with a small amount and gradually increase the amount you take. It comes as a tablet or powder which can be added to juice or smoothies.

MSM

Organic sulfur, or methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is critical in detoxification, cell oxygenation, energy production and immune optimization. In the past MSM was available in our food supply but with modern farming practices it is dramatically reduced. MSM helps repair malfunctioning cells, improve the transport of oxygen to the cells, and improve the removal of toxins from your body, particularly GMO remnants.

DANDELION

This versatile herb offers two pathways of detoxification. The leaves aid in removing excess fluid, but unlike other diuretics, do not leach out the mineral potassium from your body. The root serves another purpose. Toxins are filtered out of your blood in the liver. Dandelion offers your liver great support by increasing the production of bile to improve digestion, and improving your liver’s detoxifying capabilities.

The easiest way to take dandelion is as a tea. Dandelion Leaf Tea is the one to reduce fluid retention, cellulite, or if you feel bloated. Dandelion Root Tea (or coffee) is for liver support and detoxification. The root has a strong flavour and makes an excellent latte.

MILK THISTLE

Milk thistle is another wonderful herb to strengthen the liver and support detoxification. Silymarin, the active compound, is found in the seeds and research has shown that it makes liver cells less permeable to toxins, helping protect the cells from damage. It also helps to increase the speed at which toxins are reduced in the body. It can be taken daily to support ongoing liver processes, particularly if you are suffering from toxin overload. It can also be used before and after drinking alcohol to speed the detoxification in the body.

PSYLLIUM HUSKS

Psyllium husks, or the seeds of the plantain, are a natural laxative. They have high levels of soluble fibre and are known for their remarkable colon-cleansing capability. They can give tremendous help to sufferers of digestibe problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation and other digestive problems. When combined with water they swell in the bowel, absorb toxins and stimulate the bowel to work well so the toxins are quickly eliminated. Studies show they can halve bowel transit time. Unlike other laxatives they will not make your bowel ‘lazy’.

How you take them is vital. Without sufficient water they have the opposite effect and bind you up. Take them twice daily thirty minutes before meals – 5g in a full glass of water, and follow immediately with another full glass of water. Don’t take them at the same time as probioics as they interfere with each other.

PROBIOTICS

Probiotics are the good bacteria that live in your gut and help your digestive, immune and detox systems function well. When levels of these bacteria are too low a condition known as ‘leaky gut’ can develop.

Normally food broken down into molecules in your gut does not pose any problem, but when you have ‘leaky gut’ food molecules are able to pass straight through the intestinal wall and into the liver via the bloodstream. The liver views them as toxins and uses lots of energy trying to eliminate them while other more dangerous toxins are allowed to build up.

Supplementing with probiotics maintains the levels of good bacteria, keeps your digestive tract free of toxins and helps prevent leaky gut developing. Taking them for a few weeks should replenish the population.

OTHER MEASURES TO HELP YOU DETOX

In addition to changing your diet and taking a few supplements for support here are a few more areas you could address to really clean-up your body.

  • Drink plenty of clean, fresh water every day
  • Practice deep breathing
  • Eliminate stress as much as possible
  • Sweat (Infra-red saunas; use natural deodorants instead of antiperspirants)
  • Exercise (particularly yoga, which is an ideal way to detox)
  • Select enough natural fruits, vegetables and whole grains to provide 30g of fibre a day.

dandelion flower

Disclaimer

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatments suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.

Source articles

http://www.naturalnews.com/041664_gmos_detoxification_dietary_fiber.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/138631-how-make-homemade-detox/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/18969-benefits-detoxing-body/

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/02/01/is-this-one-of-natures-most-powerful-detoxification-tools.aspx

http://www.wellbeing.com.au/article/features/body-health/Supplements-for-detox_909

Foster, H. Detox Solutions, Hamlyn, 2004

Stevia – The Key To Kicking Your Sugar Habit

sugar Kicking the sugar habit is easier said than done. For some people even making the decision to get rid of sugar from their diet is beyond thinking.

One of the biggest health pushes of 2013 was to encourage both us and food manufacturers to dramatically cut back the amount of that ‘giant nasty’ sugar that we consume. Suddenly it seemed that the finger was pointed squarely at sugar as the primary culprit behind one after another health problem.

We all know that too much sugar is bad for us. But most of us don’t really know why,  or how much too much actually is. But it seems that many of us have now picked up on the message that it could be that ANY sugar is bad for us.

But actually removing sugar and sweet foods from what you eat is another matter altogether. Only last week someone was talking to me about their New Year resolutions and breaking their bad habits. “I really need to lose weight” she said “but I don’t think I’m quite ready to say good bye to sugar”. And therein lies the problem that the majority of Australians, and probably most other Westerners face. They love their sweet food and they know just how hard it is to say goodbye to it completely.

Add to this reluctance the fact that sugar is addictive, and the resolve to abstain dissolves.

It is not just about deciding to give up sugar. It is also about breaking the physical effects of sugar. As with any other addiction, sugar metabolism sets up a chemical reaction in the brain as well as the body. Within the brain, glucose from metabolized sugars causes a higher release of dopamine and opioids.

Dopamine is often called the ‘feel-good neurotransmitter’. But while it may make you feel good, the release of too much has many health consequences. Many addictive drugs including nicotine, cocaine and methamphetamine also cause increased levels of dopamine to be released in the same way that sugar does. The opioids released by sugar metabolism also make sugar hard to beat by playing a part in the withdrawal symptoms.

I Love Sugar

HOW SUGAR AFFECTS THE BODY

One health problem where sugar plays a part is ADHD /ADD. Although sugar is not thought to cause ADHD, it does raise levels of dopamine. Increased levels of dopamine have been shown to lead to high activity level and impulsive behaviour in the person. So it seems that when parents notice behavioural changes in their child after eating sugar, they may be seeing the dopamine effect.

During 2013 it was suggested that sugar should be included amongst the big three causes of high cholesterol. The other two being trans fats and stress. It was thought that saturated fat was the main cause of high cholesterol levels but the question is now whether it may be sugar instead. At present this remains a controversial topic.

SUGAR AND ILL HEALTH

Here are some of the many illnesses that sugar is known to either cause or where it  plays a significant role or aggravates the symptoms of illnesses:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Mineral depletion which interferes with the absorption of magnesium & calcium
  • Food allergies
  • Slows down your immune system
  • Increases your risk for cancer – as hypothesized by Dr Walberg
  • Heart disease
  • Behaviour problems – ADHD, ADD
  • Insulin resistance
  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Increased triglycerides
  • Reduces (HDL) high-density lipoproteins
  • Poor nutrition
  • Suppresses your immune system
  • Causes inflammation within the body
  • Causes a decline in tissue elasticity and function
  • Raises dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline levels and release
  • Lead to an acidic digestive tract
  • Arthritis
  • Learning disorders in children
  • Candida overgrowth

 For more from this impressive list of 143 Ways That Sugar Ruins Your Health check out this list from Nancy Appleton.

MORE SUGAR PROBLEMS

Over time you become desensitized to sugar. The more you eat, the more effective your body becomes in absorbing it, and the more sugar you absorb the more damage it does. As well as becoming more sensitized to sugar you also become more sensitized to its toxic effects. But fortunately this sensitization to sugar can be decreased so you become less reactive to it, by taking a sugar holiday, even just two weeks off sugar can be effective.

 Sugar is an expert at masquerading and is excellent at hiding in the foods you are eating. It goes by many names but an easy way to identify many sugars is to read the ingredient panel and take note of any ingredients that end in “ose”. Dextrose, lactose, sucrose, glucose, maltose – these are all just different forms of sugar, which when they are metabolized in your body all end up as the same thing, and all have the same effect on your body.

Remember that natural sweeteners, although better for you than white cane sugar because they are not so processed, all essentially become the same thing in your body, blood sugar or glucose. If you want to cut back the amount of blood sugar you cannot just replace one for the other.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

The alternative is NOT to turn to artificial sweeteners. Diet soft drinks, artificially sweetened yoghurts, lo-cal, lo-joule or diet anything are most definitely a poor alternative choice when  they contain artificial chemical sweeteners.

The chemicals such as aspartame that are used to sweeten “diet” or low-sugar foods are linked to all manner of health problems.

But there is one sweetening agent now readily available that is a good alternative to sugar, or to any other sweetener, and it is very safe.

That product is STEVIA.

Stevia rebaudiana
Stevia rebaudiana

Stevia rebaudiuna is a herb that comes from Paraguay in South America, where it has been used for centuries as a sweetener and a health tonic by the Guarani Indians.

The leaves of Stevia are intensely sweet. This naturally sweet extract is in fact up to an amazing 300 times sweeter than cane sugar, so you only need to use a tiny amount of stevia.

The thing that makes the use of stevia so attractive and exciting is that it does not cause an increase in blood sugar levels, in spite of being so sweet. Stevia allows you to enjoy some sweet foods in your diet without the health or weight issues that are caused by cane sugar.

By the way, stevia can used in cooking.

Occasionally some people find stevia has a metallic aftertaste but this seems to be related to the way the plant is processed. The plant leaves have no aftertaste. If you find this a problem it may be worth trying another brand of Stevia, or search out a liquid form.

Be very careful when you buy your Stevia. I was reading the ingredient of a product claiming to be stevia on the shelves at the supermarket and discovered that although the box was covered in the word “Stevia” in fact it was a mixture of stevia and aspartame!

Be careful to buy only pure Stevia. If you are concerned shop for it at a Health Food Shop. It is just as important to read the ingredient panel on foods that are sweetened with Stevia as it is any other to make sure there are not other artificial chemical sweeteners added as well.

Crushed stevia leaves
Crushed stevia leaves

SOME OF THE REPUTED HEALTH BENEFITS OF STEVIA

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Provides sweetness without elevating blood glucose level
  • Research shows taking 1000mg a day of stevioside reduced blood sugarlevels after meals by up to 18 percent in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Studies conducted at Mahidol University in Thailand showed stevia to have the following actions: Lowers blood pressure; anti-inflammatory; anti-tumour; anti-diarrhoeal; diuretic; immunomodulating

Currently further research is being conducted into the effects of stevia on diabetes.

So why not make the decision today to reduce your sugar and other sweetener intake and give stevia a go.

Have you tried stevia? Have you totally removed sugar and sweet food from your diet? Tell us about your experience in the Leave a Reply section below.

If you are local (Mitcham, Melbourne, Australia) you can pick up Stevia at Indigo Centre for Health & Wellbeing.

Small stevia plantation
Small stevia plantation

Disclaimer

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatments suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.

Source articles

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/12/16/stevia-the-holy-grail-of-sweeteners.aspx

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/04/20/sugar-dangers.aspx

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/106/4/523.full

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2235907/

http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/healthscience/2012/october/cholesterol-myth-what-really-causes-heart-disease/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dopamine

http://nancyappleton.com/141-reasons-sugar-ruins-your-health/

http://www.healthylife-healthyplanet.com/health-problems-caused-by-sugar.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2356674/Stevia-First-natural-sugar-substitute-help-fight-obesity-diabetes.html

http://owndoc.com/pdf/Stevia%20new%20rural%20industry.pdf

 

Drink Warm Lemon/Lime Water To Kickstart Your Day

lemon lime water

 

While most people know that it is really important to keep themselves hydrated but most don’t realise they can take that one step further for better health simply by drinking lemon water or lime water first thing in the morning.

Tomorrow, March 22, is World Water Day and while it is about water co-operation practices, what better day is there to start to improve our own personal hydration practices?

 

HOW POOR HYDRATION AFFECTS YOUR BODY

The way you begin each day is really important as it sets up whether you either increase or reduce your resistance to disease. Starting out each day being properly hydrated obviously stops dehydration, but it also has many other health benefits. These include kick-starting your digestion and toxin elimation for the day  and helping prevent adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is becoming far more common in these times of high stress living.

Adequate water intake is essential for the proper elimination of toxins from your body. When you’re dehydrated it becomes really difficult for your body to eliminate waste products which leads to a toxic buildup. You start to feel stressed, to get constipated, to develop arthritis, get outbreaks on your skin and many more problems.

In addition your body stores more fat when you’re dehydrated due to added stress on the kidneys and liver so they do not perform at their best.

 

A SIMPLE WAY TO BOOST YOUR HEALTH

One very simple practice to boost your intake of water that can be surprisingly helpful comes from Yogic or Ayurvedic practice, where it was used to stimulate the digestion and eliminate the toxic slime, called ama, that builds up in the gastro-intestinal tract.

It is the simple practice of drinking a mug of warm water with lemon or lime squeezed into it first thing in the morning. This helps to activate your body’s detoxifying process and also its natural cleansing processes.

 

Lemons and limes are one of natures great gifts and including them in your morning routine has huge health benefits
Lemons and limes are one of natures great gifts and including them in your morning routine has huge health benefits

 

7 REASONS TO DRINK LEMON WATER

1. Helps your liver eliminate toxins

Your liver loves warm lemon/lime water because it purifies and stimulates your digestion and toxin elimination by liquefying bile and inhibiting excess bile flow. The liver is able to produce more enzymes from lemon/lime water than from any other food to promote better digestion.

Your liver works very hard and is crucial to the function of many other body processes – a little lemon/lime support and nurture leads to a healthy and happy liver.

2. Helps digestion

Warm lemon/lime water increases the acidity of your digestive system as it’s very similar to saliva and the digestive juices in the stomach which break down food. It improves your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. An extra benefit of this process is to help with reducing hunger, great for weight loss.

3. Helps elimination of toxic wastes

Warm lemon/lime water helps your bowels to eliminate naturally and easily, reducing constipation. It also helps dilute accumulated the uric acid which causes arthritis or gout when it builds up in the body.

By supporting the liver in its detoxifying role it helps prevent acne.

It gently flushes your kidneys and cleanses your lymphatic system, another channel for the elimination of toxic waste products.

4. Balances pH

Lemon/lime water has an alkylizing effect in the body. Yes, even though they taste acidic they have an incredibly alkaline effect inside your body once they are metabolized! Even drinking lemon water just before any meal will help your body maintain a higher pH than if you didn’t drink it.

When your body has a higher internal pH, that is, it’s more alkaline, it’s far more resistant to most major (and minor) diseases which thrive in an acidic environment. Cancer cells for example breed better in an acidic environment.

5. Protects your cardiovascular and nervous systems

Lemons and limes are high in potassium which is a mineral that works alongside sodium and is vital for the smooth working of the nervous system and brain. Low potassium levels can lead to depression, anxiety, forgetfulness and brain fogginess as well as muscle cramps and heart arrhythmias. Potassium is crucial for heart health and can help prevent stroke.

6. Boosts your immune system

Lemons and limes contain good ratios of calcium and magnesium in plentiful quantities. These minerals work together to prevent many health problems. One lemon has 30.7mg of the antioxidant Vitamin C which is great for fighting off colds and chest infections. Lemons and limes have very high levels of the antioxidant Hesperidin which is anti-inflammatory and believed to have anti-cancer activity.

7. Helps weight loss

Lemons are high in pectin fibre which helps fight hunger cravings. By cleaning out toxins and internal waste they help speed up weight loss, and in addition promote quick bursts of energy. Because the effect works proportionally, the more you drink the more weight loss should speed up. If you replace your other drinks with lemon water you also have the advantage of a zero kilojoule drink.

 

HOW TO TAKE LEMON WATER

Take lemon water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, before eating or drinking anything else. Squeeze half a lemon or lime into half a glass of warm water, stir it and drink. The water will turn cloudy when you add the lemon or lime. It’s good to then wait between half to one hour before you eat to get the best results.

  • Don’t use bottled lemon or lime juice – use fresh fruit.
  • Make sure the water you use is pure – filtered or spring water
  • Make sure the water is warm – don’t use cold water as it is very hard on the digestion, slowing it down. Don’t use hot water either as it will kill the enzymes in freshly squeezed juice
  • Don’t add sugar or other sweeteners

If you want even more from your lemon/lime water you could really spice up your metabolism by simply adding a pinch of ground cinnamon and a pinch of ground ginger. The cinnamon is a great addition if you have any issues with blood sugars.

 

This is such an easy habit to adopt, it’s cheap, easy and certain to build your health. Try it out for a month and see how it can radically change how you start your day.

Which of the benefits that warm lemon/lime water offers would be the one to get you started on drinking it daily? Tell me in the comments below. Or is you already know and love lemon water what benefits have you noticed?

Warm lemon water to boost your health all day long
Warm lemon water to boost your health all day long

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

 

Source articles:

http://www.naturalnews.com/033383_lemon_juice_digestion.html#ixzz2IZ0L8XRo

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4769/Why-You-Should-Drink-Warm-Water-Lemon.html

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/weight-loss/weight-loss-myths-will-drinking-lemon-water-help-you-lose-weight.html

http://factslist.net/2013/01/why-you-should-drink-lemon-water-in-the-morning/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/519038-potassium-and-the-nervous-system/

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/potassium-000320.htm

http://nutritionistheprescription.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/start-your-day-with-lemon-or-lime-water/

 

Optimise Your Digestion With These Juicy Options

Juices can deliver a whopping great punch of valuable nutrients and enzymes into your body quickly and easily
Juices can deliver a whopping great punch of valuable nutrients and enzymes into your body quickly and easily

I am really excited tonight and feel like all-my-Christmases-have-come-at-once, as this afternoon I picked up my new slow juicer. I have been waiting quite a while for the shipment to arrive as it has sat in a container on the docks for a while. But today it is here. And no, it is not a Christmas gift, it just happens that it has arrived right at this time. The juicer I have chosen is a cold-press masticating type.

There is plenty of evidence about the benefits of juicing, provided the juice is prepared in a way that does not destroy the nutrients and enzymes. Juicing plays an important role in detoxing the body, and in facts underpins many natural health plans for the treatment of a wide range of diseases including cancer. But it also makes sense to include it in any plan for healthy living.

One if the main reasons to add home-made juice to your diet is that it can deliver a whopping great punch of valuable nutrients and enzymes quickly and easily, although this depends on the type of juicer it is made in.

You’ve heard this before but micronutrients are quickly damaged or destroyed by heating and cooking. In an ideal world we would all totally avoid processed foods and eat only fresh organic fruit and vegetables. But this is not always possible for lots of reasons. Most of us also make the choice to indulge in foods and drinks that are not health-wise, especially at this time of the year when it can become very difficult to make consistently good food choices.

So why juice?

Dr Mercola sums it up nicely in three points:

Juicing helps you absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables

Juicing allows you to consume an optimal amount of vegetables in an efficient manner

You can add a wider variety of vegetables in your diet

And to this I would add that juicing encourages people to eat breakfast. One of the big battles I frequently encounter at work is to get people to reverse their practice of not eating before they leave for work or school – the body is an engine and needs fuel to function!

Most people have poor or impaired digestion, whether they recognize it or not, as a result of prolonged regular poor food choices. For some this is obvious in indigestion, bloating, gas, cramping, or IBS, but for many more the effects are not so apparent. But poor digestion always equates with poor health. Over time it leads to many chronic health problems that range from fatigue to lung and heart problems and include a diverse range of many more. If you are not absorbing nutrients – vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and carbohydrates – your body will simply not function properly. You need each of these nutrients to some degree, and some part of your body will suffer if you are deficient in any one of them.

Poor and impaired digestion results in poor and impaired immune function.

If you do suffer from poor digestion it is well worth taking fresh home-made juice before eating a meal, about twenty to thirty minutes, because the enzymes in the juice will actually act as an aid to help with your digestion. When taken on an empty stomach the juice is assimilated immediately, the nutrients absorbed, and the enzymes able to work efficiently.

The quantity of raw vegetables that we should optimally eat is big. Even the relatively modest amounts recommended by Government bodies are more than most people who come to see me for health advice and treatment regularly eat. Many of these people are in tune with good health requirements (to varying degrees), and eat more vegetables and fruit than most of the rest of the population, but still are not eating enough. Juicing allows you to increase the amount of raw vegetables and fruit that you consume substantially.

If you take a moment to work out what vegetables and fruits you eat you will almost certainly find that you are eating the same ones every day, with a variation thrown in only occasionally. Very few people actually manage to sustain a good rotation of the vegetables they consume. This may lead to a preponderance of some nutrients and deficiency of others in your diet. But one result that is not often appreciated is that it can also be responsible for the development of food allergies and intolerances. When you juice you can create a far more diverse diet because you can add in those vegetables and fruits that you don’t particularly like and so would not normally consume.

I mentioned before that the quality of the juice depends very much on the type of juicer used. The cheaper versions all use a centrifugal action. They are cheap to buy and quick to use. The problem is that their action heats the juice and causes significant nutrient loss. Juice made in these machines oxidizes quickly (in the same way that cut apple turns brown as it oxidizes) leading to free radical damage in your body. If you leave these juices sitting they will turn brown fairly quickly. I guess that if all you want juice for is the taste with no awareness or consideration for the consequence of consuming poor and damaging food then that would not be an issue!

Masticating juicers on the other hand, deliver a cold-pressed product which has not been damaged by being heated.

Bearing in mind that a juicer is an investment – an investment in your health what do you need to look for when purchasing a juicer?

Well firstly you want one that will deliver a high quality juice which is loaded with nutrients and enzymes

Another important factor is how easy it will be to clean, as if this is difficult you simply won’t use it.

A good warranty will ensure that the juicer can handle seeds, skins and cores without burning out.

The factor that really sets the best juicers apart is how much juice they can extract, as in the long run a machine that produces more juice from the same quantity of produce will save you money

Lastly make sure the engine is going to be strong enough to deal with juicing for the family.

One bonus you get from juicers is that you can also use them to make smoothies which are often a great way to retrain your body to eat breakfast. I often get clients to start slowly at reintroducing the practice as once their body gets used to eating in the morning they find they want to eat sufficient and can’t do without. Many who say they can’t eat in the morning find they are ok with a smoothie to start off the ‘re-training’. Another bonus is that it so easy to add superfoods like Spiulina or Chlorella powder, or wheat or barleygrass to the smoothie to really powerhouse your breakfast and get your body fired for the day.

You can add Superfoods to a basic green smoothie to give a power start to your day
You can add Superfoods to a basic green smoothie to power start your day

When you choose your vegetables for juicing it is important to remember that any pesticide residues will be concentrated. Choose organic produce wherever you can, but if you need to restrict the amount of organic foods you buy then make sure you select only organic versions of any of the foods that appear on the “Dirty Dozen®” http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary   list which is a guide to pesticides in produce for shoppers. There is also a list of the fifteen ‘cleanest’ veges and fruits on that link.

If you, like many parents, are worried about the amount of fruits and vegetables that your kids are eating try them on home made juices from a wide variety of organic vegetables and fruits and know that they are probably getting the nutrients they require.

One drawback from lots of juice in your diet rather than whole fruit and vegetables, is that the fibre contained in the produce is discarded. Insufficient fibre is a common problem in western diets and leads to digestive health problems. Fibre also helps you to feel full and satisfied. In order to stop the development or exacerbation of the very health problems you are trying to fix you need to add the fibre back into your diet via the juice, or else by adding it to soups, stews or salads.

Juicers range in price from very cheap to thousands of dollars. My new masticating juicer cost a few hundred dollars. I know it won’t be as good as the ones I have dreamed of owning but it is quite sufficient to get my family started on this yummy health practice and to get them away from commercial juices.

There are lots of juicing recipes about but you don’t need them as it is good to experiment with your own creativity. Here are some simple ideas to get you started.

Here are some great tips for juicing, including juicing for a large family.

And here is one last hint – Chew your juice, never gulp it down! You will absorb it better when it is mixed with saliva.

Have fun trying out juicing for your household. I’m off to stock up on some fresh organic produce so I can get going.

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

 

Source articles:

http://greensmoothierevolution.com/

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/11/13/benefits-of-juicing.aspx

http://www.livestrong.com/article/535545-the-disadvantages-of-juicing/

Spring Is Here – Detox Time

Spring Cherry Blossoms

With the arrival of September comes the stirring of Spring down here in Oz. (For my Northern hemisphere followers there are also steps that you need to take to deal with the change from the warmth of Summer into the cool of Autumn and I will post some pointers for you next time).  Doors and windows are thrown open at the first hint of a warm day letting light and air pour through rooms that have been closed up throughout the dark depths of winter. Second-Hand Shops are flooded with donations as cupboards are cleaned out and goods are discarded. Intentions are set and with the new mindset changes begin to happen. Dogs get walked more frequently, meals start to include more fresh, raw produce, gym programs are set and personal trainers are hired, and many people undertake a detox program to rid themselves of the winter “blahs” and get their energy surging and their bodies trim for the seasons ahead.

Your body’s natural detox system is awesome when it is functioning at full power. But when something breaks down, the toxins are simply not eradicated and build up inside you, stressing every system in your body and leading to lots of health problems that can include bad skin, allergies or arthritis.

At work this week I have begun the Spring Detox Programs and now is the time to consider starting these in your life also. Toxic overloads build up over time and obviously cannot be dealt with by simply eating fruit over a weekend. Also,  doing only a juice fast or detox diet may cause more harm than good, as your metabolic processes will slow down dramatically, and this includes waste removal. The toxins within your body are stored in the fat cells. Increasing  exercise without making any other significant changes can release these toxins into your system as the fat breaks down, but not necessarily adequately flush them out of your body.

To detox properly you need to put a number of things into place and commit to making long-term changes rather than just a 2-day or even week long quick-fix.

There are many ways that you can go about this.

First be honest about what you need to change. Do you smoke? Drink lots of coffee, or soft drinks, which also often contain caffeine, or worse, aspartame? Are you binge drinking, or drinking alcohol on most nights? Are you addicted to sugar or foods high in saturated fats? Are you too sedentary? Are you stressed? Even though you don’t take stress “into your body” it is still very toxic to all your body systems, particularly if it is ongoing.

So to create an effective detox you need to work with the natural body detoxifying processes. At the same time limit the amount of toxins you are exposed to so that you reduce the stress on your detox system, while also strengthening it at the same time.

 

Fresh, raw, organic vegetables
Fresh, raw, organic vegetables

The first line of defence against toxin overload is in limiting what you put into your mouth. This usually means giving up coffee, sugar, bread, milk alcohol and red meat, but if doing this stops you being able to detox in other ways then it won’t be all that good (although I always maintain even small steps are useful to a certain degree and sometimes the best way to get started). In spite of this, to effectively detox you do need to reduce the toxin intake from food. Eating only organic food is the best option but if it is not possible, at least try to always eat some selected organic foods. You also need to add foods to your diet that will stimulate the liver, bowel and kidneys so they work better, as well as foods that neutralize free radicals like berries, kidney beans, avocadoes, cherries, spinach, red cabbage, sweet potatoes, broccoli, green tea, nuts, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric and kiwi fruits to name just a few .

Here are 5 Great Springtime Detox Diets you might like to try. There are lots of  “Top 10 Detox Food” lists around. This list suggests general food groups and this one specific food items, and both are great places to get ideas for changes you can make. But remember they are just a start and you should aim to expand on these lists.

Juicing is a another great way to get optimal health and well worth including in your nutrition plan. How often are you getting the 7-8 serves of fruit and vegetables you need every day, and do you know how big a serve actually is? Juicing offers a way to help you meet those requirements. You can add veges that you don’t normally eat and get a wider range of nutrients and also this means you are able to rotate your foods more. Here is a nice comparison of the different types of juicers available. Check it out before you get one. And then check out these good recipes to get you started. Celery, fennel and cucumbers are good veges to start with as they are easy to digest.  You can add lemon or lime, cranberries or blueberries, or fresh ginger to boost your health and get a great flavour burst. As you get the hang of it you can add superfoods to your juice like Spirulina (my own fave “multi-vitamin” superfood), chlorella, barley grass and maca powder. Use organic veges and fruit, especially if they are one of the ones included on the “Dirty Dozen©” list . Also, drink the juice straight away as it is very perishable. If you need to you can store it for a day in the fridge, in a container filled right to the top so there is no air to allow oxidation to occur. The only drawback about using lots of juices in your diet is that you lose the fibre that is in the fruit and vegetables when you juice them, and so you will need to be very conscious of maintaing a high level of foods with a high natural fibre level in the other foods in your diet.

While exercise is essential to a good detox, gyms are not always helpful or healthy. Their environment is one that for many people simply builds their stress levels and negates any health benefit they would otherwise gain. Running or walking in the open air, or swimming gives you the benefit of aerobic exercise away from the stressful environment.

Eastern exercise like yoga, t’ai chi and qi gong are wonderful ways to exercise as they offer you so much. You will gain all the benefits of other aerobic exercises as well as much, much more. Yoga for example, teaches you to breathe properly, it stretches your muscles which in turn releases toxins, it balances your inner body energy, or chi, it helps to reduce your stress and it stimulates your lymphatic system. It is also very calming for most people and leaves them feeling at peace as well as envigorated. There are many types of yoga and you are sure to find one that suits you.

Detoxing is not just about what goes on inside your body. It is also important to attend to your external body. You are going to like this! Massage, body-brushing and heat treatments are some great ways to stimulate detoxing from the outside.

About half a kilo of toxins leave your body each day, carried out through your skin in your sweat, but this can only happen if your pores are clean. Also, if you are you are using an anti-perspirant then you need to be aware that it will be blocking some of the major drainage pores of your body. The pores can also be blocked by a build-up of dead skin cells that sit on the surface of your skin. Normally they are shed, but this doesn’t occur as well as you age. So, removing these cells is important to detox and body-brushing is a good way to do this. Here is how to do it. Body salt scrubs on dry skin will also help. I make a delicious one from Himalayan Salt and essential and vegetable oils.

Sauna and steam treatments are another way to remove toxins. By the way, when smokers leave a sauna they often leave a yellow tar residue which has oozed out of all their pores on the towels and a fine layer of black tar under the benches. Is that an incentive to stop smoking? I hope so.

Massage detoxes the body in two ways. Firstly, by reducing stress which if prolonged depresses your immunity and therefore your resistance to infections. Reducing stress  can also help reduce cravings. Secondly, it stimulates blood circulation and lymphatic flow, which feeds more nutrients into the cells and removes more waste from the cells. There are a few different types of massage, and while all will be beneficial manual lymph drainage is the most beneficial for detoxing.

 

So, armed with these few tips to get you off and running, start formulating your Spring Detox plan today so you can get it underway quickly and head out on the path towards a lighter brighter spring you.

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site.