By Laurie Heilman Bell
We clean our homes and our vehicles at regular intervals, but what about our body, our lifelong home and vehicle? Internally, we do have mechanisms for removing waste and toxins, but factors like stress, poor eating habits and the aging process can impact how effectively those mechanisms function. Periodic “cleansing” or “detoxification” can help these important mechanisms work most effectively.
Dietary modification is the foundation of any cleanse. The goal of a cleansing diet is to give the body a rest from having to cope with the processed “junk” food that is all too common in our daily diet. A cleansing diet focuses on the consumption of fresh, whole, alkalinizing food that satiates through abundant nutrition and cleansing fibre.
The following table outlines common guidelines for a cleansing diet*:
|FOODS:||ENJOY LOTS OF:||EAT MODERATELY:||AVOID EATING:|
|Fruit**||Domestic fruit (apples, peaches, pears, berries, etc.ideally organic).||Dried fruit, melons, high sugar fruit (tropical fruit, grapes, bananas) **Generally avoided on a Candida cleanse.|
|All (ideally organic), raw or steamed.||GMO, canned|
|Grains||Alkalizing, whole grains, millet, buckwheat, brown rice, popcorn (air popped).||White rice, oatmeal, barley, spelt, kamut, quinoa, amaranth, rye.||Flour and processed grains (bread, pasta, cereal).|
|Meat||Wild fish (salmon, cod, sole, trout)||Flaxseeds, pumpkin, sunflower.||Processed/smoked meat (sausage, deli meat, jerky). High risk fish like swordfish (mercury).|
|Eggs||Poached, hard boiled.||Fried, scrambled.|
|Nuts and Seeds.||Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, filberts, pistachios, pecans, sesame seeds.||Flaxseeds, pumpkin, sunflower.||Peanuts and tropical nuts.|
|Beans||fresh and green beans.||Dried.||Canned.|
|Dairy||Almond, Coconut, Rice or Organic Soy.||Butter||Milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, sour cream.|
|Beverages||Water and herbal teas.||Coffee (1-2 cups/day), milk alternatives (unsweetened rice, soy or hemp milks).||Black tea, fruit juic, alcohol and milk.|
|Miscellaneous||Herbs for seasoning, garlic and ginger.||Stevia and oils (no peanut oil).||Yeast, vinegar, soy sauce, sweeteners (sugar, honey, maple syrup, artificial).|
Total body cleanses:
Usually consist of several different products, each formulated with herbal or homeopathic ingredients to cleanse and support your major cleansing organs through the detoxification process.
Formulated with herbal or homeopathic ingredients that cleanse and support specific, targeted organs such as the liver or kidneys.
Candida and parasite cleanses:
Usually combine several products intended to destroy and remove Candida yeast and/or parasitic organisms from the body. A combined approach often utilizes yeast or parasite killing herbals or homeopathics, as well as probiotics, digestive enzymes and/or fibre.
Heavy metal cleanses:
Utilize herbal, homeopathic and/or chelating agents to remove heavy metals from the body.
Above all, to increase the success of your cleanse, you should consider three important points before you begin:
1) Choose a cleanse that is appropriate for you - Research your options and talk to a health professional about what protocol and what product doses might be appropriate for your level of health, particularly if you are new to cleansing. Choosing the right protocol can reduce the likelihood of a cleansing reaction (e.g. aches, rashes, nausea) that can occur as your body begins to flush out waste.
2) Choose a time to cleanse that is appropriate for you - The cleansing process calls for a focus on healthful eating and sleeping patterns; periods of high stress (e.g. moving, changing jobs, traveling) may make this difficult.
3) Prepare - Once you have decided how and when you will cleanse, prepare by stocking up on cleanse appropriate recipes and groceries. You may also want to “cleanse” your cupboards of any restricted food items that might sabotage your progress!
Cleansing does take commitment, but the investment in your health can come with the priceless payback of increased energy, improved digestion and healthful weight loss.
*This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. For any health related concerns, please consult your doctor. Community Natural Foods and all of its associates shall not be held accountable for how this information is perceived or utilized.