Copied from HealthyHolisticLiving.com
How do you know when you need to detox your body? How do I go about detoxifying my body? What are the benefits of a detox program? These are all extremely common questions that are asked on a regular basis by people who have an interest in holistic health. Before I continue, please allow me to say that I am a huge fan of detox programs, but obviously I don’t recommend all detox programs. In fact, some of the recommendations you come across on the internet should be avoided like the plague.
Why Do You Need To Detox In The First Place?
The human body is a fantastic thing, and under ideal conditions, it can detoxify and repair itself for many decades without any help at all. Unfortunately, we no longer live in an ideal world. Each and every day we are being exposed to countless number of harmful chemicals and other toxin. Even potentially deadly heavy metal and radioactive substances find their way into the food chain, not to mention all the chemical fertilizers; pesticides and insecticides which are applied to the fruit and vegetables we buy in supermarkets.
Because of the environment in which we now live, our bodies inevitably become overloaded with harmful toxins, and eventually our immune system is simply unable to keep up. Studying the rapid decline in bee colonies, scientists discovered traces of up to 29 different chemical contaminants on certain crops and/or in the soil in which they were growing.
Seafood has historically always been seen as a source of good health, but today health experts warn against eating too much seafood due in an ever increasing level of heavy metal contamination in the world’s oceans. Farmed fish on the other hand are often fed foods of dubious quality, containing a seemingly endless number of additives.
Livestock represent the same sort of risk in terms of human health. Most modern livestock farms use animal feed that contains growth hormones, and the widespread use of antibiotics in animal feed is common knowledge these days.
Doesn’t it just make sense that we should help our bodies out from time to time? You know, sort of lend ourselves a hand? The big question is: how do you know when you need to detox your body?
10 Signs That Could Be Telling You That You Need To Detox
A build up of toxins can cause an almost infinite number of health problems, including several potentially fatal diseases such as cancer. However, before your body’s level of toxicity causes such serious problems, it’ll almost certainly try to alert you that something is wrong. In other words, you’ll start experiencing certain unpleasant symptoms. Now, I don’t mean to offend you, but if you choose to ignore the symptoms, then you only have yourself to blame when you suffer the consequences. Here are ten very convincing telltale signs that your body is in urgent need of some maintenance:
1. Constant and/or recurring fatigue, often accompanied by periods of low energy
2. Unusual constipation or a reduction in daily bowel movements
3. Always feeling bloated or experiencing excessive gas/flatulence
4. Persistent loose stools and/or blood in your stools
5. Joint pain
6. Mood swings
7. Lower than usual sex drive
8. Persistent headaches
9. Regular colds and/or flu
It’s important to keep in mind that all of the above mentioned symptoms can be caused by a wide array of illnesses, but if you are generally feeling fine, other than experiencing some of these symptoms, then I would recommend a detox. If a detox doesn’t produce any noticeable results, then yes, it’s time to start looking for other probable causes.
What Sort Of Detox Program Should I Adopt?
There are many different types of detox programs and detox diets, but I would personally recommend you try a diet based detox. By this I mean you should make a real effort to avoid certain foods, while at the same time making an effort to include certain foods. If your diet already includes food that are known to assist with detoxification, then you should try to eat even more of those foods than you currently do.
Foods To Avoid, Especially During Detox
To be perfectly honest, most of the foods that are best avoided during your detox should actually be avoided all the time. These include things like:
Foods containing refined sugar
Dairy foods (unless from grass fed pastured cattle)
Fast foods (including readymade meals)
NOTE: I recommend that you avoid any and all foods that contain any form of genetically modified produce. I also recommend eating only organic foods.
10 Detoxifying Super Foods
If you believe you need to detox, then you really need to writing down the following foods on your grocery list. Each and every one of them will help to speed up the detoxification process, while at the same time benefiting your body in several other ways as well. The ten super detox foods I personally recommend are:
Flax seed and/or flax seed oil
Generally speaking, all fruit and vegetable are helpful when it comes to a detox, and of course they are also renowned for their outstanding nutritional value. However, as mentioned already, it is best to only consume organic produce, and nothing which has been genetically modified.
by Elisha McFarland
Our skin is the largest organ of absorption and elimination. Many people exfoliate the skin on their faces regularly, but the truth is that your whole body could do with thorough and regular exfoliation. Skin that is clogged with toxins and dead cells cannot function properly because the toxins are not being eliminated. Since it is estimated that the skin eliminates over one pound of waste per day, skin brushing would be an excellent routine to add to your day. Dry skin brushing on a daily basis can provide numerous benefits, such as improved circulation, stimulating lymph drainage, stimulating hormones, and firming the skin.
• By increasing the circulation to the skin, you are encouraging your body to discharge metabolic waste.
• Dry skin brushing stimulates the lymphatic system, which also helps to eliminate toxins from the body.
• Dry skin brushing helps your skin to breathe by removing dead skin cells, and opening clogged pores.
Dry skin brushing tips
• You will need a brush with soft natural bristles for dry brushing. Do not use synthetic bristles. This is quite similar to a hairbrush, but it has a longer handle. They are very affordable and some of the best dry skin brushes cost as little as $8-$10.
• Make sure that the dry brushing is done softly in the initial stages so that soreness is avoided. Application of a little more pressure can be done as your skin gets used to dry brushing.
• Your skin and brush should be dry. Shower after skin brushing to remove exfoliated skin.
• Do not do any dry brushing over cuts, wounds or rashes.
• Begin by brushing the outermost parts of your body (hands and feet) towards the center of your body.
• Pass the brush once over your body, except the face.
• The brush strokes should move towards your heart. This improvement in blood circulation is why so many people feel extremely refreshed after an energetic session of dry brushing.
• It is only when you are dry brushing your stomach that you are going to apply clockwise brushing movements.
• You should not use a scrubbing, circular or back and forth motion.
• Slight flushing of the skin is normal, due to increased circulation. The skin should not be red or irritated, if it is you’re using too much pressure.
• The entire process should only take one to two minutes.
• Clean the brush meticulously after every brushing session
• If your skin is extremely dry, rub some oil into it after you have brushed it and showered. Jojoba oil is an excellent skin softener.
Sources for this article include:
I Was Poisoned by My Body by Dr. Gloria Gilbere N.D., D.A. Hom., Ph.D
About the author:
After sixteen years of struggling with MCS, Elisha has come out on the other side with a renewed zest for life and the desire to educate others about wholistic and healthy life choices. During that time she received the following degrees and designations, Doctor of Naturopathy, Master Herbalist, Diploma in Clinical Homeopathy, Bachelor of Science in Holistic Nutrition, Certified Wholistic Rejuvenist and EFT-ADV. You can visit her website at www.myhealthmaven.com.
Written By: Sayer Ji, Founder
Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage
~ Kakuzo Okakura, Book of Tea
We can imagine that, before the advent of civilization, with all its familiar trappings of pyro-technology and pottery, tea leaves (which are quite bitter) would not have been nibbled on for recreation. Likely they would have been used only occasionally in small amounts, for the purposes of harnessing their intensely concentrated medicinal properties. Only later, as Okakura ruminated, would tea be consumed regularly in the form of a drinkable infusion.
The beauty of tea’s transition from a medicine to a beverage is that drinking tea in small amounts daily, may prevent the need for using ‘heroic’ megadoses of green tea at any time later in life after a serious disease sets in. Food (and beverage) is medicine, assuredly, but it is best used preventively – in small, hopefully enjoyable, doses — before a problem digs in its roots.
So, what are the health benefits of tea, particularly green tea? We think of it as an antioxidant, and indeed, of the 69 beneficial ‘pharmacological actions’ we have identified tea possessing on our natural medicine database project thus far, reduction of oxidative stress is top on the list. But what of the other 68 actions mentioned?
Did you know that green tea is capable of reducing the formation of the fat cells known as adipocytes (anti-adipogenic), which is one reason why it has been studied for its possible ameliorative role in weight gain and obesity. Green tea has also been found to modulate AMP-activated protein kinase which reduces fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis, as well as gluconeogensis (the production of sugar from protein in the liver).
Or, did you know that green tea has been studied for its ability to slow the aging process? Daily consumption of green tea catechin delays memory regression and brain dysfunction in aged mice. Green tea has also been found to prevent photo-aging of the skin, and potentially have a rejuvenating effect.
Green tea has also been found to induce programmed cell death (apoptosis) in a variety of cancer cell lines, including colorectal, breast, endometrial, skin, brain, gastrointestinal, prostate, and leukemic.
We are only at potential beneficial action #4 of 69. Shall we go on? The problem is not a lack of research supporting the health benefits of green tea, rather, that there are too many to list. Back in 1971, the US National Library of Medicine’s bibliographic citation database Medline lists one study published in a peer-reviewed journal on the topic. This year alone, 440 articles were published so far on green tea’s pharmacological properties. In total, Medline contains 4,826 referenced citations on green tea research. We have spent a considerable amount of time organizing a key fraction of this research, in connection with green tea’s beneficial role in over 240 health conditions. You can view the research on our page dedicated to this remarkable plant here: Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Green Tea.
It should be noted that black tea is simply baked or oxidized green tea. And yet it still retains significant medicinal activity, including potent antioxidant activity. While there is less research available on MEDLINE on black tea’s health benefits, we have indexed close to 50 health conditions that may benefit from its consumption and which can be viewed here: Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Black Tea.
If a simple action like drinking tea can protect us against possibly hundreds of potential health problems, as well as give us a much needed respite from our daily activities in the act of preparing, drinking, or sharing tea, then perhaps we should aspire to drink a cup sometime soon again.
FEBRUARY 13, 2014 4:31 AM EST
Did you know that an adult heart pumps approximately 2,000 gallons of blood through your body every day? Or that it takes only 20 seconds for blood to circulate through the entire body? For a muscle the size of your fist, your heart has a pretty serious job, so it’s important to give your heart the nutrients it needs to thrive.
So how can you protect your heart this Valentine’s Day? With dark chocolate! You might already know the many health benefits of dark chocolate, but today I want to focus on its mineral content. In addition to powerful antioxidants, dark chocolate also provides a good amount of magnesium, a mineral that your body needs for many of its daily functions.
What is magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral that acts as a cofactor for more than 300 enzymes in the body. This means that magnesium helps our body perform many of its normal functions, like building proteins, maintaining muscle and nerve function, controlling your blood sugar, and regulating your blood pressure. Magnesium is also required in metabolism, bone development, DNA formation, and glutathione production. If you have trouble with muscle cramps, personality changes, fatigue, detoxification, or abnormal heart rhythms, you might benefit from increasing your daily dose of magnesium.
What causes a deficiency?
- Low dietary intakes
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Chronic diarrhea
- Malabsorption due to gluten or other food sensitivity
- Use of loop diuretics (Lasix, Bumex)
- Use of proton-pump inhibitors (Nexium, Prevacid)
- Use of certain antibiotics
Recommended Forms of Magnesium
This form is commonly used to relieve constipation by stimulating bowel movements.
This is a chelated form of magnesium that is not as strong as other forms, but it’s more easily absorbed by the body. This is the form that I recommend for those who would like to supplement their daily intake of magnesium.
This is the form of magnesium more commonly known as Epsom salt. The sulfate helps draw toxins out of the body through the pores in the skin, allowing magnesium to then be absorbed.
Sources of magnesium
- Dark chocolate (75% or more cacao)
- Pumpkin seeds
- Nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts)
- Epsom salt baths
Warm Lavender Bath Recipe
- 2 cups of Epsom salt (½ cup for children)
- 1-2 cups of baking soda
- 20 drops of lavender oil
1. Add ingredients to warm water and stir well.
2. Soak for 20 minutes to help draw out toxins.
3. If you have time, soak for an additional 20 minutes so that your body can absorb the magnesium.
This Valentine’s Day, treat yourself (and your Valentine) to a relaxing Warm Lavender Bath and a delicious bar of dark chocolate. Your heart will thank you.
Have you ever wondered about the health benefits of apples? Sure, most of us grew up with our parents and our teachers telling us that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but is there really any truth in that? After all, when I grew older some shrewd marketing guru changed the slogan to “two a day.”
Was this just because farmers needed to shift more apples? Was it because supply was exceeding demand? I guess we’ll never really know for sure, but I can tell you this: Apples are so much more than just another pleasant tasting fruit. Let’s take at what some once called…..”The Forbidden Fruit.”
INTERESTING FACT: Scientists at the USDA recently studied more than 100 different natural foods in order to determine their antioxidant value per serving. Astonishingly, apples (Red Delicious and Granny Smith) were awarded 12th and 13th place in the USDA’s list of the world’s best antioxidant foods.
In addition to the high concentration of antioxidants found in apples, they also contain a significant amount of a certain type of dietary fiber known as pectin. Coincidentally pectin is considered to be one of the very best fibers in terms of overall health.
Apples And Your Teeth
No, an apple a day doesn’t mean you can put your toothbrush away, but when you bite into and chew on some apple, it stimulates saliva production. As strange as this might seem, saliva is one of the most powerful tooth decay preventing substances ever discovered.
Apples And Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s disease is essentially caused by a breakdown of the brain cells that are responsible for producing a substance known as dopamine. While it remains unclear why apples seem to reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, scientists are inclined to believe that it’s the pectin/fiber content found in most apples.
Apples And Alzheimer’s
Astonishingly, a recent study has shown that regular consumption of fresh apple juice could possibly reduce the risk of developing this life destroying disease. Interestingly, a laboratory study has revealed that mice fed on an apple enhanced diet did far better in maze tests compared to mice that had no apple at all.
Apples And Diabetes
One of the most recognized benefits of apples is the fact that they can reduce the risk of developing type II diabetes. In fact, studies have shown that just one apple per day can reduce your risk of Type II Diabetes by up to 28%. Unfortunately, these studies only involved women, but there is no reason to believe why it would be any different for men.
Apples And Cancer
All apples are generally loaded with a substance known as flavonol, and most scientists at the AACR (American Association of Cancer Research) believe that regular consumption of flavonol can reduce the risk of developing pancreatic cancer by as much as 28%. Scientists have also recently isolated several compounds found in apple peel that seem to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in the liver; breasts and colon…….the jury is still out.
Apples And Cholesterol
Nothing intriguing here I’m afraid……just good old scientific evidence. The soluble fiber which is so plentiful in apples binds with unhealthy fats present in the intestines, and consequently leads to the efficient elimination of these harmful fats.
Apples And Heart Health
A vast amount of research which has been carried out over the course of many years has established that the soluble fiber present in apples can effectively slow down the buildup of plaque on arterial walls, thereby helping to prevent high blood pressure and other coronary diseases. A compound in the skin of apples known as phenolic can also prevent cholesterol from solidifying, which in turn also helps to reduce arterial plaque even further.
Apples And Gallstones
Another benefit of apples is the fact that they can effectively help to prevent the formation of gallstones. Gallstones are essentially solid chunks of cholesterol that form when you have too much cholesterol in your bile. While anyone can get gallstones, obese people are particularly vulnerable.
Apples And Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome typically causes people to feel bloated even though they have not overeaten, and it generally also causes stomach pain accompanied by either frequent constipation or frequent diarrhea. Doctors as well as holistic health practitioners recommend that people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome should avoid or at least cut down on dairy products, and they should increase their daily fiber intake. Coincidentally, apples are a fantastic source of soluble dietary fiber.
Apples And The Liver
The liver is responsible for removing harmful toxins from the body, but sometimes it simply cannot keep up. As a result, many people, including myself, believe that it is necessary for us to assist the liver. This is generally known as a body detox regimen, and it usually takes the form of a special diet, or at the very least, a certain amount of diet modification. One of the best ways to detox your liver is to eat an abundance of fruit and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants and apples are right up there at the top of the list. In fact, if you search around online, you’ll even find a apple diet detox program.
Apples And Weight Loss
One of the easiest ways to lose weight is to begin eating foods that contain plenty of fiber. Fiber rich foods make you feel full quickly, and the effects are long lasts, thereby reducing the temptation to indulge in snacks. Next time you find yourself reaching for a chocolate, eat an apple first, and you’ll almost certainly find that you no longer want that chocolate. As an added bonus, you get to enjoy all the other benefits of apples at the same time.
By RITA F. REDBERG and REBECCA SMITH-BINDMAN
DESPITE great strides in prevention and treatment, cancer rates remain stubbornly high and may soon surpass heart disease as the leading cause of death in the United States. Increasingly, we and many other experts believe that an important culprit may be our own medical practices: We are silently irradiating ourselves to death.
The use of medical imaging with high-dose radiation — CT scans in particular — has soared in the last 20 years. Our resulting exposure to medical radiation has increased more than sixfold between the 1980s and 2006, according to the National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements. The radiation doses of CT scans (a series of X-ray images from multiple angles) are 100 to 1,000 times higher than conventional X-rays.
Of course, early diagnosis thanks to medical imaging can be lifesaving. But there is distressingly little evidence of better health outcomes associated with the current high rate of scans. There is, however, evidence of its harms.
The relationship between radiation and the development of cancer is well understood: A single CT scan exposes a patient to the amount of radiation that epidemiologic evidence shows can be cancer-causing. The risks have been demonstrated directly in two large clinical studies in Britain and Australia. In the British study, children exposed to multiple CT scans were found to be three times more likely to develop leukemia and brain cancer. In a 2011 report sponsored by Susan G. Komen, the Institute of Medicine concluded that radiation from medical imaging, and hormone therapy, the use of which has substantially declined in the last decade, were the leading environmental causes of breast cancer, and advised that women reduce their exposure to unnecessary CT scans.
CTs, once rare, are now routine. One in 10 Americans undergo a CT scan every year, and many of them get more than one. This growth is a result of multiple factors, including a desire for early diagnoses, higher quality imaging technology, direct-to-consumer advertising and the financial interests of doctors and imaging centers. CT scanners cost millions of dollars; having made that investment, purchasers are strongly incentivized to use them.
While it is difficult to know how many cancers will result from medical imaging, a 2009 study from the National Cancer Institute estimates that CT scans conducted in 2007 will cause a projected 29,000 excess cancer cases and 14,500 excess deaths over the lifetime of those exposed. Given the many scans performed over the last several years, a reasonable estimate of excess lifetime cancers would be in the hundreds of thousands. According to our calculations, unless we change our current practices, 3 percent to 5 percent of all future cancers may result from exposure to medical imaging.
We know that these tests are overused. But even when they are appropriately used, they are not always done in the safest ways possible. The rule is that doses for medical imaging should be as low as reasonably achievable. But there are no specific guidelines for what these doses are, and thus there is considerable variation within and between institutions. The dose at one hospital can be as much as 50 times stronger than at another.
A recent study at one New York hospital found that nearly a third of its patients undergoing multiple cardiac imaging tests were getting a cumulative effective dose of more than 100 millisieverts of radiation — equivalent to 5,000 chest X-rays. And last year, a survey of nuclear cardiologists found that only 7 percent of stress tests were done using a “stress first” protocol (examining an image of the heart after exercise before deciding whether it was necessary to take one of it at rest), which can decrease radiation exposure by up to 75 percent.
In recent years, the medical profession has made some progress on these issues. The American College of Radiology and the American College of Cardiology have issued “appropriateness criteria” to help doctors consider the risks and benefits before ordering a test. And the insurance industry has started using radiology benefit managers, who investigate whether an imaging test is necessary before authorizing payment for it. Some studies have shown that the use of medical imaging has begun to slow.
But we still have a long way to go. Fortunately, we can reduce the rate of medical imaging by simply avoiding unnecessary scans and minimizing the radiation from appropriate ones. For example, emergency room physicians routinely order multiple CT scans even before meeting a patient. Such practices, for which there is little or no evidence of benefit, should be eliminated.
Better monitoring and guidelines would also help. The Food and Drug Administration oversees the approval of scanners, but does not have regulatory oversight for how they are used. We need clear standards, published by professional radiology societies or organizations like the Joint Commission or the F.D.A. In order to be accredited for CT scans, hospitals and imaging clinics should be required to track the doses they use and ensure that they are truly as low as possible by comparing them to published guidelines.
Patients have a part to play as well. Consumers can go to the Choosing Wisely website to learn about the most commonly overused tests. Before agreeing to a CT scan, they should ask: Will it lead to a better treatment and outcome? Would they get that therapy without the test? Are there alternatives that don’t involve radiation, like ultrasound or M.R.I.? When a CT scan is necessary, how can radiation exposure be minimized?
Neither doctors nor patients want to return to the days before CT scans. But we need to find ways to use them without killing people in the process.