05.11.12 Wellness

The Importance of Cleansing

The Importance of Cleansing

BY Hacer Bozkurt, IMD

The organs responsible primarily for the elimination of toxins and waste are the colon (large intestine), skin, kidneys and lungs. If these organs are not cleansed, the waste products and toxins accumulate and can compromise our health.

Everything we put in our mouth touches and affects the walls of the stomach, small intestine and colon. When these substances are toxic, they damage the intestinal wall and cells, intoxicate the nerves and glands and can be absorbed through the walls into the blood and lymph and ultimately to the cells and tissue. These substances also cause inflammation and damage leading to disease, abnormal brain and nervous system behavior.

The lymph system is part of the circulatory system and a major organ of the immune system. Its clear-to-white fluid is composed of many different types of white blood cells and other substances. One of its main jobs is to transport nutrients from the blood to each cell and remove its waste through the intestines. When the intestinal walls are impacted the lymph system retains the cell waste, which may set the stage for an impaired immune system.

Items that contribute to toxic build up over time include low consumption of healthy fluids, too little physical activity, regular consumption of animal products, including dairy, salt, sugar, flour, packaged foods, chemicals and medication/drugs. Because most of us are subject to these, cleansing to compensate for potential effects becomes even more important.

The purpose of a cleanse is to provide the gastrointestinal tract and organs physiological rest, revive one’s healing faculties and completely nourish the body. Results typically include reduced or removal of previous symptoms, excess weight loss, improved bodily functions and immunity, enhanced skin, energy, sleep and overall well being. Fasting with just juices may be too extreme and too stressful to one’s daily life and body although some may choose to work up to that for deeper cleansing and give the body a full rest for at least one day or longer from time to time.

A cleanse program aims to create a condition where the body’s systems flush out impurities and re-establish proper functioning. It gives the over-burdened, over-worked internal organs a rest and time for rehabilitation and should be totally nourished and fed (not starved) so it will not need to use any healthy part of the body for fuel.

How to do it:

Warm up

Start eating a high volume of fresh fruit and vegetables. Phase out carbohydrates that are inefficient like breads, cereals, pastries, snack foods, pastas, rice, flours, etc. There are plenty of good carbs in fruits and vegetables and when you want other carbs sparingly, choose small portions of brown rice, quinoa or eat a sweet potato or yam.

Beans are also very starchy and contain fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. Replace coffee with green teas. You can make green tea lattes with Matcha, a few various flavored tea bags and hot almond milk. Replace sugars and sweeteners with 100% natural Stevia (liquid or powder).

Reduce animal protein consumption significantly and go more often for lighter choices such as turkey and eggs, and add in other protein sources such as protein powders, beans, nuts and nut butters. Reduce alcohol consumption. Even red wine contains alcohol, which is a big strike against any published health benefits.

Take the basic supplements

A whole-food multivitamin/herbal/mineral supplement to provide  daily requirements of vitamins plus beneficial herbs and minerals, such as immune-boosting Echinacea, ginger, iron and calcium. An omega-3 of EPA/DHA (2,000 mg) supplement. Made from molecularly distilled fish oil (the highest grade) with vitamin E, it supports cellular health and repair, and optimal function of the nervous, cardiovascular and immune systems.

Non-dairy, no sugar added, 10-strain probiotic supplement (150 mg —2 billion organisms). The beneficial bacteria to help digestive and immune systems. Vitamin D3 supplements (5,000IU). This aids in calcium absorption; muscle function and deficiency has been linked to diseases. Digestive enzyme supplement to support healthy digestion.

Cleansing Starter Kit

For a starter 10-day cleanse, eliminate dairy, wheat, meat, coffee, alcohol and sugar. Consume a detox smoothie of fresh, no-sugar added organic juice, frozen berries, a small dose of fiber and hydrated bentonite. This blend is designed to absorb toxins, cleanse the alimentary canal and suppress appetite.

Consume a nutrition shake made up of a clean protein powder (no dairy, no sugar) with herbs and a green-nutrient powder containing minerals, blended with unsweetened Almond Milk to give the body alternative fuel and the nourishment it requires to feed muscle and build energy.

Eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and small portions of lean proteins such as turkey. You don’t have a vegetarian, but we all would do better by eating like one a lot of the time and primarily when cleansing.

Ideally one would also take herbal formulas that help stimulate the release of toxins from the body and nourish the organs, under the supervision of a qualified health practitioner.

Feeling better and looking better usually motivates people to maintain the new good habits and cleanse more often. Isn’t that the point?

Featured image by karimian on Flickr

Hacer (Ha-jair’) Bozkurt is a Doctor of Integrative Medicine. Her Beverly Hills practice, Virgil Place, Inc. helps clients including celebrities, athletes, executives, families, with health goals through custom, practical nutrition and supplement plans, detoxification, weight management and conditioning programs.


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