Understanding Detoxification

(Excerpt from “From Here To Longevity” by Dr. Mitra Ray)

It’s not enough to dispel old myths; we have to be willing to live new truths.

Eating right should be fairly simple, and it shouldn’t require measuring every gram of food that we eat.  Nor should eating right require that we carry an elaborate list of good foods vs. bad foods (based on blood type or some other new fad diet) with us to the grocery store.  Dieting or forcing oneself to eat less should also be unnecessary if we eat the right foods in the right proportions.  Once the body has received the nutrients it needs to function, there should be a natural curbing of the appetite.  If we’ll take just a moment to listen before we take that second helping, hopefully the body will be telling us that we’ve already given it all of the nutrients it needs in order to maintain or regain health.

Of course, when we introduce these new eating habits, there may be a detoxification period.  This incredibly beneficial process may have some seemingly negative, albeit short-term, side effects.  The immune system and the digestive system are the primary players involved in detoxification.  Let’s look at what such efforts to cleanse the body can mean for the person going through detoxification.

  • First, when the body finally has enough nutrition to recharge the immune system, it releases immune cells, such as the natural killer cells and other scavenger cells, which can go around and clean up all of the debris that has been accumulating in the body.  This important process is similar to the way in which the immune system responds to a viral infection; so, there may be a temporary onset of flu-like symptoms.
  • Second, the added nutrition can bolster the activity of friendly bacteria in the gut, and this may mean a short-term increase in gas.  This indicates that there has been a change in the process of elimination from the body as rotten food is being flushed from the digestive tract, and as a result, there may be some temporary bloating and gas. You can’t imagine how much food is rotting in the nooks and crannies of your intestines in the absence of fiber-rich vegetables. Detoxification can also mean a drop in hormone levels as the body returns to homeostasis.  If serotonin levels drop, you may feel tired or depressed during detoxification; but once you’ve passed this unpleasant phase, you should start to feel better than you have in years. And it should be relatively simple to stay on track, without feeling like you’re depriving yourself of eating a good, hearty meal. Typical Detox Symptoms:
    Headache, Lethargy: Eliminating foreign bodies in the blood. (arthritis, etc.)
    Eyes: Weepy, mucus, burning.
    Nose: Drippy=Good. This decreases sinusitis because of the regular cleansing.
    Mouth: Tacky Tongue!
    Skin: (largest organ in the body). Eruptions or a mild rash. It would not be unlikely to experience this. This is another way for toxins to be released from the body.
    Lungs: Smoker/pneumonia/chronic lung diseases=irritating cough for a few days to a few weeks with repeat detox every few months or so! This is Desirable.
    Urination: Increases for a few days to a couple months, usually because of increased water consumption when taking Juice Plus+.  This helps the metabolism and further cleanses the body of toxins.
    Bowels: Flatulence, bloating, cramping in the GI tract may all be part of detoxification.  Many times you may be experiencing Peristalsis.  Peristalsis is bowel training. It’s waves of contraction passing along the intestine and forcing its contents onward. This can sometimes create loose stools or constipation.  It may takes a few days to a few weeks before you are back to normal. Unlike drugs, nutrients do not have rapid effects.   No quick fix.  The business of nutrition is to build a better body.  This process has to wait on nature to turn over body cells.  A blood cell lasts 6-120 days. In 3-4 months your whole blood supply is completely replaced. In 6 months almost all the proteins in your body die and are replaced, even the DNA of your genes…When you start feeding it better, you have to wait on your body to grow new improved cells.” Dr. Michael Colgan, Author of Optimum Sports Nutrition

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