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Leah
Leah

Time for Spring Cleaning!

India - Haridwar - 010 - vegetables for sale in Bara Bazaar

Creative Commons License Photo credit: mckaysavage

Regardless of whether or not you smoke, drink, eat right or exercise, environmental toxins are inescapable. It’s a sad truth that comes with living in our modern world. Just to name a few sources, toxins are found in pollution, pesticides in food, and chemicals in plastics and cosmetics. It’s important to remember that people are part of the environment, not separate from it. Whatever toxins harm and pollute the earth have the potential to harm and pollute us.

An internal cleanse (or “detoxâ€) is a natural, healthy way to gently rid the body of some of the dangerous environmental toxins stored in its cells. Historically, many cultures embraced cleansing as part of a healthy lifestyle, including ancient Chinese medicine and saunas. The human body naturally cleanses itself, yet it becomes overwhelmed by new environmental toxins that it did not have to deal with generations ago. Therefore, cleansing is increasingly important due to the vast increase in chemicals in our society.

Today, popular cleansing programs come in a wide variety of forms, including supplement packages, blends of tea, and smoothie mixes, and usually last for one or two weeks. After all the heavy, comfort food from winter (not to mention getting ready for swimsuit season) spring is the perfect time for a whole body cleanse.

Cleansing Benefits

Everyone is different, and will experience slightly different benefits. Some of the benefits of detoxing are:

Increased energy

Better sleep

Improved digestion

Reduced allergies

You may even shed a few pounds in the process!

Please note: cleanses are not for everyone. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have any serious health issues, or are taking any medications, speak to your doctor before cleansing.

What cleanse is right for me?

When choosing a cleanse, it’s important to choose one that’s right for you, and that you know you’ll be able to commit to for the entire time period. Generally, the longer the cleanse, the more it will do. One-week cleanses usually only address water soluble toxins, whereas two-week cleanses are able to tackle the more important fat soluble toxins (toxins that are trapped in fat cells).

However, popular starvation cleanses (though heavily promoted) are not safe or effective. These include the famous “Master Cleanseâ€â€”also known as the “Lemonade Dietâ€. This “cleanse†requires high amounts of sugar (from maple syrup) to keep you going, and enough cayenne pepper to keep your body temperature high enough, as the body is starved of key nutrients. The same goes for “cleanses†consisting only of laxatives.

It’s also important that you choose a cleanse from a reliable company. It should have enough nutrients and vitamins to keep you energized and healthy while removing toxins from your body.

Good ingredients to look for include:

herbs such as milk thistle, which detoxifies the liver

fibre (soluble and insoluble) to bind to waste and carry it out of the body

vitamins and minerals, which support the body’s normal processes

protein and amino acids, to provide long-term energy

antioxidants, which bind to harmful free radicals released in the cleansing process

probiotics, to support the immune system

How do I cleanse?

Most cleanses require dietary restrictions. Basically, you don’t want to add toxins to your body when you’re trying to remove them.

Avoid:

Alcohol

Caffeine (including green tea, although herbal tea is usually allowed)

Junk food

Artificial colours, flavours, sweeteners or preservatives

Dairy products (can be difficult to digest, and often have added hormones)

Gluten (a difficult-to-digest protein found in wheat, spelt, kamut, rye, and other grains, pastas and cereals)

Reduce:

Refined sugar

Highly acidic foods, such as tomatoes and vinegars

Red meats (often have added hormones)

All cleanses differ, but generally, foods allowed include:

Lots of water! (and herbal tea)

Lean protein, such as skinless chicken and fish (except for tuna due to mercury)

Nuts and seeds (these provide long term energy and healthy fats)

Fresh veggies (organic is best, to avoid pesticides)

Fresh fruit

Brown rice

Beans, lentils and other legumes

Herbs for seasoning

It’s important to stay motivated. Remember, it’s only one or two weeks long, and to get the benefits, its important to complete it. Try to get a friend or two on board with you, so you can motivate each other. And although it’s hard, when the cleanse is over, don’t go overboard on the junk food to make up for lost time! If you follow the rules and complete the program, your body will thank you and you’ll feel great.

Happy spring cleaning!

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Thank you very much for your article! I completely agree with you that it is very important to clean our organism, many scientists say about it. I think that many people will like your article, as its content is very useful for everyone. Besides, nowadays many of us begin thinking about our health and healthy lifestyle. I will follow your advice and thank you once again for your perfect investigation.

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Thanks my Husbad and I are doing a 2 week fast with our Churc right now. It ends on Easter Sunday and it's healthy for your body almost like a restart and it's empowering! I'm new to the Sustainable Lifestyl habits and I've recently started a website chronicling my journey into Green. Please stop by fromnormaltogreen.com

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It is always a good thing to detox (cleanse) your system every so now and then, just to get rid of the excess toxins in your body. If you permanently feel tired and down, try to detox and you might be surprised with the outcome.

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We kill ourselves by using chemical substances in food. Just for money, people who use lots of harmful substances want to earn money. And then we ourselves have to suffer from that. And this lead to the reduction in health.

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This is a great article. There are great tips here to get healthy and stay healthy.

One thing I have been doing to be greener is change my household cleaners. I have a 4 year old and a 7 month old, so surface cleaning and laundry are big issues. I have switched from normal big name brand cleaners to Carribean Mist.

The reason I have switched to them is they have a complete line up of eco-friendly cleaners for the entire home and they cost less (about 1/2 in most cases) than leading not eco-friendly cleaners.

I couldn't believe it when this environmentally safe laundry soap actually took out stains in my baby's clothes. That was nice!

We are dog lovers as well. Shar-Peis are our breed and they do tend to stink. Nothing like wet dog stink when your dog naturally stinks to begin with! I must say Carribean Mist has been a life saver in this case. Safe and non toxic around the dog and kids... Thank You Carribean Mist!

http://carribeanmist.com

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I really liked this article and the way it related our personal lifetsyle to the environment. It shows that we can improve our impact on the environment by adopting a better lifestyle: it is a win-win situation that should be advertized more, in order to promote environment-friendly attitude.

Please visit my blog at http://gwsolutions.weebly.com/

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Hi and thank you for an informative write up! Being a medical student, I just wanted to point out a few points you might want to change :).

protein and amino acids, to provide long-term energy

while being a energy giving nutrient, proteins by themselves do not provide long-term energy. In some circumstances (such as starvation), proteins (actually amino acids) are converted to intermediates which in turn supply energy. However, the reason we eat proteins is not energy; it's for muscle tissue maintenance and essential amino acids for proteins such as transport proteins and enzymes.

Gluten (a difficult-to-digest protein found in wheat, spelt, kamut, rye, and other grains, pastas and cereals)

the sole reason you should avoid gluten is if you suffer from coeliac disease.

Thank you again for a well needed post on this topic. I hope you didn't mind my input :)

For more information on green energy, check out my blog http://www.livegreencheap.com/solar-power/solar...

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Wow! looks  delightful and the way you dealt the subject with grace is deserving. Since i am intrigued, I make bold you are an expert on this topic. I am subscribing to your incoming updates from now on. 

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Great article and all good things to eat or avoid, but I wish people would stop mixing up science with nonscience (nonsense).  What I find interesting about the detox systems is the complete lack of any scientific evidence available to support these claims and much more in opposition.  Let's take a single, small, explainable example... Can someone please tell me what "toxins" are expelled by these systems? Surely there will be a measurable and quantifiable mass to these damaging chemicals? If so, why is there no definition or evidence of them amounting to anything more than conjecture?

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Great article and all good things to eat or avoid, but I wish people would stop mixing up science with nonscience (nonsense).  What I find interesting about the detox systems is the complete lack of any scientific evidence available to support these claims and much more in opposition.  Let's take a single, small, explainable example... Can someone please tell me what "toxins" are expelled by these systems? Surely there will be a measurable and quantifiable mass to these damaging chemicals? If so, why is there no definition or evidence of them amounting to anything more than conjecture?

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