Not only is yoga great for detoxification but so too are natural whole foods.
And today we are talking about how natural raw foods help to cleanse and detoxify your body. This is a subject that I really like to talk about since I am a firm believer in cleansing – through food. The beautiful thing about raw foods is that they provide ALL the nutrients that are needed for the detoxification process.
Our bodies go through several detoxification stages throughout the day. Between 4am and noon your body is in cleansing, detoxification, and elimination mode.
This is a huge portion of the day where your body is trying to detoxify and eliminate specifically. Now, your body goes through this process all throughout the day. Your liver and kidneys and other organs are working 24/7.
But the body has a great opportunity in the early hours of the day where it is able to get deeper into the cleansing process. If you are not hungry in the morning, don't force yourself to eat. Drink water and let the detoxification process continue until you are hungry.
If you are not familiar with detoxification, here is a little breakdown of the process.
The liver is the main detoxification organ. When you eat food and it goes through your digestive system, it will end up in the liver to get filtered for use and/or elimination.
As food comes into your body, some food will never make it to the liver and instead be eliminated directly through the colon. This is what happens to some waste products that the body can immediately detect as not fit for absorption. A lot of other nutrients and compounds will go from the intestines into the blood and then into the liver for filtration. The liver does its job 24 hours a day without a break for your entire life.
The liver goes through a two phase detoxification process while it filters through nutrients you have eaten and the process uses different anti-oxidants and different enzymes to complete the task.
It will delegate certain nutrients back into the blood to be used throughout the body. It also takes toxins and things it doesn't need and sends them to the kidneys to be excreted through the urine.
So how do raw foods help with this process?
First of all, when you eat raw foods you are getting a lot more fiber into your diet. Fiber comes in two forms, soluble and insoluble. Think of insoluble fiber as a broom. Think of it as sweeping debris through your digestive system. Soluble fiber acts like a sponge to soak up toxins and bind them.
When we look at detoxification, the combination of insoluble and soluble fiber help to move things out through the digestive tract and it is one of the most important ways that the body detoxifies. Simply by getting more fiber in your diet by way of fruits and vegetables you allow things to move through your body a lot easier.
Another way raw foods help the detoxification process is by being water rich. Fruits and vegetables have a lot of water in them. When you soak your nuts and seeds, you increase the water concentration in them as well. Water helps flush toxins out of the body.
Water is a component to raw foods that helps you detox and cleanse your body. These are two very basic things that people are taking supplements for when they really do not need them. Simply eating more natural, raw foods will help your body eliminate in a much more efficient way.
When we talk about detoxification we are really talking about elimination.
To really be considered “regular”, you should be passing 2-3 bowel movements every day. And by bowel movements I am not talking about diarrhea but good, well-formed stools.
Good elimination is a sign of a healthy bowel and healthy digestive functioning. If you are not there now, it will take a bit of time for your digestive system to get back to normal, but raw foods will help.
They will give you that soluble fiber to help form a good, solid mass. They will give you insoluble fiber as well which will act with water to help sweep the mass through. You want to eliminate frequently. You need to eliminate a little more often than most people think is normal.
I have worked with people who thought they were regular, and they were eliminating only once a week! Going once every few days is not good for your health either. If toxins and waste do not leave your body regularly, they will build up in your body.
In such a case, your liver must now deal with new foods coming in AND toxins coming back into the blood stream from the colon. Your liver gets heavily burdened and worn down. If this constant “bombardment” persists, your liver (like any other organ) will eventually weaken, lose proper function, and lead to more serious health conditions.
Raw foods are important because of the fiber, water, and nutrients they provide. I mentioned earlier that the liver has specific nutrients that it needs: anti-oxidants and enzymes to perform its two stage detoxification process.
When you're eating boxed foods, packaged foods, foods that don't have any nutrients in them in general but are very high in calories, you are not going to get the nutrients you need to help the process of detoxification.
I'm not talking about going crazy and buying goji berries and cacao nibs.
I'm not talking about going to the health food store and buying hundreds of dollars of supplements, I'm just talking about eating simple fruits and vegetables. Go to the produce market. Get more fruits and vegetables into your diet and you are going to get the nutrients that you need to help your liver perform better. That is the key.
You do not need a miracle cleanse. You do not need miracle pills or supplements to cleanse or detoxify. Simply by eating nutritious foods and removing anti-nutrients such as wheat, dairy, refined sugars, alcohol, cigarettes and other unnecessary toxins from your life will detoxify your body. You want to eliminate bad foods and you want to fortify your body with good foods and nutrients to help your liver do its job. Remember to get plenty of water as well!
Detoxification is really that simple and raw foods are great for all aspects of your health – not just cleansing. I hope this will help you on your journey to the best health ever. You deserve it.
Yuri Elkaim is a registered holistic nutritionist, former professional soccer player, and the author of the web’s best-selling raw food program – Eating for Energy. Visit the Eating for Energy site today to learn 3 powerful tips to make raw food work for you.