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Detoxification

No matter how careful we try to be, exposure to chemicals is inevitable. From the preservatives and pesticides in the food we eat to the fumes we breathe on the freeway, we are surrounded by unhealthy substances that invade our bodies.

Fortunately, we have multiple lines of defense—namely our liver, kidneys, colon and lungs–each with its own biological mechanism for keeping us healthy. Many alternative medicine practitioners believe cleansing (also known as detoxification) can aid these vital organs in their work.

How It Works

There are two main types of cleanses that have gained popularity in recent years—colon cleanses and diet-related cleanses. Both have options available for purchase or for doing it yourself.

With colon cleanses the idea is to rid the body of any food that may remain rotting in the intestines. This can be done using an enema or a specially designed mixture that is ingested. One example can be made with 1 tablespoon of bentonite clay, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1 tablespoon psyllium seeds and 8 ounces of water.

Diet-related cleanses focus on changing the way one eats for varying lengths of time. Examples of these include The Master Cleanse (or The Lemonade Diet), The Elimination Diet and Juice/Soup Fasting.

Benefits

Proponents of cleanses believe they offer a number of health benefits. By ridding the body of toxins they feel people will experience optimal functionality and performance with improvements ranging from increased energy, stronger immunity and better processing of nutrients to better colon functioning.

Precautions

Cleanses of any sort should not be undertaken lightly. They can interfere with medications and anyone with health concerns should always check with their doctor before beginning one.

Even completely healthy people should be careful and do their homework to make sure they choose a cleanse that is safe. While The Master Cleanse may be all the rage in Hollywood to lose weight, it is not a good option due to its very limited calories (it recommends drinking two quarts of water, one-half teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 14 tablespoons of lemon juice and 14 tablespoons of maple syrup a day for 7 to 10 days).

The Elimination Diet which centers around removing certain foods including but not limited to dairy, red meats, gluten-containing foods, all processed foods, etc is another choice that is less restrictive as it is less restrictive of calories and allows some kinds of protein, vegetables and limited servings of fruit and gluten-free grain.

Juice fasting is another possibility which focuses on fruit smoothies and soup with vegetables. While lacking in some food groups it does contain more calories than The Master Cleanse and can help give the digestive system a break.

Other cleanses exist for purchase that may include everything from vitamins and supplements to ingredients for shakes.

Summary

Practitioners of alternative medicine believe cleanses can help purify the body from the toxins we are exposed to every day. However, it is important to select the right type of cleanse, use common sense and check with a healthcare provider if there are any doubts.

References

  • Super Cleanse by Adina Niemerow
  • Clean by Alejandro Junger
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Lemon Water, First Trimester Tonic

Typically, in the first trimester, many women, including myself, reach for ginger ale to calm a queasy stomach. But even if the ginger ale is organic, it still has a ton of sugar in it. And we all know, sugar is the devil.

One day, I had a very strong craving for lemonade. It was too late to run out somewhere and get it, and I happened to have one fresh lemon on hand at the house. So I figured, what the hey, I will make myself some lazy homemade lemonade and see if it does the trick. And sure it enough, it totally hit the spot and it made me feel better. Really feel better, not the momentary “better” that sugar makes you feel, and then you feel 10 times worse a few minutes later.

I have continued my lemon water tonic since then and it still amazes me. It immediately settles my stomach and makes me feel better. And I feel great knowing that I am not putting any sugar into my body and growing baby.

I love that I am getting vitamins, nutrients and minerals (lemons are high in potassium, citric acid, calcium, phosphorous and magnesium) in the form whole foods.

Here are some other benefits of Lemon Water:

  • It is a very mild detox. It helps any bacteria or toxins that build up, get flushed out of your system, by stimulating your liver to just plain work better.
  • It aids in digestion, helping to move things along. And if you are pregnant, you know that getting a little help to move things along is very needed! It also helps with heartburn, which thank God, I have not had to experience yet (maybe it’s the lemon water!), but when I was pregnant with my daughter, I had it so bad, I had a bottle of Tums glued to my hands at all times!
  • All that calcium and magnesium you are getting goes to your baby and will help them build strong bones.
  • It lowers blood pressure.
  • It tastes good!

Be sure to take a swig of regular water after you drink your glass of lemon water, the acidity can hurt your teeth’s enamel.

Did you drink lemon water while pregnant? What benefits did you see?

Stephanie Brandt Cornais has one daugther, Penelope born on 11.11.09. You can find her at her blog, www.MamaAndBabyLove.com

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Using Diet and Detox to Treat Inflammation and Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, a chronic and degenerative condition that affects the joints, affects millions of people a day. However, with no cure in sight for the disorder many people are trying to find alternative treatments for the disease. One of the most successful approaches to treating Osteoarthritis alternatively is to treat both inflammation and the symptoms of the disease with detox and diet.

Detox – Incorporating a detox into your lifestyle may be difficult at first, but it is important to flush out the toxins that are put into the body so that your system can effectively utilize diet to combat osteoarthritis symptoms. A common detox measure is to add an herbal tea comprised of ginger, honey, and cinnamon in your morning routine. Ginger is a natural pain reliever, while honey and cinnamon have huge anti-inflammatory values. Together, this mixture helps flush environmental toxins from the body while assisting wiht pain management and inflammation.

Diet – While a detox can greatly increase comfort when dealing with inflammation and osteoarthritis symptoms, it must be followed up by adding some nutritional powerhouses to reap the full benefits of it. Add dark-pigmented fruits such as cherries, grapes, blackberries, and dark figs – all of which have huge anti-inflammatory properties. Nuts and fish high in Omega – 3 also help with inflammation and pain associated with Osteoarthritis. Finally, avoiding saturated fats, gluten, refined sugars, and most importantly hydrogenated oils and trans fats will greatly increase the effectiveness of diet change and detox for treatment of Osteoarthritis.

While medication and physical therapy can help decrease pain and increase range of motion for chronic inflammation and Osteoarthritis symptoms, many people have found the most relief from diet changes, weight loss, and overall healthy living. One of the biggest culprits contributing to symptom flare up is usually associated with diet. It’s not what you aren’t eating, but what you are that usually is causing the most problems. Removing certain trigger items and replacing them with a simple detox and healthy choices could be the difference between daily pain management and a lifetime of symptoms.

Reference:

  • womentowomen.com/inflammation/naturalantiinflammatories.aspx

Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/zest-pk/923930277/

Natural Treatments for Osteoarthritis

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Turmeric – The New Super Supplement

There are a lot of trendy supplements hitting the market that claim to work miracles, and some may actually do so. But it’s an old back-of-the-pantry spice that is getting attention these days as a super supplement and health remedy – Turmeric.

Despite having a nice kick to add some flare to foods, Turmeric is being hailed as a major player in the world of supplementation. It has shown promise in treatment for multiple sclerosis, it is considered a natural detoxifier, and it has even been linked with breast cancer and Alzheimer’s prevention and spreading. But it is Turmeric’s immediate medicinal value that has everyone running to their spice cabinets.

Having natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties, Turmeric is an excellent choice for treating minor cuts and burns. It also can be used as supplement to help boost metabolic rate for dieters and an anti-inflammatory for those that suffering from psoriasis or other skin conditions.

While it is available in pill form, Turmeric can easily be incorporated daily in diet by simply adding it to salads, spiced teas, and side dishes. It is important to note that in its raw form, Turmeric’s medicinal values are best enhanced when you add ground black pepper to it for the most efficient digestion of the supplement. It’s yellow color and kicked up flavor will add interest and health benefits to your daily routine.

Reference

  • Healthdiaries.com
    healthdiaries.com/eatthis/20-health-benefits-of-turmeric.html
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How to Naturally Cleanse Your Body

This simple picture displays some of your options when it comes to naturally cleansing your body.

How to Naturally Cleanse Your Body