The 4 R’s of a Detox Program
We live in a toxic world that can affect our body through the air, ground, water and our food supply. If our earth is sick and toxic, we are as well.
It is imperative that our body breaks down these toxin; otherwise they are stored in our bones, brain and fatty tissue. Our body normally disposes of unneeded toxins through perspiration, our respiratory system, through, the liver, the colon, the lymphatic system and the urinary system. When these systems become overloaded with time, we may need additional help in the form of fasting or detoxification.
The 4 R’s of a detox program: Remove, Replace, Reinoculate and Repair.
Fasting provides our body with the time it needs to heal and catch up with waste and toxin removal. This gives the digestive system a rest and allows it to be repaired by only digesting juices while utilizing the liver, blood and lymphatic system to remove toxins.
A build up of toxins can lead to numerous symptoms or diseases such as psychosis, memory loss, auto-immune disease, depression, anxiety, mental illness, Parkinson’s disease and other forms of neurological degeneration as well as hormone sensitive cancers such as breast, and prostate cancer.
Many of those individuals suffering from neurological conditions are often found to have high levels of pesticides in the brain. The accumulation of pesticides in the fatty tissue of the brain is due to the liver’s inability to break down the elevated levels of toxins being released. The body then relies on the brain as a storage place prior to elimination. This sudden build up of toxins are also responsible for forgetfulness, fatigue and lack of clear thought when dieting.
While our body is built to dispose of these pesticides it can be challenged when overloaded. When these products continuously infiltrate the body, they accumulate in our fatty tissues including adipose tissue, the brain, breasts, and the prostate gland. This accumulation becomes increasingly hard to eliminate from the body. Belly fat, or abdominal adipose tissue is a hiding spot for these toxins.
Although our cells are surrounded by a protective, fatty cell membrane, an overload of free radicals can infiltrate the cell membrane and the intracellular structures such as the mitochondria and cell nucleus.
A toxin is basically anything that conflicts with our bodies.
People with a higher BMI or body mass index tend to store more toxins, which can end up blocking thyroid function.
Antioxidants help to protect the cell membrane from Free radicals, which can eventually cause cellular damage, and cellular mutations.
Many toxic substances behave like fats rather than like liquids. They have the unique ability to stick to the body’s fatty regions, while they should be converted into dissolvable and disposable substances.
Signs of your body being in toxic overload include: autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, osteoarthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic headaches, psoriasis, acne, constipation, diabetes, CAD, arteriosclerosis, chronic infections, angina, and hypertension.
Symptoms of liver toxicity include irritability, dark circles under your eyes, itchy skin and eyes, body odor, and an altered or bitter taste in your mouth.
Toxic chemicals previously sprayed on agriculture such as DDT have been found to last for 1000’s of years, despite being banned since 1972 after being found to cause abnormalities in multiple animals. Dairy products and fish can often be laced with DDT. We become contaminated with these chemicals indirectly when eating animals that have previously consumed foods containing DDT. It is has been found in some amount in 99% of all people.
Second hand Cigarette smoke actually contains a higher percentage of toxic chemicals than first hand smoke. Chemicals include Cadmium, cyanide, lead, arsenic, tars, dioxin, radioactive material, carbon monoxide, cyanide, nicotine nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and 4000 other toxins.
Airborne chemicals include: carbon Monoxide, benzine, formaldehyde, vinyl chloride, toluene, carbon tetrachloride, and other volatile chemicals. Carbon Monoxide exposure alone has been shown to cause heart disease.
Indoor pollution toxins and chemicals are also dangerous. Chemicals such as benzine, sterine, carbon tetrachloride, and other tetra chemicals, are found to be the most often emitted chemicals in new buildings through a process known as out gassing.
The buildup of these toxins can cause something known as sick building syndrome. Symptoms include headaches, itchy eyes, sore throat, nasal congestion, SOB, memory or concentration problems, fatigue, itching and dizziness.
Airborne Mold and yeast spores are some examples that can be due to bacteria in an A/C system. These airborne toxins can cause multiple problems leaning to pneumonia.
New carpets, carpet board and glue release formaldehyde, while paints release solvents such as toluene and formaldehyde. Furniture made from compressed wood also releases formaldehyde, which can also cause fatigue and headaches.
Ferns, ivy and spider plants are good air detoxifiers and also increase oxygen content in the air.
Pesticide pollution can manifest from not only foods, but products such as disposable diapers, shampoos, air fresheners, mattresses and carpets. Pesticides such as chlorpyrious used on golf courses, and a variety of food and feed crops has been found in 90% of males under treatment for low sperm count.
Benzene toxicity has been linked to leukemia, and other blood cancers. It is a petrochemical product thought by some food scientists to be produced by a reaction of the preservatives sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid commonly found in soft drinks.
Aluminum is often used to treat ground water and often remains in our drinking water. Chlorine is also added, and can often combine with trihalomethanes which are cancer promoting substances. Drinking chlorinated water increases our risk of developing bladder or rectal cancer.
Although Chlorine kills most bacteria, it does not kill viruses or parasites.
It also does not degrade the multiple drugs and cleaning chemicals found in our drinking water that wastewater treatment plants were not designed to remove.
Solvents found in cleaners also contain dangerous chemicals known to harm the central nervous system, kidney and liver. These solvents also accumulate in the body and are stored in fat cells.
Food additives, colorings and flavorings are often synthetic chemicals which are often made from petroleum products and coal tar products. While our body continues to make its own toxins naturally, it was not meant to handle the high amounts we are experiencing through regular environmental exposure.
Repeated bouts of antibiotics can cause an overgrowth of dangerous intestinal bacteria in our small intestines that can cause excessive fermentation. This creates even more poisons within the body.
There has been an epidemic of candida and yeast products in the body that can produce minor symptoms such as bloating, gas, IBS, or major symptoms such as psoriasis, crones disease, and colitis.
Repeated exposure to environmental toxins ultimately leads to the development of free radicals in the body. Free radicals created by toxins rob electrons from atoms within the body at a molecular level causing an instability in the system. Atoms that are missing an electron will then attempt to grab electrons from other nearby molecules creating a chain reaction effect of multiple unstable electrons called free radicals.
These chain reactions within the body can spread throughout the blood stream potentially leading to initializing cancers, heart disease and other often fatal diseases.
The body’s enzyme super system is composed of more than fifty different enzymes with their own gene. This system is known as the cytochrome P450 system, or CYP450.
CYP450 is involved with detoxifying substances in our body from the outside world and detoxifying bacteria produced by our intestinal tracts. CYP450 helps decontaminate the metabolic by-products in cells and prepares them for elimination
There are specific enzymes within the CYP450 system that detoxify different substances in the body. While these enzymes can target some substances, they cannot target all.
Detoxification primarily occurs in the liver, but the kidneys and intestines also provide additional detoxification abilities.
The solution to pollution is dilution.
For total environmental detoxification you not only have to purify air and water in the workplace or home, but remove all potential synthetic materials that may release gases, vapors, residues and chemicals. Examples of such materials include certain carpets, paints, perfumes, flooring material, and even wearing clothing made of only natural fibers. Organic diets are recommended and cell phone, television, radio, and microwave usage is kept at a minimum to reduce or eliminate electromagnetic radiation.
Adequate water and regular bowel movements are recommended prior to starting a detox program. If you become constipated add prunes and plums with apples. Delay starting a detox program if you are constipated, and increase water and fiber intake.
It is best to wean yourself off of coffee, cigarettes or alcohol prior to starting the detox program to avoid developing adverse reactions.
BPA was first used in 1957 and is used to keep plastics flexible. It is a persistent chemical in the environment and does not break down, but rather accumulates in our fat cells affecting the brain, thyroid, and pancreas function. It has been associated with increased incidence of diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Most importantly BPA is a known endocrine disruptor that binds to the receptors of the natural hormones and alters the message to the cells causing changes in health. If you consume any food packaged in plastics; stick with #1-2, reduce #4-5, and stay away from products made with #3, #6 and #7 plastic. It is best to replace plastic products with stainless steel or glassware.
To detoxify BPA from the body you should increase dietary intake of organic soy, kale, cranberry, green tea, as well as the spices turmeric and rosemary.
Fasting can be an effective means of bringing healing to the body after has been mistakenly attacking itself through autoimmune reactions or so called friendly fire.
While fasting you may find your cholesterol levels are temporarily elevated due to the plaque being broken down in the arteries during the fasting process. This being particularly common in those with PVD and CAD. Blood testing is advised in monitoring these people.
Circumstances under which you should not fast include being pregnant or nursing, feeling debilitated, or ill, cancer findings, with anemia, pre or post surgery, being infected with HIV or Aids, struggling with mental illness, are taking antibiotics, are a type 1 diabetes, or have severe liver or kidney disease.
During fasting some people may have initial fatigue and then increased energy later on. It is also common for the body temperature to be lowered during a fast which may cause one to experience cool hands and feet. Your tongue may become coated with a white or yellow film and you may also experience some bad breath or body odor during the detox process. Sinus drainage may also occur due to the fast.
Waxes are often put on vegetables and fruits to seal water in and prevent spoilage, but can often trap pesticides and fungicides beneath them. They should be removed prior to eating them.
When juicing grapefruits and oranges make sure you keep the white pithy portion as it is where all the important bioflavinoids are.
You can scrub your fruits and vegetables or soak with a mild soap such as ivory, or a commercial food cleanser.
Another way to remove pesticides is to add 1 Tsp of 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide to the vegetables in a half filled sink for 5-15 minutes and then thoroughly rinse with cold water. Thin peeled vegetables and fruits should be only 5 or so minutes, but thicker for 10-15 min.
1 tsp of Brand-name Clorox bleach can also be added to a half filled sink of cool water to kill off pesticides.
Detoxification helps to cleanse the body of toxins. You must first start by adjusting your diet to support and strengthen the liver as this is an energy dependent process. Next improve elimination through your GI tract. Then a juice fast for 2-3 days, and then back to the special diet designed to support the liver and GI tract for another two weeks. After this comes the re-inoculation phase with the addition of Probiotics to the body.
It is often best to start the program on a Monday as your 5th to 7th day will be Fri to Sunday in case you experience fatigue. It is important to eat as much as you like, but only from the recommended foods. You do not want to be hungry as your body needs energy to complete the process.
It is often recommended you get a baseline EKG and an SMAC-24 or comprehensive metabolic panel blood test including Kidney function tests, (creatinine and BUN) electrolytes, liver function tests, blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides. A CBC, urinalysis, is also recommended.
If you experience an irregular heartbeat or pulse, severe fatigue, weakness, lightheadedness, (as this can be a sign of low potassium levels) you should probably terminate the fast, and see your Dr. Low potassium levels can cause heart arrhythmias or even death. Therefore it is critical to not take diuretics during a fast, be careful with working in the heat and drink high amounts of water.
It is important to undergo a 2-4 week liver support program prior to a detox program.
The golden rule for liver care is not to overeat, and only eat until you are comfortable.
A liver support diet includes increased water intake, regular multivitamins taken pre detox, discontinued during the fasting stage and again taken post detox after the fasting stage.
There are various B vitamins and folic acid that are required for phase 1 detoxification. Phase 2 detoxification requires additional essential minerals & vitamins to help detox the liver.
High doses of Vitamin C (1-2000 mg) are recommended during the 1-2 weeks of liver Detox prior to your fast. If you experience diarrhea, taper your dosage and gradually increase per tolerance.
Lipoid Acid is another special antioxidant that helps rid the body of water and fat soluble free radicals. During liver cleansing it is recommended to take 100-300 mg two to three times a day.
Dandelion root is also recommended in tea form for liver cleansing.
Stress affects digestion and can cause a deficiency of pancreatic and hydrochloric acid in the body causing improper digestion. This leads to pockets of partially digested food that putrefies in the GI tract leading to bacterial overgrowth in the small intestines that can be re-absorbed into the blood stream and lead to food allergies.
Milk thistle and green tea help the body’s detoxification process.
Some people recommend starting with a two to three day fast prior to advancing to a 7-10 or more day fast, which should be done under medical supervision.
It is recommended to eat fruit rather than juicing on the first day every two to three hours and slowly incorporate other foods over the next 2-5 days depending upon the length of the fast. Eat slowly and chew well avoiding overeating.
It is important that you consult your Dr. to see if certain medications be tapered or stopped during the detox process as they can interfere with detoxification.
There are different phases of liver detoxification: Phase one is the mobilizing of various toxins in the body through adding oxygen to the toxins by generating a free radical. Phase two neutralizes the free radical by adding sulfur, methyl, glutathione, glucuroic acid, actyl or amino acid, thereby mobilizing the converted fat-based toxins into water based toxins for excretion through the colon or stool.
Guidelines for Detoxification
- Increase filtered water intake to up to 64 oz. or two quarts a day.
- Increase fiber, rest, and decrease activity
- Limit fasts to 2-3 days unless medically supervised which can be up to 10 days.
- Eat and drink only fresh, organic, nutrient rich vegetables, and fruits and avoid canned or processed juices.
- Eliminate Alcohol, coffee, chocolate and soft drinks.
- Drink juices slowly and immediately. Do not store juices, as fruits lose nutritional value right after being sliced.
- Remember you are releasing toxins which may cause you to experience lightheadedness, decreased energy, sleep habit changes, constipation, bad breath, acne, cool extremities, body odor, nausea, vomiting, and an increase of mucosal drainage from the sinuses and air passages.
- Start adding foods other than vegetables and fruits on day 3. On Day 4 you can add in lean meat or fish.
- Do not fast if you are pregnant, have a debilitating condition such as Aids/HIV, cancer, severe anemia, any severe wasting state, have a mental illness, suffer from kidney or liver disease and check with your Dr. about your medications.
- Total Fasting and water only fasting can be dangerous to the body. This deprives our bodies of vital water for normal physiological processes. Water only fasting can weaken the body due to lack of nutrients, potentially causing work incapacity. Water only fasting can burn muscle tissue initially, and then fat breakdown releasing ketones causing acidity.
- Avoid simple sugars, artificial sweeteners, processed foods, Fast foods, Starches, wheat, gluten and corn products. Processed foods cause our bodies to draw from its reserves to replace missing nutrients and can lead to nutrient deficiencies.
- While fasting eliminate meat, dairy, processed vegetable oils and saturated fat products.
- Aim to get 30-35 grams of fiber a day.
- A spiritual fasting is also recommended by eliminating hurtful words, gossip, feelings of anger, fear, doubt, shame, or guilt.
- Add Cilantro and Garlic to your diet. Cilantro helps to detoxify mercury, and garlic helps in detoxifying lead.
- Warm water with lemon is a great pre breakfast (30 min prior to a meal) drink as it helps alkalize the body and cleanse the liver. Cold beverages slow down the digestive process.
- Stay away from genetically engineered foods which the academy of natural sciences states introduces new allergens, releases toxins, disruptive chemicals, and foreign protein combinations to our bodies. Some foods are even grown to produce their own pesticides and when we ingest these foods we also ingest the pesticides produced by these foods.
- Fasting is recommended every 3 to 6 months.
- Juice fasting helps to protect the liver by the addition of antioxidants which combat the high levels of free radicals released during the fast.
- To know exactly what types of foods to eat during and post fasting get a food allergy or sensitivity test that will determine what types of foods you should or should not be eating, or eating in moderation.
- During the detox process drinking non-fluorinated water or switching to a natural fluoride toothpaste is recommended due to fluoride being a known endocrine disruptor affecting the bones, brain, thyroid, pineal gland and even blood sugar levels.
- Exercise is an effective way to remove toxins from the body through perspiration.
- Chorella, a form of green algae is an important detoxifier for not only heavy metals, but radiation as well.
- Capsicum, an extract of cayenne pepper, is another important detoxifier that speeds up circulation causing the body to perspire.
- Lymphatic drainage should also be practiced through lymphatic massage and deep breathing. For deep breathing a (1:4:2) ratio is recommended. So breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 16 and exhale for 8 seconds to assist with eliminating toxins through your lymphatic system.
(The Detox Program foods)
Chlorophyll is like the plants blood and helps to make the plant green. It is high in magnesium and vital for photosynthesis to occur.
Foods high in chlorophyll are plants such as beet greens, spinach, collard greens parsley, and other deep green super foods with high chlorophyllin content such as wheat grass, barley grass, spirulina, alfalfa, and blue green algae.
If you can’t use organic foods, wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly or choose thicker peeled fruits such as bananas, oranges, tangerines, grapefruits and watermelons.
Other foods low in pesticide content are onions, avocado, sweet corn, pineapple, mangos, sweat peas, asparagus, Kiwis, cabbage, eggplant, cantaloupe, sweet potato, honeydew and Melon. Many of these foods have thicker skin and can be found non-organically.
Thin-peeled or no-peeled fruits and vegetables are: apples, grapes, cherries, kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, lettuce, carrots, corn, celery, bell peppers, spinach, kale, collard greens, potatoes, and nectarines. These should all be purchased as “organic” products.
Some of foods with the highest levels of pesticides include tomatoes, spinach and potatoes.
Some of the fruits and vegetables that are highly cleansing on the juice fast are: coniferous vegetables, dandelion root and greens, lemons and limes, apples, beets, berries, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. These products help detoxify the liver due to their high sulfur content that attracts and removes poisons from the system.
It is recommended to consume juice fruits and vegetables in the morning, and vegetables in the evening.
Some of the main vegetables that should be included are: carrots, apples, celery, and tomatoes. One or a combo should make up the bulk of the juice and hide the unpleasant taste of others being used in smaller amounts.
Other recommended choices include: greens, sprouts, grapefruit, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, parsley, artichoke, watermelon, cantaloupe, collard greens, cucumber, cilantro, garlic, spinach, radishes, kale, and watercress. Green super foods can also be added such as wheat grass, barley grass, alfalfa and spirulina.
Although many medications should be tapered, hormone and thyroid meds can be taken during the fast.
- Vitamin E is also important and should be taken at 400-800 iu’s a day.
- CoQ10- Helps in energy production. For Detoxification it is recommended at levels of at least 100 mg daily with food.
- Turmeric is also recommended to be taken after each meal during detox.
- NAC- N-Actyl Cysteine- helps to increase glutathione levels and it is recommended during detoxification in levels of 500 mg 1-2 x a day.
- Glycine- Is a non-essential amino acid that is recommended during phase two detoxification, and is recommended to be taken in levels of 500-1000 mg three times a day between meals.
- Glutamine is recommended for those people who have had excessive alcohol consumption. It is recommended to be taken 3 x a day between 500-1000 mg usually 30 min prior to meals.
- Lecithin- One of the best substances to thin the liver bile, and promote smooth flow of toxins from the liver. 1000 mg 3 x a day is recommended.
- Taking 1000 mg of Potassium citrate, an alkaline salt with a glass of water after each meal not only helps improve detoxification, but also makes the body more alkaline.
Beets contain betaine which helps protect the liver from alcohol’s toxic effects and also helps promote the flow of fat and bile from the liver. It is recommended to be eaten or juiced during the detoxification or juicing stage of fasting.
While soluble fiber is important in lowering blood sugar, lowering cholesterol and creating a sense of fullness, eating too many beans which contain soluble fiber can cause bloating, excessive gas and abdominal discomfort due to the overgrowth of intestinal bacteria.
Insoluble fiber can inactivate many intestinal toxins preventing dangerous bacteria and parasites from attaching to the walls of intestines by carrying them away.
It is recommended to consume a mixture of soluble and insoluble fiber foods. Ground flaxseed is an excellent source of fiber, and contains lignins which not only help to relieve hot flashes in menopausal women, but is a natural blocker of the enzyme that is responsible for converting other hormones to estrogen. It also consists of natural antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties.
It is expected that after a fast you have more energy, less fatigue, better concentration and memory, less water retention, and less food cravings.
Relax, sit up straight, practice deep breathing and de-stress prior to eating. Also keep in mind, late night eating over-stresses the digestive system when it should be resting. Partially or undigested food particles, bacteria, bacterial toxins, yeasts, heavy metals, food antigens and other toxic substances can leak into the blood stream from the digestive tract (leaky Gut) due to increased intestinal permeability. These substances are then free to go directly into the liver and cause widespread damage throughout the body.
Increased intestinal permeability (leaky Gut) is usually present in the following diseases: chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, hives, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, schizophrenia, autism, and ADHD.
After the detox process you should try to minimize certain over the counter medications and replace with more natural means. Certain prescribed medications are the exception, and you should discuss this with your Dr.
Once we start incorporating foods back into our diet we may notice some reactions to certain foods we may be sensitive to such as bloating, skin irritations, fatigue, or stomach upset.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that promote health benefits. Most Lactobacillus probiotics are transient members of the gut’s micro bacteria and can be completely missing in certain populations. These are best taken between or prior to meals. They should be added in after the third day of the detox program.
Things to avoid in order to fully detox the system are:
- Charbroiled foods: they contain the chemical polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)s) This blackened part of the grilled food generates free radicals.
- Sugars and refined carbohydrates are empty calories that generate more free radicals.
- Excess alcohol
- Minimize your exposure to ionizing radiation such as Radon gas, excess sun exposure and X-rays.
- Reduce your exposure to tobacco smoke and second hand smoke.
- Reduce air pollution with HEPA and ULPA filters.
- Reduce or eliminate the use of toxic household and personal care products such as underarm deodorant, antacids and pots and pans containing aluminum.
- Avoid insufficient or excessive exercise.
- Get 7-9 hrs of sleep a night, as lack of sleep will promote stress, and in turn; weight gain.
- Reduce exposures to fungal toxins in the home that can grow in bathrooms or old buildings in the form of molds and fungi.
- Reduce stress
- Improve breathing and oxidation
How long does it take to completely detox the body? Keep in mind it takes 7 years to replace all the cells of our body. More than Half of the accumulated wastes will be removed in the first 7 days, however the following timetable must be kept in mind
- 1-1.5 yrs for digestive cleansing and removal of fat deposits
- 1.5 to 2 yrs for deep tissue and joint cleansing
- 2-5 years for bone structure and further joint cleansing
- 5-6 years for organ repositioning and renewal
- 6-7 years for brain tissue and neurological cleansing
Detox Recipes available at: