By Dr. Joseph Mercola
with Rachael Droege
You may have instinctively noticed that your body, as with nature, follows a natural rhythm or cyclical cycle. On the outside, you routinely wake in the morning and sleep at night, following your sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm, you become hungry and you eat, you breathe air in and then exhale it out, and so on.
On the inside, your body follows similar cycles. Your food is broken down and transported to your cells for energy, oxygen you breath is pumped throughout your body by your heart, women have monthly menstrual cycles and your body goes through regular cycles of cleaning, repairing and rebuilding--provided you give it the proper help.
Spring is a perfect time to give your body a boost and really take advantage of the change in season to help rejuvenate, refresh and revive your body as you come out of winter ‘hibernation.’ Following is a basic guideline to get you started.
Juicing vegetables is a superb way to fortify your body with nutrients giving you a radiant, energetic life and truly optimal health. It also happens to be an excellent way to cleanse your body, specifically your intestine.
The health of your body is largely dependent on your intestinal tract, but most Americans have compromised intestines. Why? Because most of us have been eating less than optimally for many years, and it’s starting to catch up with us.
A compromised intestine limits your ability to digest and properly absorb nutrients from food.
Juicing helps to "predigest" the vegetables so you can get the most nutrition from them, and adding green juice to your diet will give you plenty of chlorophyll, which is known to help detoxify and heal the body and build and purify the blood, as it contains a unique structure similar to hemoglobin, the substance that transports oxygen through the blood.
Note: Be sure to use metabolically appropriate vegetables for your juice. If you are a protein type you may only need about 8 ounces of juice a day. If you are a carb type a quart of vegetable juice a day maybe more appropriate.
Increase Raw Food in Your Diet
Raw food, including vegetable juice, is generally much easier to digest than cooked food. In fact, raw food is digested in one-half to one-third of the time as cooked food.
So while you are cleaning out your body this spring, eating a lot of raw food will give your digestive system a much needed break, allowing it to clear out waste that has built up over time.
Raw food can include not only plant foods, but also animal foods like raw eggs and raw dairy. For an in-depth look at the benefits of raw food, I encourage you to read Nancy Lee Bentley’s discussion of raw food versus cooked food.
Drink Only Water
One of the best things you can do while cleansing your body, and always for that matter, is to drink only water. Eliminate all other beverages including:
Make sure that your water is clean, however. I recommend avoiding distilled water and also fluoridated water and instead using a good filter for your water supply. It’s a good idea to have your water tested to identify the contaminants that are there and determine what type of filter you need.
Eliminate Processed Food
When you eat processed food you are inevitably eating a variety of synthetic food coloring, flavoring and preservatives. There are over 6,000 synthetic chemicals used in the processed-food industry, some of which are known to have carcinogenic properties. Your body recognizes these additives as toxic and works to eliminate them, however this puts your immune system under constant stress.
It is easy to understand, then, when many Americans eat a diet of 90 percent processed food, how your immune system can eventually crash, leaving you vulnerable to a variety of illnesses.
In order to cleanse your body you need to focus on fresh, whole, pure foods. Not concoctions that have been artificially created and are sold in fancy packaging, and certainly not grains and sugars. Check out my nutrition plan to learn how to focus your diet on healthy whole foods. Even if you are planning to give up processed food only for a cleansing period, I suspect you won’t want to stop after you notice how great you will feel.
Include Fermented Foods
Finally, Fermented foods are a great source of good bacteria, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. The fermentation process even increases the amounts of some vitamins and enzymes in the food.
The good bacteria in fermented foods make the food more digestible and balance your gut microflora, which will help your body to heal from a variety of ailments.