Why do we eat? Yes, it’s a real question. And there are many answers. We eat to satisfy hunger. We eat to remain healthy. We eat because we like food or certain foods. We eat for comfort. Now we can add to these answers: We eat to detoxify our body. Strange? Not really.
In my last blog, I discussed how the human body has a built-in detoxifying system that is so efficient and effective that there is no real need for us to invest routinely or occasionally in detoxifying products. Instead, says Harvard Health, if you’re generally healthy, you should “concentrate on giving your body what it needs to maintain its robust self-cleaning system—a healthful diet, adequate fluid intake, regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and all recommended medical check-ups.”
So what kind of diet supports our body’s self-cleaning system? According to Dr. Don Colbert, in his book The Seven Pillars of Health, the diet that helps the “body’s waste management system…take out the toxic trash on a daily basis, not once a week,” is the alkalinizing diet. The alkalinizing diet is rich in filtered, clean water (alkaline water) and “fresh organic fruits and vegetables (alkaline-forming foods).”
Why alkaline water and why alkaline-forming foods? Dr. Colbert explains that “cells thrive in an alkaline environment, whereas acidic foods cause the body to slow this process.” Alkaline water makes it easier for the liver and kidneys to do their work and gets the colon working as it should.
Let’s look first at alkaline water or alkaline ionized water (AIW).
Alkaline Ionized Water (AIW)
Alkaline water is ionized water to achieve a pH above 7.0. A pH above 7.0 is alkaline; a pH below 7.0 is acidic. Some health professionals argue that alkaline water is an essential ingredient in detoxifying the body because it can neutralize acid in a person’s blood and so provide a health benefit. But the Mayo Clinic states that more research is needed to confirm the claims that alkaline water is better overall for the body than tap water. A systematic review of the relationship between alkaline water and cancer prevention and treatment, for example, found no evidence one way or the other. However, a study on the potential benefits of alkaline ionized water by researchers in Korea found that “supplementation of AIW improves the health of digestive tract, alleviates the severity of diseases in vivo, and improved body condition of aged subjects.” This study also acknowledged that more studies are needed to determine alkaline water’s “broad effect on health status improvement.”
So, is this call to drink alkaline water only hype? Well, here is what we know with certainty. Every cell, tissue and organ in the body needs water to work properly. Water gets rid of waste through urination, perspiration and bowel movements. Drinking pure water is but one of the ways to give our body the water it needs for these tasks. The body gets water from other liquids, such as milk, juice and herbal teas. The body also gets water from certain foods. Therefore, if we are concerned about obtaining the best water to support our waste management system, we have to pay attention not only to all the liquids we consume but to the foods we eat as well. About 20 percent of our daily fluid intake comes from foods.
Let’s look now at alkalinizing foods.
Detoxifying Foods Alkalinizing Foods
Detoxifying foods are alkalinizing foods. Says Dr. Colbert, alkalinizing foods “help to raise the pH of the tissues, enabling the body to release more toxins.” Acidic-forming foods, on the other hand, slow down the body’s elimination process. They include meat, fish, poultry, chicken eggs, most grains, legumes, and especially desserts, processed foods, and fast foods.
several kinds of fruits, vegetables and spices that support the body’s
self-cleaning work. They were selected primarily because they are alkaline-forming
but some of them also have the benefit of being high in fiber. Dietary fiber feeds
the growth of beneficial microbes (including bacteria, fungi, yeasts)
in the digestive tract. These microbes are important to gut
barrier function, for example, which “protects your key detox organs from
the spread of bacteria that stimulate inflammation. That allows your liver and
kidneys to focus on metabolism and detoxification.”
Fruits: fresh and organic, juiced
Berries, Blackberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries
Honeydew melon, Muskmelons, Watermelon
Nectarine, Orange, Tangerine
Green beans, green peas
Spices and Seasonings
Apple cider vinegar
Fresh, squeezed fruit juice
Ghee (clarified butter)
Soured dairy products
Calcium: pH 12
Cesium: pH 14
Magnesium: pH 9
Potassium: pH 14
Remember, a healthful diet and adequate fluid intake are just two of the activities we must focus on in order to maintain our body’s detoxing system. We must also engage in regular exercise (and work up a sweat), get enough sleep, and keep up with our medical check-ups.
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