Chemicals in Our Food
Every food and every herb is made up of acids, alkaloids, and nutrients—all chemicals. Coffee contains caffeine; yerba maté contains mateine; an orange is rich in ascorbic acid, inositol, biotin, tartaric acid, choline, nucleotides, and peroxidase. It is not chemicals per se that are the source of the problem. It is the source of the chemicals that is the problem. Nutritious foods whether prepared at home or purchased commercially have colors, flavors,
and textures that are also nutritionally rich. That is because these colors, flavors, and textures come from a merging of different herbs, spices, aromatic oils, and food ingredients that make them not only tasteful but nutritionally rich as well.
On the other hand, we often choose foods manufactured in a laboratory rather than by Mother Nature. Many of the manufactured foods that have become a regular part of our eating patterns are nutritionally destitute, refined foods combined with synthetic additives used in processing and packaging to artificially preserve color and flavor. Other synthetic additives are added to create texture and aroma for what we eat. When you eat these foods, you are choosing highly processed, nutritionally depleted foods. These foods may look good, smell good, and taste good, but they really are nothing but a chemical feast. They create a toxic environment in the body.
Your body does not require, and cannot make use of, these additives. In fact, your detoxifying organs—liver, kidney, spleen, lungs, and skin—must neutralize and eliminate them from your body. This detoxification process depletes energy and creates a state of imbalance. When much of the food you eat is processed with these artificial ingredients, your body is not getting the nutritional energy it needs. In this diminished state, body polluting additives do not get eliminated and instead build to toxic levels. Eventually, this toxic overload may make you sick.
Non-organic meats and milk are laden with pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, unhealthy fats, and various other undesirable elements. And because we have polluted our oceans, the fish we eat are also full of toxins.
How Can We Reverse This Body Pollution?
A key element to any herbal weight-loss program is stimulation of various organs of detoxification and elimination. The organs in this process include the kidneys, the colon, and most importantly the liver. The liver plays several roles in detoxification: it filters the blood to remove large toxins, synthesizes and secretes bile full of cholesterol and other fat-soluble toxins and disassembles unwanted chemicals with enzymes. The liver is also important in
reducing the buildup of free radicals. Once the liver has modified a toxin, it needs to be eliminated from the body as soon as possible. One of the primary routes of elimination is through bile.
The first step in supporting proper liver function and bile flow is following a health-promoting diet low in animal foods and sugar, and high in whole-plant foods such as vegetables, grains, legumes, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Such a diet will provide a wide range of essential nutrients the liver needs to carry on its important functions. There are many special foods rich in factors that help protect the liver from damage and improve liver function. Among
these are garlic, legumes, and onions; good sources of water-soluble fibers such as pears, oat bran, apples, and legumes; cabbage family vegetables (especially broccoli); Brussels sprouts and cabbage; and artichokes, beets, carrots, dandelion, and many herbs and spices including milk thistle, turmeric, cinnamon, and licorice.
For this reason, it is important to develop dietary patterns that you can apply while using detoxifying herbs.
Here is a guide of what to eat and what to avoid while detoxifying and easing your body into a weight-loss mode.