Detoxifying Common Addictions
Detoxifying common addictions is a great way to start the year if your goal is a healthier body and clearer mind. A toxin is basically any substance that creates harmful or irritating effects in the body, actually damaging tissues and organs. This may result when one over-uses substances such as sugar, nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and chemicals. These are the five main addictions today in our societies. Sugar and caffeine are the most common stimulating habits for many of us these days. These substances become abuses and even addictive when used on a daily basis to function. When not having caffeine or sugar, many people experience minor withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue or headaches. Alcohol, nicotine and drugs are next on this list of problematic substances; many use these habitually and somewhat excessively because of their acceptance socially. People who smoke can become addicted quite easily creating difficulty in quitting. The use of drugs for health problems is common these days; we easily turn to over-the-counter medicines and prescriptions to deal with health issues rather than addressing the underlying causes of these problems, which often come from poor dietary choices, lack of exercise or quality sleep, excessive stress and from the drugs we are taking.
Let’s take a look at these addictions and the problems associated with them. I will go over detoxifying common addictions and how to clear some of the excesses of these substances:
Sugar: Simple sugar (glucose) is what our body, our cells and brain use for energy. Most of us use too much refined sugar. There is evidence that a diet high in sugar is a significant underlying cause of disease. Some of the problems associated with sugar intake: tooth decay, increased risk of diabetes and cancer, nutritional deficiency, Yeast overgrowth and cravings for sweets, hyperactivity and mood swings to name a few.
Sugar Detox: Sugar withdrawal is usually mild, with the greatest challenge being the emotional attachment to sugar. One way to beat this is cutting out the refined sugar and replacing it with Stevia. Stevia is wonderful alternative to sugar because it is safe for diabetics. Avoiding chemical sweeteners like aspartame is a must. This substance can be a neurological toxin and can affect moods in those who use it.
Sugar Replacement Snacks: *fresh fruit *organic plain yogurt *almond butter * protein smoothies * popcorn
Caffeine: Caffeine has become an overused energy stimulant. One cup produces temporary increase in mental alertness and energy levels. Unfortunately the more you consume coffee or caffeine, more is needed to achieve the original effect and symptoms can develop if we do not get our ‘Fix’.
Negative Effects of Caffeine: Fatigue, headache and drowsiness are common, increased heartburn from stomach HCl production, loss of minerals, an overly acidic body.
Herbal Caffeine Substitutes: Chicory root *dandelion root *peppermint tea *miso broth. For those who still want a bit of caffeine – Yerba Mate is an excellent substitute full of many benefits.
Alcohol, Nicotine and Drugs: Alcohol is enjoyed worldwide as is smoking. These along with prescription medication have become common in our society. Risks of alcohol depend on how much one consumes and how often. Those with diabetes, liver disorders, viral diseases, mental confusion and yeast problems should avoid it. Those with heart disease and pregnant or nursing mothers should not drink at all.
Nutritional Support for Drinkers: supporting the liver is crucial to help heal the body; avoiding fried foods, rancid oils, and all other drugs which are hard on liver. Supplementing with Alpha-lipoic acid may help protect liver as can Milk Thistle.
Nicotine and Drug in the body will also benefit from these dietary changes as well as including an alkaline diet of mostly fresh local and organic vegetables and whole grains will be of most benefit. Supplementing with antioxidants like A, C,E and selenium and the minerals Zinc, magnesium and manganese will help to detoxify the body while nourishing at the same time. Include a Greens powder too – like algae’s and grasses; these are powerful detoxifying supplements that will alkaline the body and organs from an acidic environment which can be caused from over-use of these addictive substances!