Health Alert 141
Purging your body of pollutants is more important today than ever. They have become a major threat causing cancer and chronic disease. By middle age the average American has 5 to 10 pounds of these toxins in his cells, tissue, and organs.
Many of you have asked me about the best way to remove these hazards from your body. This is your first of a 5 part series on how to develop a practice of detoxifying. Today you’ll learn how to safely use one of the most ancient forms – fasting.
I’ve seen many of my patients achieve surprising cures of chronic illness through periodic fasting. You’ll notice more energy with better mental focus from fasting. You will also enjoy the trim, light feel of your midsection after a fast.
* Toxins Zap your Energy *
The food we eat and drink contains toxins. You don’t completely eliminate them through the digestion process. Some of these toxins include:
• Vinyl chlorides
You contact these toxins through the environment, food, water, cleaning supplies, deodorant use, and dental work. An accumulation of these toxins can cause fatigue, headaches, muscle soreness, bloating, depression and chronic disease.
In a study presented at the International Symposium on Functional Medicine, chronic fatigue patients were tested for mercury and lead levels. Forty-five percent of these patients showed a hypersensitivity to mercury and 49% to lead. 77% of these patients reported improved health after lowering their blood levels of these 2 toxins.2
Contrary to what I often see in the media, fasting is quite safe. You may see health pundits proclaim how foolish and dangerous fasting is. We are not so fragile. Not eating for a few days won’t hurt you. This of course would have been a common occurrence in our natural environment. It’s the modern “abnormal” situation to have constantly available food. People have fasted for religious and health traditions for thousands of years.
* Water, Juice, and Fruit Fasts *
There are a number of different types of fasting for detoxification. Water fasting is the most extreme. It is the only 100% true fast. Simply eat or drink nothing but water for 1 to 3 days. Never avoid water during a fast.
Juice fasting is another option. I do not like packaged juices. If you are to enjoy all the benefits of a juice fast you must make your own fresh juice. Drink only citrus juices for a detoxifying fast. For an improved energy fast use a juicer and drink fresh vegetable juices. You can drink as much as you want and have as much water as you want.
If a liquid-only fast seems too overwhelming, you can elect a whole fruit fast. My favorite is a grapefruit fast. Grapefruits remove many toxic drug residues. Eating grapefruits only for a day or two is also effective for initiating a weight loss plan.
The easiest fast is the protein only fast. It is especially effective for fat loss in athletes and other trying to get very lean. You will burn fat without giving up as much lean mass as in a total fast. You can eat tuna, chicken breasts, egg whites and pure protein shakes.
One advantage of this pure protein fast is that you really aren’t hungry. The fat burning will slow after a couple of days. It’s more effective to use brief on and off cycles of 1 to 5 days. Again, drink plenty of water during the fast cycle.
Rules for fasting safety:
• For first time fasters, try it for one day at first.
• You can practice one day fasts as often as every two weeks.
• If you like, you can build up to a 3 day fast.
• You can fast for 3 days up to once a month.
• You can work and exercise while fasting.
• If you have diabetes, kidney or liver disease, clear any fast with your doctor.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
1. Fasting International
2. Stejskal, V. “Immunological reactions to metals in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.” International Symposium on Functional Medicine. Presentation Abstracts. Palm Springs, CA, 1994.