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17.11.2007 Health

Internal Cleansing, A Tool For Healthy Living

By Daily Guide

How often do you hear people talk about internal cleansing? I guess very little. All you hear people talk about these days is a delicious meal they had at a party, the quantity of alcoholic drinks they took before leaving the party or how many meals they can consume on a typical day.

Back in our various homes, families consume large varieties of food and drinks without thinking about what they put in their bodies or how to get rid of the waste in their system. Thus, many people are sick because of what they are eating, how they are eating and when they are eating.

According to the Health Foresight, a health magazine, we are now witnessing the confirmation by medical, scientific and research sectors of the direct link between the rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDS) and the prevalence of unhealthy lifestyles.

These “diseases of choice” have been found to be attributable to unhealthy diets, sedentary lifestyles and “health illiteracy”.

They are called “Diseases of Choice” because they result from unhealthy lifestyles rather than the usual physical and environmental vectors of diseases. Diseases that emanate from these life choices include cardio-vascular incidents (heart attacks and strokes) cancer, chronic pulmonary infections, diabetes, digestive disorders, obesity and mental illness. These have been cited as the greatest killers of the day.

One surest way of avoiding or preventing diseases in this category is by practicing what is called internal cleansing.

WHAT IS INTERNAL CLEANSING?

Dr. Ahmadiel Ben Yehuda, a Healthy Lifestyle and Behavioral Change Specialist from the African-Hebrew Development Agency (AHDA) expressed concern about the number of times that people eat in a day (some three or four times) and how they talk about the 'quality' of the meal.

He regretted that after talking about food, people fail to discuss how to cleanse the body, saying there obviously have to be an equal balance in the way we eat and clean the body in order for the body to remain healthy.

He further explained that most people eat more than they eliminate. “So there is the need to assist the body in the elimination of waste and this process is what is called internal cleansing.”

WAYS OF ELIMINATING WASTE FROM THE SYSTEM
According to the Healthy Lifestyle Specialist, firstly, people should practice the habit of drinking more water, explaining that water is a universal solvent. Citing ways by which water is lost from the body, Dr. Ahmadiel noted that each time one takes a breath, moisture comes out from the body, hence the need to take in more water to replenish the system. He maintained that diseases such as gout, kidney diseases, misdiagnosed malaria that people have are as a result of insufficient water in the body.

The Foresight Magazine further explained that without sufficient water, cells in the human body languish and die. Lack of water causes the blood to thicken, leaving it unable to efficiently carry out its functions: moving nutrients to the body's cells and organs, and removing poisons from the body.

It said the resultant retention of waste material in the body leads to constipation, indigestion, flatulence, headaches, backaches, impaired mental and physical performance, and a wide range of discomfort and diseases.

Secondly, Dr. Ahmadiel mentioned that people should eat more fruits and vegetables since such foods contain fiber which helps to cleanse the intestines. “Fruits and vegetables have a lot of water in them, whereas if you eat a lot of starchy foods and meat (animal foods), these foods cloud the system up by sticking to the intestines which in time becomes hard.

Returning to plant-based diet will assist the body to regain its optimum health and performance. “Proper nutrition must focus on supplying the body's nutritional requirements, which will boost its immune system, assisting it to fight against all manner of sickness and disease.”

Dr. Ahmadiel advised that people exercise, to remove toxins from the system, observing however that modernization has produced a world in which the body has become increasingly inactive.

Sedentary lifestyles in which people get less and less physical activity have become the norm. Lack of exercise, whether due to sitting behind a desk or steering wheel, has contributed to the decline of our overall health and decreased life expectancy rates.

Unfortunately, even our schools are adopting the global trend as PE sessions are not observed often or not even on the timetables of schools.

Dr. Ahmadiel recommended occasional fasting as another means of internal cleansing. He said people are constantly working their digestive system so occasional fasting will not only give these organs rest but also help the body to eliminate waste.

He went on to say that hydrotherapy at least two or three times a year, is another good form of internal cleansing.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD WE PRACTICE INTERNAL CLEANSING
The Lifestyle Specialist contended that internal cleansing methods such as exercises, fasting, eating more fruits and vegetables and drinking lots of water should be practiced everyday.

For example, regular exercise encourages the body to build strong bones and muscles, increases blood circulation, increases the oxygen utilized by the body as well as increases flexibility.

It also helps the body to cope with the stress of modern living, which is acknowledged as a major killer. It is recommended that one exercises three times a week, for at least 30 minutes.

WHO SHOULD
PRACTICE IT?
Everyone should practice internal cleansing. People should clean their internal systems regularly and not only when they get sick.

“When you go to the doctor, he will ask you a few questions just to know about your history, then he will give you a prescription and then ask you to eat more fruits and vegetables as well as drink a lot of water,” Dr. Ahmadiel maintained, and asked:

“Why should people wait until they get sick before they are told by a doctor to do these things when they can easily practice them everyday and be free from diseases?” He believed that a change in attitude can cause people to act and respond differently to health issues.

“It would be appropriate at this time to be reminded of the popular definition of a 'fool': the person who does the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result.”

MAINTENANCE
Dr. Ahmadiel advised the public to keep their bodies healthy just as they do to their automobiles. He said many people are concerned about cleaning the outside of their bodies rather than the inside, which is more important, and stressed that people must learn to conceptualize perfect health because the human body is a perfect mechanism, created to give a lifetime of pleasure and joy within the bounds and limits of proper, righteous use.

“Who has purchased a vehicle or garment and not paid attention to the instructions for care that will ensure a 'lifetime' of enjoyment? Why do people treat their bodies recklessly without regard for the proper fuel or maintenance?”

FOODS THAT AFFECT OUR SYSTEM
Dr. Ahmadiel encouraged people to reduce the intake of meat because the human body has not been designed to consume animal products.

“Humans do not have the fangs that animals have. Humans do not have enzymes to digest animal products,” he stressed. Citing Africans as an example, he pointed out that due to the hot climatic conditions, most Africans are not able to digest milk.

“They have what is called lactose intolerance which means the body rejects the milk, and that causes indigestion, upset stomach, constipation etc.” These conditions are known to be some of the factors that cause diabetes.

In line with this, the Health Foresight Magazine advised that we return to plant-based diets to put the body on the path to regaining its optimum health performance. It said proper nutrition must focus on supplying the body's nutritional requirements, which will boost the body's immune system, assisting it to fight against all manner of sicknesses and diseases.

“Though we certainly will continue to appreciate the physical and social pleasures associated with eating, we must remember to 'eat to live and not live to eat'.”

Tovleeyah B. Israel, another Health Specialist with the African-Hebrew Development Agency said people should avoid taking high starchy foods like Banku and Akple, and instead consume more vegetables and fruits.

She pointed out that improper food combinations can result in digestive problems, especially as there are few people in society who really know about true nutrition.

“People just eat without knowing the nutritional value of what they are eating. What you don't know can really harm you. We need information on how to have sound nutrition.”

She reiterated that fruits and vegetables contain a lot of fibers and that instead of eating white rice, white flour and other refined foods, people should take whole grain fibers. Touching on the need to disseminate the information on staying healthy, Tovleeyah B. Israel stated that “the message should be carried across for people to make the right choices. Otherwise in the next five years, life expectancy would reduce to 35 years.”

Tovleeyah advised that people take a lot of rest since that is medicine. Comparing the human body to that of a machine, she explained that any mechanical item working constantly would break down, and that even God rested on the 7th day after creation. “By restring, we allow the body to renew itself.

We are sick because we are exhausted and never consider rest as very important.” The Health Foresight Magazine also stressed that rest is an essential component of regenerative lifestyle.

It said people must take time for the rejuvenation of their bodies and relaxation of their minds. “It is relatively known that a person will die from lack of sleep, before lack of water and food. The body's central nervous system will simply shut down.”

By Rachelle O. Amakye & Druscilla Lartey

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