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Nutrition For Drummers: Can’t Tox This

The body is an amazing self-repairing machine that is constantly replacing old cells with new ones. To produce good copies, the body needs an array of essential nutrients in the right proportions. Equally important is how well we get rid of the waste products. Cleanse and nourish are the two factors in the health equation.

It’s been said that we live in a virtual sea of chemicals. Natural and man-made toxins pervade our environment and are ingested via food, air and water. It’s also been said that there is only one disease in the world whereby we voluntarily pollute ourselves with excessive amounts of food, caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and drugs: Autointoxication, or self-poisoning.

People sometimes reach a chemical burden that is so high they are said to suffer from “environmental illness.” Others may wonder why they suffer from fatigue, immune disorders, joint or muscle pain, brain fog, allergic-like reactions, or other symptoms that can’t be explained medically.

The solution might be assisting internal cleansing and detoxification processes. This is accomplished by supporting the five channels of elimination: the lungs, kidneys, bowel, skin, and lymphatic system. For example, singing and deep breathing exercises help to exchange carbon dioxide (a waste product) for oxygen. Adequate water intake dilutes the urine, helping to flush away toxins. Healthy elimination is encouraged by consuming fiber from generous amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. (If you’re not getting your quota, a fiber supplement might be necessary.) Saunas and sweating facilitates elimination through the skin. Muscle contraction (exercise) stimulates lymphatic circulation to carry away cellular waste products.

The liver, the body’s largest internal organ, is our organ of detoxification. It has the task of breaking down harmful substances so they can be excreted. Things that typically stress the liver are excessive amounts of animal fat, sugar, alcohol, drugs, food additives, and other chemicals. We can support liver detoxification by consuming sulfur-containing vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts. For additional support, consider supplements containing milk thistle, alpha lipoic acid, and N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC). Some experts believe that only those who protect themselves from the increasing toxic burden in the modern world will avoid chemically related health issues.

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