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Cleanse & RENEW

An Interview With Elson Haas, MD

  • How Do Toxins Influence Health Problems?
  • What Part Do They Play In Overweight?
  • What Are SNACCS?
  • Why Should We Care About Them?

Ready To Get Started?  Look Inside….

Most of us live in a toxic world. Just going through our daily routine exposes us to a large number of potentially harmful toxins. Some are in the food we eat while others lurk in the air we breathe. What can we do to fight these toxins? The answer lies in a personal detoxification plan.     

Elson M. Haas, MD, has some 40 years experience in natural medicine.

He is the founder of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin and of HHO, Haas Health Online

       The author of six books, including the classic Staying Healthy with Nutrition, Dr. Haas’ books are designed to be practical guides that readers can use to improve their own health.

In this issue of Nutrition News, we draw on The New Detox Diet, 3rd Edition. (2012) For more information, go to www.elsonhass.com.

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TOPIC: Traditional Detoxification

…by following the lifestyle and nutritional guidelines I describe in my book – you will begin to better serve your body and move your life toward its higher potential….I know you will experience greater vitality, more positive relationships, and overall improved health. 

  • Elson Haas, MD, The Detox Diet, 3rd Edition, 2012

Cleanse

& RENEW

An Interview With Elson Haas, MD

• How Do Toxins Influence Health Problems?

• What Part Do They Play In Overweight?

• What Are SNACCS?

• Why Should We Care About Them?

Ready To Get Started?  Look Inside…. 

Cleanse & RENEW

Most of us live in a toxic world. Just going through our daily routine exposes us to a large number of potentially harmful toxins. Some are in the food we eat while others lurk in the air we breathe. What can we do to fight these toxins? The answer lies in a personal detoxification plan. 

Elson M. Haas, MD, has some 40 years experience in natural medicine. 

He is the founder of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin and 

of HHO, Haas Health Online.

  The author of six books, including the classic Staying Healthy with Nutrition, Dr. Haas’ books are designed to be practical guides that readers can use to improve their own health. In this issue of Nutrition News, we draw on The New Detox Diet, 3rd Edition. (2012) For more information, go to www.elsonhass.com.

An Interview with Elson Haas, MD

Siri Khalsa (Editor-In-Chief at Nutrition News) spoke with Elson Haas, a specialist in detoxifying the body. She asked him some specific questions about detoxification dieting.

SK: In the last few years, detoxification has become surprisingly popular. Would you talk a little about your simple, yet essential, elements of healthy eating? 

EH: Yes. These principles should be integrated into your lifestyle routine, not just when you’re detoxifying. My health rules are:

•Eat whole foods, particularly fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and vegetable proteins.

•Put only quality foods into your body. Reduce refined foods, sugar, excess fatty 

and rich foods, and foods with additives or synthetic coloring. Avoid genetically engineered foods and those with chemical herbicides and pesticides by buying foods labeled “organic”.

•Drink no more than 4 ounces of liquid with meals as too much can dilute the 

digestive juices. 

•Drink 6-8 glasses of purified water daily, plus herbal teas.

•Relax yourself to prepare your body for nourishment; eat in a relaxed environment; 

and chew your food thoroughly.

•Get sufficient fiber in your diet.

•Use nutritional supplements and herbs as appropriate.

•Exercise regularly to provide strength, flexibility, endurance, and enjoyment.

•Maintain regular elimination. Diet, exercise, and stress levels should be such that your bowels move once or twice daily.

•Moderate use of alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. Beware of excessive use of 

prescription, OTC, and recreational drugs.

SK: In other words, eat healthy foods, drink water, take supplements, exercise regularly, and get rid of what you call the SNACCs.

EH: Few people realize that many toxins exist specifically because of our addictions to substances. I have devoted chapters to discussing specific programs for detoxifying the SNACCs: Sugar, Nicotine, Alcohol, Caffeine, and Chemicals. I conclude the book with a chapter that helps everyone by addressing ways to embrace nontoxic living. 

SK: What are some signs and symptoms of toxicity as well as some problems that are related to congestion and stagnation in the body?

EH: Signs and symptoms can include headaches, joint pain, coughing/wheezing, frequent colds, sleepiness, insomnia, sinus congestion, anxiety, depression, skin rashes, nausea, indigestion, bad breath, and constipation. 

In addition, there are a vast number of problems associated with toxicity. They can include arthritis, acne, allergies, asthma, heart disease, obesity, infections, cancer, cataracts, bronchitis, kidney disease, stroke, menstrual problems, diabetes, mental illness, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, drug addiction, tension headaches, colitis, senility, migraine headaches, and sexual dysfunction.

Believe it or not, the list goes on.  

SK: This might seem like an obvious question, but exactly what is detoxification and how does it manifest in life?

EH: That’s an extremely precise question with a very relevant answer. Oxidized fats (and cholesterol), free radicals, and other irritating molecules act as toxins on an internal level. Functionally, toxicity is increased by poor digestion, colon dysfunction, reduced liver function, and poor elimination through the kidneys, respiratory tract, and skin.

Detoxification is the process of cleansing these systems. Toxins are eliminated in three ways: 1) clearing them from the body; 2) neutralizing them; 3) transforming them. This removes excess acidity, mucus, and congestion.

Detoxification involves dietary and lifestyle changes that reduce toxin intake while also increasing their elimination. The essential steps in living a detoxified lifestyle include avoiding chemicals, refined foods, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and caffeine while also drinking extra water, consuming more fruits and vegetables, and increasing fiber intake. 

In some cases, a more rigorous detox diet (i.e., a diet made up of only of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and some nuts and seeds) might be preferable or necessary. Others might prefer a raw foods diet or a brown rice fast (a more macrobiotic approach).

In The New Detox Diet, I outline specific detox healing diets. For example, there is one for yeast overgrowth and another for food allergies. The key is to find an individualized program that works for you and meets your needs. This third edition also includes a chapter to help teenagers.

SK: Gastrointestinal health is central to the detoxification process. Can you tell us a little more about this?

EH: Of course. The structure and functions of the intestines determine total body toxin load. Cleansing and healing the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, especially the colon, provides a base for effective detoxification.

Although the liver has many jobs in the body, it also plays an essential detoxifying role. During detoxification it is important to avoid stress on the liver and to support its rest. [See Nutrition News, “Enliven Your Liver”.]

SK: You stress the importance of pH balance in understanding the big detox picture. Can you explain pH, the acid-alkaline balance, for us? 

EH: This is a concept that confuses many people. Simply put, pH means power of hydrogen. It refers to the number of hydrogen ions in a substance. The neutral standard is water at 7.0. Acid is less than 7.0 while alkaline is over 7.0. Our bodies are slightly alkaline, more or less the equivalent of sea water.

The general ideas about illness and health in my book relate to pH balance. Congestion, irritation, and inflammation come from an acid imbalance. The acidity in body tissue results from eating too many acid-causing foods (i.e., hydrogenated fats, meats, especially organ meats, fried foods, refined flour, eggs, milk, and all the SNACCs). The Detox Diet consists of steamed vegetables, fresh fruits, water, and alkaline drinks. This helps to bring the body into balance while decreasing acid wastes. The body lowers its inflammatory and pain responses. Then, we begin to feel better.

SK: When should we detoxify? 

EH: You can detoxify anytime your body feels congested. I also recommend a seasonal detoxification plan in my book Staying Healthy With The Seasons. In most cases, we can detoxify while continuing our normal life routines.

Readers can use my books as workbooks. The New Detox Diet contains thorough descriptions for each of many plans as well as recipes and guidelines for eating post-cleanse.

SK: You also describe your detox diets as catalysts for making habit changes. Would you describe this diet and how it is used?

EH: The detox diet plan can be done for one day or up to four weeks. Many of its principles can also be incorporated into daily living for ongoing cleansing.

SK: One of the things I appreciate most about the book is your amazing recipes! Would you give our readers one of your favorites?

EH: Yes. I recommend my Tahini Shake. It serves two.

1c non-dairy milk        2T tahini (sesame seed butter)

1c fresh orange juice   handful of fresh greens or

1 frozen banana                  greens powder 

Protein powder and/or flax oil can be added. Blend ingredients and drink immediately.

SK: That sounds delicious. Thank you. And, we can’t conclude our discussion without mentioning some specific supplements that support detoxification. 

EH: True. I outline essential nutrients and supplements extensively in my detox book. I want to note that some of these are particularly targeted at healing the all important gastrointestinal (GI) tract. 

They are listed in the simple guidelines here. (See sidebar inside.)

SK: Elson, this edition of Nutrition News not only contains your supplement recommendations, we are also able to get readers started with your “Daily Detox Diet”. It is an excellent guide to periodic cleansing. (See sidebar below.)

EH: That’s great, Siri. I am always amazed by how much information you can squeeze into four pages. Nutrition News is a wonderful way to spread the word about good health.

SK: We appreciate your support, Elson. Our mission is to engage as many people as possible in playing The “Is It Healthy?” Game. And, thank you again for appearing in these pages and sharing your wisdom.

EH: As always, it’s my pleasure, Siri. I look forward to the next time we meet. Good health, everybody!

REFERENCES

• Haas, E.M. with Daniella Chace, MS, CN. (2012). The New Detox Diet, 

3rd Edition. Celestial Arts, Berkeley, CA.

• Haas, E.M. with chef Patty James. (2010). More Vegetables Please! 

New Harbinger Publications, Oakland, CA.

• Haas, E.M. (2006). Staying Healthy with Nutrition, 2nd Edition.

Celestial Arts, Berkeley, CA.

• Haas, E.M. (2003). Staying Healthy with the Seasons. Celestial Arts,

Berkeley, CA.

• Haas, E.M. (2000). The False Fat Diet: The Revolutionary 21-Day

Program for Losing the Weight You Think Is Fat. Ballentine Books, 

New York.

• Personal conversation with Elson Haas.

• www.elsonhaas.com

Sidebar:

Can you benefit

from a personalised detox plan created

by Dr. Haas? 

Take a moment to answer

the following questions:

1. Do you have headaches or chronic aches and pains?

2. Do you tend to overeat? OR are you overweight without overeating?

3. Do you have high blood pressure or elevated blood cholesterol?

4. Do you have food or environmental allergies (ie, hay fever, rashes, or asthma)?

5. Do you suffer from chronic sinus headaches or nasal congestion?

6. Do you experience constipation, heartburn or indigestion?

7. Do you often find yourself tired or fatigued and wish you felt better?

8. Do you often eat fried foods, fast foods, or refined foods?

9. Do you regularly consume caffeine or sugar? Do you need them to get through your day?

10. Do you take over-the-counter, prescription, or recreational drugs on a regular basis?

11. Do you smoke daily? Have you tried to quit?

12. Do you consume alcohol on a daily basis or in large amounts?

 

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, or if you’re simply committed to taking your health and well-being to the next level,  Dr. Elson Haas’ New Detox Diet  can help you.

Sidebar:

 Supplement Recommendations

Basic Daily Supplements

Multivitamin/mineral (one-a-day): One tablet or capsule after breakfast.

Antioxidant Combination: 1-2 caps or tabs, twice daily between meals.

Vitamin C or buffered powdered C with minerals (calcium, magnesium and/or potassium): 1 tab or cap of 1000 mg Vitamin C or 1/4 tsp. twice daily of powder mixed into liquid. Essential for collagen formation, which is the basis for connective tissue repair, wound healing, and general tissue strength. 

Vitamin D3: 1000 – 5000 IU. Not actually a vitamin but a hormone that affects every cell in the body.

Calcium-magnesium: 1-3 caps at bedtime relaxes the nerves.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids from fish or algae: 1000 IU combinations of EPA and DHA. Help to maintain the integrity of cell membranes and protect and heal the cells and tissues.

Blue-green algae, spirulina or chlorella: 2-4 tabs or caps after breakfast. Or mix a tsp into your smoothies.

Detox Support Supplements

L-glutamine is a nonessential amino acid used as fuel by active cells. Extra L-glutamine is needed to heal the GI tract during disease.

Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) is necessary for protein synthesis and energy production, both of which are involved in the tissue healing process.

Vitamin A and beta-carotene (the nontoxic precursor of vitamin A) are needed for normal growth, function, and repair of epithelial cells, including those in the GI mucosa.

Vitamin E is an essential antioxidant that defends cell membrane integrity and function, thus helping to protect active enzymes within the cells. (NN recommends full spectrum vitamin E.)

Zinc is essential to tissue health and repair, enzyme function, the integrity of the cell membrane structure, and cell replication. All of these are needed for the function and repair of the GI lining.

Selenium is an important antioxidant for chemical detoxification, protecting GI tract cells, and promoting appropriate repair.

Aloe Vera in its purified and extracted juice form is both soothing and healing to the GI tract mucosa and tissue.

Marshmallow root soothes and heals the GI mucosa.

Glutathione, L-cysteine, and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) provide fuel and act as protective antioxidants and detoxification supporters.

Fiber, especially the soluble type from fruits and vegetables, protects and promotes healthy regularity. Insoluble fiber, such as wheat bran, may also help lessen gut toxicity.

Cleansing herb include garlic, red clover blossoms, echinacea, dandelion root, chaparral, cayenne pepper, ginger root, licorice root, yellow dock root, burdock root, sarsaparilla root, prickly ash bark, Oregon grape root, parsley leaf, and goldenseal root. Choose any one, a combo, or a cleansing herbal formula.

Sidebar:

Daily Detox Diet

Dear Readers, my detox diet plan can be followed for only one day or for as long as four weeks. Many of its principles can be incorporated into one’s daily life for ongoing cleansing. It is not only a healing diet 

but a catalyst for creating new habits. This sample was created for the readers of Nutrition News. EH 

Upon rising: Two glasses of filtered water. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into one.

Breakfast: One piece of fruit at room temperature. 15-30 minute later, one bowl of cooked whole grains (millet, brown rice, amaranth, or quinoa are the best choices). For flavoring, use 2 T fruit juice for sweetness or 1 T Better Butter (butter/olive oil combination) with a little sea salt for a more savory taste.

Lunch (12pm-1pm): 1-2 medium bowls of steamed vegetables. Use a variety including roots, stems, and greens.

Dinner (5-6pm): Same as lunch. If you feel fatigued or like you need protein, just add 3-4 ounces of fish, poultry, or beans.

Special Drinks This is the water that is collected from steaming the vegetables. It contains (between 11am & 3pm): many nutrients and offers a more alkaline balance for the body. A bit of veggie salt or garlic salt can be used.

Remember: 1) Always eat slowly and chew well. 2) Consume no additional foods after dinner. 

3) Drink only pure water, water from steaming veggies, and herbal teas.