Heavy metals, pesticides, pollutants, chemicals and refined over-processed foods all burden your body with toxins. When switching to a raw foods lifestyle, it’s common to experience uncomfortable symptoms as your body detoxifies. The initial phase, called catabolism, is all about elimination, removing stored waste deposited in all cells. Catabolism can last up to two weeks and symptoms include headache, acne, weakness, exhaustion, irritability, dizziness and diarrhea. Want to get in great shape? Learn more about LIVESTRONG.COM’s nutrition and fitness program!
It’s common to crave the very foods from which you’re detoxifying. One theory is that you’re peeling away layers of stored toxins, and as each layer is processed and eliminated, you’ll crave certain foods. As your body detoxifies meat, you may crave a hamburger. Your craving may go away after a bowel movement.
Another theory is that cravings are psychological. Eating foods mindfully in a calm and relaxing environment may help. You can also try meditation.
Irritability and Depression
Switching to a raw foods lifestyle may involve eating less food, eating less often and eating less sugar. Sugar is an addictive chemical that raises endorphins, giving you a sugar high and improving your mood. When you stop eating sugar, the lack of endorphins may cause depression and irritability.
Headaches are often a sign of caffeine withdrawal. Coffee, tea, and soda contain caffeine, which is an addictive substance like sugar. Starting a raw foods diet often means cutting out toxins such as caffeine, sugar, alcohol and nicotine. As the body tries to normalize and eliminate these poisons, changes in the vascular and nervous systems occur, which may result in headaches or other aches and pains in your joints.
Think of a detox as “internal house-cleaning.” Two of your body’s best tools for eliminating toxins are the liver, which absorbs toxins from the blood and chemically changes them so they can be eliminated through bile, and the kidneys, which process 200 quarts of blood to sort out about 2 quarts of waste everyday.The waste then moves to your bladder. If your liver and kidneys are overwhelmed by the amount of toxins being released, you may experience constipation.
Acne and Other Blemishes
Your body processes waste through the kidneys and liver, but when those two organs are over burdened by the quantity of toxins leaving your body, toxins look for another way out. This route is often through the pores of your skin, which is also an excretory organ. Drinking water to flush out toxins faster and taking two or three hot showers a day may help minimize pimples or rashes.
Body odor, gas and bad breath may be symptoms of a detox. Pollutants leave your system any way they can through urine, waste, skin, gas and your breath. Constipation is closely connected with body odor and bad breathe because decaying waste in your intestines causes odor. This odor leaves your body through your pores and your mouth. Once the toxins are out of your system and you’ve transitioned to a raw foods lifestyle, you should see, or rather smell, improvement.
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