Your body is under a constant assault from the world around you. There are toxins and pollutants in the air, the water, and your food. That’s right… your environment is trying to kill you. Okay, perhaps that is a bit of an exaggeration. There are plenty of healthy things out there that cause little to no harm. However, there is still a lot of nasty stuff out there that builds up in and around your body over time. The good news is that you can fight it all off and there are natural, healthy options to do just this. One of the most common and simple ways to do this is through a detoxification process.
What Is Detoxing?
Detoxing, also known as doing a detox or a cleanse, is the process of purifying the body from pollutants like chemical toxins and free radicals. If you look online, you will find endless amounts of different recipes and diets. There are many benefits to using a detox to cleanse your system. Some of these benefits include:
- Losing weight
- Increasing digestion effectiveness
- Feeling better
- Boosting nutrition
How Do Detoxes Work?
Detoxes and cleanses both require limiting certain food or caloric intakes and replacing solid foods with liquid. Typically there is an astringent agent, such as citric acid added into the mix as well. The detoxer simply drinks the beverage, replacing meals, for a certain amount of time and then the body does the rest. This process typically eliminates stools, stored fat and can help the body to more efficiently filter out toxins in the system. Proponents of the process claim that detoxification of the body can boost metabolism, reduce weight and provide a sense of well-being.
Ranges of Detoxing
There are a variety of cleanses and detoxes available. Some are simple and require minimal natural products such as water, supplements, juice, and honey or other natural sugar sources. Others may come as a pre-made kit that can be purchased from a local health food store. Ultimately, most detoxes are created equal.
Too Good to Be True?
It sounds simple enough to just follow a diet and miraculously your body will heal itself. The Cleveland Clinic says that cleanses can be beneficial, but people need to understand what they are getting themselves into first.
Some helpful health warnings about detoxing include:
- Detoxes can be dangerous if a strict system is required.
- Cleanses cannot promise long term weight loss.
- Anyone with a health condition should talk to a physician before trying to detox.
Best Practices for Detoxing
When you first decide to detox and pick the cleanse that is right for you, there are a few things that you should understand. Mainly, the body has the natural ability to keep itself healthy. The world is a dirty and toxic place. While modern chemicals can contribute to toxins that build up in the body, generally many of the dangers that humans face from their environment have always existed.
Free radicals have always bounced off the sun and water has always been the bringer of disease. Smog, cigarette smoke, and chemicals are new culprits that can cause concern, but detoxing will not always fight these off. It’s not like fresh fruit can combat radiation poisoning. If you go into the cleanse with a sense of trying to aid the body to do what it would do naturally, you will be able to anticipate the best results.
What to Look For
While there are many cleanses and detoxes out there, you want to choose the best mix that will enable you to reach your goals. So, before you even start detoxing you should research your options thoroughly and do your due diligence.
Types of Cleanses
When you begin to research cleanses you will find a host of options. Some of these options include the ever popular liquid detox, fruit diets, liver or kidney cleanses and quite a few others. Look closely at the purpose and claims that these detox plans promise. There are a few of these options that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has cracked down on because the company or recipe for detox has proven to be unsafe or harmful. Also, keep in mind that no cleanse can promise an outcome. Supplements and food are not drugs and thus do not have the same regulatory standards.
Goal Oriented Cleanses
Liquid and caloric restriction cleanses can act as a reset for your body. Perhaps you have been binge eating or you were recently sick and taking a lot of medication. In this case, cleansing the system to help your body function isn’t always a bad idea.
If you are looking to lose weight, know that a detox is not likely to give you long term results. If you are starting a new diet though, and want to give your body a boost to lose a few extra pounds, then a cleanse isn’t always bad. Aim to do a cleanse for no more than a few days. Too much and all you will do is deplete your carbohydrate storage or push your body into starvation mode.
The liver and kidneys are sometimes put into overdrive with all of the chemicals in our modern food. While the body does try to fight off unhealthy additives that we intake through food and water, sometimes there is a build up. Cleanses that include spices such as cayenne or turmeric can help to fight off free radicals. Fruits, especially those with bright colors such as red and green, can also be beneficial. Keep in mind by adding these spices or foods to a well-balanced diet the body can also receive the intended benefits.
Cleansing for Allergies
Cleansing for allergies is a practice for determining the cause of allergic reactions. It can also help to alleviate symptoms with allergies. Studies have reported that certain metals like nickel can be flushed from the system, and detoxing has been known to have a slight interaction with seasonal allergy inflammation.
When to See a Doctor
There are times when detoxing is used for specific health concerns. Readers should be advised that any information in this article should not substitute or be taken as medical guidance. If you have questions or concerns about your health or potential diets, always see a medical professional for an assessment.
Detox With Care
Much of the outcome from a cleanse comes from whether or not the person was healthy in the first place. Personal health and goals should always be taken into account. If you do choose to detox with a specific cleanse, try to be mindful of all reactions. If you notice something strange, see a doctor. Beyond that, the good news is that most people that choose to cleanse, in small doses, will find at least a positive temporary change. More often than not, the best way to get desired results that most seek from cleanses and detoxes are to let the body do its job naturally and eliminate toxins as it is designed to do. A well-balanced diet and regular exercise is typically the best longterm solution.