Detox and Cleanses

Detox and Cleanses

In one my recent articles The Pathway to Perfect Health, I stated,

The environment that our bodies are exposed to has changed dramatically in the last 50 years – faster than the human body can adapt. Exposure to environmental factors such as processed foods, additives, pollution and toxins have left our bodies less able to cope with diseases. Resetting the body’s natural condition through a thorough body cleanse will help you achieve improved health, naturally.

I want to clarify that  I’m not in support of the many unsubstantiated products and claims that are made by many colon cleaning products on the market today. The body is quite capable in most situations of detoxifying itself.

But the times are certainly toxic. Our kidneys and livers are constantly at work cleaning out all the nasty stuff we eat, drink and breathe–pesticides on our fruit, metals in dust and smog, sugar and bad fats in the processed foods we eat, and chemical compounds we come in contact with from household products, to name just some of the most obvious offenders.

One study found that even people with a healthy lifestyle have an average of 91 potentially harmful toxins in their system.

If you feel your body could use a spring cleaning of sorts, you may have considered a “detoxing” program. But what’s considered “detoxification” covers a wide spectrum of regimens, ranging from simply giving up coffee for a few days to a lengthy, liquid-only fast. “If you ask 10 different detoxification providers what detoxification is, you’ll get 10 different answers.

Most programs promise to rid your body of accumulated toxins, usually in about one to four weeks, in part by restricting your intake of unhealthful foods. Advocates say this purification eliminates headaches, fatigue, high blood pressure and other ills. The same folks sometimes say you will naturally lose weight on these plans too.

Nice theory, but no solid scientific evidence supports the notion that a detox of a few days or even weeks can scrub out toxins that may have accumulated over years in our bodies. “There is a huge toxin burden inside each of us,” says Walter Crinnion, N.D., director of the Environmental Medicine Center of Excellence at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences in Tempe, Ariz. “It doesn’t come out after a week of drinking a certain tea and getting off sugar.”

The best way to help clear out toxins is to put as few new chemicals into your body as possible–and controlling what you eat is among the simplest ways to ease the burden, even if sugar, fat, alcohol and coffee aren’t toxins in the same sense as heavy metals, pesticides and plastics are.

So here’s some detox goals, including what you should know about each for health and weight loss.

Step 1 Decrease your consumption of alcohol, sugar, caffeine and refined grains. Wean yourself of these items gradually to lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms when you do cut them out completely.

Step 2

Eat a diet consisting of fruits, low-fat dairy, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. Buy organic when possible, stresses Dr. Vincent Marrone, a gastroenterologist based in Fishkill, N.Y. another contributor to the “New York Daily News,” to reduce your exposure to pesticides in produce and hormones in animal and dairy products.

Step 3

Avoid overly restricting calories. A detox is about health, not weight loss. Too low of calorie intake will lead to weakness and fatigue -rather than a sense of well-being.

Step4

Drink water, freshly prepared green and fruit juices and herbal teas. Avoid artificial sweeteners and caffeinated drinks.

Step 5

Switch to natural cleaning products for your home and body. Reduce your exposure to dangerous toxins

Proper eating and hydration are essential for optimizing the vital work of our colon, kidneys, and liver. This time, I will avoid the use of the word “cleansing” and also recommend resisting the call of juice diets, fasts, and other trendy but potentially dangerous cleanses.

Eat Smart, Train Hard, Live Bold

Robert Custer

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