At certain times of the year such as after Christmas, at the beginning of a New Year, and in the spring, many people are feeling the need to do a ‘detox’. There’s a desire to clean out the body and lighten up, so to speak – to remove garbage, gain energy and get ready for the warmer weather that’s coming. There is a way it can be done in a super simple, totally natural and easy manner.
The body has four processes that keep you healthy, as well as a wonderful, natural detox system that works flawlessly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I will tell you how to easily support your body’s processes and boost the ongoing detox system – without a ‘detox diet’. I will also tell you why a ‘detox diet’ might not be your best choice.
Click here if you would like to watch Cathy’s FaceBook Live Video, part of the Nutritional Nuggets series, about The Body’s Natural Detox System.
Exposure to toxins
In our world today, exposure to toxins is very difficult to avoid. There’s pollution and there are pesticides and chemicals on the food. Unless you eat a strictly organic diet, it is a fact that you will be dealing with some chemical exposure. The other factor that causes health issues is the refined foods that are so prevalent in our culture. You are bombarded every day with marketing for processed and sugary foods that look good and taste good, yet they have absolutely no nutrition. They are literally empty foods that are toxic, they clog up your body and ruin your health.
The body’s four important processes
Every time you eat, your body uses four processes to keep you healthy:
1. Digestion of the food
2. Absorption of the nutrition from the food (vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients)
3. Utilization of the nutrition from the digested food, which feeds your cells and organs, repairs tissue and gives you energy
4. Elimination of the resulting waste products and/or toxins after digestion, absorption and utilization.
The best way to support these processes is simply two-fold: 1) eliminate refined foods and sugars from your daily food intake, and 2) eat a whole foods diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals and nutrients that feed your body and give you energy.
Detox diets and/or cleanses
Any detox diet or cleanse (two terms that are used interchangeably) should do more than simply clean out the toxins or garbage. It should enhance or improve your body’s ability to digest food, absorb nutrition, utilize the nutrients and get rid of the waste.
There is a great deal of controversy about detox diets, and whether or not they are actually effective and healthy. There is very little proof to substantiate claims that they are good for you. A cleanse may or may not be effective. It might not support your whole system, and it might not give you the result you want or need. Here are two examples:
• A juice cleanse would not likely be helpful for eliminating waste from the colon because there is no fiber in juice. The colon needs both fiber and moisture for effective elimination. You could end up with the unexpected issue of constipation, leaving you with a serious backup of garbage in your digestive tract.
• If you have blood sugar issues, are diabetic or pre-diabetic – a detox diet might not be right for you. Diabetics, or those with pre-diabetes, need to maintain balanced nutrition all the time in order to keep their blood sugar stable and healthy (not spiking and not crashing). A detox diet could cause low blood sugar – a very unhealthy situation for diabetics.
On the other side of the detox coin, there is merit for doing a medically supervised detox diet or cleanse. Certain medical circumstances, such as cleansing toxic metals from your body or doing a specific liver cleanse, would require a carefully designed and monitored detox. These types of detox cleanses should always be done with strict guidance and monitoring by a knowledgeable physician. Do not attempt to do serious medical detoxes on your own.
Your body’s natural detox system
Your body has an amazing, natural detoxification process that works seamlessly through 6 different systems or organs: the lungs, the liver, the lymphatic system, the blood, the bowels and the kidneys. All of these work together to eliminate toxins and waste products, so your body is able to function at a peak level all the time.
Here’s a brief look at the 6 ways your body detoxes continuously, and how you can give each of them a boost:
- Lungs – takes in the oxygen you need, and releases carbon dioxide and toxins.
- Get plenty of exercise every day
- Do deep breathing exercises in fresh air for about 15 minutes a day
- Avoiding smoking (and breathing in second hand smoke)
- Liver – metabolizes everything from food to alcohol. It takes waste out of the blood, and stores nutrients.
- Limit your consumption of alcohol
- Eat lots of foods that are rich in antioxidants. Shop for brightly colored foods that are colors of the rainbow. The bright colors that come from natural food pigments are antioxidants.
- Lymphatic system – protects your body from illness and disease. (fatigue and illness are often the result of a clogged lymphatic system)
- Have a diet of whole foods instead of processed foods
- Go for a lymphatic massage (deep tissue)
- Get daily exercise
- Use a sauna, as sweating purges toxins from this system.
- Blood – transports nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. To help keep your blood clean:
- Drink plenty of pure water to stay hydrated
- Get enough exercise, which increases circulation. Sweating from exercise cleanses the blood
- Bowels – break down the various nutrients from the food and move waste products out of your body.
- Eat a diet rich in high-fiber foods (recommended: 30 grams of fiber daily)
- Drink a minimum of 8 glasses of pure water every day.
- Kidneys – eliminate waste by producing urine.
- Avoid dehydration by drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day
- Eat a balanced diet of whole foods that keeps your blood sugar stable, as diabetes causes kidney issues (as well as other serious health issues)
No detox diet needed!
You really don’t need to do a cleanse or go on a detox diet to maximize your body’s detox system and keep your body free of toxins. If you think it is absolutely necessary, talk to your doctor and have him/her guide you with the right kind of detox.
It is super simple and easy to stimulate your body’s detox organs, helping your body get rid of toxins naturally every single day by:
- Eating nutrient dense whole foods
- Eliminating refined foods and sugar (including sugary beverages) from your dietary lifestyle
- Getting the right amount of daily exercise
- Drinking enough pure water every day
My clients find that making the transition from refined foods to a nutritious whole foods lifestyle, including eliminating refined sugars, increases their health and their energy tremendously! No detox necessary in order to realize these benefits!
Would you like to create a healthy lifestyle free from refined foods and sugar? Get rid of cravings? Increase your energy? Look good and feel great? Contact me! Let’s work together to reach your health goals.
The Guardian – Detox Myth
WebMD – Do you need a Detox Diet?