The interest in detox seems to go in waves. Perhaps its a seasonal thing like Spring cleaning. It shouldn’t be necessary because the body is equipped to naturally detox on a daily basis. The gastrointestinal tract (GI), lymph, skin, and urinary tract are all avenues for cleansing. Unfortunately our world has changed and the body can’t keep up. Consuming nutritionally dead food, drinking coffee and alcohol, smoking, too little rest, no exercise, drugs, and environmental toxins have stressed our bodies beyond what is manageable.
Our body chemistry has become altered and our GI tracts especially have been stricken and stressed. The result can be headaches, back aches, fatigue and depression. Continued sluggishness in the GI tract can lead to disease. Paul A. Goldbert, MPH,DC in his article Nourishing the Gastrointestinal Tract says, “To continually eat when the GI tract is not functioning properly is equivalent to exercising with a torn muscle or walking on a broken leg.” (Website: www.goldbergclinic.com) Before you go crazy with detox there are some things you must consider. Even if you are not on the list below, please check with your doctor before you start a detox.
People Who Should Not Detox
- are under 18
- are pregnant or lactating
- have a gastrointestinal disorder such as Chron’s disease or gastritis
- have an autoimmune disease such as lupus or arthritis
- are training for an endurance event
- have any other serious health condition not listed here
So, even if you haven’t thought about detoxifying before you’re considering it now. Right? I don’t want to send you along without some ideas on the healthy approach to cleansing from the inside out. The first thing you have to do is stop eating the food that’s loaded with toxins. Eat organic when you can. Cut out the processed fake foods with man-made fats, refined flours, sugar and preservatives. Remember that fake sugar is as bad as real sugar.
Eliminate caffeine. Cut back on the non-organic proteins. Don’t eat trans fats or hydrogenated fats. Start with making one change and keep drinking water. Once you have set yourself up with healthier habits you can start your real SAFE detox.
A Healthy Detox
Your doctor should check this out first. I’m not talking about fasting because there is no scientific evidence to show that fasting does cleanse the body. Be smart and keep the right foods going through your system.
1. Start with 1-3 days of consuming freshly squeezed or blended fruits and vegetables
2. After that jump-start you may begin to eat solids but eliminate all dairy, wheat, meats, processed foods, fake sugars, junk foods, alcohol, cigarettes and coffee.
3. Do eat fresh fruit and vegetable juices, lightly steamed or cooked vegetable dishes. Between meals: Drink 8 eight oz glasses of purified water and enjoy herbal teas such as – fennel, ginger or chamomile.
This is a safe, gentle and inexpensive way to detox your body. Then start on the outside of your body. To open pores and stimulate the lymphatic system simply brush your skin. You can use a loofah or other natural sponge. Add to that a bath in sea salts or epsom salts in addition to drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day. Now that’s nice!
What about taking it a step further? Doctors acknowledge a rapid weight loss from cleansing diets that include fasting, but that’s because of the decreased caloric intake not the loss of toxins. When you have restricted calories and especially protein the body pulls from its resources to get the protein you need, and you lose muscle. Protein is necessary for the structure of the cells. They form the enzymes and digestive juices not to mention the hormones and hemoglobin (blood, dude). It helps transport oxygen and nutrients. It repairs tissue and is a source of energy.
So in the scheme of things, by doing a diet where there is no food — especially protein — you risk doing more harm than good. Does that mean I’m against fasting? No, not for a short period like 3 days, but you have to consume something to add bulk and fiber to the colon to start the scrubbing process.
Moving right along — we hope! I want to talk about using herbal remedies. I know plants have been around as long as dirt and the Chinese have used them for prevention and treatment since the 22nd Century BC. So, I believe there can be healing and cleansing aid with herbs. You must be cautious and understand what it is you are taking because it is still medication. Simple things like lemon juice and ginger seem pretty harmless, but beyond that I think you really need to be careful. Some things can interfere with your medications. For example, if you are on thyroid medication you can’t eat grapefruit when you take your pill. Do your research and ask an expert before you add herbs to your detox.
I might be overly cautious, but it’s better to be safe.