by: Philip F.
What exactly is a detox anyway and is there any real benefit to it? Many people may give you a funny look if you mention the word "detox." For folks who may not If you've ever been in the "fad diet" section of the pharmacy you've probably seen aisles of new products with flashy promotions advertising their "miracle cleansing power" and promising benefits of greater internal organ health, reduction of environmental and naturally created toxins and of course more energy and vitality. But is there really any need?
Toxins, everywhere! Well, so they say. There are experts that will tell you that detoxification is a simple natural process that the body does on it's own. They're right too. With a proper diet of whole, raw unprocessed foods (the original "natural diet") and exercise, for the most part the job IS done by itself. The problem is we humans aren't exactly eating our natural diet these days. One of the first things that you should do if you're attempting to begin a detox is of course consult with your physician. Everybody's body is different and depending on your system and the condition that it's in, something that may be incredibly beneficial for one person could actually be unhealthy for you so always get a check-up and ask your doctor about the safety of the detox or diet you're planning before undertaking it. Secondly, you are going to want to make sure you're eating well.
Fish, nuts, grains, whole wheat bread and fruits and vegetables are an excellent start for optimum nutrition, but not even a perfect diet can shield us from the harsh effects of exposure to various environmental toxins that weaken our system, including the vital role played by the liver and kidneys in purifying the body. A typical diet of saturated fats, processed wheat and sugar and high fructose corn syrup not only introduces new toxins to be eliminated, but adds an extra tax to the pay load of the eliminatory organs as well.
Once you've been cleared by your physician and begun altering your diet you should begin noticing some changes. Don't jump the gun on this though. It's very important to slowly ease your way into a new diet. If you're used to eating rich, greasy food and trans fats, junk food and processed sugars, you'll want to make the switch to a healthy diet slowly but surely, one item at a time so your body has time to adjust to the change.
There are multiple types of detoxes and cleanses. When attempting a liver cleanse, bitter greens and high chlorophyll content juices like wheat grass and spirulina are good. Carrots, beets and lemons are also effective at flushing the liver. Turmeric, a primary ingredient in curry is also an effective liver cleanser in addition to being a cognitive enhancer and anti-carcinogen. Coffee, soda, even milk should be avoided during the cleanse. Instead, stay hydrated with plenty of purified or filtered water and juices.
Juice fasts can also boost your physical and mental performance and well-being. Ingesting only freshly juiced fruits and vegetables for 1-3 days can supercharge your health and mood leaving you full of energy. Fasts up to a week or more can even be good for you if you've slowly worked your way up to it. In fact, a true fast doesn't even begin until about the third day when your liver starts absorbing ketones. This state known as ketosis begins about 48 hours after the beginning of a water fast for women and closer to 72 hours for men.
Some of the healthy, cleansing foods to keep around include apples, carrots, beets, ginger root, spinach, pears, celery, kale, cabbage, pineapple, cranberry, and other dark leafy greens. Hot water and lemon in the morning is another neat trick to adjust the bodies alkalinity. Just eating whole, raw food will help do the same in fact. It's also good to keep plenty of lecithin (available naturally in soy and eggs or in supplement form) which will provide you with the essential fatty acids your brain needs.
A detox can become a beneficial part of your occasional routine that may work up eventually to the "magic number" of 40 days. Yes, it CAN be done, and safely, but only after slowly working your way up to it. Even if you don't plan on ever trying for a week long fast or even long enough to induce ketosis, just a 16 hour fast per week can work wonders on your digestion and insulin levels that, added to your routine may leave you feeling happier, healthier and more well in general.
Check out some of our products in the Clean and Detoxify! category so you can be on your way to a new you!
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