Detox and Cleanses
Detoxification and Cleansing What is a detoxification or a cleanse? A basic detoxification or cleanse will focus on removing or neutralizing specific toxins from our bodies, as well as clearing excess mucus and congestion. These toxins accumulate as a result of our diets, drug use and environmental exposures, resulting in poor digestion, colon sluggishness, less than optimal liver function and poor elimination of toxins through our kidneys, respiratory tract and skin. There are many ways to detoxify or cleanse involving juicing, fasting and strict dietary protocols. All involve dietary and lifestyle changes that will reduce the intake of toxins and improve elimination.
For example, the avoidance of toxins including tobacco, alcohol, caffeine and sugar while increasing water intake and fibre by eating selected fruits and vegetables are typical steps in a detoxification program. Detox programs can last days or weeks depending on the program. Why detoxify? Detox and cleansing are beneficial for vitality and rejuvenation. While detoxification can also be helpful with weight loss, this is not its primary purpose. We cleanse to rest or heal our overloaded digestive systems and to help us maintain optimal health – which includes a nutrient-dense whole food diet, proper hydration, exercise and a good night’s sleep. Are they safe? During basic and simple detoxification programs, most of us can maintain a daily routine. Many people will experience symptoms or side effects that may feel uncomfortable including headaches, fatigue, irritability, mucous congestion, aches and pains for the first few days. Most programs are designed for a basically healthy individual who eats a balanced diet, drinks a minimum of 8-10 glasses of water per day and has daily bowel movements. Detoxification is not appropriate for anyone with heart problems, extreme fatigue, poor circulation or those who are underweight. Anyone with cancer should be cautious regarding how they detoxify and should consult their medical doctor or a qualified health professional to ensure they continue to receive the appropriate amount of regular, quality nourishment.
Pregnant or nursing women should also avoid heavy detoxification programs. The key to a successful detox program is individualization. It is important to consider your general health, energy level and current lifestyle before beginning any new program. For example, individuals with fatigue, nutrient deficiency and poor organ function may need a higher nutrient, higher protein-building diet to improve their health versus a juice cleanse. Who to consult about them? You can consult a registered nutritionist, a licensed naturopathic doctor or a certified practitioner experienced in herbal remedies. For any serious health issues, please consult a qualified health care practitioner or your family doctor. Certifying bodies in the U.S. In the United States, manufacturers or distributors of detoxification or cleanse products can make no specific claims without FDA approval.