Doing a detox seems to have become somewhat of a fad. Generally, I can get behind this. Our bodies are exposed now more than ever to chemicals in food, air, water, and on land. Over time, our bodies can accumulate these toxins, injuring our health.
So in theory, cleaning out the body on a periodic basis is a great health habit. However, it’s important to understand what kind of “detox” you are doing. Before beginning you should know what the potential benefits and pitfalls are. Below I have summarized some simple things you should remember when you do a detox program:
Let’s look at the DOs
DO decide what type of detox you are doing—one that rests and cleans out the digestive tract. Another type is one that supports the liver, the body’s main detoxifying organ.
DO be aware of the fact that the liver needs specific nutrients in order to perform a true metabolic detox. Many detox programs are not designed to provide these nutrients.
DO drink lots of water. Consume at least half your body weight in ounces each day. Toxins are first converted to water-soluble compounds in the liver and released into bile. Toxins can also be filtered through the kidneys. Water will help toxins move through the body.
DO consume adequate fiber. Fiber “grabs on” to toxins released through the bile into the digestive tract. This ensures that toxins don’t get reabsorbed into the system. Eat lots of whole foods on your detox, and add a fiber supplement such as this one: Superfood – Organic Prebiotic Fiber.
DO get adequate protein. Eat at least 1g/kg of body weight. For a 150 lb person this is 68 grams. Specific amino acids found in protein in high amounts such as glycine and cysteine are required for various phases of detox. Falling short on protein will hamper your ability to process toxins.
DO be aware that you may get mild to moderate symptoms from the detox. Mild nausea, loose stool, headaches, minor skin eruptions, body odor, or achiness, may occur as your body releases toxins. While the liver performs most of the work, toxins can be release through the GI tract, the kidney, the skin, the lungs, and in the sweat.
DO follow the instructions provided with your detox in detail to get the maximum benefit. Specific foods can enhance different aspects of detoxification and are included for specific reasons. Likewise, certain foods are eliminated due to their negative effect.
…and the DONT’s
DON’T embark on a detox program if you; are under excess stress, have active illness, are pregnant, take prescription medications for a life-threatening condition, or are on 4 or more medications. It is best to see if the ingredients in your detox formula are compatible with your medications. (we have a database we can check for these interactions).
DON’T do fasting cleanses for more than 1-2 days. Fasting is a great way to rest the digestive system, but does not provide the nutrients necessary for the liver to adequately perform detoxification.
DON’T do a juice cleanse for more than 3 days. If you have insulin or blood sugar issues, a juice detox is not recommended. Juice, on average, contains half the fiber and twice the sugar of the comparable whole food. While it provides excellent nutrition, the lack of fiber is problematic (see above).
DON’T assume that an herbal cleanse with lots of bowel-stimulating herbs will adequately support true detoxification. While many of these formulas contain herbs that also support the liver, many are just a way to get the bowels moving.
DON’T continue a detox if you experience moderate to severe symptoms. You should not experience symptoms that won’t allow you to get through a normal day. Discontinue the detox or slow it down, depending on what your practitioner recommends.
In summary, periodic detoxification is an excellent health habit that is encouraged for people that are generally healthy. Think of it as an oil change for the body one, two, or three times per year.
Join our detox program, which starts next Tuesday, January 5th . If you would like to work with a group as you go through the detox https://www.eventbrite.com/e/group-detox-via-zoom-tickets-134432301633.
If you think you require more guidance than a group situation can offer, you can contact me to set up and appointment and we can go through the detox together. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (847) 864-1600, X4.