Cleansing Culture: Should you do that detox diet?

It seems everyone these days is hopping on the body cleanse and detox bandwagon. It's true that many cultures around the world have been practicing this for centuries. What's important is for anyone looking to go on these types of diets fully educate themselves on the healthy and unhealthy ways to detox. 

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The Truth About Detox Diets

Detox diets can vary in what they ask you to follow, what to eat and not eat and in some cases taking various detoxifying products. Detox Diets are centered around the avoidance of foods or food groups including wheat, dairy and alcohol as well as all processed foods. 

The truth is our bodies detox in their own natural way. It's a normal body process to eliminate or neutralize toxins 

Many Chinese medicine systems use detoxification and believe it to be about resting, cleaning and nourishing the body from the inside out. The removal of toxins, replaced with feeding your body healthy nutrients, can help protect you from disease and renew your ability to maintain optimum health. 

It also strengthens your immune system building up a tolerance towards certain diseases. 

How does detoxification work?

On the most basic level, detoxification means cleaning the blood. This is done by removing impurities from the blood in the liver, where toxins are processed for elimination. The body also eliminates toxins through the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymph and skin. However, when this system is compromised, impurities aren't properly filtered and every cell in the body is adversely affected. 

Should you detox?

Many experts recommend an annual cleanse for the average adult. Nursing mothers, children, patients with chronic degenerative diseases, cancer or tuberculosis should avoid cleansing. It's important to talk to your physician before embarking down the road of a detox diet. Find out what and if it's right for you and what you're individual needs are. 

Advocates of detox therapies understand that the body accumulates toxins that can cause cancer and other diseases. Regularly cleansing oneself of such toxins can reduce the risk of disease, more radiant skin and increased amounts of energy. 

Many people use detoxes as a kick start to a new healthy lifestyle. 

Toxins Toxins Toxins

Technically, any toxin is a poison produced through biological processes. Many man made chemicals are also considered toxins. Air pollutants like ozone and nitrogen dioxide have been linked to a range of health problems. 

However, undergoing an internal cleanse isn't going to help your body rid of all toxins any faster or more effectively. The body is well equipped to get rid of toxins all on its own.

If you have a well-balanced diet, and eat from all the recommended food groups (remember your plate needs to have all the colors) then a cleanse probably isn't necessary. Cleansing doesn't always equal losing weight. It's a process to clean the body of toxins but not necessarily burning fat.