If I were paid $100 every time someone asked me to place them on a detox, I would be a millionaire. It is as if “detoxing” has become the latest fad. But do we have an accurate understanding of what it means to “detox”?
In fact yesterday, two female patients confessed to overindulging in lots of unhealthy foods. They wanted a detox regiment. I challenged them to cut out the junk food, optimize their water intake and get to return to their healthy eating habits before diving into a month-long detox. Like many, they were misinformed about detoxing. Often people assume detoxing involves taking a pill, fasting, juicing or a temporary conversion to veganism. On the contrary, detoxing is already occurring daily within the body. Five organs, the liver, kidneys, lungs, skin, and colon never stop mobilizing and clearing out toxins from our bodies. When we defecate, urinate, sweat, and breathe, we are detoxing.
When these five organs are working at their best, there is no need for these extreme ‘detox’ measures such as liver flushes, juice fasts, colonics, or enemas. In my opinion, such measures have become all the latest rage within health-conscious circles. However, when we consistently follow the standard American diet (refined and highly processed foods that are calorie rich but nutrient poor), drink alcohol in excess, don’t consume enough water, lack dietary fiber, or smoke cigarettes, the organs of elimination become taxed and don’t work as efficiently. These habits create a toxic backlog similar to what happens when trash collectors go on strike. When trash is not collected off the streets, pests and disease proliferate. The same occurs in our bodies.
In cases where a regimented detox is warranted, it should always lead to the adoption of health-promoting habits which enhance the body’s innate ability to detoxify. Such habits include, but are not limited to:
- drinking at least one-half your body weight in fluid ounces daily
- eliminating refined sugars
- eating fiber-rich whole foods
These are simply dietary guidelines to which we should ascribe. Health manifests when conditions support its existence. The same is true for disease.
How is your lifestyle supporting your body’s natural detoxification process?
First, ask yourself this question if you are considering an elaborate seven-day or month long detox regiment.