Cleanses and detoxes come in many shapes and forms. Whether a strict water or juice fast, or dietary modification with the addition of supportive herbs and nutrients for a period of time, the ultimate goal of a detox or cleanse is the same: reduce what’s coming in and increase what’s going out of the body to decrease the body’s overall “toxic load.”
The body has four primary routes through which it can eliminate waste products: the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the kidneys and bladder, the skin, and the lungs. Any time one or more of these pathways of elimination is not functioning well, the other pathways have to take up the slack or the body has to figure out how to store its toxic load in the least harmful way possible. When these situations arise, we often find the beginnings of illness. Many commercially available cleansing programs focus on the liver and the gastrointestinal tract, which are critical to proper removal of waste and toxins from the body. Addressing the GI system is important, given the prevalence of processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and foods devoid of any real nutrition in our society, however it is only one part of a larger picture and all of the body’s routes of elimination need to be supported and addressed.
Without a doubt, a detox in any form is hard work. The most difficult part of a cleanse for many people is the diet. Whether a cleanse is liquid-based or involves food, chances are it is will be a dramatic change from peoples’ typical eating habits. However, the choice of what we eat is an aspect of cleansing over which we have a lot of control and has an impact on both the “what’s coming in” and “what’s going out” parts of the detox equation. It is also the choice of what we eat that will have lasting benefits beyond the course of a cleanse. With benefits ranging from increased energy to reduced sugar cravings to weight loss, participating in a cleanse once or twice a year is a wonderful opportunity to break poor eating and lifestyle habits that we all inevitably slip in to over time.
Article submitted by Dr. Lucky Bennett
Dr. Bennett will be conducting a 3-week Detox program at The Women's Club. Click here for more information.