You may hear regularly in the news or from celebrities about a cleanse or other technique meant to eliminate toxins from the body. This phrase sounds beneficial but what does “removing toxins” really mean? What are the toxins that build up in our body that need to be removed through special diets or rituals?
A “toxin” can really be anything that does our bodies harm. Many specialty cleanses or diets consider alcohol, sugar, carbohydrates, meat, or tobacco products to cause a build up of toxins in the body. Any substance could technically be a toxin, especially if not consumed in moderation. Cleanses and special diets focus on following a plan for a short amount of time that focuses on not ingesting any toxins while also flushing them from the system in a special way. Flushing toxins may be done by drinking certain teas, beverage concoctions, nutritional supplements, water with lemon, or vinegar.
Many people claim that they feel more energetic, sleep better, think clearly, and lose weight after following a cleanse. You may be rushing out to try a cleanse after being someone rave about their experiences, but there is a flip side to following one of these special programs. If you follow a cleanse and then return to your same poor diet or habits, you will no longer feel more energetic or sleep better. You did not “reset” your body with a cleanse but rather gave it a break from a lifestyle that was more than your body could handle, such as a high fat diet or consuming too much alcohol.
A cleanse to flush toxins may also not be a healthy option, since a cleanse typically involves consuming very little calories, particularly from protein sources. While it is usually done in the short-term, going without protein is detrimental to your body’s natural cell renewal process. Cleansing may also negatively affect any chronic diseases you have such as diabetes which requires more careful regulation of nutrient intake.
Luckily, you really do not need to cleanse or do anything special to flush toxins from your body. Your body has many systems already in place to handle toxins in our body. The digestive system actively eliminates anything our body cannot use from food, while the kidneys filter our blood and excrete the filtered waste products in urine. Even our skin can sweat out impurities!
Instead of a cleanse, focus on ways that you can support your body’s natural processes. Eating a diet high in fiber with lots of fruits and vegetables will support a healthy digestive system. Regular exercise and drinking plenty of water also helps your digestive tract work best. Sluggishness may be the result of a slow-moving digestive tract, heavy meals, and poor diet choices that are not giving you the energy you need.
Drinking lots of water helps your kidneys to flush out waste products. Alcohol and heavy caffeine consumption reduce the ability of the kidneys to do their job, which may leave you feeling bloated and uncomfortable. A diet high in sodium, such as one that relies heavily on takeout and fast food will also impact the kidneys.
Getting enough sleep at night as well as reducing stress can also help your body work its best. If you are having trouble doing either, seek out ways to relax for stress reduction and better sleep. Spending time with friends, time with a good book and a warm beverage, or a pampering massage can all be wonderful stress reducers. Massage therapy is shown to reduce stress while also helping you sleep better. Massage also lowers blood pressure and improves circulation, helping vital blood reach the organs that eliminate toxins from the body. Choose a healthier lifestyle over a short-term cleanse in order to flush toxins from your system!