Wellness Blog

Do Detox Diets Work

Posted by Dr. Paul Zickler

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January 12, 2016 at 2:00 PM


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Many of us related detoxification to drugs and alcohol; while it’s true that “detoxing” may refer to eliminating addictive substances from our lives, detox diets are one of the cornerstones of the natural health field.  Essentially, a detox relates to the process of removing harmful or potentially damaging substances from our body, environment, and diet.

Why Detox?

So, before we delve deeper into the efficacy of detox diets, let’s first take a closer look at detoxification and why it may be useful.  In our everyday lives, we come in contact with myriad harmful substances that can directly or indirectly impact our health. 

From air and water pollutants from industrial waste or car exhausts to food preservatives, additives, and sweeteners, we’re literally surrounded by toxins.  Moreover, the personal hygiene products (make-up, hair dye, shampoo, and conditioner) and household cleaning products contain harmful substances that impact our health.  And while you may be aware that substances such as alcohol or cigarette smoke can have negative health effects, have you ever considered the effects of heavy metal corrosion or other toxins entering our drinking water? 

Along with the increased convenience that comes from living in an industrialized world comes the added risk of exposure to substances that are not easily flushed from the body by the digestive system.  To this end, detox diets are designed so that you can naturally and effectively remove toxins from your body.  At the same time, you work to reduce or eliminate these substances from your diet and environment. 

Understanding Detox

The first thing you need to know about detox is that it’s not just about removing toxins already in your body.  Indeed, the most effective detox diets are designed to reduce your exposure to harmful substances while also utilizing natural products to help cleanse the body.  Improving your diet is the single most important step you can take in maintaining a healthy, toxin-free lifestyle.  But what does this mean?

Unfortunately, some foods actually stress and strain our digestive systems.  Highly processed foods such as refined or artificial sweeteners, foods that contain artificial ingredients or synthetic dyes, and factory farmed meat and seafood are very difficult for our digestive systems to regulate, so giving your body a rest from “stressful” foods is the foundation of a good detox.    

Look for sugar.  Most processed foods are packed with added, refined sugar, which has no nutritional value.  You should be especially wary of foods that contain high fructose corn syrup.  Before you start a detox, have a look around your kitchen.  Check the labels on your canned and packaged goods and you’re sure to find that sugar is an incredibly common ingredient.   It’s added to many foods, even to so-called “healthier” options.  Obviously, you’ll find sugar in chocolate, candy, soda, and ice cream; but, you’ll be surprised to find sugar in some very interesting places such as food sauces, canned soup, crackers, and bread.  Wherever you can, you want to avoid foods that have sugar as an unnecessary ingredient, and replace sugar with healthier alternatives.  Fruit is high in natural sugars (fructose), but it’s also packed with vitamins!

So what’s the point?  You are what you eat.  While we can’t avoid all the toxins we’re exposed to on a daily basis, we can avoid eating foods that have harmful long term effects.  By developing a healthy everyday diet, you’re actually engaging in the best possible detox.

Still, there are some toxins that can’t be avoided, so natural detox diets are useful for flushing these harmful substances from your body.  Many plants have been used throughout human history for their cleansing properties.  Indigenous cultures around the globe have relied on plants and herbs for their medicinal and cleansing properties for centuries. 

One popular natural detox is the Wild Rose Herbal Detox Program.  As we’re exposed to a wide range of environmental pollutants, harmful toxins accumulate within the body.  Detox programs such as the Wild Rose detox help to enhance your metabolism for better elimination of toxins.  Still, even this well-respected detox program requires individuals follow a specific diet that is free (or virtually free) of toxins.

Do Detox Diets Work?

So now the big question – do detox diets work?  This is certainly a complicated question, but the short answer is yes.  By reducing your exposure to toxins and by utilizing natural plants and herbs that have cleansing properties, you can improve your overall health.  However, any detox diet is only as good as the dieter – a commitment to a healthier lifestyle is the first step in your success.

Topics: detox, cleanse

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