Although detox is primarily thought of as a treatment for alcohol or drug dependence, the term is also used to refer to a program of diet, herbs, and other methods of removing environmental and dietary toxins from the body.
What is detoxification?
Detox, short for detoxification, is the body's natural, ongoing process of neutralizing or eliminating toxins from the body. Toxins are anything that can potentially harm body tissue, including waste products that result from normal cell activity, such as ammonia, lactic acid and homocysteine, and human-made toxins that we are exposed to in our environment, food, and water. The liver, intestines, kidneys, lungs, skin, blood and lymphatic systems work together to ensure that toxins are transformed chemically to less harmful compounds and excreted from the body.
Why go on a Detox Diet?
Research suggests that many of the chemicals we ingest daily through food, water, and air can become deposited in fat cells in our bodies making them harder to be removed through the bodies typical detoxification process. Toxins include pesticides, antibiotics and hormones in food, chemicals from food packaging, household cleaners, detergents, food additives, heavy metals, pollution, drugs, and cigarette smoke. A diet that lacks certain nutrients may also impair our natural ability to detoxify chemicals, which further leads to their build-up in the body.
The build up of the toxins, labeled the "body burden", is thought to lead to illness and has been linked to hormonal imbalance, impaired immune function, nutritional deficiency, and an inefficient metabolism. Signs are thought to include indigestion, poor concentration and sluggishness, headaches, bad breath, fatigue, poor skin, and muscle pain.
Do detox diets work for weight loss?
Detox diets may actually work in promoting weight loss since the process involves a change in dietary intake. This form of diet also helps in weight loss by getting rid of toxins and burning fat build-ups in the body. The detoxification clears the way for the body to process as it should. Done right, a detox diet can help with not only weight loss goals but also improve energy, cear the skin, regulate bowel movements, improve digestion, increase concentration and optimize sleeping habits.
Detox Do's and Don'ts?
When starting a detox diet, don't assume you will reach peak performance immediately but do commit yourself to this lifestyle change and you will see results. Don't attempt a detox diet during an inconvenient cycle (in the middle of Christmas for example) and do plan ahead to ensure you will reach your goal. Don't overdo a detox diet and think it should be the only food you should consume forever but do stick to the program for whatever time period you have planned. Finally, don't assume one size fits all but do listen to your body and regulate the type of detox diet plan your body should follow depending on its needs.
Who should NOT try a detox diet?
Pregnant or nursing women or children shouldn't go on a detox diet. People with anemia, eating disorder, diabetes, kidney disease, autoimmune disease, cancer, terminal illness, certain genetic diseases, and other chronic conditions shouldn't try this diet or should do so only under the supervision of their primary care provider. It is also not intended for alcohol or drug detoxification.
Recommended Detox Diets?
One of our favorite seven-day detox diet programs is one by Dr. Alejandro Junger which was highlighted in Gwenyth Paltrow's GOOP online-newsletter earlier this year. Check out the seven-day detoxification diet here.
What Are Other Ways To Cleanse?
Detox Diets aren't the only way to rid your body of toxins and waste. Verseo's Detox Foot Patches are based off 23 years of Japanese detoxification research. The difference in the US is we try to treat symptoms. In Asian cultures, there is a greater concern with understanding the body as a whole and how it functions wholistically. Detox Foot Patches use 60 reflexology meridian points on the soles of the foot also known as the "second heart". They are the reflective zones of our major internal organs. And, because gravity and your body's own natural defense system move toxins away from vital organs, your feet become a "storage pit" for these heavy metals and toxins. Foot patches help draw out the toxins. Verseo Detox Foot Patches can be a great way to improve upon your detoxification diet regime allowing your body to heal naturally.
Just remember, you're beauty starts from within!
Mary Greene is Verseo's Social Media Health & Beauty rep who specializes in finding health and beauty tips for real women. A mother of three, Mary finds humor in everyday life and reports back what you may find interesting as well. Based on her feedback, Verseo will offer relevant promotions or even find special products that may suit your needs. You can read Mary's Beauty Secret Blog, follow her on Twitter, see her Pinterest Boards or keep up with the latest on FaceBook. A great way to stay connected. Don't be shy and reach out to Mary. She loves to hear from you!