It's the New Year and detoxification, cleanses and weight loss programs abound, how do you know if you need to do this? First you should understand what a toxin is, how we get them and how we rid our bodies of them.
It's a blanket term. A toxin or toxic substance is a chemical or mixture that may injure or present an unreasonable risk of injury to the health of an exposed organism.
Where they come from : over 4billion pounds of toxic chemicals are released into the environment yearly
A. Air pollution
B. Chemicals in our daily life; cleaning products soaps, detergents, makeup , lotions , plastic bottle,and food cans to name a few
They can cause endocrine disruption that equates to developmental, neurological and immune system effects
Chronic stress affects our bodies ability to digest and eliminate our food and waste. The sheer volume that we are exposed to daily can just be too much for our delicate system.
As an example canned tomatoes are especially hazardous because the BPA in cans soaks into the tomato because of the tomatoes acidity. BPA mimics female estrogen which can lead to increased fat production, abnormal sex behavior and structural damage to your brain.
What is detoxification?
1. Detoxification occurs naturally without our help! It occurs primarily in the liver, but also throughout the GI tract, kidneys, lungs, and brain.
A. The liver produces bile, with the help of enzymes and sends that bile to the intestines to be excreted from the body
B.Adequate intake of water helps the kidneys function properly so you can excrete toxins via urine
2. We get into trouble because of the standard American diet as well as high stress levels which can lead to constipation. This means the toxins sit in our intestines instead of being released as they should be. As they sit there they start reintroducing back into our body.
A. If you eat things you are sensitive to like dairy or wheat over time your colon stops peristalsis (the process which is moves bulk through it)
Many of the people I treat are constipated. If you’re not having a bowel movement every day then you are constipated and are at risk for toxins leaking into your system instead of leaving the body in your stool.
Who should cleanse?
1. Only if you’re generally pretty well. Cleansing actually takes a lot out of your body and if you’re extremely ill it will only make you worse. Cleansing is not the answer to all of your health concerns. Medical care from a qualified license professional is. Maybe even a team of them.
2. If you are experiencing mental and physical fatigue, allergies and sluggish bowels.
3. If you are addicted to sugar and processed foods.
4. Weight loss: a great way to reset the metabolism and get on the right track.
After the holidays it can be really hard to stop eating sugar because it’s addictive. Having a planned process with a set time frame can really help.
What’s the best kind of detox cleanse/diet? There are so many types? What's the difference?
Detoxification is an energy-dependent process that puts a metabolic burden on the body. Instead of decreasing nutrient support, a focused, high-impact source of nutrients is essential. However, this source of nutrients should have a low allergenic potential so as to minimize inflammation.
A. Juice cleanse: They are said to reset the metabolism. A juice cleanse is essentially a colon cleanse that can give you some of the nutrients you need. Juice cleanses however are devoid of fiber. They are relatively inexpensive as you can juice yourself and then also add in psyllium husks for fiber. I would recommend no more than 3 to 5 days.
1. The master cleanse has NO scientific backing. (Cayenne, maple syrup etc.) . You lose weight because you’re not eating.There are no nutrients here to support the cleansing process.
B. Colon cleanses
1. Health food store brands are often full of irritants to the colon so you will have a lot of bowel movements .Sometimes the stools look weird and phlegmy because of the irritation they cause. So you feel like you’re getting the "bad stuff" out but actually it’s creating a problem. You're also missing a diet overhaul that is supportive for cleansing here.
2. Colonics: Can cause tears in the colon tissue. The colon is self-cleansing so it doesn't actually need to be irrigated. Over time your colon can stop working on it's own as it relies on colon irrigation. I am not totally opposed to these as they can be useful if you have a hard blockage that nothing else is helping.
C. Metabolic cleanse. This is what I recommend. I use this type because you get eat! You NEED nutrients to cleanse properly!
I exclusively use Metagenics 10 or 28 day Clear Change program. This is a scientifically backed program that I personally use and have great results with. It includes a high protein rice powder and antioxidant support for the liver.
1. Protein gives you the amino acids you need to produce the enzymes you need to detox properly.
2. Fiber: Some fibers have been shown to directly bind toxins, thereby helping to remove potentially damaging toxins. 1st line of defense because of good colon health and removal of waste. This program tells you exactly what you can and cannot eat during the cleansing process.
Detoxing is good for healthy people whose digestion is sluggish a couple times a year. Our life is full of “toxins” that our body can rid itself of assuming our digestion is on track. It’s not the whole picture for digestive issues. Emotional factors can play a big role as well as the health of your other organ systems. Chinese medicine is really great at this.
I recommend the Metagenics Clear Change 10 day program . I’m offering it at 15% off for anyone mentioning this article. The program comes with recipes, support, antioxidant support and a low allergen protein powder. If you have a major health concern please work with a qualified health care provider to determine is cleanisng is right for you. (Hint, that's me!) My practitioner code is AThornton