Cleanses and detoxes seem to have taken hold as a trend in the diet industry. A cleanse or detox diet usually restricts specific types of foods or entire food groups. Sometimes food itself is even restricted for a few days, and miracle juices full of empty promises replace it. This idea that you need to purchase an overpriced system sold by some pyramid scheme to flush out toxins is straight nonsense.
What’s a toxin anyway?
I imagine Dr. Oz and friends love this word because it sounds intimidating, sparking action among soccer moms and gym rats alike. There are two main types of toxins, endotoxins and exotoxins, which are a part of everyday life. Endotoxins are byproducts of the body’s normal functions. An example of an endotoxin is human waste. Exotoxins come from the environment. We can introduce exotoxins into our body through food and drinks, but they are also in the air we breathe and even absorbed through our skin.
This Just In: Your Body Detoxes Itself
Detoxification refers to the metabolism and excretion of toxins. Your liver, kidneys, intestines and colon are all organs that play a role in your body’s natural detoxification process. Toxins leave the body through breathing exhalation, feces, sweat and urine. Your liver cleanses your blood. Your kidneys filter waste in the body and excrete it through urine. Your intestines and colon absorb nutrients and water, letting waste bypass and leave the body as feces. Your body is constantly going through its natural detoxification process, every single day.
How to Help Your Body
Before you take the BeachBody “Which Cleanse is Right for You?” quiz, take a step back and examine the eating patterns you engage in on a daily basis. Making realistic healthy changes can help support your body’s natural detox process. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the day. Make sure to eat your fruits and vegetables, about 5 to 9 servings per day. Include fiber in your diet from nuts, seeds, vegetables and whole grains. Eat fermented foods with naturally occurring probiotics like kefir, sauerkraut and yogurt. If you aren’t a fermented foods fan, high-quality probiotic supplements might be a good option for you. These healthy eating habits promote bowel regularity, which is good indicator of the body’s ability to detoxify itself.
Wait, so this isn’t a 10 day cleanse?
If you want a truly healthy and sustainable lifestyle, you need to throw this idea of fad diets, cleanses and detoxes out the window and never look back. If there was a “21 day fix” to eternal health, the billion dollar diet industry wouldn’t exist. Your body isn’t designed to drop five pounds in five days. The secret to fueling your body to achieve your goals is to commit to a healthy lifestyle. If it’s overwhelming to suddenly adapt these healthy eating patterns mentioned, just work on tackling them one at a time. The key is to be patient, and be consistent. I know this concept doesn’t sound as glamorous as the Fit Tea promise, but I can tell you- it actually works.