Nowadays you can hardly turn around without bumping into someone that has either tried a detox or is talking about trying one. So the question is, should you do a detox too? Is it really necessary? The answer is yes and yes. However, the type of detoxification program really depends on you and your circumstances, but I can honestly say that everyone could benefit from the incredible cleansing effects of detoxifying their bodies.
A detox, also known as a cleanse, allows your body to release dangerous toxins that can lead to ill health, and eventually disease while providing the nutrients that your body requires for healing and rebuilding.
Why Everyone Needs To Detox
Everyone on the planet has a certain amount of toxins built up in their system, some far more than others. We know this to be true because studies showed that at the time of birth, infants tested in the United states had an average of more than 200 chemicals in the blood of their umbilical cord. Of the 287 total chemicals found, a result of their mothers’ exposure, 180 are known to cause human and animal cancers, 217 are neurotoxins (toxic to the brain and nervous system), and 208 cause birth defects and development issues(1). As an adult, you can imagine how many of these poisons you’re currently carrying around and the toll that it’s taking on your health.
Experts say that each day every single one of us is exposed to hundreds of different chemicals, and women are exposed at an even higher rate than men due to the number of additional personal care products and cosmetics they use. Creams, lotions, hair color, nail polish, and makeup are riddled with toxins which are readily absorbed into the skin, the largest human organ, and transported into your blood stream. Your slow poisoning is made possible due to lax protection laws. The ingredients used in cosmetic products do not require U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval prior to use and sale. In fact, as crazy as it may be, according to FDA guidelines, cosmetic companies are responsible for their own safety tests, and they’re under no obligation to share the results of those tests with the FDA or the public(2). Even when the FDA attempts to step in and protect consumers, they’re prohibited from doing so. According to a report in the New York Times, chemical companies have used lobbying to “block serious oversight” ensuring that “none of the chemicals in products we use daily have been tested for safety.”(3) Obviously, this is very disturbing and very telling.
So are men safe? Absolutely not. Just as with women, men are exposed to myriad toxins found in foods, water, and even the air they breathe. From endocrine disrupting and cancer causing chemicals used in food and beverage containers(4-7) to immune destroying medications and growth hormones found in the animals that people eat,(8-10) all human beings need to be aware of their toxic load and take action to eliminate as much as possible.
The Effects Of Toxins In The Body
Your body is extremely intelligent and naturally protective so it attempts to constantly expel these chemicals. This is done through sweat, urine, and feces. However, the vast majority of people on the planet do not get enough exercise, drink enough water, and eat enough fiber to excrete adequate amounts of toxins and protect themselves against disease. Because of this, the body then moves to plan B, hiding the toxins away where they can’t do as much damage. It’s kind of like those times when you haven’t discarded or donated unnecessary items for far too long and you’re expecting company, so you begin pushing things under furniture and throwing them into closets. No, I don’t mean you, I meant the other person reading this post ; ) In any case, your body starts storing these poisonous by-products in your fat cells, which then become larger…and so do you.
The long-term consequences of allowing these chemicals to remain in your tissues is immense and is connected to the following health conditions:
- Behavioral changes
- Birth defects
- Cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, multiple sclerosis, etc…
- Deformities in newborns
- Low sperm count
- Metabolic dysfunction
- Reduced I.Q.
- Thyroid disease
When You Need To Cleanse?
Here are some signs that you have passed the point of an optional detox:
- You’re putting on weight around your midsection, including your belly, sides (love handles) and lower back.
- No matter how little or healthy you eat, you continue to put on extra pounds, particularly in your midsection.
- No matter how much you exercise, you can’t seem to shed the extra pounds even when you employ your most tried and true methods that worked in the past.
- You’re developing chronic health conditions.
- You suffer from frequent bouts of “brain fog” and just can’t seem to focus like you used to.
- You have low energy no matter how much sleep you get.
What Type Of Cleanse or Detox Should You Do?
There are several types of popular detoxification methods, and while some may come in easy-to-use pre-packaged containers, you’ll always get the best results if you keep it 100% natural and fresh.
Water detoxification is the most simple, but because you’re not getting any nutrients throughout the process, you’re at risk of fainting and other health concerns. Because of this, a juice cleanse works perfectly. Remember, though, you should always talk to your physician before you start any type of detox program, especially if you’re currently taking medication.
Having said that, if you decide to move forward with a juice cleanse, I highly recommend following a guided program to get the best results and ensure that you’re receiving proper nourishment along the way. It will also allow you to plan ahead and purchase all the necessary ingredients in advance, rather than making a trip to the store mid-cleanse and while you may be experiencing a healing crisis.
One book and program that I’ve used in the past and absolutely love is The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Juice Fasting by Steven Prussack and Bo Rinaldi. These guys are fasting gurus and they walk the talk. Their book makes it crazy easy to detox and offers everything from one-day programs to long-term, multi-month cleanses. They also explain how to enter and exit a cleanse, which is immensely important to minimize side effects and prevent you from undoing all of your hard work. What I like best is that you can choose from the array of recipes included in the book and they tell you which section to choose from for each meal, depending on what phase of the detox you’re in. Thus, it allows for variety and personal preference without leaving you to figure out how to get the most thorough cleanse possible.
Happy detoxing and please leave me a message below, to tell me about your experience and results.
- “Body Burden: The Pollution in Newborns.” Environmental Working Group. July 14, 2005. http://www.ewg.org/research/body-burden-pollution-newborns.
- “FDA Authority Over Cosmetics.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration. March 20, 2014. http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/GuidanceRegulation/LawsRegulations/ucm074162.htm.
- Kristof, Nicholas. “Are You a Toxic Waste Disposal Site?” The New York Times. February 13, 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/14/opinion/sunday/are-you-a-toxic-waste-disposal-site.html?ref=international.
- Tarapore, Pheruza, Jun Ying, Bin Ouyang, Barbara Burke, Bruce Bracken, and Shuk-Mei Ho. “Exposure to Bisphenol A Correlates with Early-Onset Prostate Cancer and Promotes Centrosome Amplification and Anchorage-Independent Growth In Vitro.” PLoS ONE 9, no. 3 (March 03, 2014). http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0090332.
- Gerona, Roy R., Tracey J. Woodruff, Carrie A. Dickenson, Janet Pan, Jackie M. Schwartz, Saunak Sen, Matthew W. Friesen, Victor Y. Fujimoto, and Patricia A. Hunt. “Bisphenol-A (BPA), BPA Glucuronide, and BPA Sulfate in Midgestation Umbilical Cord Serum in a Northern and Central California Population.” Environmental Science & Technology Environ. Sci. Technol. 47, no. 21 (October 7, 2013): 12477-2485. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23941471.
- Prins, Gail S., Wen-Yang Hu, Guang-Bin Shi, Dan-Ping Hu, Shyama Majumdar, Guannan Li, Ke Huang, Jason L. Nelles, Shuk-Mei Ho, Cheryl Lyn Walker, Andre Kajdacsy-Balla, and Richard B. Van Breemen. “Bisphenol A Promotes Human Prostate Stem-Progenitor Cell Self-Renewal and Increases In Vivo Carcinogenesis in Human Prostate Epithelium.” Endocrinology 155, no. 3 (January 1, 2014): 805-17. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24424067.
- “FDA Bans Three Toxic Chemicals From Food Wrapping – Too Little, Too Late.” Environmental Working Group. January 4, 2016. http://www.ewg.org/release/fda-bans-three-toxic-chemicals-food-wrapping-too-little-too-late?inlist=Y.
- “Ractopamine Factsheet: Lean Meat = Mean Meat.” Center for Food Safety. February 28, 2013. http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/fact-sheets/1769/ractopamine-factsheet-lean-meat-mean-meat#.
- Stachel, C. S., W. Radeck, and P. Gowik. “Zilpaterol—a New Focus of Concern in Residue Analysis ☆.” Zilpaterol-a New Focus of Concern in Residue Analysis. September 23, 2003. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003267003008638.
- “Antibiotic Resistance.” World Health Organization. October 2015. Accessed February 12, 2016. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/antibiotic-resistance/en/.