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Diet Detoxification. Do they Work?

Diet detox programs

There are many types of detoxification program or reasons for a detox of your body.  You may find if you fall ill and end up in a hospital that you will be put onto a medical detox program.  Here they will cleanse your body of harmful chemicals that are inhibiting your bodies’ ability to recover quickly.  They will cleanse out the bad while putting back in the good.  As you progress through their program you body will begin to recover as it gets stronger from a combination of diet and rest.

Then there are the diet detox programs.  These are very popular and sound fantastic; I know I was drawn in.  Who wouldn’t want to detox your body of harmful toxins and lose some weight in the process?  Just about anyone I know does.  However detox programs can be expensive in time invested and money spent.  Besides food costs, there is costs for powders for shakes, body prep time before the detox begins and food prep time.

So do diet detox programs work and are they really worth the effort.?  What do the experts say about detox programs?  I did a fair amount of research on the topic and overwhelmingly I found that most experts say that science doesn’t really support their popularity.  Katherine Zeratsky, R.D, L.D answers the question of whether detox diets offer any health benefits, in an article for the Mayo Clinic.  Zeratsky says, “There is little evidence that detox diets actually remove toxins from the body.  Indeed, the kidneys and liver are generally quite effective at filtering and eliminating most ingested toxins.”

If you look at many reputable organizations that have written on the topic, they feel that a detox programs are not necessary.  They write that your body can handle the cleansing effect that a detox program offers.  However this does not mean you can go back to you regular bad habits and your body will take care of everything for you.  There are things that you can do to help your body with the cleansing effect.  Here are some tips;

Drink More Water

It should probably go without saying that water is very essential.  There isn’t an expert I know that wouldn’t tell you to drink less water.  Water is essential in assisting your liver to flush out toxins.  If you want a goal, drink eight glasses of water per day.  Drink one glass of room temperature water immediately after getting up. Follow that with seven more glasses periodically throughout the day and especially during meals.

Get More Sleep

Boy, these are groundbreaking ideas right!  No, but sleep is something that we need to plan for.  We get so busy during our days that when we finally get a break all we want to do is watch TV.  Sleep is essential to switching things off for a recharge.  It’s that time when the brain can reorganize and begin to get the body to start the cleansing process.

Reduce Processed Foods

Typically these foods are boxed, canned, frozen or baked.  Processed foods go through a number of processes to get to their final packaging state.  During that time they have had a lot of sugar, salt, oil and calories added.  They can be considered high-calorie and low-nutrient at this point.  They are filled with “things” that aren’t of tremendous value to your body while adding calories.

Add Antioxidant Rich Foods

Antioxidants are compounds produced in your body and found in foods. They help defend your cells from damage caused by potentially harmful molecules known as free radicals.  Foods such as pecans, raspberries, kale, beans and spinach are great.

Add Color

I love this part because I love fruit and vegetables.  This is the part where you can add high-nutrient and low calorie foods to your diet.  Nothing but nature’s goodness when you add color to your refrigerator. The buzz word here is “clean”. These are considered clean foods that are good for you, low calorie and do not have toxins in them.

Get Active

Get going, get walking, running, swimming, biking.  Just move your body daily for at least 20 minutes.  If you can’t do it every day plan to do it every other day, but just get moving.  The older you get the more important it is to get moving and keep moving. 

In Summary

  • Detox program are expensive
  • The body can essentially do what a detox program will do for you
  • Use the best practice tips provided, eat clean, drink plenty of water and get your sleep

Written By: Peter Engelbrecht

Peter Engelbrecht is the owner of Speedy Sneakers Racing and a former NCAA All-American in Track and Field.

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