You either know someone, you have done one, or you are considering following a juice cleanse detox program in the near future. The trend of juice cleansing has become more and more prevalent among the population as individuals are looking for a solution to lose quick weight or to “detoxify” from all their poor lifestyle choices. But how effective are these juice cleanses for ridding the body of toxins and helping to drop some quick pounds?
Let me first state that there is a lack of scientific support for the concept of juicing, drinking teas, eating certain foods, etc. for helping the body to eliminate toxins. In fact some may say these concepts are trending because of sheer marketing tactics. Toxins cannot be avoided; anything, even seemingly healthy items can become toxic to the body if consumed in excess for example: vitamin a, vitamin b, phytochemicals, lectins, etc. Because of this our bodies have an impressive detoxification system that breaks down chemicals into forms we can eliminate via toilet, sweat, or breathing. It does a pretty good job when placed in a healthy environment.
Most people decide to detox because they fear their lifestyle is not as healthy as it should be and therefore they seek this as a way to purge them of their sins and essentially get a restart. However, since the assault of chemicals is found everywhere (water, food, and the environment) we need daily detoxification, not a spring cleaning once a year. The biggest problem with these detoxes is they are ignoring the very best way to “detox” is to ramp up your natural detoxification systems, and take care of them in the long-term. However, most detox diets bypass this concept altogether through having low levels of protein (amino acids), fiber, and probiotics. Our main detoxification organ, the liver, needs amino acids from protein in order to function optimally. Fiber helps to bind up the toxins found in the gastrointestinal tract for proper elimination. And lastly, probiotics found in fermented foods are live beneficial bacteria that help transform toxic compounds in the gut and prevent absorption into the body.
What about facilitating quick weight loss? I am very confident in saying that any weight loss experienced after following a detox diet is mostly water weight, decreased carbohydrate stores (carbs use water to be stored in the body), and intestinal bulk. Those pounds lost will come back to you once you start eating food again post-detox.
Sure detoxes have their merit; they get you to stop eating junk food, drinking alcohol, and encourage you to consume lots of fruits and vegetables. However, doing good for three days out of the year doesn’t offset the other 362 days. Why not make the effort to make lifestyle changes that are sustainable long-term that support the natural detoxification systems?
Below are the top 7 ways in which you can make changes in your current routine to help cut down on the amount of toxins you bring into the body and also support the body’s natural detoxification systems. You will feel more energized, sleep better, look healthier, feel satisfied (ie. not ravenous), and over time lose weight.
Eat plenty of organic fruits and vegetables. Aim to have 1-2 servings of fruits or vegetables at every meal. In eating organic you avoid the toxins from pesticides, and you will get 30% more nutrient dense produce to help combat toxins.
Drink enough fluids. You should drink 60% of your body weight in ounces plus 12 oz for every 30 minutes you exercise. This will help improve elimination.
Check your beauty and cleaning products. Avoid products that contain: parabens; triclosan; fragrance; toluene; and oxybenzone. As these are very toxic to the body.
Exercise regularly. Exercise has been proven to help improve regularity and sweat/breathe out toxins.
Eat whole foods. When you focus on only eating whole foods you decrease the exposure to man-made chemicals that can be toxic to the body.
Increase fiber intake. Aim to get a minimum of 30g of fiber every day. This will to prevent buildup and improve elimination.
Take a probiotic supplement. The beneficial bacteria will help populate the intestine to remove the bad toxins.