Do You Need To Detox To Be Healthy

I had an encounter with an individual that told me she cannot start an exercise program until she did a cleanse. She would have her last bad meal and then make mindful nutrition choices after the detox program she saw online.

Detoxification is growing increasingly popular.  Somewhere along the line, some well-meaning naturopath and herbalist got the idea that our bodies needed periodic cleanings. The basic premise is that your body accumulates more toxins in the modern world than its natural detoxification system (your liver, kidneys and lungs) can get rid of. The naturopath and the herbalist recommended we occasionally refrain from eating solid foods and instead quaff unappetizing blends of kale, celery, and turnip to purge ourselves of these toxins.

Companies that create products that propose detoxification is absolutely necessary say that chemicals from pesticides, chlorine, bleach and ammonia, and carbon monoxide build up over time and cause disease.

In my early 20’s I promoted a company that and distributed products that supported a detoxification program. They had some science to back it up and I wanted to help people the best way I knew how. The great part was that the products did work and I was so happy to see people's lives changing for the better. But I also started to see that 'detox' became a fad word for "have a crappy weekend and detox on Monday." In my heart I knew that maybe there was a better process. A way where people would learn how to make mindful choices and not rely on a detox to solve all their problems. It was nothing against the company that I promoted, it was me growing as a professional and wanting go a different route. 

One of the worst things that you can do for your body in terms of detoxification is doing a fast. Fasting deprives the liver of amino acids (cysteine, glutamine, glycine) that are important to this natural detox process. Likewise, amino acids make toxins more water soluble, which allows them to be eliminated through bile.

Americans tend to have diets that lead to constipation and or less frequent bowel movements. A change in nutritional habits can accomplish the same thing as many herbal detoxification products that are just laxatives.

People are supposed to have one or two bowel movements a day. But many people go two or three days between eliminations. The normal pathway for toxins to move out of the body is through the liver. The liver converts harmful chemicals into water soluble molecules that can be flushed out in the urine or feces. Those toxins remain in your system longer if there is a delay in elimination.

Your skin is another major organ of elimination, but many people do not sweat on a regular basis. Which is an issue in itself.

Well how does a person give their body the ability to cleanse itself the correct way. 

You need to establish a healthy lifestyle and dietary habits first.  Switch your focus and build a reserve that your body can draw on to allow your liver to do its job. 

Failing to do this can overwhelm your liver's ability to process the toxic substances that are being eliminated.  You could disable your bodies defense system (Immune System) if you started a detox system without establishing healthy patterns first. It could lead you down a path of sickness and wishing you had never done the detox in the first place. I have seen this happen many times, so please use caution and evaluate your current state of health before embarking on any kind of detoxification program.