Your neighbor’s done it. Your sister-in-law tried it last month. The guy at the health food store swears by it. Maybe it’s time you did a detox?
What exactly is a “detox”? In simple terms, detoxing—or detoxification—is a cleansing process that occurs naturally in your body every day, ensuring that harmful toxins and waste materials are eliminated. Toxins might be considered anything that could potentially damage body tissues, from waste products that result from normal cell activity (such as ammonia and lactic acid) to medications, smoke and other chemicals that come from our environment, food and water.
When someone says they’re “detoxing,” they’re typically referring to a program of using a special diet, herbs, juice and teas to support and encourage the body’s natural detoxification process. The idea is to clean your system out from the inside, and to get your body back in order again.
People who detox often report improved energy, clearer skin, regular bowel movements, improved digestion and increased concentration and clarity. If you feel “congested” from overeating, or from eating the wrong kinds of foods, you may want to try a detox diet. If your energy level seems low, or if you’ve been taking many medications that you think are still in your system, a weekend detox may help you feel better.
Here are some detox tips to help you get started:
- If you’re new to detoxing, it’s best to start slow, perhaps with a one- or two-day cleanse.
- Eliminate processed foods. Instead, choose fresh, whole and, if possible, organic foods that are naturally rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.
- Avoid sugar, caffeine, dairy and alcohol.
- Drink water, tea and other clear liquids.
- Stay active, but remember not to overdo it. You may become exhausted more easily while doing a cleanse.
For a safe and effective detox, consider combining detox tea with a carefully selected detox diet plan. Yogi Detox is a mild, caffeine-free, laxative-free tea that combines several organic herbs used traditionally to support detoxification. Traditional Medicinals also makes an EveryDay Detox tea that’s all natural and contains organic chamomile and other herbs.
If you’ve tried detoxing before, you might consider a supplement such as Nature’s Plus Fresh Start Cleanse, which is a two-week program that supports gentle cleansing with organic herbs.
Remember, it’s important to keep your body “clean” on a daily basis, but an occasional detox might be helpful and an added benefit to your healthy lifestyle.
Southern States Championships top contender Melissa Transou, a figure competitor, wife and mother, blogs about the unique sports nutrition needs of female athletes exclusively for Vitacost.com.