Proper detoxification is essential for a healthy body. Your colon is one of the most important organs in detoxification, removing environmental and dietary toxins from your system on a regular basis. Common toxins we encounter in everyday life include the products of natural processes like ammonia from protein metabolism, chemicals such as pesticides, cleaning products, food additives, drugs, pollution, smoke, and certain metals that we ingest or inhale. Unfortunately, our modern lifestyles seem to have caused an increase in the amount of toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis, putting extra pressure on our body’s ability to cleanse itself. The added strain on the colon can cause waste matter to accumulate which can then lead to various health complaints. Detoxification diets are especially formulated to avoid chemicals, increase nutrients, and stimulate the colon to increase frequency and amounts of waste elimination.
How do I know if I need to detoxify?
Signs of excessive toxin deposits in our bodies, lack of nutrients caused by poor diets that inhibits efficient waste management, and waste accumulation include:
- Impaired immune function leading to frequent illnesses
- Hormonal imbalance
- Bad breath
- Skin problems
- Muscle and joint aches
Benefits of colon cleansing diets
Many fans of colon cleansing diets claim that they experience a boost in energy, better complexion, regulated bowel movements, easier digestion, and improvements in mood and concentration.
As with any dietary changes, it is advised that you speak with a medical professional before beginning. Pregnant or nursing women, children, the elderly, and people with underlying medical conditions should engage in detoxification diets only under the recommendation and supervision of a health care professional.
Detoxification diets followed improperly or for extended periods of time may lead to nutritional deficiencies.
Side effects include headaches from caffeine withdrawal, diarrhea or constipation as your body adjusts and releases its stored toxins, initial tiredness from the sudden release of toxins and energy required for processing, acne during initial toxin excretion stages, and weight loss.
Some health practitioners believe that colon cleansing diets are unnecessary, and state that there is no evidence that they work. Also, certain herbal supplements used during these diets can be expensive or dangerous.
Choosing the right colon cleansing diet for you
Detoxification diets employ a combination of foods, herbs, vitamins, and minerals to achieve results. People usually go on a diet for a few weeks one or two times a year. It is important to ease in and out of the diet.
The most popular colon cleanse diet is the lemon detox diet or ‘master cleanse’ which consists of drinking lemon juice with maple syrup and cayenne in water several times a day for a few days. This is alternated with sea salt or Epsom salt infusions.
Another colon cleansing diet involves the consumption of:
- Fresh fruits and juices
- Raw vegetables rinsed in a vinegar mixture to remove pesticides and fertilizers.
- Herbal supplements like ginger, bayberry, and turkey rhubarb to stimulate your circulation.
- Avoidance of meat, dairy products, wheat, alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco.